Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What's in a Name?

I hear of so many couples who really struggle with choosing a name for their baby. I am so glad this was NOT something we struggled with! We decided when we got pregnant (still, so surreal to even say that!) to keep our names to ourselves--thankfully we had a boy name and girl name we BOTH agreed on...and had agreed on for YEARS! The name was LOCKED AND LOADED!  I'm so glad we were both on the same page. And we really didn't want anyone "ruining" it for us by announcing it ahead of time.  You know, you share a name you like and the persons face immediately sours? Or they say their cousins neighbors son who is prison for nefarious deeds was named your name in question? Yeah. I was not up for that.

When Sawyer was born and the name finally revealed (lol, so dramatic) the main question we got was "from where did you get that name?" and "How did you come up with that?" I didn't think she had a "weird" name but definitely not a super common one, especially for girls. (At least, it's not common for girls in our circles but there are TONS of little baby girls named Sawyer Jean and Sawyer Jane if you check your Instagram hashtags like I do, hah! It's definitely a thing!)

It's not a crazy story how we got her name, we just heard it so many years ago on a baby girl and I my radar went off and I immediately filed it away--like it was 2008 or 2009 that's how long the name has been top on my list. (And no, she's not named after Sawyer from LOST, just incase you're wondering!!!) It struck such a chord with me. It was sweet. A little tomboyish. It referenced literature and journalism. I just thought it was perfect! I didn't want something SUPER well known but not something super "out there". There wasn't a name I liked better and for so long, I just hoped by the time we ever had a baby the name wouldn't be too popular and "ruined" that way either!

The only thing that I thought was slightly disappointing about her name was the meaning of the name. It's a literal name, it's an occupation name. I love when names have meaning, weight. Because your kid, I mean, that's your whole world and you're trying to build a legacy in raising them. Giving them a name is not something you do on a lark. So I've been giving her name a lot of thought and I'll share with you the meaning I'm giving it, and it ties into it's actual meaning too.

The name Sawyer means;

Woodcutter

Cutter of wood

Cuts timber

Of course, if you know me you know I LOVE the woods, trees, forests, and nature. So I don't love the idea of cutting down all the trees, you know? But of course I'm going to look at this symbolically--
and I have some verses picked out to back it up. And for Sawyer to keep for her whole life, her life verses so to speak. Ones I hope are special to her and speak to her of the story that lead to her life and how amazing she is. How special her story is!

Given all the struggles and the long and winding path, the large mountains it took for her to make her way to us, her name now means;


Sawyer- one who overcomes or removes obstacles,  clears a path where the path is unknown, one who changes the landscape of the world she lives in. 


Her verses go with her name meaning;

Psalm 16:11 

"Thou wilt she me the path of life;
in thy presence is fulness of joy;
at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore".

Psalm 138:3

"In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, 
and strengthened me with strength in my soul". 


James 1:12 (NIV)

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because,
having stood the test, that
person will receive the crown of life that Lord has promised to those who love him".


Now, I love the meaning behind her name! Overcomes obstacles. Clears a path. Changes the world.

That's our Sawyer!!!

I can't wait to see her grow into her name.





Thursday, December 1, 2016

Ways to Battle Ennui, and a Vocab Lesson. I Miss Vocab.


ENNUI. My favorite vocabulary word ever. Because it perfectly encapsulates something I struggle with from time to time, and I'm sure others out there do to otherwise IT WOULDN'T BE A WORD! #logic.

Ennui;

Noun-a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement. 

Synonyms-boredom, tedium, lethargy, listlessness, languor, weariness, enervation, malaise, melancholy, world weariness, Weltschmerz. 

So many of these synonyms hit home, nothing thrills me more than putting words to feelings!!!!
"World weariness". World Weary-feeling or showing fatigue from boredom with the life of the world and especially material pleasures. I think the world weary hits me hard when I spend too much time on social media. Like, everyone is doing and saying the same things so what does any of it even mean? Connecting with people online can be both wonderful AND detrimental. As "they" say, it's all about the balance!

It's all part of human nature, to feel the ennui. Because we're not perfect.  That being said I'm very very happy with my life and THANKFUL for where I am today. (SO THANKFUL!) But the ennui can get us at any time or place. I think for me it sets in around the holidays as there is so much pressure to have and experience this magical holiday time, sometimes getting overloaded on fun and excitement that nothing can really live up that build up. Then settles in the ennui. "The holidays are over! There's nothing to look forward to besides a long, cold, DARK winter" or "Why don't I feel as Christmassy as I think I should? I just feel regular! Shouldn't I be feeling tinsel-y inside?!?" And so on, haha. You get the idea.

So today, in anticipation of the good ol' ennui settling in at some point this winter (it's not always the winter for me though, it comes and goes throughout the year) I made a list of things to do to battle it. To be proactive! Because sometimes my baby sleeps and I need to do things during that time to be a person! I wouldn't say ennui is full on depression. No, not at all. I guess it could spiral into that for sure, but mostly it's more like I'm a character in an indie movie. One that does not do well in any of the festivals, LOL. It's like, with some work you can pull out of it. Or just fake it till you make it and it goes away. I think the ennui strikes those of us who spend too much time in our own heads. You extroverts will have to correct me if I'm wrong on that one, though!

Ok, so here's the list I worked on today with concrete ideas to battle any ennui feelings coming my way. I guess they could also double as just straight up goals too.

1. Having daily quiet time, prayer, and Bible Study (pretty self explanatory)

2. Work out!

3. Prayer time spent specifically on Sawyer, and her future.

4. Reach out to friends, make plans to get together.

5. Create a "to read" list. Work through it. Write about each book.

6. Work on or plan out a home improvement project.

7. Meal Plan and/or try cooking a new recipe.

8. WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE. Ok, this one should be like number four.

9. Journal about Sawyer's life, scrapbook ect.

10. Join a mom's group and stay connected even when you don't feel like it. You know, due to "world-weariness".

11. Clean something.

12. Donate something.

13. Create something.

14. Make a plan/schedule for the day or week.

15. Encourage someone dealing with a tough issue, (vaginismus, infertility, ect).

16. Join the writers group thing at the library.

17. Make plans to connect with family outside of normal holidays.

18. Do something with or for my niece and nephews.

19. Listen to a Young House Love podcast! Find other podcasts!

20.  Stare at my baby and continually count my blessings outlaid and write them down


I hope this is helpful to anyone of you who may also have a little bit of the ennui sometimes. It's ok! We're built to thirst after more than this world. I want to learn to the lean on the Lord during these times and not just "muddle through". I'm tired of "surviving". I'm really enjoying this time in my life of "thriving" and I don't want to lose it!I didn't realize how sweet the taste of thrive really was and now I never want to lose it. I'm addicted! Hehe.  I realize, reading my list it all sounds kind of magazine-y pat ways to "beat the blues". Oh well. I think they will help me. At least I have a list of things to do and work.

