Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lessons from the Journey... Plus a New Adventure

I've been at this journey called "Motherhood" for about 9 weeks now and I'm learning a lot about all kinds o stuff... quick recap: how to take a baby's temperature, multi-tasking, getting stuff done with waaaay less sleep, asking for help- ok, you get the idea. I think the biggest lessons I've been learning are about me. They say the teacher always learns more than the students because they prepare the lessons, and the same thing is true about motherhood.

Recap of what I've learned about me:
1. I'm an extrovert. Yes, I'm sure you're all rolling your eyes because you already knew this. What can I say, I'm a slow learner!
2. Asking for help is something I'm really not so good at... but I'm getting better!
3. I don't have to be perfect- I need to give myself a break. Seriously, this is the one I want to focus on briefly.

I am the kind of person who is very hard on themselves, who expects perfection and anything less isn't my best. Yeah, a great way to set yourself up for feeling like a failure at pretty much everything, especially being a mom. I'm learning that I can't do it all. I simply can't. There's always more that needs to be done, but that doesn't mean I have to do it all at once. Pick one thing. Do it. Move on to something else. Repeat. And sometimes, this means holding and rocking and soothing my son.

I struggle with feeling like I don't get enough done during the day and scramble in the evening to get it done and have very little "momma time" (I don't expect a lot, mind you.). But I'm learning that this is a normal feeling. I feel like I've got so much to do and I can never get ahead. We live in a social media world so it can be difficult to look around and feel like everyone else has their life together but me.

I know the truth. I know everyone doesn't have it all together. I know there's always more stuff to do and I just need to pick and choose what I'm going to do and when. I know that I have to take care of me and that means stopping and choosing to not work on stuff and do something fun for me (a bubble bath, reading, blogging, etc).

Most importantly, I know that I don't have to be a prefect mom- that I can't be a perfect mom but I can do my best and rely on grace every day. I know that I have to give myself a break. I cannot do it all and that's okay.

Okay, now that I've shared a little bit about where I am in this learning process, I'd like to share with you our new adventure... Drum roll please.... After two years at my previous job, I have resigned and am now staying home with Little Man! The husband and I feel very blessed that I can stay home and take care of our Little Man. It is a new adventure and we are so very excited!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Truth is...

Truth is, I should be folding laundry but I just can't muster up enough anything to convince myself I really want to fool with it tonight.

Truth is, I'm thrilled my Little Man is asleep even if it is because he's tired from his 1st round of immunizations.

Truth is, I'm thinking very strongly of switching to cloth diapers.

Truth is, I can come up with a thousand and one things to do during the day but by the evening when I could actually do them, I can't remember a single thing.

Truth is, I'm at the point in my day where stringing together a coherent sentence can be difficult.

Truth is, I need to start the dishwasher and make sure stuff for tomorrow morning is prepped (have an early, early for us, start to the day but I can't seem to lift my body out of the chair just yet.

Truth is, motherhood isn't what I expected- it's way better.

Truth is, I've never been so perpetually exhausted in my life but it instantly fades away when that precious boy of mine smiles at me.

Truth is, I love my boys and can't imagine life without them .

Monday, August 5, 2013

Little Man: A Birth Story

We went to the hospital the evening of July 4 to begin the induction process. I hadn't made much progress in the weeks leading up to my due date and my doctor wanted to go ahead and induce labor while she was the doctor on call, which put us having a baby on July 5, 2013. Anyway, we arrived at the hospital after spending some time with family (it was the Forth of July after all!) and after some confusion on the part of the hospital (aka: they had been expecting us the night before!) we were taken to a room where they proceeded to poke, prod, and hook me up to all kinds of monitors. A few hours later, they came in and gave me cervadil, a drug to dilate my cervix and suggested I rest as much as possible. My mom and dad came by to bring me a late night snack since I wouldn't be allowed to eat after midnight and we'd eaten an early dinner.

We were both already feeling tired as we approached midnight, but tired would be the least of our worries over the next couple of days. At about midnight, I notice my back was starting to hurt, but I didn't think much of it. I mean seriously, if I thought much about it whenever my back hurt then I'd be thinking about my back hurting a LOT. Over the next several hours, I would move between standing next to the bed, swaying, and trying to recline in the bed to relieve the pain and pressure. As it turns out, I was in back labor. Ladies, if you've been through this, then you know there's nothing worse than back labor without drugs.

