Meet Lorianne Collins, whom I call Lori. Lori, is family. She’s the mother of two of my beautiful cousins and my cousins’ wife! She shares her experiences with motherhood, self care and even losing a sense of self. I believe a lot of women can relate to losing a sense of self when mothering and in marriage. I am grateful that she shared her story with us here on the blog.
Tell me a little about yourself, how many children do you have?
My name is Lorianne Collins, I’m 36 and I’m from Union, NJ. I’m a mother of two, more like three if you include my husband! My daughter is 13, soon to be 14 years old and my son is nine years old. I am also the owner of SWEETBAYTREE. We offer full body waxing services. I try to take appointments mainly on the weekends but everyone’s schedule is so crazy with COVID. On top of being a mom, I try to accommodate my client’s to the best of my ability.
How are you feeling? At this particular moment, are you happy?
I can honestly say that I’m happy at the present moment.
What does self care mean to you?
To me, self care is taking care of yourself but also taking all the time you need to do so. For me, I enjoy taking time out to sit at a park.
What are your five favorite ways to take care of yourself especially during this pandemic?
I really enjoy going shopping and splurging on myself once in a while. I love getting my feet and nails done as well.
What advice did you receive when you became a Mother?
When I first became a Mother I didn’t receive any advice. It was more of you have to do this and that, and your child is your first priority, or you’re not doing this the correct way.
What is something you remember about giving birth to your child(ren)? How did you feel? How did people around you make you feel? (Whether a doctor, family member, spouse..)
My first birth to me was very traumatic. I remember going food shopping earlier that day. I had no idea I was in labor. All of my labor pains were in my back which is the worst possible pain ever! After shopping, I ended up going back home. I showered and ate because I knew that I would not eat while at the hospital until she was born. By the time I got to the hospital I was about 3/4 centimeters dilated. I ended up being induced and received an epidural shortly after.
I started getting tired, my pressure started dropping and my daughter’s heart beat also dropped. About 20 doctors ran into the room. My mom prayed over me then. My husband was scared and worried, not knowing what’s going on thinking he’s going to lose both his girlfriend at the time and his daughter. By the time I was actually ready to push, my doctor put this whole entire thing in my vagina to turn my daughter and unravel her umbilical cord from around her neck. I ended up having a torn vagina because they had to cut me. I also had a hemorrhoid.
I can’t really say that I experienced postpartum, or even noticed I was going through it. Now when I look back to when I had my daughter in 2008, I didn’t bond with her when she was born.
My second was much easier because you kind of know what to expect. I feel good because I was able to experience childbirth. I can’t speak for every woman but I do thank God I was able to give my husband his pride and joy, and his Jr. People around me made me feel good, especially my husband. He was really supportive, not so much in changing diapers but… we never wanted for anything, even when we were struggling.
Did you experience postpartum depression with your child(ren)? If so, when did you realize you were experiencing it and what steps did you take to heal?
I can’t really say that I experienced postpartum, or even noticed I was going through it. Now when I look back to when I had my daughter in 2008, I didn’t bond with her when she was born. It could have been how traumatic labor was for myself and almost losing my life.
How do you show up for yourself vs how do you show up for your family?
I’m still learning how to show up for myself, outside of being both a mother and wife. I don’t really know what to do for myself as of yet. At this time my kids are a lot older and I’m still learning how to do for myself and not everyone else. I’ll leave them home for an hour or so and either do some retail therapy, or have some coffee by myself. I’m still working on learning me!
I’m still learning how to show up for myself, outside of being both a mother and wife.
Do you feel that you’ve lost a sense of your identity in being a Mom? If so, how?
Yes I’ve lost myself along the way. Having kids and a spouse…. everything tends to revolve around them and you end up putting yourself on the back burner for everything. You’re always rewarding yourself last, not realizing nothing is left for you!
When did you decide that you didn’t want any more children? How hard was that decision and do you have any regrets? What advice would you give other mothers who have decided to not have more children?
I came from a family of eight! My parents were immigrants when they came to this country. My mother had three kids back to back before she was 23. Hearing stories my parents told to make ends meet made me realize I didn’t want to be like them even though times are different. Having my second child made me realize that was enough when my body rejected every birth control possible. It was a hard decision to make when I knew my husband wanted another one. For other mothers, do for yourself, not trying to be selfish but…if you can’t handle it don’t do it. A BABY DOES NOT KEEP A MAN, OR SAVE RELATIONSHIPS. You will be raising that child or children alone
What advice would you give a new Mom?
Do what’s best for you and your baby! When it seems like the world and everyone else is against you he/she is all you have!
FOMO is an acronym for Fear of Missing Out. Have you felt that you were missing out on anything when you became a mother?
YES, I felt like I missed out on everything about becoming a mother. I was the only cousin at the time with a baby. I couldn’t go out partying like them, not like I was really a party person. Looking back now I have no regrets with the decisions I’ve made.
As you look back at your life, what are you most proud of?
The woman, mother, spouse I have become. Paving the way for my kids, teaching them things that weren’t taught to me.
You can find Lorianne on instagram!
The SweetBayTree instagram handle is @sweetbaytree85
From The Garden of Eden: Stories of Motherhood, Postpartum and Healing
A review of “Before I Let Go” by Kennedy Ryan.
A review of “The Hookup Plan” by Farrah Rochon
Sometimes you don’t realize you are in a new season until you are in it.