That's all for today. Gonna go hang out with the baby, because she's the best! Take that ennui!



Monday, November 14, 2016

Zero Gravity

Little Sawyer is 4 months old! I feel like that is a huge accomplishment. She is healthy (praise the Lord as we know there are NO gaurantees), she is happy (most of the time!), and she is well loved.  It is truly a great privilege and pleasure to be able to be there to see every milestone and new skill, to set the tone for what her days look like, and to just get to know her after all the years of wondering what she would be like! When she smiles "it feels like glitter is exploding inside of me!!!!!" (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend anyone?) She's gone from basically being a feral animal, snorting and sniffing to find where her food is to getting "more like a real human" (my nephew) every day and it's the COOLEST thing.

But you know what? Someone asked me if it felt like "just yesterday" she was born. And I said "nope!!!" It's felt like a lifetime? Not in a bad way, but this has been a huge paradigm shift in my life and it's wonderful but it DOES take some getting used to thats for sure! It's like learning to exist in a world without gravity. All the elements of your preexisting life are there but with one major difference that effects everything single thing you do.

So let's dive in, before these memories fade. The beginning, it was, to borrow a phrase...

It was the best of times.
It was the worst of times.

I wasn't prepared for how difficult my recovery from giving birth would be. I really think I was so terrified during pregnancy of things going sideways that I didn't really think about giving birth or after very much? Like at all?! Like I was genuinely surprised to have a baby in my house when we got home. Excited, yes. But also surprised! What the heck, self! I was just so concerned with every doctor visit and so on that I would just think about what the next one thing was. I didn't want to get so attached just incase. I'd waited so long my mindset was "I'll believe this when I see it". Well, it happened! She arrived and NOT on schedule (read her birth story for that, well, story).  For a really long time it felt like a bowling ball had been ripped out of me and it was hard to sit or stand. It felt like my tailbone was broken (I think it was severely bruised). So many stitches! And breastfeeding...it...was super hard. And I didn't love it. And neither did she. And it wasn't working. And I prayed about it and God gave me a DIRECT answer and our whole fam bam is way happier. Phew! He cares about us and the details of our lives and I'm SO thankful for that!

Another thing I wasn't prepared for was the amount of "company" we had in those early days. I know it's customary for people to come over and see the baby. But man I felt so crazy, so gross, so in physical pain I wish I would have rested more and just let it be. I was so psycho about feeding the baby, making main floor guest ready, making myself presentable, trying to organize the whole day into fitting around when whoever was coming. I know no one who came to see us would have cared, they just wanted to bring us food and encourage us. I legitimately felt crazy the first month. So much anger. So much crying. Yikes. People would ask "is she sleeping though the night?" (No. And she never will). They would say "when is her bedtime?" (Also never. The answer is never.) Also "are you getting any sleep?" (NO!!!) Even if she does sleep I still can't sleep. I'm busy poking her and mentally WILLING her to stay alive with all my might 24/7. That is exhausting. But nope, still can't sleep. Also the first month we were trying to get her to gain enough weight, which meant waking her from day naps to eat. SHE WOULDN'T WAKE UP THEN but yet somehow she NEVER SLEPT. How those two conflicting stories are both 100 percent true, I'll never know. I guess she never slept at times when I also could sleep, that was her whole mantra. "I'll use all of my cunning to keep mom awake at all times."And no, "tickling her foot" or "changing her diaper" did not wake her up. So yeah, if one more person had told me to tickle her darn foot they were also getting punched along with anyone talking about breastfeeding or sleeping through the night. I'm getting so riled up now thinking about it all!

So the first weeks were basically stressing over her eating and gaining weight, doctors appointments, visitors, crying, punching, rage, insanity from no sleep (I was getting double vision ), pain and discomfort down south... getting mom neck and shoulder (I mean seriously, this is a thing!) But the first few weeks felt like an eternity. I told that to the pediatrician and they looked concerned. But when you're not really sleeping, time does seem a lot longer, I mean, right?!?! I was like come on, this CAN'T be the first time you've heard this Doc!

After four weeks--Ted went back to work. I was both sad and glad. I needed to assert my dominance and confidence at this mothering business. You know what they say about having two cooks in the kitchen. But also having two sets of hands for so long was amazing. I love that we are both competent with our baby. I'm proud of Ted. He was hands on from the start and we have all those first memories of all three of us!!!  But getting into our rhythm just me and her...it was good for all of us.  The newness was wearing off for everyone and we started to see glimmerings of a new normal. I would worry though, worry I wasn't doing enough for her mental development, having enough of a schedule, fending off these "evil bad habits" so many people talk about...as in letting your baby nap on you, not making them sleep in their crib, not making them cry it out at the ripe old age of 6 weeks. NOT MAKING THEM CONFORM TO YOUR STRICT SCHEDULE BECAUSE WHY DID YOU HAVE A BABY IF NOT TO PUT THEM IMMEDIATELY ON A STRICT SCHEDULE!!! The second month (and third month) were about gaining the confidence to get to know my baby and what works for her. She's not ever gonna sleep 12 hours in a row. Deal with it, Babywise! If I make her go to bed at 7pm she will not "sleep longer". She will be awake at midnight and ready to PARTY!!!

I really struggled in the fear department (and many days I still do).  I had so many fears the first few months--I feared that she'd never be a "happy" baby. I feared I'd never be able to put her down and cook or clean or walk to the bathroom. I feared we would never have an "easy" coexistence. I feared she hated me sometimes! (I think that had more to do with the weaning than it did with her actually hating me...I hope? haha). I feared she would NEVER sleep through the night and that I would NEVER sleep even if she was sleeping. I feared I would never want to have another baby because I wasn't strong enough to do this. How could one tiny baby make me doubt everything so much?!

Have you ever heard baby's first 100 days of life called "100 Days of Darkness"? It is called that for a reason! But oh, the pay off. If you just hang in there...it gets WAY BETTER. I mean, I know there is an ebb and flow to this whole thing but if you just brace for impact and find a way to survive the early days without *actually* punching anyone....