At 4:30, the nurse came in to start my pitocin drip. The pitocin did exactly what it was supposed to- start contractions, which naturally intensified my back labor and made me feel miserable at best. My doctor was set to arrive and break my water at about 7am, and my goal was to not have any pain medication until after she arrived. Everyone has their own way of managing pain, and in this case, mine was music. I have turned on my ipod while I was swaying because it gave me something to concentrate on and allowed me to sway in time to the music. When the pitocin started making the contractions worse, I scrolled down the list and cranked the volume on my earbuds to Shine Down. I listened to "45" and "Simple Man" more times than I can count. If the contractions felt like they were getting more intense, I would simply turn up the volume a little and focus on it. Seriously, it helped. Whatever gets you through.

My doctor arrived about 7am and broke my water (and to all my sweet friends, thanks for telling my how much fun THAT was... yeah, read, "NO FUN AT ALL!"). There was a point at about 6am when I really thought I wasn't going to make my goal of no pain meds until after my doc came, but praise the Lord I made it! I was thrilled to make my goal (small though it was) and when my doctor said I could have an epidural, I was THRILLED!

I had met with the nurse anesthetist shortly after admission to get everything lined up so it didn't take very long to get the epidural, but my contractions were getting more intense and I was NOT very fun to be around. My sweet husband who had spent the night sleeping on the too short couch in our delivery room  made a comment about my "ET" finger (heart rate monitor that lit up and made my finger look like ET), and I told him in no uncertain terms to "SHUT UP!!!!"... In all fairness, I was having a contraction at that moment while they were trying to stick a giant needle into my back and wasn't feeling like joking. In the end, I made the same joke and my very wise hubby discerned to save the jokes for later.

After the epidural kicked in, everything was pretty smooth sailing with a few visitors coming in and out and trying to nap (and napping is hard when your blood pressure is being taken every 20-30 min and you're hooked up to all kinds of monitors). My doctor had been monitoring me from her office down the street and arrived to check on our progress about 2:30-3 o'clock in the afternoon. My epidural had slowed down everything a good bit but we had progressed a little bit and made the decision to wait a few more hours before discussing the need for a c-section.

This is where everything starts to get crazy. Within a couple minutes of my doc leaving the room, the nurse and my husband noticed my contractions had flat-lined and that Baby's heart rate was dropping again (we'd already had some issues with that earlier but the oxygen they gave me helped). My doctor came back in and within about two minutes time, she said we needed to have a c-section... stat. The next thing I knew, there was a heard of people entering my room and all modesty, dignity, etc was gone as they proceeded to kindly, but very forcefully poke, prod and get me prepped for surgery. I wasn't really nervous in the room, but as they wheeled my down the hall, the butterflies started fluttering in my tummy. My husband was only allowed to come part of the way, but was brought into the OR shortly after I was settled on the table.

It is a strange experience having people introduce themselves to you while someone else is moving your around, but that's the way it worked for me. "Hi, I'm Doctor ____________ and I'm going to assist in your c-section today." Everyone was super kind as we got situated and for that I am very thankful.

My husband was brought in and I felt a lot better then, minus the butterflies that had tuned to rocks in my tummy. I was definitely not feeling great (gotta love all those surgery drugs!) but I was ready for them to get Baby out and make sure he was okay.

A few minutes later, I could hear my doctor say, "Happy birthday Baby Boy!!! And he is ALL boy!!". I was relieved! You never know if those ultrasounds are going to be correct... I said to my husband, "are we sure that's our baby? He isn't crying very loudly." Hubby aptly said, "Honey, they have an oxygen mask on his face, that's why he doesn't seem very loud". Oh. Right. Once they removed the mask, I KNEW he HAD to be our baby- boy! He was MAD at the doctor for removing him from his cozy home! Hearing his first cry sent a cold wave through me- he was HERE, after all these months and all the waiting!! Magical!

And that's where the magic ended. The nurse brought Little Man over for us to see him (all 7lbs, 3oz, 19 3/4 inches of him) for a brief second, but that was it. Within a couple minutes, my doctor told my husband that she was sending him and Little Man to recovery and keeping me a little bit longer. We had been hearing the doctors on the other side of the curtain talking about everything being too spongy and not tightening up properly, and we had heard them call down and order a couple units of blood. I knew something wasn't quite normal but I was so out of it that I didn't think past that.

I have no idea how long I was in the OR after my husband and son were taken to recovery. I remember waking up and feeling horribly nauseous shortly before they took me out of the OR. As we were leaving and headed down the hall, I asked where we were going, "We're going to ICU". Thankfully, I was still so out of it from the medicine that all I could think was, "well, that's not good".

