photos by Yvette Michelle Portraits
We LOVE talking to expecting mamas. It is such a magical time in a family’s life!
Although families come in all sizes, shapes & colors, one thing is universal – the miracle of creating a life is utterly mind-blowing! So many emotions churning through a mama’s body, so many transformations, so much to prepare for! It can be a little overwhelming, so we want to illustrate you are not alone. You can do this!
This issue, we talk to an experienced expecting mom to be. Not only has she done this once before, she happens to be a nurse. We thought she might have some keen insights to share with our readers. Meet Rachel Suliburk.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a native Texan, born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. I love being from a small town, but so happy we planted our roots in Houston. Houston has many of the perks of living in a small town (besides traffic!) and the benefits of living in a major metropolitan area (jobs, great schools).
Nursing is a second career for me, if I’m completely honest, in high school I never thought I would become a nurse. Originally, I was a hairdresser who started volunteering my time at the Texas ChiIdren’s beauty salon. Through that experience I found my calling for nursing.
How long have you lived in Houston?
Being a small town girl, I couldn’t wait to get to the big city! I came to Houston 14 years ago.
Tell us a little bit about your family. This is baby #2, correct?
Growing up, I always had this idea of what my own family would be like, kind of like my own, with a lot of girls! Ironically, it’s ended up just the opposite! I’m currently expecting our second son who is due right after the new year. I have learned so much about boys since having my first child three years ago and most of that learning has occurred while chasing after him! Boys are fast!
For your first baby, I know everything is kind of scary & exciting because you have no clue what you are in for. Now that you know more, what are you most excited about?
There is no steeper learning curve than that of a new parent! All the books in the world cannot prepare you for the reality of parenthood! However, now that I have earned my own experience as a mother I’m most excited to see the bond between my older son and his new brother, and the growth of love in our family.
What is the one thing that has surprised/shocked you that you find yourself worrying about?
I worry way too much about what my kid eats! I need to relax! His current diet consists of meat, cheese and fruit and I’m already worrying about his cholesterol! He’s a healthy weight and has met all of his milestones but I still worry even though I know he’s FINE.
As a healthcare professional you see so much. What is one piece of advice you would give to a new mom?
It doesn’t matter how or when your child is born. C-section, natural, in the car on the way to the hospital, at 30 weeks or 41 weeks, once you hold your baby in your arms, you will go through the exact same experience over and over for them. I feel like a mother’s first birth is so scary and unpredictable, but at the end of the day the reward is worth the wait.
Juggling a career & family is difficult for anyone, but you seem to do it with such grace. What is your secret?
I feel like self-care is extremely important. As a nurse and a mother, it’s very hard for me to care for others when I’ve been putting myself on the back burner. You can’t care for others if you are barely hanging on. If you need to wake up and run 3 miles every day, or get your nails done every week to have your groove, do it! It’s not selfish, it’s about being healthy physically and mentally.
What are your 5 fave products for yourself or the kids that you can’t live without?
Thermo flask water bottles for the whole family. They keep your water cold all day and are a fair price point.
Dial ANTIBACTERIAL soap! Especially during flu season! Not all soaps kill the bacteria and viruses we need them, too, especially with germy kids! (I love my luxury soaps, but not for the whole family, the nurse in me knows better!)
CozyPhone headphones for kids are a game changer! They actually stay on no matter how big or small your kid’s head is and they do not allow the volume to get too high.
Shout wipes… they are in every bag, vehicle, etc. because a spill will always happen at the most inconvenient time and place.
Revlon one step air dryer is a game changer!! I’ve tried EVERY beauty tool and this one is fool proof. It’s a blow-out tool for everyone. Pro tip, it works best if your hair is not completely wet.
Where is your favorite place to go with the kids?
We love the Hermann Park Train Station. You can ride the train, feed the ducks and have a picnic.
What is the one piece of advice you would like to offer your children?
Don’t forget to love yourself. Self-love is powerful.
Thank you Rachel for your words of wisdom. We wish you and your bundles of joy all the best!