Sunday, July 3, 2011

9 months

Everett's ninth month was a blur, to be perfectly honest. I have been super sick with this pregnancy (much like the last one), so updating a blog has been pretty low on the priority list. Ahead of it was trying to find every possible second of sleep I can fit in a day already filled with taking care of Ev and working full time. But this little guy has been growing into quite the big boy these last few months. He is crawling like a champ, he is eating everything in sight, and he is talking so much. Not actual words, but he can say "Bella," and "Da-Da" which we are still trying to decide if he actually is talking to Cory.

This last month he has decided that his daddy is the greatest thing on this earth. He is so social and easy-going, but if his dad is holding him and then puts him down or worse yet, walks out of the room, he cries like someone is pinching him. It is really cute and really sad. I can't help but feel a little jealous, which I know is ridiculous...I know that he will trade favorites a million times in his life, but I can't help but wonder why he doesn't cry when I leave the room? You know, just me, his mom, the one that carried him and labored with him and delivered him and nursed him and stayed up all night with him. Just that person. I sound super bitter, but I really do love how much he loves Cory.

His favorite thing to eat right now is meat. You can put fruit and veggies and meat on his tray and he will pick through all of it until the meat is completely gone and then look up at you for more.

I love that he is getting bigger and more curious and exploring more. I love that you can tell he understands when you ask him a question and that he grabs on to you when you hold him. He is amazing!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May 21st 2011

May 21st, 2011 I woke up like I do every Saturday. Cory was already up playing with our little man. The house smelled like coffee and Everett's babbles and coos traveled down to me from the living room. It was a beautiful morning.

I left my boys to their fun while I got ready for the day. Before I jumped in the shower I did something I don't do on the usual Saturday. I took a pregnancy test...

...and it was positive...

Those four words have to stand on their own because they are that crazy. To remind you, it took us almost two years and the help of fertility drugs to conceive Everett. The fact that I am writing this down, that I am living this out, is so crazy and magical and amazing and scary and blessed that there are almost no words for how I feel. I feel a closeness to God that I haven't felt in a long time. I feel like he is whispering to me, "Sara, I got this, why do you worry so?" "Sara, I love you, why don't you trust Me?" I am humbled with how GOOD God is. And not because he has given me something that I wanted, but because He has a plan, and He IS to be trusted, and that His way is set before us and we can let him lead. I know all that sounds so cheesy and earnest and not really like me, but it is TRUTH.

There have been moments (like right this second for instance) where these feeling of fear and worry start to creep in. I feel like I am just figuring out how to be a mommy to one little person, and soon I will have two. Now I don't just have Cory and I to think about when picturing this HUGE life change, but Everett. Will he feel loved? Will he feel left out? Has he had enough time to be confident in our love for him before having to share us? I think a lot of these fears are because last time I found out I was pregnant it had been such a long time beforehand of anticipation and planning and dreaming of it that once we got that positive test there was nothing to feel but pure JOY. I think this time I'm a little in shock and am processing it very differently.

Of course I am excited. This past month I have felt that familiar yearning in my heart for a child. I drive by the hospital and wish I was there, giving birth to a beautiful I know I'm ready, and I know that we will love this child just as much as Everett. I just need a little more time to wrap my head around it.

Oh, and I need to remind myself of the Truth that I wrote about three paragraphs ago. He is to be trusted with all things. Even the ones we aren't quite ready for.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Today was a good day for two reasons:

1. My husband and I are attempting to eat carb-free (well carb-less) for a month. Trust me, we are not "those people," but we both have some baby weight we could still lose so we are hoping that a month of not eating carbs will bring us back to food reality...wherein we don't think a huge plate of Chicken Marsala Marscapone (which, by the way, I really need to share the recipe for because it is SO good) is considered an acceptable weekly dinner option. The theory is a month with no rice or potatoes or pasta will make stuff like quinoa and brown rice feel like a treatsy because we are now used to just veggies and meat. Don't tell me if you have already proven this theory wrong in your own life because my little heart can't take it.