I was wheeled into my ICU room and shaking like a junkie in withdrawal. I was so cold and drugged and utterly exhausted. The staff was so kind and sweet but professional they whole time. I asked about my baby and husband and they reassured me that my baby was healthy and perfectly fine, and that I could see my husband soon. I was actually more worried about my husband and parents than I was the baby. I knew they would all be so scared and I just wanted to see them so they knew I was okay. I wanted them with me. Sure enough, not long at all after entering my ICU room, they brought in my husband, followed a few minutes later by my parents.

I learned from the anesthesiologist who came to check on me (several times through the next couple days) that I had lost about 2 liters of blood and turned very grey. He said, as I was laying in ICU, that I was really looking very good and pink. He told me that if I hadn't been in a hospital or if this had happened to me at another point in history, I would not have made it. My parents were there for this exchange. This is important because when I was born, I was very blue and they weren't sure I would make it since I was about 8 weeks early. My dad said he was remembering the first time I turned pink... Now you know why I wanted them to know I was okay.

My doctor came in and told us what happened and why I was in ICU. When they got Little Man out, my uterus should have started contracting and shrinking back to it's normal, pre-baby size. It didn't. My uterus was so worn out that it simply could not contract and shrink, and thus I kept bleeding and bleeding. In order to try and stop the bleeding, they inserted a balloon into my uterus. This is a rare procedure, and if it hadn't worked I would have gone back into surgery to have a hysterectomy.

When my doctor told me that, all I could think was, "But I just had a baby and now at 25 you're telling me I might not have another... I guess we will adopt". You do not expect to go into the hospital to have a baby and be told that you might have to have all your lady business removed... particularly at 25 years old. I was shocked and scared, well as much as I could be (I was OUT OF IT!). My sweet husband's thought was a little different. Bless him, his thought was "Good there's one more thing they can do before I loose her". Sobering.

We would wait in ICU until they removed the balloon the next afternoon and pray it worked. There were so many people praying for us! Oh my goodness! How blessed are we to have been so covered in prayer! I'm holding back tears as I think about our friends and family who prayed for us, and with us- I am so humbled! In case you didn't know, this is what the church does, people! Oh, there are no words to describe how blessed and humbled we are to have been so covered in prayer and love- thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!!!

It was in that ICU room that I got to hold Little Man for the first time! Normally, you can get a picture in the OR where dad puts baby next to mom's face for a picture, but since we didn't have a normal c-section, this didn't happen. It was 5 or 6 hours before I got to see Little Man and hold him. But it was worth it! I can't describe how wonderful it was to hold him!!! In that moment, nothing else mattered.

We spent that night sleeping on and off and generally loosing all track of night or day. The medications were wearing off and I had been given 2 units of blood and a unit of frozen plasma. I was exhausted and uncomfortable to say the least.

The next day, my doctor came in just was promised and removed the balloon. I think we all held our breath- IT WORKED!!!! PRAISE THE LORD, IT WORKED!!!!! I wasn't going to have to go back into surgery! I wasn't going to have a hysterectomy! We could have more kids... someday! Relief!!!!

This meant we could be moved to a regular room!!!!! Good-bye ICU!!! Woohoo!!!!!! The next couple days were spent like pretty much anyone else- lots of visitors (the hospital did let people into ICU to see us and I'm so thankful!) and hospital staff, and poking and such. I was glad when I could actually sleep once we got home- I was tired!

I could easily transition here into our first week at home, or even a recap of our first month, but I will save those observations for another post. To our family and friends, thank you for your prayers, love, support, help, etc over the past month. We could not have survived this past month without you- thank you for showing us Jesus in all you have done for us- WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

I go back and forth on how I feel about everything we have walked through with Little Man's birth. But at the end of the day, this is our story, this is my story, regardless of whether I like it or want it. Some days, I struggle with "why me". My sweet friend Rachel, gave me a new perspective: "it's just proof that God has a special plan for you, for Little Man and for your family. It shows you that He's not done growing your family." Wow. I hadn't thought about it like that. This life is a journey of faith- and I am so thankful in a God who does miracles and who puts the right people in my path to continually point me to Him.

First picture as a family of three!!! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pregnancy Observations

I have been trying to get this post written for about a month now, if not longer. To say our lives are busy would probably be an understatement  The funny thing is, 1/2 of our business belongs to the regular, nothing special, kind of stuff that everyone deals with: laundry, dishes, chores, work etc. But when you mash that up with a stick of butter and the getting ready for baby, figuring out where we're going to live (current apt will be a bit snug, to put it mildly), taxes, etc, then our lives go from normal to "Holy flying cow, Batman!" in about 2.5 nano seconds. Anyway, all that to say, life is a little crazy.