With time those specific fears have slowly retreated. She is so happy and can often play on her mat or play quilt for a long time! She literally grins and beams at me now.  BEAMS. And laughs. She thinks I'm funny! Phew!!! And I'd say she loves me! Some days are really hard and some days fly by in a haze of easy togetherness--playing, learning, loving, life. And everyday is SO GOOD, even the days that are hard.

And the difficult first days are just a drop in the bucket compared to a whole life of her! And the first days are so precious. I'm so so so thankful every day I get the opportunity to experience all these things, even when it's hard. And every screaming session, every diaper change, every snuggle, every time she fell asleep on me...that's how we bonded. That's how she knew if she needed something I was her person (well, and Ted!) And when I read other mom's accounts of reflux and milk allergies and colic and so on, I mean....wow! Our little gal is easy in comparison! I love that she needs me. And she has NO IDEA how very much I needed her!

When we first got her home from the hospital she was so so so small. We were so tired and I didn't realize then how scared.  Even though I knew I was going to have a baby at some point I was in shock. Frazzled. Nerves raw.  I remember just sitting down on the same spot on the couch where a few days before I was timing contractions and calling the doctor, holding her and kissing her cute little cheeks over and over and telling her how much I loved her. I felt like I loved her so much it physically hurt, like I had a stomach ache with how strong the feelings were. The feelings were so big they threatened to burn me up and eat me alive--but those feelings are good because they keep you going when you have nothing left but love to give. They get you through the first days. You're willing to physically fight a bear or lift a car or WHATEVER. You channel those feelings to get you out of bed, to hold her tight when everyone is sleeping but you (because she slept the best right up next to you), to try feeding her again even though the pain is too much, to take a deep breath and try to explain the unexplainable to your husband (how you can be so blissed out and content and full of rage and angry at the same time). You take those feelings and you run on pure adrenaline for as long as you can. God gives you enough, even when you think you have nothing left, you find just enough. Even when I worry I'm not enough for her, God reassures me that just being me and doing my best is QUITE enough for Sawyer.

The moment she was born, I was reborn too. I'm a new person even though I'm still the old me. So we're learning this together. She's physically young and I'm new to being her mom. Every fiber of me is thankful to be on this journey and I can't wait to keep telling our story. I love you Sawyer Jean, and thank you for making me a mom! It's the best gig I ever had.










Thursday, October 13, 2016

This Time Last Year



This time last year was a strange mix of hope, fear, joy, peace, and managing expectations.

We were FINALLY on the last leg of our journey to start our family. After so many years of ambiguity and struggle it felt odd to be taking concrete steps that could POSSIBLY make being pregnant a reality. (I still have a hard time wrapping my head around it and she's already here!) One way or another we were going to get some direction. Either our fertility treatments would work, or they wouldn't. We would know. It was so exciting and so daunting.

This time last year we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. We spent a lot of time enjoying nature. We spent time going to concerts and traveling and enjoying friendships. I remember even though I was anxious there was an underlying peace about everything---when you feel like the weight of not getting pregnant has been on your shoulders for years it's such a relief to know there would be medical intervention! I didn't have to "control" everything anymore. Not that I did or was ever able to control anything...

This time last year I spent a lot of time reciting verses to myself. Speaking truth to my head and heart. Listening to calming music. Basically I was constantly re-swaddling my renegade emotions. September and October 2015 was such a landmark time in my life and I don't ever want to forget it. The colors, the music, the VIBE (for a less millennial word; "reassurance") that no matter what, everything was going to be ok. While I spent so many years feeling so stuck, life was taking a giant step forward. AND I WAS MOVING WITH IT!

This time last year I haggled with the insurance company and spent a lot of time on the phone with nurses.  I did a lot of really scary stuff that I was really happy to get the chance to do. . I tried to live every day just in that day. In that moment. Instead of constantly worrying about the future. Every single day was like a whole universe to me. I kept thinking all I need to do is do today well. All the "what ifs" were so overwhelming that baby steppin it was the only way I could manage.

Real joy can't exist without trials. Real gratitude can't exist without having gone without. I truly hope my time of waiting has made me into the person I am meant to be, the best person to be Sawyer's momma!

 Below I'm posting some pictures from this time last year with some of my favorite verses. I don't want to forget the days leading up to the beautiful miracle that is Sawyer. The millions of tiny things that had to go right to get our baby. I am so so thankful. Thankful to be on this side of the wait, and thankful to God for getting a hold of my heart and rescuing it from wallowing in bitterness and "why me". Thankful to God for giving me Ted and our life together; married almost 9 years before our girl arrived and we managed to make the most of it! Thankful for autumn; when everything around us starts to get the most beautiful before it dies for the winter--but now it will always be a time that represents new life to me. Let the emoting and remembering commence!

"You make known to me the path of life, in your presence is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore". Psalm 16:11


"I will hold your right hand and I will help you" Isaiah 41:13

"Whenever I'm afraid; I will trust in you" Psalm 56:3





"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy" Psalm 126:5


"But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior" Jeremiah 20:11


"I will go before you; and make the crooked places straight" Isaiah 45:2

 "The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm" Exodus 14:14
 "Out of difficulties grow miracles" I Peter 5:10
"I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears" Psalm 34:4 
"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry". Psalm 40:1


Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Sawyer Story

Today she is 11 weeks old. At 2:28 (or 2:26, we can't remember which) am to be "precise" she has already been in our arms for 11 weeks. I have tried so many times to come down to my little office space and write this out because it's such an important thing to remember and document! I couldn't quite grasp this aspect of life before she came; the not being able to do things no matter how hard you plan and cajole. But seriously I have tried for weeks to do this and have been foiled at every turn!!!! (Imagine Sawyer doing Dr. Evil hand and laughing maniacally). She's a baby who sleeps (SUPPOSEDLY) a lot and isn't mobile. How have I not been able to do this?

 Right now the house is a mess. Laundry is piled up. I have birth announcements and thank you notes that may or may not ever get sent out. I think the biggest testament to how time in many ways has stood still (except for her growing, my goodness) is the fact that my calendar down here still reads "June". Because that's when my life changed for forever, and for the better, no matter how tired, out of sorts, and run down I feel. I guess I'm hesitant to turn the page (literally and figuratively) because it's all gone so fast. I know, it's so cliche. Thats what everyone said would happen but it has indeed gone fast. (And slow, I think the pediatrician was concerned when I said her time with us has seemed like one really long day instead of weeks. But when you no longer have sleep to help delineate the line between day and night it DOES feel like one long day!!!)

