Meet Lecreatia Bray.
California based stay at home mama married to husband, Benny with their other lil’ loves Beilyn (4) and Javaughn (2), and expecting their third baby together (like today!). We sat down to hear Lecreatia’s authentic truth, her story, her advice, her love. We hope that this conversation either guides you before becoming a mom or inspires you as a mom to know that you aren’t alone. #MomToMom
Q: Can you tell the story behind this house? You were born here, and now you have a family here!
I am from here - Lake View Terrace, CA. When my parents bought this house, it was a shack, so they pretty much added everything to it. They built the garage, the kitchen, the extra bedrooms in the back. They put it all together by themselves. I come from a family of builders. Construction, plumbing, painting. My husband got a job out here, and there it is. We’re building a legacy with our babies here.
Q: What does being a mom mean to you
The first word that comes to my mind is sacrifice. Once you are responsible for another person… it kind of feels like you’re at a crossroads of your needs and the babies needs, and you’re trying to figure out how to balance both. I really have to take a step back to make sure that I am doing the best I can for my family and for myself.
Q: What have you learned about yourself through pregnancy? How have you changed?
One of the biggest things I learned about myself is that I put myself in a box before I became a parent. I underestimated myself a lot. I played it safe and I dimmed myself down for other people. But when I became a parent, I felt a shift. I knew it was time for me to stick up for myself, and what I believe in, and how I choose to raise my kids, and just everything that comes with being a parent. I realized that I am a lot more ferocious than I ever gave myself credit for, a lot stronger than I thought I was, and a lot bigger than I thought I was. My kids really brought a very lioness type of personality out of me.
Q: Did you feel that lioness personality come out right away?
Not right away, it was kind of gradual. I am a stay at home mom, so I really was able to discover myself all day, and who I was with the kids. The more time I spent with my kids, the more I realized I had a way I wanted to do things with how I raise my children. I guess I had more of a foot in than I thought I did. I thought I would be lost and confused, but I wasn’t. I really thank God for the direction that I felt and still feel as a mom.
Q: We have been noticing a lot of consistency in the loneliness that women feel postpartum. What did you experience and did you feel alone? How can we continue to make that feeling go away?
Some people call it the fourth trimester. It’s very lonely. I even had to call some friends out about it too… I had to reach out and be like “Where were you, I was drowning and you were nowhere to be found.” Sometimes people don’t know how to help you after you have the baby. They don’t know how to connect, they don’t know what you need. That’s what I experienced with my community. It is very lonely, and it can be very saddening. Cause even though you just brought a baby into the world, baby shower gifts are put away, everyone is at work, nobody is oohing or aweing at your belly anymore, and suddenly it can feel very lonely.
Something that really helped me with my second baby, is just to make sure that I am writing down all the things I need to remind myself while I am alone, to keep my mind focused. Like affirmations. Reminding myself, “You’re okay. It’s just for a moment. You’re not alone.” But it’s hard after you have a baby.
Q: How do you think we can offer advice, or as a mom, ask for help?
When I first became a parent, my community stepped up incredibly. One of the things they did is Meal Train, where your friends can choose a day to deliver you food and organize meals for you and the kids. Every night, one of my friends would bring over dinner. They rotated like this for about 2 weeks! It was heaven! They would drop it off, they would ask me how I’m doing. It doesn’t have to be a long visit, but you want a visit.
It was so interesting though, because in those first 6-8 weeks, I felt guilt for some reason. I felt bad that the house was a mess. That the dishes were in the sink. It was weird. I wasn’t prepared for the guilt. Nobody ever tells you internally. Even though you deserve every moment of rest that comes your way, for some reason your mind blames you. I can barely walk. Like why am I beating myself up for these things?
Q: Is there a specific story that you would like to share with us?
When I gave birth to my first, I chose to do an unmedicated natural birth, because I was really encouraged by the moms in my community, to not make decisions out of fear. So I went into labor with my daughter, and I didn’t have an epidural, and I was feeling everything. Then, 26 hours later, she was born. But the weirdest part about it --was that suddenly everything went silent. The nurses and the doctors were just back to work and cleaning things up. Nobody stopped to just enjoy the moment. I had to stop the room and say, “Did you guys see what I just did?! I just had a baby! Where is the round of applause, the confetti?” I needed a second to feel celebrated for what I had accomplished. So often we just move right on. We have the baby, then we are sent home. There is no second to be like “You just did that girl, you had a baby.” I feel like moms should take a second to really just look in the mirror with you and your newborn and say, “I did that. I had that baby.” Whichever way you choose to do it, whether it is underwater, with an epidural, natural, anything - you had that baby. It came out of you. Take a second to be like, “I am amazing. I trusted my body.” Everything is so rushed, and it shouldn’t be for something so special.
Q: What is it like having two babes and one on the way?
I feel like one of the hardest things that I had to overcome was feeling bad about having a second baby. Sometimes the way society paints things, is that it makes it look like either /or. If you love one baby, and you love it this much, the other is in lack. Or “Oh your hands are so full. How are you doing it all?” There is love enough for everybody. Love multiplies. Just cause I treat my daughter one way, doesn’t mean my son will suffer this way. I literally had a panic attack. I thought my daughter would think all her love would be taken away. My friend is the one that told me, “Love multiplies. You’ve been blessed with two children. They don’t require the same amount of love. They are two different people.” It really is true though, and never doubt your love. If you have those babies, you can share the love. There is plenty of love, there is all the love.
Q: Do you have any advice for moms to be or current mamas?
Roll with the punches. Nearly nothing will go as planned in the beginning, and that’s okay. Have an open mind and be flexible. This was the hardest lesson for me, because I am a big time planner, and having so many surprises interruptions and cancellations really got me down. I didn’t like not being in complete control of my time and my schedule. Once I learned to let go and go with the flow, I was much less anxious and more pleasant to be around. Also, it’s okay if you can’t do it all. Just do your best. Get a community and stay connected. Don’t isolate yourself.
We are going to continue posting more of these authentic stories, so like, comment, and share to your friends! If you know someone that you think would be a good fit for these interviews, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can tell their story and keep creating a #MomToMomMovement.