Anyway, we've been eating a pretty steady stream of different forms of meat from the bbq alongside a big pile of veggies. So tonight I had this crazy idea to make Shepard's Pie with cauliflower instead of potatoes. I've heard a mythical story that cauliflower can substitute for mashed potatoes but I've never had the desire to see if it's true. The result?

The fact that it is almost gone tells really sells something. If my husband doesn't like something he will politely eat one plate of it and then 20 minutes after dinner start slowly snacking until he's full. It's very sweet actually. The double bonus of this meal was that little Everett was able to partake as well. All of a sudden he is over baby food so I've been trying to figure out what to feed him. This meal was perfect for his little tiny fingers.

2. The above picture was taken on the ipod Touch that I got for Christmas. A really sweet present and something I was really excited about, mostly so I can have a camera next to me at a moment's notice in case Ev does something cute. Needless to say, there are a lot of pictures on it. However, I may or may not have forgotten I placed this very small and expensive gift in my front hoodie pocket and then threw said hoodie in the washer. When I discovered it all sad and wet laying inside of my washer I spent the next hour having a moral dilemma...tell my husband and both disappoint him and confirm that I am an idiot in one conversation. Or, NOT tell him and then when he discovered my ipod wasn't working I would just play dumb. Luckily the truth won and I told him. He took it really well and just kind of chucked and shook his head. Should I be offended that he didn't seem surprised :). Anyhoo, I put it in the junk drawer and tried to forget it happened. But today, in a true Cinco De Mayo miracle, I plugged it into the charger and it WORKS. If ever anyone doubts the power of the Mac please tell them this story.

So all in all a good day. By the way, I entitled this post FTW because I posted the story of the ipod on my Facebook and someone responded, "Mac FTW." I had to google FTW because I had no idea what that meant. I'm a nerd.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The loves of Everett's life- 8 months



Dog toys instead of little boy toys (yum)



I am in constant amazement of this little man. He is so happy! For a couple days last week he was kind of grumpy (teething, growing, sick, it's pretty much a crap shoot at this stage of his life) but ever since then he wakes up with a huge smile on his face and goes to bed just the same. We keep telling him, "gosh you are in a good mood today," but then we realize this is the boy we know and love, we just forgot during the grumpy it's kind of like having our baby back.

He is crawling up a storm, pulls himself up to standing, and has even taken a view "cruising" steps. For those non fluent in baby terminology (I seriously learned this term 3 days ago), that's when a baby can walk while holding on to something. It feels like he is gaining a new "trick" everyday, and I'm just waiting for the day when I look over and he is walking on his own. I find myself saying "When Everett was little..." and am reminded by whoever I'm talking too that he still is little. But in my mind this is little

So compared to that he is basically a thirty year old man. The scary thing is that before I know it he really will be!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

not taking pictures of myself is my fave

I hate pictures of myself. Now that we are in the age of digital technology there is this horrible option to take a picture and then immediately after look at it (who invented this? I need names). While most people run up to the picture taker after seeing the flash and click to make sure they look OK or to just see how cute they all are, I never do. I NEVER do. Because I know that I won't like what I see. I will only see a double chin or a weird smile or how one of my eyes kinds of droops down more than the other one or something else very particular about myself that maybe no one else sees but is glaringly obvious to me.

Now that I have a baby this issue has come to my attention even more. I pretty much have the camera out every second I am with him. I probably have 1000 pictures of his new little life but only about 4 with me in them. Some of that is because usually it's just the two of us and I'm not really good at the selfie. Also, I always feel a little awkward when my husband and I are together and we are doing something fun and I say "Hey babe, take a picture of me." This is probably an extension of the aforementioned insecurity. However, the biggest reason there are only 4 pictures of me is because I really don't want to see what I look like. Most of the time I can convince myself I look a certain way and pictures always kind of slap me in the face with reality.

Here is an example of this. This was Ev's first adventure on a slide. He looks adorable, of course. The sun is shining. We are together and both smiling and there is so much love just screaming out of this picture. But my first thought when I saw it was, "too bad I'm not wearing something a little cuter, wow my hair is messy, nice double chin Sara...etc, etc."

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE! The rational side of me knows this.