I've been noticing little things as I go throughout my daily routine. Pregnancy is it's own beast. I mean, seriously, people treat you differently, and that may or may not be a good thing. Some days, it seems like your own body is completely foreign, like aliens came in the night and turned you into a strange creature, the likes of which you have never encountered. We all have our own way of doing things, but pregnancy changes the rules and suddenly you're thrust into the 5th inning of a baseball game that involves hockey sticks and tennis balls on a basketball court- the rules have changed and this is a whole new ball game.

I find myself having to learn new ways to do simple tasks, like bending over. I never gave much thought to retrieving a dropped item from the floor, I simply bent over and pick up the item without a second thought. Not so much anymore. I can still bend over (I'm not huge, ya'll! Sheesh!), but it's not quite as easy and I am starting to make sure the item is to my side, rather than directly in front of me. Getting in and out of bed is more interesting, especially if my muscles are stiff. Oh and then there's sleeping. Oh boy. Sleeping is really interesting.

I used to be a very cold- natured person, so much so that my dad took to calling me Freezer Queen. Lately, I've been freezing my husband out of bed. In addition to the fact that I now prefer significantly fewer blankets on the bed, I have been spending the past few months adjusting my sleeping position- and boy has THAT been a transition!

I have also noticed that the way people look at me has changed. It used to be that people would actually look at my face first, but now they look at my belly (and some I can tell are thinking, "OMG She's HUGE!!!) first and then my face. And everyone seems to get this really odd expression that's somewhere between "Awww, ain't that sweet and wonderful!" and "There's a potential volcanic eruption of emotions right under the surface- tread lightly!".

Most women I have talked to have these horror stories of random strangers coming up to them and giving unwanted advice and/or touching their belly. I haven't had much of this. Well, none from strangers, only people I actually know, and that's different. What I have noticed from strangers is a reaction that falls into one of the following categories: 1) look of sympathy because they've been there, 2) a desire to be super helpful and careful (almost to a fault. I'm not going to break or go into labor if you look at me, promise.), and 3) they get this look of horror like pregnancy is a communicable disease and I should be in quarantine from the CDC. All I can say is, people are funny!!! It amazes me out I can encounter 3 different people and get three different responses!

The last thing I have noticed as being a prevailing trend are the comments about my size. Let me say the following, with all due respect and clarity: I am short. I mean, really short. I am 5ft tall. There is no place for this baby to go but out. My doctor is happy with my progress and moderate weight gain. I have not gained any more weight than is healthy and normal. Our last ultrasound showed that our baby is right in the middle of the road as far as size was concerned (42nd percentile)- not too big and not too small. Both baby and I are healthy and usually pretty happy. All this to say, I might look a little bigger than some people think I should, but I'm exactly normal for someone my size and build in her third trimester. Ok, now let me clear up this: I'm not any more concerned with my growing pregnancy size than most people are. Really. It's not always easy and sometimes I can be a little more sensitive about it, but on the whole, I'm really quite happy with my growing belly.

I can honestly say that even though pregnancy can be uncomfortable at times (and sometimes really, really uncomfortable), this pregnancy has been really easy (hoping it continues this way!). I am really enjoying this adventure, and it is most definitely an adventure! There are times I have felt less than great, but I am so deeply blessed than thankful for this season in my life. Each kick and jab is a blessing (even the ones that knock the wind out of me) and a gift that I cannot help but cherish. I know that in just a few short months, the baby will be here and our lives will be completely changed in the most amazing way possible. The adventure will continue- it will be a new adventure called parenthood! Can't wait!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

It's Saturday

Well, it's Saturday. I don't know about you, but Saturdays around here are usually crazy busy! I'm glad to say that our Saturdays will now be a little less full, or well, I suppose it is more correct to say that Saturdays will not be minus a few tasks on our ever growing to do lists. Anyway, today is one of those wonderfully, all too infrequent, lazy Saturdays. We still have a few things to do, but there is less to do than normal.

