Friday, April 28, 2023

Dear Diary...

It hurts to not be in the studio or to be somewhere that makes my artistic dreams seem possible. This is hard. I love being a mom so much and am already having fun introducing her to music and dance. We had a Broadway themed morning today. I miss performing though. I need to get back to it. I know I'm physically just about ready, but mentally I've been ready for a year. I need it. I need the part of myself back that has been pushed to the side. I started PT to get stronger and even just the 45 minute workout from that makes me feel better and like I'm ready for a comeback. My occasional virtual dance classes remind me of who I am as well. They don't happen as often as I would like, but it's hard to even shower right now. We don't have family help here. We don't have any help. I need movement like I need air. I went through a lot of scary shit in a short amount of time and the only ways I know how to get through things like that are to be around the people who get me and to dance it out. I can't really do either much at the moment. If you've spent your entire life working toward something or have fallen in love with the art form, you'll know why this is such a struggle for me. I know what my job is right now, but I have never not had something to work toward or train for. This is hard. 

Monday, April 17, 2023

Back To It

I took my first dance class in 7 months/7 weeks postpartum. I have no control over my core yet and need to take it slowly with that so I skipped abs and just did what I could with dance. My stamina and dancing was surprisingly fine, but wow is it hard now being able to use my core. I couldn't if I wanted to right now. It just doesn't work. Crazy. It is slowly getting better though. I feel safe starting with walking and dancing. I plan to hold off on actual working out for a while and just do some light weights and PT exercises. I have never been one to take it easy, but I know I must. Having a baby has made me feel like I am always holding my breath. It is so much fun but it is a lot. It is 24/7. Deb's class makes me feel like myself again though. I know I just became a mom but it is so difficult to balance it all and it is even harder not to compare myself to others. I still have my dreams. I still want to perform. I still want to be a Rockette. 

The Rockette audition is this week. I am obviously not going and am in no shape to go, but I am still going to have serious FOMO. It is extremely difficult to take class or workout with a baby. I stayed with my parents for a couple weeks this month and was able to go to ballet class and swim a ton. Help makes such a difference. I am having a very hard time even getting dressed for the day or finding time to shower. It's a lot. Hopefully it will get easier, but not having family nearby or any friends here is rough. I started to make friends before we left St. Pete and it's just far enough to be too far to see them much. 

My goal is to perform again locally, but what I really want is to audition in NYC next year. I have a plan in mind for training, but I am still recovering from surgery and getting my strength back. We will see...

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Beveling Baby

Baby E has arrived! We are completely in love with our Princess Peach. I spent 9 months trying to eat well, taking prenatal yoga twice per week, and walking as much as possible. Toward the end, I drank RRL tea, ate dates, curb walked, bounced on a yoga ball, worked on breathing techniques, etc. I had intended to try for an unmedicated birth. I made a birth "preferences" list. One of my doctors told me that they have a less than 10 percent C section rate. I was optimistic about things even when she didn't arrive by her due date. When we reached week 41, I started to get nervous and an induction was scheduled for 2 days later. My birth preferences were quickly becoming out of reach. I wasn't dilating. I think that maybe my pelvis is too narrow and her tiny little head didn't help move things along. My hospital bag had been packed for weeks with tons of things that we wouldn't end up using.

We checked into the hospital on January 17th at 11pm and had a room by 1230am. I was given a drug that dissolved in my mouth in hopes of helping me be able to use Pitocin next (something I really hadn't wanted). They told me the process could take days. By the next morning, I was only 1.5cm and having contractions that were so bad that they would have made sense had I been ready to push. Baby's heart rate was starting to drop with each one. My doctor didn't want to alarm me and allowed me to try the drug one more time after waiting a bit. When Peachy's heart rate wasn't really improving, they said that a c section was unfortunately the best option. At that point, I was in so much pain and just wanted to meet her. Since it wasn't an emergency situation, I had time to brush my teeth, pack, and prepare for surgery. I was very grateful to have the most kind and helpful nurses throughout the entire experience. I felt really prepared and comfortable with everything that was about to happen even though it wasn't my "plan." They told me I would at least be able to have my playlist going. 