Facebook and blogs have perpetuated this problem. How is everyone else so perfect? These are the questions I ask myself. How are their houses so cute, and their husbands so fashionable, and how are they always wearing heels even on laundry day? Also, how is everyone so good at photography and so freakin' photogenic? Why is everyone constantly on vacation, or on road trips, or moving into new beautiful houses? And why are there kids always in clean shirts and they don't have any boogers on their faces or eye crusties. How do they all have the energy to get all dolled up for date nights when all I want to do is get take out and be able to wear my sweatpants???

I could go on but I won't. I know that the internet is not reality. We are all guilty of painting our lives with the nicest brushes, the prettiest colors. I know this isn't going to change, because really, would I want to read or look at a blog where the woman was always complaining about her crappy life and posting picture after picture of herself in her ratty sweatpants collection? Probably not. So the cure is not the internet changing, the cure is for me to embrace my own life, my own face. To not get so caught up in wishing I was perfect and being able to look at the positives more and the negatives less.

I'm certainly not writing this so everyone can tell me how pretty they think I am. I'm writing this because I don't want to let this be my reality. I want Everett and any other children we might have to be able to look at pictures of this time in their lives and see how much love we have for them, to see how happy we were (hopefully still are!) and young we looked and be able to laugh at our funny clothes. I don't want my dumb insecurities to rob them of that. So this is a reminder to myself to get over myself.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

on being a stay at home mom

I work full time. I have had a job since I was thirteen years old. Yes, thirteen. My parents owned an ice cream shop and I worked there. I was so small that when I scooped people's ice cream I literally had to climb up and hang inside of the freezer in order to reach the tubs. It was probably quite odd looking.

When Cory and I got married it was never really a discussion as to whether or not I would stay home with our children. His mom worked, my mom worked, of course I would work. Then, we started trying to have a baby. A feeling started creeping up inside of me, I think it was dread. You see, I always knew I wanted to be a mommy. But from the minute that desire turned into the reality of trying for a baby and then ultimately getting pregnant, I fell instantly and indescribably in love with our unborn child. I became a mother, I think, with that first pregnancy test (the first of many pregnancy tests as I've talked about before). When my heart became a mother's heart, that feeling creeping up and eventually filling me was the absolute knowledge that I wanted to be home with my children. That there was no way I would be able to leave them everyday, all day. I tried so hard to swallow that feeling, to tell it (very sternly with my new mommy voice that matched my new mommy heart) where it could go. But it didn't go there. It stayed inside of me and filled up my chest and made it feel heavy and tight. I knew that for us there wasn't an option. My husband works at a church and neither one of us have trust funds or have ever won the lottery so two incomes were completely necessary. I spent my pregnancy praying for this new desire in me to either go away or that God would show us how it would be possible to be an option.

When Everett came into the world I actually had a lot of peace about going back to work. I think when you know something isn't a choice you just kind of have to suck it up. The desire in me didn't go away, I just put it to the side and let God work in that area, waiting on Him to provide, or not provide, options.

The first month being back at work was pretty brutal. I knew it was where I was supposed to be and I actually really love my job so the days at work were not that hard, but every night and every morning was a struggle to fit everything in that I needed to get done, when all I actually wanted to do was hold him and look at him and smell him. However, one can not just sit around smelling thier baby. There is food to cook, a house to look after, a husband to spend time with and make a priority. You know, all those really small easy things.

After that month I started going in the MAD direction. I was MAD at God. I was MAD at my friends who got to stay home with their babies. I was MAD at myself for making choices with our money that led us to a place where we didn't have any choices. Obviously I also spent a lot of time being mad...along with the cleaning...and the smelling...and the holding.

It's been about 5 months since I returned to work. I'm not saying that I am glad that I am a working mom, but I do see little glimpses of blessings among the days of struggle and juggling Everett around from me, to my husband, to the babysitter (who we love by the way), and exhaustion. Mostly, I think that being a working mom makes me grateful for the time I spend with my son. I can genuinely say that I enjoy almost every minute I am with him. He brings me joy and he gives me renewed energy every time I am around him. And if I'm honest with myself, I don't think I would be able to say that if I was with him 24/7.