I have soo much to say on every single thing and every single thought, but it's hard to capture specific thoughts and expound. My brain is a fog even though our days are getting (sometimes) more patterned and predictable. So for this post, I'm gonna write about her birth. I KNOW, I always rolled my eyes at birth stories before I had one. Now I can't get over what a miracle this whole thing is even though it happens every day. I feel proud of myself and Ted and also a bit traumatized, haha. I guess I better dive in before she wakes up from her catnap!

The last few weeks before our due date I was on bedrest. I was having high blood pressure and swelling. I mean, it was pretty hot and humid too which didn't help! There were 2 a week non stress tests and ultrasounds to make sure everything was ok. It was scary but reassuring. Many times during the non stress tests they would have to prod her awake to make sure she was ok. If only she'd sleep that well now:) But it was a bit nerve wracking! During the pregnancy I was seeing whoever was available at my closest office, I prefer seeing MY doctor but I liked all the other one's too. But once the high blood pressure kicked in I determined only see MY doctor. She had been with us from the start and I know she would take the precautions necessary to see us through! 2.5 weeks before our due date my doctor came to chat with me in the exam room after the ultrasound. She told me that Sawyer was in a transverse position even though she had been head down the week before. She gave me the option of C-Section of trying to "flip" the baby. I know, most people would choose trying to flip the baby but after thinking about it for the night I called to let her know I wanted the C-Section. She had said there was a chance I would need it anyways so I liked the idea of "knowing" what to expect and when to expect her. I was so anxious about labor!!!! I thought maybe this was God's way of giving me some peace about the whole thing. Looking back and rationally thinking it's like the baby is gonna come out one way or another at some point in time---so calm down! But no I was so uncomfortable and in no way calm.  She'd warned me that going into labor wouldn't be good for the transverse position because she could NOT come out that way. Then after a painful exam (those freaking cervix checks!!!!!!!) she told me confidently I wouldn't be going into labor anytime soon. That was Tuesday June 28th. (And spoiler alert---this was my last full nights rest maybe EVER!!!)

The next day was Wednesday June 29th. Our C-Section was going to be either Friday or Saturday and Ted had the day off. We had plans to go out and have one last "fun" (as fun as being 9 months pregnant and anxiety ridden can be). When I woke up I knew something was off. I attributed it to the high blood pressure and thought I had an upset stomach. I kept trying to use the bathroom to no avail. I thought "this is what I need right now, stomach issues!!!") I was determined not to be the whiny pregnant person who claimed every ache and pain was the worst ever. I had been resting for weeks why was I feeling so weird?! So I got ready for the day. I should have known what was happening but I didn't. I'm dumb. I've never been in labor before and I wasn't accepting that labor could be a possibility?! SO DUMB. I should have known I was in labor when I couldn't bear the sound of Ted talking until the "feeling" passed. Didn't realize I was having contractions because they didn't feel how I thought they would? Again, dumb!!! I put the brakes on our plans for the day because I was feeling so out of it. We went to lunch though and I just remember feeling like "I'll never feel better again. I'll always feel this way. There's no way out. What is happening to me!" As the afternoon progressed I finally told Ted we should probably go to the hospital just to "rule out" contractions due to the C-Section ect. Cue a very uncomfortable 40 minute car ride. He dropped me off at the door and I hid in the bathroom again. I kept thinking "if only I can go I'll feel so much better!" (DUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMBBBBBBBBBB!) Sitting down and leaning forward was the only thing that even remotely helped.

When Ted got in from parking we took the elevator up to triage. They got my info and took me back to the tiny room and hooked me up to the machine. The nice nurse said yes I was having contractions (argh!!!!) and the ultrasound they did revealed she was HEAD DOWN AGAIN. I started to panic!!! This meant I was really going to have to push this baby OUT OF MY BODY. After another painful cervix check the nurse told me my contractions just weren't strong enough to really start labor so I was to go home. Zero dilation. At this point I thought "if these aren't strong contractions then I don't think I can handle this!!!!" So I waddle out of the hospital defeated and scared and really just wanting to sleep and forget about it all. I kept thinking a lot of women say they have contractions for DAYS and I just thought maybe I can sleep it off? Maybe they'll go away? I'm still days away from my due date after all. If I have to endure this feeling for weeks I'll need all the sleep I can get!

When we got in the car it was rush hour and the freeway was backed up so we took a scenic route home (i.e. long route). I couldn't talk. I couldn't think well formed thoughts or sentences. I just kept thinking "I can't feel this way for days. I just can't. Lord help me!!!" When we finally got home Ted put our hospital bags in the car for "just in case". I came right in and said I need to sit on the couch for a few minutes before going to bed. The "feeling" was coming a lot close together and sooooo much more intense. I felt like a wild animal the pain was so much. At one point I remember crawling on the floor, trying to find some position to MAKE IT STOP!!! I never made it upstairs to "go to bed" lol. Finally I downloaded an app on my phone to time the contractions (aka "feelings" haha). They were coming 4 and 5 minutes a part! I should have crawled back to the car but I was so afraid of riding back to the hospital and not being admitted AGAIN that I was determined to not go back until I was officially in full blown labor. (news flash--you ARE in full blown labor!!!!) We called the on call doctor and I was sobbing. "Please don't make me come unless you will admit me!!!!" The doctor on call said "I can't check you over the phone...so you'll need to come back". So Ted helped me out to the car for THE.WORST. CAR RIDE. OF. MY. LIFE! I couldn't talk. I couldn't think. I was almost in a whole other plane of existence. I can't describe it. I was trying to be brave. I kept reminding myself I wasn't dilated so I'll probably have to live this way for days. I thought I would probably die first. I thought this SERIOUSLY. That I couldn't live like this for any amount of time much less DAYS! (So much drama). We finally get back to the hospital where Ted says "you can walk from he parking lot right?" I glared at him with the power of 1,000 suns until he dropped me off at the door. I hid in the bathroom again. (Sitting and leaning forward was the only position that I felt I could even remotely handle the pain). I yelled at Ted to get me a wheel chair when I came out. (I'm realizing this was all very "sitcom-y"). We land back in triage where I see the desk nurses smirk to each other as in "look who is back already". I could no longer be pleasant. I could no longer keep it together. I hid in the bathroom again when the triage nurse asked me to give a urine sample. I couldn't. There was none. I was kneeling on the floor thinking I'd like to just lay down and black out. The nurse kept trying to make jokes. I wanted to cuss and scream. I kept an intense face and tried to endure the pain through out all the talking and questions and Ted ASKING ME WHAT MY SNAPCHAT USER NAME WAS. (Now is not a good time, TED!)I told the nurse if she didn't admit me I would scream in the lobby until someone knocked me out with drugs.  Finally we came to yet another cervix check. It hurt so badly and she kept wanted to keep going. (AM I DILATED OR AM I NOT LADY?)! She said I was dilated to four centimeters from what she could tell but "it maybe wasn't accurate because I couldn't lay still". YOU LAY STILL WITH PERPETUAL ONCOMING CONTRACTIONS WOMAN! But I was getting admitted! The pain was so bad and constant I started begging for an epidural. The nurse said I needed the IV first and then an entire bag of liquid before the epidural. (FUDDDDGGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEE!) They finally get the IV in after MANY tries. The nurse kept trying to make jokes. I love jokes. I'm sure on any other day of my entire life I would have seriously appreciated her jokes. But I've never wanted to kick anyone and run away so much in my life. (Well, waddle away). We get the word we're going up to Labor and Delivery. I'm assuming I'll be there for like a day being in labor. I was in so much pain but so thankful to being just that much closer to an epidural. I know it's weird, but honestly I wasn't even thinking "this much closer to seeing my baby" because I was assuming it would be 24 hours or something. You always hear first time moms are in labor for days while slowwwwwwwwly dilating and then pushing after being in labor for forever.