When we have a weekend where we don't have to do something, be somewhere, etc, I like to make brunch. Purely consisting of breakfast food, just served at a time closer to lunch. (Who wants lunch food at brunch anyway?!? Not me!) It's really nice to make something different than a quick piece of toast and scrambled egg. Brunch food around here isn't fancy. Sometimes, it's quickly thrown together drop biscuits and sausage gravy. If we are on the go, it's cinnamon rolls from a can. Today, it was the easiest breakfast casserole recipe from my mom. Yes, I know those foods aren't particularly healthy, but they have their place as long as it's in moderation. After all, the great Julia Child said, "Everything in moderation, including moderation." :)

I can't help but wonder how different these kind of Saturdays will be once the baby is here. I know they will be drastically different, I just wonder about how. In what ways will they be different? It's exciting to think about those kind of changes for me! I'm guessing that I will be up waaaay earlier than currently, and I'm thinking there will be more coffee involved than now. I probably won't be making biscuits and gravy, but then again, I might.

Cooking is therapy for me. Last night, I made pizza for the first time in months. It was blissful. And the husband raved over and over about how good it was! It was a simple, bum around the house night. We ate homemade pizza and drank coke for dinner while we watched "The West Wing" on Netflix. Simple. No-frills. Just us being us. It's easy to get nostalgic with so much change headed for us in the next few months. It's easy to get overwhelmed with how fast everything is already changing and all that we have left to do before the baby arrives. But in spite of it all the hustle and bustle and loosing my mind from the craziness of an ever-growing to do list, I love my life. It's not perfect, but life doesn't have to be perfect to be great.

I am learning and growing. I'm seeing myself in a new light. Maybe it's that I'm seeing the same old me in a different perspective. I still struggle with the same issues, although I am noticing that they are perhaps magnified and/or manifested in a different way than before. I am finding more enjoyment out of the small things in life. I get excited when there's a sale of diapers. I find myself dreaming of nursery rhymes and toothless grins. It's the little things.

I still have moments when I get overwhelmed with everything (but hey, who doesn't?!) but they pass and I move forward. I dream of baby dedication at church, surrounded by family and friends- what a special day that will be?! I dream of my child loving Jesus and loving people. I dream. That's how I'm spending my Saturday. It's bliss.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Well, This is Awkward...

You know those times when you have a brilliant, completely masterful plan? Well, we've passed that. I had a plan... Aaaand things didn't go the way I planned, which is why the following announcement is going to be well, a little awkward.

Drum roll please... WE'RE PREGNANT!!!!! That's right, the husband and I are expecting our first little bundle of joy!!!! I'm sure you're probably wondering, "What makes this so awkward?" Well, the thing is, we didn't just find out that I'm pregnant, we kinda found out a few months ago.

This was my plan: wait and post about the pregnancy the week we enter the second trimester. Well, we've been in the second trimester for a little while now and I'm just now finding the time to post anything. You know what they say about the best laid plans...

Anyway, Baby and I are both doing well. I am very thankful that my first trimester was fairly mild; very light morning sickness (and BTW, a man must have come up with the term "morning sickness" because any pregnant woman it's not limited to the just mornings, it's all the time!). I was really, REALLY tired, and I couldn't gook anything! That's right- I DIDN'T COOK for the better part of 3 months. Thankfully, I am back cooking away again and my energy is coming back.

I have read all kinds of things about how most women won't start showing until they are at least 12 weeks along and how you can make your regular clothes work through the second trimester. Yeah, right. I started showing at 8 weeks! Not even kidding. I'm short, as in 4-6 inches shorter than the average woman. This means, there ain't anywhere for this baby to go but out.

Sometimes, I feel HUGE and I'm a little touchy about it, but my drs (general practitioner and and OBGYN) aren't worried about anything. My weight gain is under control (thank God!) and all other signs are good- Baby and Momma are both happy and healthy!

We are thrilled and can't wait for Little Bit to get here!!!! Until then, we are thrilled about each milestone that we pass as my pregnancy progresses!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What's on my mind right now...

Ok, I know I haven't posted in a really long time, but here's a little something to tide you over until I can finish the few things I'm working on and post about them in a couple weeks.

Today, my mind is completely filled with the following...

Yep, that's right. I'm thinking about cinnamon rolls. Random, I know, but I really, REALLY want to make a big batch of them. I don't know why, but that's what I wish I could do. So, here are some more pictures of yumminess. 

These are actually orange marmalade rolls. Same difference. 

Oh, and these beauties are chocolate chip cookie rolls  :) 

Ok, I'm sure I've made you all very hungry right now. Good. Now go make some cinnamon rolls since I don't have time to do it today and tell me how they are ;) 

Credit: All of these photos and recipes are from The Pioneer Woman and are available at her website.