I also think my husband has the opportunity to have a relationship with Everett that I don't think he would have if I was the main caregiver. We share parenting, completely, and it has brought me to a place of even deeper appreciation for the husband that chose me, if that was even possible.

I'm not saying that everyday I skip around giddy and happy. I spend a lot of my day getting really excited about going to sleep later. I also am not trying to discount the blessings of the stay at home mom. I know that they love their children and that their husbands love their children. I am just speaking of my experience, and trying to find the good where I can.

Eventually I know that I am going to be able to stay home. In the meantime, I'm trying to learn to care less about how clean my house is, or not feel bad if we have Pho for dinner 2 days in a row. And mostly I'm just trying to not put myself in autopilot and try to breeze through this time of life and wait until I'm a stay at home mom. It is ENOUGH that God made me a mom, and I'm trying my best to remember that.

Oh, and I go home to this face everyday, what do I have to complain about??

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesdays With Sara

We just got back from vacation, we don't have any food in the house, all three of us have the death flu, I'm wearing sweatpants, and I wish I was napping. Let's just leave it at that and move on to the book discussion, yes?

First things first...I copied this image from a website entitled "Doula Right Thing." That is awesome in and of itself (my husband and I had a conversation about whether or not you would write that "in and of itself" or "inandofitself," he thought it might be all one word. Anyone know so I don't have to google? Also, anyone know why the heck two people would actually care enough to talk about it?)

But I digress. The real awesomeness I came here to talk about what this book. I came across "Baby Catcher" when I was obsessively researching labor. It came up in a library topic search I did one day and I like memoirs and I obviously like labor so I picked it up and was not disappointed. There are so many books about natural childbirth but most of them are how-to guides that include a lot of techniques and awkward looking pictures of men with long hair and cut-off jean shorts laying next to naked women squatting but not a lot of heart. This book is very different. It is basically the birth stories of hundreds of women through the eyes of a Certified Nurse Midwife and catalogs all the many different types of births she was a part of throughout her career. I think there is a story for almost every different kind of birth you can imagine, some beautiful and others heartbreaking. I loved reading this while I was pregnant because it made me feel so empowered. It made me realize that millions of women have birthed their babies naturally. And not all of them would consider themselves abnormally strong or brave or special in their normal life. But something about the miracle of birth gave them the ability to do it and reading their stories made me think that if they could, then certainly I could to.

This recommendation is somewhat limited because I don't think anyone who isn't pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant would want to read it. But for those of you who fall into these two categories it's a must read.

*Disclaimer- there are a couple of stories in which the end result is quite tragic and sad. If you are someone who is trying to avoid thinking about the worst case scenario when it comes to labor maybe you should avoid it. But for me, I think knowing everything that could go wrong made me feel more prepared. Anyway, I thought a proper warning was only fair.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

7 months

This is the face of a boy who knows full well how freakin' cute he is, and just how much that fact is going to work in his favor for years and years to come. My boy is 7 months old. He has been spending the last month of his life tirelessly working towards being mobile. He has many combinations; from scooting, to army crawling, to arms and feet instead of arms and knees, which is particularly cute and makes him look like quite the athlete. He hasn't mastered any of these moves but he spends his days practicing and then finally crying out of frustration when his little energy finally runs out.

He has mastered the art of self-feeding. Right now heaven for Everett is a tray full of sweet potato puffs that he can pick up and stick in his mouth by the handful (usually about one or two actually makes it into his mouth).

We are heading out to see the my parents for a week. I expect by the end of this vacation he will be spoiled in ways the human race hasn't discovered yet. Life is good.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday's with Sara

Truth be told...I have never read "Tuesdays With Morrie." I'm always been skeptical of any book for sale next to the Starbucks counter, or anytime someone says, "you just have to read this!" So forgive the silly title. But it's Tuesday and I decided that I wanted to start doing a weekly book suggestion post and my husband is gone all night and my dog is snoring in my ear and sometimes the things we do in these moments don't make a lot of let's just move on, yes?