They drop me in our room with a nice nurse who pursed her lips when I asked to go to the bathroom. I knew I didn't have to go but sitting on that darn toilet and leaning forward was THE ONLY THING that could help. They said it could take an hour for my fluids to transfer. I did NOT want to lay on my back for an hour with the constant pain. I begged for the epidural NOW. Ted was texting (our friends and family to update). I felt wild. Like I wasn't a person anymore. Like I would do or give or say anything to not be in pain anymore. The nurse said "based on how you're acting, I'm gonna call the anesthesiologist now instead of waiting". PRAISE THE LORD. Trying to arch my back and sit still during this was soooooooo hard. I didn't know if I was going to be able to do this. I was so fearful that it wouldn't take and I'd be left in this pain for hours. Thankfully, God helped me. He held my hand in the form of Ted and the nurse and worked a miracle for me to sit still. When they had me lay back I could still feel the contractions which the monitor was showing were constant. No break in between. CONSTANT. The doctor checked me (and no pain! hallelujah!) and everyone started rushing around. I was almost to 9cms! The anesthesiologist actually came BACK when he heard that and gave me another hit of something. This was VERY shortly after I had been admitted. Take THAT nurse who said my "contractions weren't strong enough!" Ugh. Leave it to my body to do that, lol. I was in heaven though. I could still feel and move my legs and feel the contractions but it was no longer pain. Just feeling. Then my heart rate dropped. 15 people rushed into the room. They helped me roll side to side and did a bunch of stuff that I wasn't paying attention to. I didn't care what was happening. I have never been so thankful to not be in pain. Ted was standing off to the side looking panicked. A doctor came over to reassure him everything was going to be ok. Whatever was happening righted itself (side effect from the epidural) and it was time to push. TIME TO PUSH. I was shaking from head to toe. Another side effect from the epidural. Finally I told Ted "I guess she wanted to come in time for Wimbledon". He smiled and knew I was feeling like myself again if I was feeling up to making jokes. The doctor and nurse taught me how to push effectively. Breathe, hold my breath, then push while counting to ten. After a few tries I got it down. They said the baby was stuck under my pelvic bone and I would push for no more than 3 hours before deciding to do something else. Then the doctor left and it was just me, Ted, and our nurse. She was friendly, blond, had hilarious stories, and was encouraging.

I was still stunned that we had went from expecting a c-section in a couple days to already PUSHING OUT THE BABY. But I was relieved the hard parts were over. I wasn't in pain. The baby was ok. I felt enough adrenaline and now I was prepared to push. I would push as long as it took as long as I wasn't in pain, lol. Ted was a really good coach. He and the nurse pushed my knees back and counted for me while I pushed. They kept me entertained. They kept me talking. Ted texted my mom and Andrew and Christen updates. A few times poor Ted looked so woozy the nurses brought him cookies and juice, hah! He doesn't do well with blood so I know he was being brave too. The doctor (who was VERY nice) came in to check on us a lot. They said the labor and delivery floor was full! I think the shift in weather had sent a lot of us into labor. After about 2 hours and 15 minutes of pushing the doctor said it was almost time. They got everything set up to catch her. The doctor spent a good amount of time stretching me out (thank you, thank you, thank you, epidural) and with one final push she all of a sudden came out! After 2.5 hours of pushing she was here and kicking and screaming! I was in shock and shaking uncontrollably from head to toe. They put her on me and she opened one eye to give me a once over. The look said "are you my mom?" and then she settled down. It was so surreal and I couldn't stop shaking. After what was I'm sure only seconds they gave her to Ted. I needed stitched up and they couldn't do it with me shaking so much (mix of hormones and the epidural). Oh the stitches. It took forever. Second and third degree tears and a severely bruised tailbone. At that point I didn't care though. I kept staring at the back of her little head while Ted was holding her, skin to skin. She was OURS. She was HERE. And we were ALL OK! After all the years of waiting she was in our arms. I pushed her out. She had lived inside of me. And now she's sitting next to me in her car seat miraculously sleeping long enough for me to make an attempt to put it all into words. I can't put it into words. But I need to try. Because it's so important. And I don't want to forget any of it, even the hard parts.

 In my phone the pictures went from this LAST bump shot to this little squishy squish!


 Our funny and awesome L&D nurse:)


 Sawyer said "seriously is Wimbledon STILL on?"
 7 lbs and 10 oz of squish! I feel like she looks like a totally different baby now! 

 Couldn't sleep in the hospital. I look so out of it. I was. 
 Going home from the hospital! 


 Kindly strangers had to help us with the car seat, haha. These "easy" one click deals are gonna be the death of us. 
 It's funny when they still have tags on them, like you went to the store and picked one out! We would choose her a million times over if that was the case. Maybe we would have spent extra on a 1 year sleep warrantee LOL


 Family of three. 



Cuddles are by the far the best thing about this gig!