The shots I had to get in my spine were the worst...until I lost feeling in my feet. OMG. I freaked out and was cracking everyone up talking about it. I was obsessed. Seriously...strangest feeling in the world. Not a fan. While I was totally numb to the pain, I felt pretty much everything. Max arrived after they had already begun and kept my focus away from the weird pressure. When it was time to pull baby out, Max put on Tiny Dancer and they lowered the curtain. Peachy emerged like Simba in the Lion King. Such a crazy moment! She looked just like Max. She had tons of brown hair and deep ocean blue eyes. (I think her hair looks more auburn now and her eyes may be turning green like mine). He was able to trim the cord and be with her while they did a few things prior to placing her on my chest. He was crying. I was crying. The nurses were almost crying watching him cry. We were soon taken to a recovery area prior to heading to the mom and baby unit. 

They had also put this thing behind my ear for nausea that I was instructed not to touch as it could cause side effects like confusion. I touched it of course. Oops. I was soon saying some crazy s***. Max even called a nurse, because he was worried. I was talking about Gucci and Chanel. I was texting people at 3am thinking it was 3pm. The sad thing about this is that I really don't remember the first time I fed baby girl or getting to our room or even pressing the sweet lullaby sound that alerts the floor that another baby was born :(

The next few days were spent learning to feed her, eating good hospital food (yes, it actually was), and healing. I actually wish we could have stayed longer since the nurses were so amazing. The lactation team helped me figure out BF and the best positioning due to my incision. When the day finally came to take her home, Max grabbed the car seat, loaded her into it, and we did a slow walk to the car. The past 9.5 months felt like a lifetime then, but feel like a short little blur now. I already forget what the pelvic pain and acid reflux were like as they disappeared the day she was born. There are definitely some traumatic things from the past year that I need to work through though. I'm not going to say I'll do this again. She is my perfect angel and I would be so content with just her, but you really do forget all of the pain that comes before. 

With regard to my dance career...I have wanted to be a Rockette my entire life, but she is all that matters now. Anything for Peachy. I definitely plan to perform again though. It is just going to take longer than expected. I cannot wait to perform in Florida again. I was offered a show recently and it felt so nice to even be considered. I know I'm not done and will practice my singing and dancing with babe. Last time I was in NYC, I had asked a dance friend how her experience was getting back to it after her daughter. She said she had taken class almost until she was born and was back in the studio 6 weeks after. That had made me so optimistic...why wouldn't that happen for me too? My doctor told me it will likely be about a year before I can get back to what I'm used to doing, but she assured me I will. That is still such a scary thought. I am going to take it as a sign that I'm meant to slow down, enjoy Peachy, and hopefully return with renewed motivation to do what I love.  

Monday, January 9, 2023


PinkBlush Maternity was kind enough to gift me some beautiful pieces in my favorite color. 
My Instagram post with all the dets can be found here


Wednesday, January 4, 2023

It's Baby Month.

What a crazy thing it is to go from dancing and performing consistently and making that your life to seeing your body totally change and having to take a break from what you know best. I am going to have so much to learn with having a baby despite reading the books, taking the classes, and watching all the videos. I already have a different outlook on life. I am going to move my body and dance when I am ready and feel so much more grateful for it since it is something I haven't been able to do much. I was just offered a spot in the ensemble for a musical next month with a company that I love. I obviously can't commit to performing that soon, but it was so nice to know I'm still on someone's radar and wanted for jobs. Seeing everyone post their gorgeous NYE gig pictures made me realize how much I miss it. I can't wait to get into performing shape. I am really looking forward to getting into rehearsals and back onstage. My short term focus will be on stamina and strength with walks and simple exercises (probably PT too) and working on my voice while singing to Baby E :) 

I can't believe it could be baby week already!! It's definitely baby month. She could totally arrive on my birthday or Friday, the 13th...who knows! My guess was January 5th, but that isn't going to happen. I have been doing everything I can to avoid induction. For some reason that I still can't understand, it was recommended that I have one at 39 weeks. I said no to that so the compromise is weekly nonstress tests. So far so good. I have been walking, bouncing on a ball, eating gross dates, drinking raspberry leaf tea, among other things lol Nothing has worked yet. I am no in a hurry since I definitely still don't feel ready, but I absolutely do not want Pitocin. Please put positive vibes and thoughts out there for me to be able to move around as much as possible and not be confined to a bed the whole time. As a dancer and someone who likes to move constantly, I would be upset not being given the option to.