The first book I chose is really quite timely, as I just found out the movie version came out a month ago in "select" cities. I myself do NOT live in a select city, so I'm either going to have to road trip it or wait patiently for the DVD release. Let's be honest, it will probably be the latter. The book I'm talking about is my beloved "Jane Eyre." I re-read this book every year around Christmas time, and I don't really think there is a connection but something about my mood in that seasons draws me to this story.

For those of you who have not read this book I will not give away too much of the plot, but just know that it is about unrequited love, requited love, mystery, and scandal. Jane Eyre is a young woman who overcomes a loveless childhood with a courageous and faithful spirit, who embraces life and every experience that comes her way with a childlike frankness and faith. I LOVE her. There are a few books I have read in my life where I feel a kinship with the characters, that I feel like I somehow see their heart and that if I could meet them we would be friends. If I met Jane Eyre we would most certainly drink tea and have many conversations about love, loss, and faith. Hopefully this interaction would happen in her time period and not mine, however, because I would really like to be wearing a petticoat and a corset when it all went down.

To say Janey (yes, we are that close) is a page turner is an understatement. You literally have no idea what is going to happen when you start reading it and the twists and turns it sends you on will blow your mind. I know that people hear the last name "Bronte" and immediately start falling asleep. We have a local commercial here for a mattress store where the jingle comes on..."Mattress Land!!" and people drop on the spot into a deep slumber. Basically change the jingle to "Bronte!!!" and you get the image I've got in my head. This is not your average Victorian Age novel. The language is easily understood, the terms are simple to understand, and the story feels very current and very tangible.

To sum it up, go read the story about my friend Jane. She is really awesome. Oh, and I dare you to not swoon at least once before the book is over. Happy reading!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Too fast

I can't believe my little man is six months old! When I think about how long I dreamed about him, prayed for him, prepared for him, it is strange that I can barely remember what life felt like before he was mine. What comes with his bullet train of a life is that all the things I told myself I was going to do to document his life I've already missed out on. When was his first smile? Yeah, I don't know, I was too busy praying to God for sleep and sanity. When was his first laugh? ehh, I probably have a date on the video right?

That being said, I'm going to start posting monthly *fingers crossed* a little update about what he is doing right now. So here we go:

Everett is six months old. Right now he is so eager to be able to get somewhere, ANYWHERE, and start discovering the world around him. Gone are the days when we can leave him on the couch with a few toys around him and he will play contentedly. Now you look away for two seconds and he is lunging for the ground with no inhibition or care for his little body that I worked VERY hard on thank you very much.

He is teething so he is constantly chewing on anything he can get his hands on. My favorite thing he does right now is grab my face and suck on my cheeks with full abandon. I know it's not real, but I can't help but feel that these are his early "kisses." Sometimes he sucks and bites and grabs so hard it feels like he is going to hit jawbone. But I kind of love it. He also likes to give you little love pats on your arm while you are holding him. He is a sweet boy who is quick to smile, and absolutely LOVES dogs, particularly his own.

His first food was rice cereal, and he quickly passed that up for pears, peaches, apples, bananas, and peas. He is starting to grab the spoon out of my hand when I try and feed him and isn't happy unless I let him "help" me feed him. Oh boy. I love him. He is perfect and fun and happy and mine.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Crappy Crafters

This year for Valentine's Day I wanted to do something small but thoughtful for Cory. Since his love language is pie and I have made ONE pie our entire marriage (5 years in August), I decided to make him his mom's famous Crumb Apple Pie. It is SO good. Mine wasn't necessarily as good as hers, but it's the thought that counts right?

What I did discover, however, is that the crappiest of pies can be made to look like something special with a little thing called a mini-bunting. I'm pretty sure you could put a mini-bunting on a pile of poop and it will look like it's straight out of Martha Stewart Weddings.

The thing about me and crafts is that I love them. I love looking at them, and planning for them, but somehow the implementation somehow falls short of the vision. I am lucky to have good friends that I can collaborate with (me=vision, Gennie=making it happen), but since this was a V-day present that didn't seem appropriate. Part of the problem is that I am cheap and never seem to have the supplies around that I need. Like a glue gun but no glue sticks, etc.

