When was the first time you used cannabis?
The very first time was in the 8th grade with my best friend Berry. We were at a park afterschool and our classmates made this pretty impressive soda can bong. Lol. It was kind of insane and I definitely avoided going home to my mom that day. After that I decided smoking wasn’t really my thing. I tried it again maybe a handful of times later in my adult life. It wasn’t until recently that I regained interest in using cannabis when I was educated on the many other options available to consume it.
What’s your story?
I’m a proud Samoan and Black Oregonian Mom. An entrepreneur, international health coach and mental health advocate. After being diagnosed with PTSD, I was fortunate enough to turn that pain into purpose when I started running my own fit camps for women suffering from trauma. Now, 2 years later,
my blog Byrdiesbabes.org
has launched, creating a platform for women to explore holistic health options, connect with other women at special events and attend workshops on healing and self care. I believe there’s so much light to spread in this lifetime and my goal is share as much of mine with the world as I can!
You talk about using cannabis to help with your pregnancy, can you tell us why?
Yes. Unlike my first pregnancy over 8 years ago, this time around was extremely difficult for me, both emotionally and physically. At 4 weeks I started experiencing really bad morning sickness that lasted for almost 3 months. In the midst of that I had my first experience with migraines which progressively got worse. I remember FaceTiming one of my girls, Peachie and telling her about what was going on. She encouraged me to try CBD edibles or tinctures to help with the migraines as well as calm my nausea. She also sent me topicals for my lower back pain. IT CHANGED MY LIFE. Around 4 months is when I started getting symptoms for round ligament pain which is a sharp pain in your groin or lower abdomen due to your uterus stretching. For me, this was unbearable at times. There were occasions I would try to stand up and not even be able to walk. Because my daughter was born so small, along with other health reasons, I was advised by doctors to stop working out so heavily for a while. This was a huge lifestyle change for me and I believe it only made the pain worse. I knew I needed to get active again and cannabis is what helped me do that! Slowly and surely the pain lessened quite a bit and I was able to return to my fitness regimen and have been feeling great!
How I use cannabis in my pregnancy:
I use a few CBD drops in my food or drink (or even under my tongue) maybe 2-3 times a week. Sometimes I’ll switch it up and enjoy a yummy CBD edible (thanks I Am Baked LLC And Drip Sweets!). I also rub CBD topical balms on places my body aches a few nights a week.
Has anyone looked down on you or talk down to you about using CBD while pregnant?
Absolutely. When I told my doctor about all the pain I was having she was very quick to prescribe me a bunch of medication for the pain. I looked at her and asked, “ So if my 8- year old were to accidentally take one of these medications would she be ok?” Her response was “ Oh no, she would need to be admitted immediately.” To which I responded “So why would I give it to my growing baby?” She just looked at me. I told her I would continue medicating with CBD and her entire demeanor changed. She wouldn’t even make eye contact with me. She averted her eyes to the computer screen and said “I guess you’ll decline on the drug test then”. All I could do was laugh at the irony of the conversation. Like you just tried to pump my baby full of “drugs” and then turned around to be judgmental and condescending towards me solely based on the fact that you’re attached to a stigma associated with cannabis. I couldn’t be upset with her though because I understand that everyone’s beliefs surrounding cannabis vary based on their own personal knowledge,bias, and experiences. When I tell people I take CBD they all always have an array of opinions. But I love that I’m able to spark a conversation about cannabis and pregnancy and share my experience because it helps expand the worldview and hopefully helps shatter certain stigmas.
If you could have your audience learn anything from you, what would it be?
The 2 things I would say is: Don’t be afraid to question things & TRUST YOURSELF. Explore the infinite knowledge that’s out there literally at your fingertips. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and understand YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ACCEPT ANYTHING. Everyday Women are challenging these structured ideas of social normality and what that looks like. You have to be brave enough to question the things you’ve been conditioned to believe and reveal your own truths within those things. Find your voice and realize the power in that voice. Question everything and trust yourself to know what’s right for you. Trust what your body says, how your spirit feels, how they both respond to all things. Trust yourself to know what’s RIGHT FOR YOU.