She has a beautiful little girl, who she works so hard for out of the home and breastfeeding/pumping. She has been through some health challenges with her little one, but in the end has learned to lose the Mama Guilt in order to focus on the great things she's doing for her sweet girl.
Congrats, Tori! So deserving!
Images shared from Tori Bullek
1. Describe your children in 3-5 words. How did you choose their names? Vivian is beautiful, smiley, opinionated, and very loved. I chose her name years ago; we chose not to find out the sex of our baby, so when she was born, I was so excited to be able to use my favorite girl name!
2. How old are your children? How did you tell people you were expecting a baby? Vivian is 6 months old. We did a photo shoot with our furbabies, Teddy and Sophie, with baby Uggs and posted the picture on Facebook for the world to know. Our families and close friends knew way before we posted online.
3. How would you describe your pregnancies? How was delivery, birth and labor for you?
My pregnancy was perfect in the eyes of the OB - baby always measured perfectly, no complications, no diabetes - but it was difficult for me because I suffered from morning sickness the ENTIRE time and took Zofran almost every day. Labor started at 10pm on my due date, and baby moved things along quickly and our baby girl was born at 9:39am at 40 weeks + 1 day. Labor and delivery was very painful, and my epidural failed so I felt EVERYTHING. I pushed for over 3 hours and finally the OB ended my suffering by using the vacuum. The physical pain is already a distant memory, though, and Vivian was worth every scream!
4. Describe yourself as a mom in 3-5 words. Protective, loving, selfless.
5. What type of mom do you hope your children think you were someday when they're old enough to tell you?
I would hope Vivian would describe me as supportive, present, and loving. I want her to look back at her childhood and remember me always being there for all her school and extracurricular activities, supporting her if she was having a hard time, and always being told and shown how much I love her.
6. What things have you done as a mom that you're most proud of? I am proud to say my daughter is exclusively breastfed. I work full-time and pump for her bottles for daycare. It isn't easy, but I am so proud of myself for sticking with it.
7. What have been the most difficult parts to being a mom? Working. I hate leaving Vivian on weekdays. And illness. She has had recurrent ear infections, which lead to getting ear tubes very recently. It's so hard when they are too young to tell you what's wrong or what hurts.
8. What is your favorite baby/child product(s) that makes your mom job easier? Vivian hates the Nose Frida, but it is so effective. And our Boppy, that's a must have. The Mamaroo is amazing. And I love the Honest Soothing Bottom Wash for messy poops.
9. What advice about being a mom would you give to a brand new mother? Take all the help around the house you are offered! Don't have expectations of the first few weeks other than to make it through them.
10. What is a typical day like for you? If it's a weekday, husband gets up first and goes to work, then I get up and let Vivian sleep while I get ready for work. I breastfeed Vivian at home before we leave or when I drop her off at daycare. Then I race to work, pump mid-morning and early afternoon, then go pick Vivian up and head back home. I let the dogs out and feed myself while Vivian takes a nap. Then I breastfeed her and we play and then I shower and my husband gets home from work and showers and we stumble into bed. Vivian starts her night out in her co-sleeper bassinet but ends up in our bed at some point.
Weekends are different every week. Vivian and I usually sleep in while my husband goes to the gym. Then we run errands and/or do lots of laundry and cleaning. We try to take a nap in the afternoon when Vivian naps, but that doesn't happen often.
11. What 5 things would you like to do with your kids someday, if anything were possible and money no object? I would travel the world, to everywhere that is safe and cultural. I would create a big trust fund for each child so they never have to worry about money. I would allow my children to each choose a vacation destination every year, and take a vacation to each place every year. I would donate toys and volunteer with my children at Boston Children's Hospital. I would hire a cleaning lady and a maid so that every minute of my time is spent with my children and not doing housework.
12. What are your favorite spring or Easter traditions with your family? We don't have any spring traditions other than having itchy, watery eyes and sneezing until Memorial Day!
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. Recovery from Vivian's ear tubes was some of the hardest days we have had. The day of surgery was a whirlwind of emotions, mostly guilt and fear on my part. I sat and cried, rocking my screaming baby in a chair while she recovered from anethesia. I was sad again when she wasn't back to her normal smiley self the next day. I often questioned our decision to do the surgery, asking myself, "Would Vivian have chose to do this if she could talk?" We are a couple weeks out now, and she has had no new infections or fluid in her ears. That's the longest she has gone without an infection or antibiotics for months. I have faith as more time goes on I will know we made the right decision.
14. What makes you a strong mom? I think having such a strong mom myself helps me understand how important I am to Vivian, because my mom is so important to me.
15. Anything else you want to add? I thought I knew what "tired" was before having children! Ha!