To make this craft I found the 4 pieces of scrapbook paper I own (it took some work to hunt it down) and cut diamond shapes out of them. Lucky for me, the back side of one of the pieces I purchased God only knows when was covered in hearts. What is more Valentine's Day than hearts, yes? After cutting the diamonds out I realized that I didn't have any fancy crafter's glue. But, I did have some double sided photo sticky squares left over from another project I don't think I ever finished. So I slapped the little stickys in the middle of the diamonds, folded them over some twine (which I actually had!) and tied the two ends to some skewers left over from some kabobs and stuck them in the top of my kind-of-sad-looking pie. The result?

Holy cuteness, right? The trick to this kind of craft is not to look too closely. Here, since we're being honest, is a close-up...

Flawed? Yes. Still adorable? Oh yes.

The photo sticky squares may or may not have failed me, and the next day, the adorable little pennants may or may not have fallen off the twine. But who needs to know that part.

Everett's birth story

It took Cory and I over a year to conceive Everett. I know that doesn't seem like that long, but when you are in the middle of it and can't see the end date, it feels like forever. After trying and trying on our own, including acupuncture and some other random homeopathic remedies, I finally met with my doctor and was given a prescription for a fertility medicine. It was a hard decision to take it. For one, I was scared as heck that we would have twins. But I did take it, and got pregnant after the first round.

As happy as I was to be having a baby was how much I hated being pregnant. Of course I loved what everyone else loved; hearing the heartbeat for the first time, finding out the sex, feeling him kick...but the rest of it pretty much sucked. Heartburn, nausea, having random co-workers who I barely knew grabbing my love handles in the hallway and shaking them while telling me I looked thick (yes that really happened), all of that made the ten months go by very slowly.

I spent most of my pregnancy fixated on labor. Labor is crazy, right? I find the whole thing so fascinating. The idea that I would one day start feeling crampy-like feelings and then they would just keep getting worse and then I would realize it was labor and then God only knows how many hours later I would have a that is amazing. Unfortunately for me this is not how it all went down.

I promised myself early in my pregnancy that I would NOT expect to have him before my due date. I knew that if I did that I would spend the last few weeks of my pregnancy completely miserable because I thought I'd be done already, and I did not want to do that to myself. Apparently I forgot to give everyone else in my life the memo on that plan. Everyone thought I would have him early. Strangers would pass me in the aisle at the grocery store and tell me that I wasn't going to make in another week. People at work told me everyday from 36 weeks on that they couldn't believe he hadn't come yet. Even our childbirth class instructor told me that she had been doing this a long time and there was no way I was going to make it to my due date. Faced with all these well-intentioned opinions I became convinced they were right and waited expectantly for labor to start any second. The bag was packed, the toes were painted, the mama was ready. And I watched with my pretty toenails and my bag packed as my due date came and went with nothing to show for it.

Finally, I convinced my midwife TEN days after my due date to induce me. By this point I was ready by any means necessary to get him out. I was, however, bummed at the idea of being induced. From the very beginning I knew that I wanted to have a medication-free labor, and induction definitely did not fit in that plan.

Luckily for me, I had an amazing provider who completely supported and encouraged that goal. She gave me the option of being induced using a catheter instead of Pitocin right away. The hope in this method is that it is easier on the body to dilate slowly rather than using medication. Sounded good to me.

Cory and I checked in to the hospital at 8:00 on Tuesday, August 24th, 2010. We were a big ball of nerves and excitement and fear. They hooked me up to an IV and inserted the catheter. I spent the first few hours in anticipation of intense pain. They told me it wouldn't really hurt, and it didn't. It seemed to good to be true. I was supposed to have it in for 8 hours and then Lynn (my midwife) would come back and check on my progress. Now, the lack of pain was awesome, but because one associates pain with progress when talking about labor I had this fear I was going to sit around the hospital for 8 hours and find out that it didn't work and we had to start all over with a different method. The day went by pretty quickly. We ate some food, watched a lot of TV, and just kind of hung out together. 8 hours later Lynn came in to check me. Drum roll please....