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Things We Learn in the Valley

Let's talk about Mother's Day.  A day wrought with emotion for mothers who are waiting to receive their official title. Especially women in the church who are still waiting.  From my observations from the sidelines, (which are many, and not the most reliable point of view of course) in many Christian circles it's basically a race to achieve life milestones the fastest and all within your timeline. (Married no later than 22. Kids and lots of them, 18 months a part, done by 30,  then boob job and tummy tuck, don't wanna be an old and unattractive mom, I want to be a young grandma! And an attractive one at that!) All of those "mandates" have all been things said to me or in my presence--I'm not making this up! (I'm not really worried about being an attractive grandma?! I guess thats something some people worry about from a young age?! Am I taking crazy pills?!) Nothing is wrong with wanting a family, or even wanting a family when you're on the younger side. Everyone's journey is different (she said obligatorily, but really meaning it as well).  It all starts to feel like one big "mom-petition" if you will. And sometimes children being used as notches on a belt.

ANYWAYS, I really didn't intend for this post to be a whine fest about church culture. I'm glad God didn't listen to my timeline wishes (we all have them!) I don't know why it's so seducing to see yourself as "so young, but so together". I prefer a bit of patina to my life.  I needed time to grow up. It has been a long and difficult journey, but I know that I am a better person for it (thanks to His mercy and grace) and more fit to be a better parent to this particular child who is coming to us.

Throughout our marriage and struggles,  I can look back and see that God was using all of it. I know...it sounds so cliche! I KNOW IT DOES. I'M HEARING IT TOO! The cliche red flags are waving violently at me! I'm so thankful He got a hold of me at the moments I was truly at my lowest...letting me know He was still good. Even if I didn't get what I wanted, I was worthwhile and He had a plan for us. It's soooooooo hard to hear this when you're going through it. You can't see the plan, you're stuck in a tiny mosaic piece with no hope of ever seeing the big picture. You're stuck in pan in mode when all you want to do desperately is to PAN OUT and see what you're life will look like! Each of those pain filled bricks I was building with was building a foundation...and it could be a firm one or shoddy one, depending on how I reacted to my circumstances, not depending on my circumstances. I saw a quote that spoke to my heart the other day:


(quote courtesy @Chad Veach, Author of "Unreasonable Hope")


Oh, I love this! I think I had quite a few years in the valley. And for far too long I wanted nothing to do with the valley. My eyes were all mountain top. I could see it looming in the distance and I watched as so many others reached the summit. I wanted what they had. I didn't want to put in the work, either. I wanted it to happen MAGICALLY!!!!  I wanted to skip being cured from Vaginismus and go straight to being parents. I was trying to rob my marriage of what God wanted. And try I did. Thankfully He closed a lot of doors and kept kindly redirecting me (just like a preschool teacher) back to what I needed to be working towards. I didn't want to train for mountain climbing! I didn't want to endure the process, because there was no guarantee it would even get me to the top of the mountain I wanted! Being stuck and and camped out and STARING AT THE MOUNTAIN took up a big chunk of the journey; stubbornly willing the mountain to come to me. Slowly I began to move, or God dragged me, pushed me, prodded me into taking baby steps. Seriously. I want to wear my valley experience like a badge of honor. While I'm so happy to be nearing the mountain top (although I know there are so many things that could go wrong ect)  I would not trade my valley experience--there really are things that only the valley will teach you, if you let it. 




Thursday, May 5, 2016

Dear Whoever You Are Part II

Dear Whoever You Are,

Last year I wrote a post telling you how hard it was getting to keep waiting for you. How we missed you every day even though we'd never met. How we sensed the lack of you in our every day happenings, our thoughts, our hearts, our arms. I wrote you that letter hoping to beckon you out of the place you were waiting until the time was right. We're so glad it is you who is coming. You who I wrote that letter to. You that we will Lord willing get to watch and help grow.

 We have been so joyful and thankful every single moment since we found out that you are FINALLY ON YOUR WAY. I don't know if you will ever be able to know what pure joy that fact brings us. Real joy. You are worth every moment of waiting. Worth every moment of doubt. Worth every moment of heartache. It is all incredibly worth it--to know that it was you we were waiting for. The one made specifically for us. Every day I feel more and more connected to you. It's hard to tell what your personality will be like now, but we can't wait to spend our days figuring you out. Cheering you on. Praying for you. Loving you. We are so thankful this gets to be our "job"!!! Woo hoo!

I know you're inside right now, doing your thing, and preparing yourself for us and outside world. Keep on doing that and we'll keep on preparing for you out here. Team effort. We promise to do our very best. Can't wait to meet face to face but also enjoying every moment of this stage of your life as well!

We are so glad we get to live in joy and anticipation and that we can say we'll be seeing you SOONER rather than later!

Love,
Mom

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

My Thoughts on Super Hero Culture (In which I ramble about Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdoch)

Heyo interweb. I can't believe it's nearing the END of APRIL already. EEEK! It's one of those things where I cannot wait to meet this baby but also there's so much to do and you think in a panic "what did I do with all my time?! Argh!!!!!" It kinda feels like the last few weeks of high school. You know your life will drastically change soon, but all you can do is watch it in fast/slow motion and kind of peer through your fingers and half watch half hide. Everything you've been working towards all of a sudden doesn't matter, and when does that switch flip? And everything you've always known will be different but the change hasn't quite happened yet even though you can see the finish line. It's limbo I tells ya! All that being said, I am trying to not let panic set in and just do what I can every day. Sounds easy enough, but as you know that can be a huge battle for me, haha. (As that's pretty much the theme of every. single. post.always.)

Also as you know I've always got several posts brewing...and before Mother's Day and all the feelings that will surely come with that day I wanted to write a post OFF TOPIC of baby ect that I've been thinking about for quite awhile;

SUPER HERO CULTURE.

I do quite like a good super hero tale/movie/comic. Am I obsessed with comics? No. That hasn't been my thing even though I enjoy them. I loved the Dark Knight. I loved the first Spiderman with Tobey McGuire. I really like the X-Men; especially Wolverine and Magneto (aka Hugh Jackman and Michael Fassbender). IRONMAN. Tony Stark is hilarious. I really have enjoyed Daredevil and Jessica Jones on Netflix. But superheroes today have kind of morphed into something and I'm trying my best to put my finger on what bothers me, or at the very least what bothers me about people's attitudes about them.

