Thanks for sharing your story with us, Amanda!
Images shared from Amanda Pooler
1. Describe your children in 3-5 words. How did you choose their names?
My son is curious, content and so happy. His name is Braden Oscar. We chose his name one day while driving in the car. We knew all along Oscar would be his middle name after my dad's middle name --- but Braden was just something my husband suggested and instantly I loved it!
2. How old are your children? How did you tell people you were expecting a baby? My son is 10.5 months old! We didn't do a big announcement with our families. Unfortunately our first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage and we had done a big announcement with them. So we were a little more guarded with this pregnancy until we heard the heartbeat! We did a very fun Facebook announcement!!
3. How would you describe your pregnancies? How was delivery, birth and labor for you? I had a very healthy pregnancy! I even went on a big vacation around 6m pregnant. We went to California and did every tourist attraction. I even enjoyed Disney in 102 degree weather!!
My birth story is a very adventurous one! My water broke at 35 weeks. Unfortunately my labor didn't progress naturally and I needed pitocin. My body just didn't progress like I wish it would have. After an epidural and medication to help soften my cervix I finally began progressing after about 24 hours of strong back labor. I was stuck at 9cm for about 4 hours and had to be rushed in for an emergency c-section after 38 hours! Braden had some trouble breathing and we spent about 10 days in the hospital together. But I would re-live every single second all over again and am so incredibly blessed to have him.
4. Describe yourself as a mom in 3-5 words.
Amazed by him every day.
5. What type of mom do you hope your children think you were someday when they're old enough to tell you?
I want to be the mom they know believed in them, supported them and encouraged them. I want him to know my love for him is beyond measure. I just hope he knows that I think he is incredible and capable of anything!
6. What things have you done as a mom that you're most proud of? Gave birth! Haha. It was hard and an amazing experience. Also just being capable of such a deep and unconditional love.
7. What have been the most difficult parts to being a mom? Going back to work. I miss him every minute I'm away. I stayed home with him for 8 months, but had to return to work. I know it's what's best for our family but I hate being away.
8. What is your favorite baby/child product(s) that makes your mom job easier? Rock and Play! Because Braden hated being swaddled, it was really helpful for sleeping. Also, baby carriers and/or wraps. I love having him close to me and even now at 10 months he still loves being carried around!
9. What advice about being a mom would you give to a brand new mother?
You are amazing. You are capable and don't doubt yourself. Being a mom is hard, but that's what makes it so worth it. But don't forget to fill your own cup. Read a book, get a manicure or even just put a spa mask on your face at night. You can't fill others cups if yours is empty.
10. What is a typical day like for you?
Up at 4:30am. Get ready for work and get Braden ready for "school". My husband and I ride into work together. I drop him off, drop Braden off. Park for work and walk about 20 minutes in! It's a great time of my day. I get to enjoy a hot coffee and a brisk walk because working out is hard these days. I work as a chemist at a naval shipyard. Then my husband picks me up at work after picking up Braden. We get home. Eat. Play. Bed! All of us. Haha.
11. What 5 things would you like to do with your kids someday, if anything were possible and money no object? Disney. Take a ride in a hot air balloon. Buy a camper and explore lots of amazing, beautiful places. Fenway Park. Go on a tropical vacation.
12. What are your favorite things to do in December or holiday traditions? How do you spend the holidays? I am really embracing starting our own traditions as a little family. We have started doing new activities this year. But I love getting a fresh Christmas tree and decorating my home. Braden loves all the lights and excitement -- so we are trying to let him experience as much of that as possible. We went to LL Bean and it was incredible. I want to embrace family and time together. Gifts are lovely, but I want my son to remember fun times and memories he spent with his family. That's what's important.
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. Going back to work. I thought at first I somehow would be failing him. Some days I still feel like I am. But when he gets so excited to see me after work. I remember he is ok. He is growing and learning so much at his care facility and I am lucky we have found a place we like.
14. What makes you a strong mom?
Love. That little guy makes me strong. I'd do anything for him. But my husband helps make me strong too! He is so incredibly supportive and such an awesome dad. We help each other.
15. Anything else you want to add? Becoming a mom is the best gift life has ever given me. I knew I would love my son. But I never imagined that having him would give me purpose. It has made me love my own parents stronger, love my husband deeper and make sure I take better care of me. My love for him is all encompassing. I am so excited for the journey ahead and can't wait to see and experience it all.