I was at a 5! I could have kissed her! To be halfway to full dilation without an ounce of pain felt too good to be true. OK, now it was time to get down to business. They hooked me up to an IV and started me on a very low dose of Pitocin, which they would increase every half an hour until it reached an amount that was achieving results. It took about two hours for me to feel any painful contractions. At this point I was starting to think maybe, just maybe, I was one of those mysteries of modern medicine that have a completely pain free labor. And then she broke my water which was a sensation that is not similar to anything else I've felt. And then I felt my first contraction that felt like Everett was trying to burrow his way through my lower back out into the world. You're going the wrong way buddy! Yes, back labor. Painful, intense, excruciating back labor. The good thing about not feeling any pain up until that point was that the painful part of labor was relatively short. The bad thing was that I had no preparation for this kind of pain. There were no baby early contractions to prepare me for what I started to experience at that point. To be honest the next eight hours are a complete blur Here are some things I remember;
  • Apologizing....a lot. Something about labor turned me into Miss Manners. I think I just felt so crazy, so out of control over my own body that my people pleaser nature kicked in and I felt like I must seem insane to everyone around me. So after every request, every contraction, I apologized profusely to my husband, my midwife, and my nurse. Cory told me to STOP apologizing but I couldn't.
  • My amazing husband being there for me completely. I don't remember a point when he wasn't right there next to me trying to figure out what in GOD's NAME I wanted him to do in that particular moment, because it was constantly changing. Except for one time after a contraction was over when he told me he had to go eat something because he was going to pass out if he didn't. I think he grabbed some crackers out of the corner and scarfed them down quickly. Poor guy about fainted.
  • OUCH
  • The comedic nature of peeing during labor. Trying to get out of bed and into the bathroom while feeling intense pain and pressure in your nether regions, and while being hooked up to a million wires that all had to be untangled by your three helpers while you toddle to the bathroom. I think I came out of my haze just long enough to think about how funny it was.
  • The awesomely bad idea it was to let my midwife try a fancy acupuncture technique of injecting saline water into my lower back to help with the back labor. Did it work? Yes. Was it the most pain I ever felt on top of the worst pain I had already been feeling for the last five hours? Why yes, yes it was. FAIL
  • Throwing up many times
  • Figuring out the particular circular motion of counter pressure and massage on my lower back that almost kind of a little bit helped with the pain and grabbing Cory's had and moving it over and over and over in that motion. And slapping his hand away if it deviated, even slightly, from that perfect motion.
  • My dream angel nurse bringing me a rubber glove filled with ice water that somehow became my savior that I rubbed on my face over and over and if I dropped it I would grab desperately for the covers until I found it and when it turned warm I threw it and begged for another one.
  • The sound I made. I wish I could repeat it for you. It was basically "wow wow wow whoa whoa whoa over and over. Cory and I repeat it to each other now and it feels hilarious but in the moment it somehow helped.
Finally, after all of that fun and excitement I finally heard those four magic's time to push. The weirdest part was at that point I stopped feeling my contractions. She kept telling me to push when I felt a contraction, but I didn't. So I just waited until what seemed like an appropriate time and pushed. Who knows if I got it right, but I guess I must have because he was out after about an hour and a half of pushing, which seemed to me like ten minutes. Pushing was nothing compared to the pain of labor. I think it was because I knew it was almost over. Later, my husband told me that he had never seen that look on my face before...the look of sheer determination. I owned pushing. I have never felt more scared and powerful and capable in my life. I want to bottle up that feeling and pull it out whenever I need it.

When they pulled him up onto my chest he was heavy and warm and HUGE. The first thing I thought was how it was possible that such a big baby fit inside of my small 5'3" frame. He was (is) perfect. After they were done fixing me up and doing the initial vitals on him they gave him back to me. I had thought about that moment a lot while I was pregnant. I had a secret fear that I would hate my baby. You hear so many stories of women who don't immediately love their babies and I wanted so badly to feel that instant bond. They gave him to me and we looked at each other and I thought "now what the heck am I supposed to do with him?" It wasn't that I didn't love him, but I think I was just hit with the reality that he was ours. That is was MY choice what happened next and I didn't know what I was supposed to do.

