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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Mom of the Month - Amanda Gunter

A brand new year and a new mommy to feature as our January Mom of the Month. Amanda Gunter seems like the COOLEST mom out there. You may recall her as the mom someone posted a picture of this past summer in the Mommy Stories Facebook group, where she had a baby on her front, a baby on the back, and a few more on each hand - AT THE BEACH. By herself. She's a nanny in addition to being a mother. I recall the shock and awe and admiration all moms who saw that picture posted, "How does she do that? Wow, she's supermom!" Well, it seems that's true. I'm so glad someone nominated her as Mom of the Month.

Seriously, however busy you are today you MUST read this in its entirety. This mom is hilarious and oh-so-real - like laughing out loud funny. Her honesty about how ridiculous things she yelled during her labor are worth the read. You all know how I appreciate honest moms.

Thank you, Amanda, for sharing your life with us. You seem like a dedicated and awesome mother. Your little guy is so lucky!

Images from Amanda Gunter 

1. Describe your child in 3-5 words. How did you choose his name? 
happy, curious, silly. I had his middle name picked out the whole pregnancy but never settled on a first name. Going into the hospital I had my list and once I met him I realized no name on the list fit. By day two he was still not named. There was a white board in the room where the nurses, doctor, and all our guest wrote names and erased names... Finally we settled and loved Mason Matthias.

2. How old are your children? How did you tell people you were expecting a baby?
My baby is 7.5 months! I told friends and family close to me but I didn't announce until 20 weeks on Facebook. I had the belly in front of the tree with a 3 blue ribbons around it!

3. How would you describe your pregnancy? How was delivery, birth and labor for you? 
The first trimester I slept through and if I was awake I was hugging the porcelain god! I taught my Zumba class all through my pregnancy and nannied! By the third trimester I could barely reach the steering wheel, I had to get the participants to tie my shoes for me, I had to lean back just to catch my breath. When I went into labor I was in denial, my boss Keri Stoorza had to firmly tell me to go back home and prepare...I went for a walk with my dogs and friend in Portsmouth, NH instead.... A mile away from the house I started to think maybe she was right. My yellow lab started losing her mind and grabbing on to me and getting aggressive if anyone got near me...I kept scolding her. Turns out she was trying to tell me I was in labor too. 

Resting at Breaking New Grounds with my friend Danielle my contractions became more regular and longer. My poor very conservative and proper friends was asked by me to check my crotch when I felt a flush. Now she was trying to convince me to call the doctor and GO IN! Meanwhile a creepy man was cheering in the very crowded BNG to "puuusshhh" thanks dude. Not helping.  

I had arrangements for another friend, Lora Cyr to stay at my house with dogs while I was in hospital. But I wasn't not going into the hospital until I had tidied up the house and left a piece of chocolate on the pillow for her. (To me the chocolate on pillow was more important than crowning baby). 

7 hours after my boss originally told me to turn around and go home and get ready for the baby I'm finally headed to the hospital. Thanks to the advice of Katie Welch I was still in denial that I was having this baby and the doctor would send me back home. No such luck, I was admitted. 

So what does any sane laboring mother to be do? Call in the friends, bring in the games and spend the next 6 hours laughing, dancing, and playing cards against humanity you....and then the first REAL contraction hit. I looked at my doctor and said "get everyone the f out" I was no longer fun. Here's where things get exciting....

5 hours of pushing the baby boy came healthy and beautiful. In those 5 hours I made promises that I'd never have sex again, I told my doctor (mother of three) she was a damn idiot to ever have more than one kid after learning what labor was like after the first time. And if my boyfriend didn't put the new iPad down that I would sink it into the birthing tub with me. Can you believe he would be playing Clash of Clans while I was in labor!?! My boyfriend tried to be comic relief for the nurse and doctor by telling me to "suck it up, you'll be fine, don't be a baby". I told him to say it again and I'll happily hold on to his balls for the next contraction. He took the hint. 

In the fourth hour I said get the drugs, get the knife, the baby won't fit...that's right, I've had no drugs. But it was too late...funny man decided to tell me to "relax" and in one quick swipe I grabbed his nipple for the next contraction. 

Thinking if I told the doctor I didn't want to have a baby anymore then maybe I would magically go back 10 months and be my skinny self again and spare this pain. I was wrong, my doctor wasn't a genie and she wasn't granting wishes. 

He was almost out they said. You're lying I replied but they insisted I push and looking into the mirror. Don't they know if I push any harder my eyes would pop out?? Squeezed my eyes shut (making sure they wouldn't come out) I pushed one last aggressive time and he came. 

Perfect. Beautiful. And in awe. And all the pain was gone. Just like that! No drugs, no tearing, no stitches…later I found that the iPad had been used for updating family and taking pictures. (Funny man was off the hook).
4. Describe yourself as a mom in 3-5 words. 
I describe myself as calm, happy, and protective.
5. What type of mom do you hope your children think you were someday when they're old enough to tell you? 
I hope they look back and thank me for teaching them kindness, respect, love, and showing them how to be happy.

6. What things have you done as a mom that you're most proud of? 
I'm most proud of not having drugs during the delivery, working and having my baby with me, being calm when others are stressed and following my motherly instincts.

7. What have been the most difficult parts to being a mom? 
The most difficult part of being a mom was trying to poop for the first 8 weeks after delivery. A lot of negotiations were made with God and the bathroom! So painful!
8. What is your favorite baby/child product(s) that makes your mom job easier?
My favorite mommy product would hands down be the ergo! Hands free holding! 
9. What advice about being a mom would you give to a brand new mother?
My advice, follow your instincts! Follow your instincts and cherish every moment. Even the 3am giggles.
10. What is a typical day like for you? 
A typical day for me would be to get up and out by 8am and starting nannying 4 other kiddos with my baby. Breakfast, adventure, lunch, nap, chores then after that I head to the gym to teach a Zumba class. 11 hour days and finally back home to do some chores around my house, love on pups and snuggle my boy! Go to bed and repeat.

11. What 5 things would you like to do with your kids someday, if anything were possible and money no object? 
spend time with family in California, Kansas and Maine and just rotate....5 times a year with each!
12. What are your New Year's resolutions this year, especially in regard to being a parent? 
My New Year's Resolution is to read more to him, make most his food (as it's time to start introducing), and for me, lose the baby weight!
13. Tell us a time where you felt like you failed at parenting... but then realized you truly had not failed, things worked out fine. 
There had been times he has cried and I got stressed and annoyed. I still have guilt for feeling annoyed.
14. What makes you a strong mom? 
I believe my independence makes me a strong mom!

15. Anything else you want to add?
Join me at Zumba! Haha (Join Amanda's class at York Fitness Center in York, Maine!)

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