Being a preschool teacher I see how much movies and what is going on in pop culture influences and shapes the way kids interpret the world. I mean HELLO I was/am the same way. It's the nature of things. Art influencing culture, culture influencing art and so on. As an adult you just think "Oh, this is something fun they enjoy--no worries!" But I can still remember all my favorite movies and books from childhood vividly, and every joke the Genie from Aladdin ever said is still my go to for comedy, hah! As adults our brains are used to filtering in and out things we like, don't like, are neutral towards. As a kid you pretty much take all books and movies and conversations with adults as GOSPEL. And it gets ingrained. Fast.

But the thing that has gotten out of proportion with the super hero thing is this: we are often teaching kids that the important thing about super heroes, is their ability to physical harm others with brute strength or special powers INSTEAD of focusing on the ideas of doing whats right, helping others, and putting the needs of others in front of your own. Super heroes are down for beating the crap out of someone, but they probably won't be a shoulder to cry on when you're going through a hard time. Because they're off beating the crap out of someone. For the greater good, yes. But bear with me.

Two Different Heroes: Foggy Nelson vs Matt Murdoch
I think we're getting away from telling kids that it takes real courage and heroism to simply live a life of doing the right thing. Not in a martyrish way, or becoming a nun or a monk. Hear me out. I know usually the super hero has two identities and sometimes is a do-gooder in some way IRL.  Like Matt Murdoch or Clark Kent.  When it comes to Daredevil, (at least the Netflix series) I often think of Matt's lawyer sidekick friend Foggy as the hero; or as the more relatable hero. (Matt is also a hero of course).  Back to Foggy; he is brave, he takes risks, but in a real life way that you can see happening in your own life.  Like when he went to the biker gangs lair (can't remember what they're called...don't hate) to see someone he thought could help them with their case--he is constantly talking his way out of getting his butt kicked literally or figuratively (it reminds me of the Doctor)!  Or when he stood up to the District Attorney and used his knowledge of the law to not be bullied. (Because let's face it...most bullying/pushing around happens in words and everyday conversations and situations, not always with ninjas or Ra's Al Ghul in a dark alley). I really like that Foggy does his very best to help those around him, but he also takes time to be with friends and actually be a person. Like he actually goes home to sleep for 5 hours after a long day of helping people at his law practice and being supportive of Karen (even though she's in love with Matt WHO IS ALWAYS DISAPPEARING ON THEM), to get back up and start over again. Putting in the work. Studying. Pouring over cases. Spending time with clients.  He's honest with his friends about who is. He is not leading a double life. So the flip side; for Matt Murdoch (Daredevil), he's using something terrible that happened to him (a car accident, acid taking away his eye sight but ultimately giving the rest of his senses a helpful boost, anger and sadness over losing his dad when he was a child) and doing his best to use the tragedy and turn it into something he can use for good. That's admirable, and I think that's an important lesson for kids. The Bible says "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive" Genesis 50:20. It's good for kids to know that yes, bad things can/will happen to us but with God's help we can learn and grow from those things and turn out better and stronger in the long run. Mentally stronger, emotionally stronger, physically stronger, whatever the situation is. I do like that Matt doesn't ever want or intend to kill anyone, even "bad guys". As he is a lawyer by day, he knows the law isn't perfect by any means, but knows it isn't his job to determine who lives or dies (this character is very strongly catholic, which I think adds a very interesting perspective to his character). But what I see kids taking away from this? They see Matt as the only hero. Because he beats up people. (Which is pretty amazing considering he cannot see), but still. They don't take away that his lifestyle of leading a double life hurts those around him. They constantly wonder why he doesn't show up for work, return phone calls, ect. Foggy agonizes over whether or not Matt will be alive the next day. Matt's brand of heroism becomes like an addiction, he lives like an addict. He can't stop fighting. He can't stop lying. He can't stop letting down those closest to him (even if mostly for a good cause). I see Matt and Foggy as two different aspects that could be meshed together to create one well rounded super hero, but I guess where's the fun in a super hero who needs down time and has a personal life, LOL.

(That being said, I do very much appreciate that Tony Stark owns being Ironman, hahahahaha--no double life for that hero! He'll take all the credit thank you very much and I love it).

I know the super hero thing is a framework to show good vs evil, and to show we can stand up for what is right. Sometimes I think we oversimplify it though, and focus on the aspects of "being a hero" that glorify violence for violence sake as I mentioned above. Without really considering the consequences. And don't get me wrong, I do love a good action movie! Sometimes people gotta get redshirted, its how you move the plot along, am I right?!

I think what I'm ultimately trying to say is that we need to teach kids to use their own strengths to help others--that there are SO MANY WAYS to be heroic. And not necessarily just physical strengths.  Standing up for a friend who is getting made fun of, that's being a hero. Offering a listening ear when someone is upset. Quietly doing the right thing, especially (especially!!!!) when no one else is looking. The list goes on and on. And for some people? Their strengths really are in physically putting their own lives on the line to help others; police officers, fire fighters, men and women in the special forces, the list goes on. And that is something to be very honored!  We gotta be careful what we glorify and what we gloss over. We gotta let them know doing the right thing is often really scary and really hard. But so worth it. I think kids see heroes as going into all these situations and being totally and utterly fearless. Um, it's smart to be scared sometimes!!! It's called common sense.

Ok, I'm not sure how to end this. So I'll sign off for now. To go wait for 2 more years for another season of Daredevil, hehe.

*Also, I'd be the worst at being a super hero. I need too much sleep and consistency. Regular meals. I couldn't do the long nights, all the lying...wearing a super tight suit. I would chafe SO MUCH. And sweat!  I'd be asking for yoga pants and extra wide running shoes and needing to pack things like extra deodorant, hair ties, granola bars, SO MANY WATER BOTTLES!  Forgetting to charge any of my gear that needs charged. Injuring myself due to user error with any of the gear. I'm afraid of heights!!!!! I have a nervous stomach!!!! The list goes on. I'm more of a desk job hero I guess. I'll take it. The Avengers will thank me not to join them. Maybe I could handle being Deadpool's cab driver. Who am I kidding, I get very stressed out in traffic.







Monday, April 18, 2016

The Passenger

I love when I have several topics I want to write about simultaneously; and they're fighting for predominance in my head and fingers--which will win out? Or will it just be a mind explosion? Will everything that rises also converge? Maybe if I was more disciplined  I would write all of them, cohesively and separately--work on it even when I'm not "feeling it".  And maybe writing them separately isn't necessary. Maybe some of the thoughts should be thrown together, and see what works. I'll work on the the discipline part though.  I've always felt I needed to write, but I struggle with it. I guess it's like "do I even have what it takes to write?" and I doubt, and then doubting leads to inaction. My most worn out and tired vicious cycle! Well, knowledge is power:) I know my self doubt in any area always leads to inaction. So...here's a little bit of action and cycle breaking for you! (mostly for myself).