I lost a lot of blood during labor, I found out later. I think I was in shock because shortly after he came out I was shaking violently and ended up fainting. I can remember looking up from the ground at my husband scared face and a handful of nurses and thinking "am I dying, is that what it feels like," (I wasn't obviously, just blood loss and exhaustion) and they made me lie flat on my back with oxygen for two hours. TWO hours!! At that point I was so tired, so OVER that room that I had just been laboring in for the last 17 hours that I just wanted out of there. As much as I needed that time of rest it felt a little bit like torture. I couldn't hold my baby and I honestly don't even remember where he was during that time. Which is more proof that I probably needed that time.

My experience having Everett was scary, beautiful, empowering, and magical. I knew as soon as I thought about having a baby that I wanted a natural childbirth, but I couldn't really say why. Yes, I thought it was best for the baby, and yes I knew it was my best chance of avoiding a c-section, but those didn't like MY reasons. Now that I experienced it I can tell you why. Every woman should have the opportunity to feel that power within herself, to see that wall of fear and self-doubt and hear the voices in her head saying that she isn't strong enough, isn't brave enough, to overcome it. And to give that voice the middle finger and literally push the fear out of her. I am not the same person I was before that night. Being a mother is scary, and is a weight that I don't think we even comprehend. I am glad that I know my power, my strength, and can use that knowledge in the scary times when I doubt my abilities to do what' s best for my child, my family. I know what I am capable of and it is a blessing.

*I keep writing and re-writing this post, mostly because there are an infinite number of details I want to capture and write down for my own sake, but it is impossible to hold them all long enough. So this is the best I got.
It's 6:30 in the morning and I have been up for an hour already. Anyone reading this who is a mommy is not surprised by this early morning. But if you knew me before baby, you would know that to see me this early in the morning would take an act of God. But that's just it. God did act. He made Everett. And everything since the moment he came into world has been a moment in a new life. I am different (both inside and out, if we want to get real. For instance, I can now TUCK my belly fat into my waistband, a feat I had not had the pleasure to accomplish before baby, but let's move on) The biggest change is that I realized who I was before Everett. Before Everett I was selfish, dare I say, lazy. Everything I did had a slant towards self interest, self preservation. And now, I look at this tiny human playing quietly and happily next to me, and I feel like moving mountains to make him happy, to make him healthy. And that newness has extended towards my marriage as well. Creating a child with my husband stretched my love for him into a new shape. I find myself thinking about how I can make his life easier, what I can do to show him I love him, that I am grateful for his hard work. When before baby I don't think I noticed, nor cared, about how hard he worked. But I see it, along with everything else in my life, through these new eyes.

All of this is why it is so hard for me to be a full-time working mom. I feel like I'm constantly trying to be the best mom I can be, the best wife I can be, and the best employee I can be. For some women I think this is possible. I thought I would be that woman before I had kids. But now I realize that I never really worked that hard at being a wife. I never tried to figure out what I can do to make my husband feel loved, to ease his burden. And I never realized how much of my self would go into being a mom. So there is just not any room left in my life, or heart, for work now that those things are there. There is no quick fix for this problem. But my husband and I are committed to me being able to be home full-time eventually. For now I will just try as hard as I can to fit it all in. And drink lots of coffee =)

I just got all kinds of sappy and reflective. But I took Nyquil last night so of course Ev woke up an hour earlier than normal, right? So this might be a Nyquil induced post that I read later and not know what I was talking about. But maybe not. Good morning, world.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I don't know what I want this space to be. I started it when I was struggling through infertility issues and I felt like I was on an island (an infertility island if you will) all by myself with no one who understood and no one who wanted to hear about it anymore.

Flash forward to right now....what has changed you ask? Well, I have this guy now

He has made life harder, more wonderful, and made the word love mean something completely different than it once did. His smile kills.

I've noticed in the last few months that when there is something I care about, I tend to want to keep it to myself. I think it has something to do with wanting everything to be all about me. If I love something I want to be the only one that loves it, whether it be a band, a book, an item of clothing....the list continues but I'll spare you. I don't want to be that person. I want to be the person that loves things and is inspired by things and shares them with the people she loves. And that is what I want this space to be about, everything I love. So to those reading this (which I don't think is anyone at this point) I hope you love what I love too.