So we all have those songs that just stick with us through a certain period of our lives, right? And the song (or songs, album, playlist, ect) comes to concretely represent a grouping of thoughts and feelings, ideologies even. And you get intertwined with it, and attached. And then it becomes part of your story, part of your life soundtrack.

Lately for me, I've been listening to Iggy Pop's "The Passenger". I've liked this song for a long time. Something about the music and lyrics speak to me. And I really like the episode of Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown where he gets to hang out with Iggy in Miami. I really resonant with stories of finding peace, or at least becoming comfortable and confident in who you are. Many times this only comes with time, living, and learning through your own mistakes. And the early and middle years are often spent yearning/raging/striving. I mean hello, punk music! It's all about rebellion and in your face-ness! Anyways, in the episode he meets Tony at a health food joint, they eat a light meal and they have a good conversation. (And I'll be honest here, maybe I'm mistaking "inner peace" for "rock star who's brain is kind of fried from years of attending rock n roll high school", but just go with me here). I really liked the fact that when Tony asked him what was a perfect day for him looked like he said sitting on the beach on a hot day being with someone who's company he really enjoyed. That resonates with me in a profound way; maybe because it's not goal oriented but that it's relational oriented.  There is importance about getting right inside and letting that set the tone for your life, or at the very least recognizing things that are of true value. I'm really not trying to sound Yoga Jones on you, promise. Seeing this episode shortly after attending the WTC and being able to feeling peace and hope in the first time in a long time I kinda grasped onto this small snippet--to identify with a 68 year old punk rock king about something so small as sitting on the beach and watching the horizon and feeling something. And allowing yourself to be loved.

You know how I talked about having different topics fighting about which would be blogged about today? I guess I'm gonna try an awkward segue here. In my mind these are both holding hands and make sense.  Imagine a hand coming down from those paragraphs up there and grabbing this new paragraphs fingers, intertwining. Becoming one bigger thought.

Last week Ted had the whole week off. Ever since I decided to be a substitute teacher this year rather than returning to my usual post he has been really great about working, working, working, and then some. Long days, over time, ect. Of course we're blessed he works at a place where he does have plenty of vacation time so neither one of us are complaining here! We have it really good. As in, our needs are met and we have each other---and then some!!! We're fully blessed in so many ways.  I guess with the winter and the not feeling the best, a bit of anxiety was chasing me. I was really missing Ted (I felt like by the time he got home I'd pretty much fall asleep like an hour later lol) and feeling like there was just stuff I needed help with around the house. Like painting the nursery!  Basically I felt like I was wringing my hands but needed a kickstart to do anything. Like a nervous Duracell bunny just going in circles instead of moving forward--I needed a reset. And last week was a really great time of just being together and doing things we enjoy (like doing chores and going out to lunch and watching Anthony Bourdain and LOST and going to the museum and sleeping in).

We're so excited to finally be the three of us, and since we've waited so long I thought saying goodbye to being two wouldn't be hard at all! But I've been having some bittersweet feelings creeping in. Maybe because people keep telling me stories of becoming roommates with their spouse after kids, and barely ever seeing each other. I'm sure this does happen and  you get busy doing right by your family but I guess Ted is such a big part of who I am this scares me. I guess instead of being scared I'll just pray about this transition. DUH. I wish that was always my first instinct rather than doing aforementioned bunny circles.

 Bringing this line of thought up and making it a circle; "The Passenger" is also meaningful to me because one of our MOST favorite things to do as a couple is to drive and listen to music. It is just something we like to do. And I'm The Passenger. The passenger in the song sees beauty and mess and takes it all in.  We've done our driving thing through good times and bad. Heartache and happiness. We just enjoy it. Me because I can take in the world and try and process it. Him because he's physically doing something but also relaxing (and he loves roads...but thats a story for another time, haha). And we're together. We can talk or not talk. We can sing along or hum. My feelings tend to process more quickly this way. And lately I've been playing "The Passenger" at least once when we get in the car to go somewhere. Even the loose harmony on the "la-la's" remind me of how two different voices can make the song/journey better, give it more depth. This song reminds me of that pastime with the two of us. And the bond we have, that loose harmony,  I pray it will only get stronger and more beautiful through this next phase in our journey.


I'm gonna leave this rambling post with some of the lyrics. If you read this post I hope you give the song a listen. It probably won't have the same meaning for you as it does for me...and that's ok. That's what life is all about; we experience similar things and we make them into our own. With different meaning and significance.

Oh, the passenger
How, how he rides
Oh, the passenger
He rides and he rides
He looks through his window
What does he see?
He sees the sign and hollow sky
He sees the stars come out tonight
He sees the city's ripped backsides
He sees the winding ocean drive
And everything was made for you and me
All of it was made for you and me
'Cause it just belongs to you and me
So let's take a ride and see what's mine


Monday, April 4, 2016

Heartburn, Insomnia, and Justin Bieber

SUP blog! This last week or two have been a very mentally and physically trying one. Having struggled so long to get here, I feel so much guilt in making a post about ailments and discomfort. Because I know the discomfort is finite and there will be an end. In the infertility world, there may never be an end to your "discomfort" aka the weight of waiting and sorrow. The pain of watching everyone grow and change while you feel permanently stuck. Now, I know I'll be a MOM at the end of this, there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel!! A little girl to get to know and love!

(But..for my sanity's sake, I gotta write about this. Maybe it will help! I know as soon as she's here I'll say WORTH IT!!! And I already think that!!!)

Basically, it started with a feeling like I couldn't quite breathe as deep as I needed too, especially at night. I'm pretty claustrophobic and have nightmares about suffocating so this wasn't fun. I kept calm though and just thought soothing thoughts, breathed as deeply as I could, and propped up when sleeping. (Which I hate doing, but basically need to do or else). After a few scary nights of this, it seemed to dissipate. Hooray! Every deep breath I took was like a magical gift. And I was so thankful! I seemed to (finally) be getting over a head cold and cough situation so I chalked it up to that and moved on.

A few nights later, I woke up in so much pain. I felt like there was a hard knot of fire under my breast bone. And the fire would leak into my stomach and intestines and cause me to writhe around. I would wake up with my back arching and spasming just trying to reach a comfortable position. There was no comforting this. There was no magical position I could find to help. Putting on a bra was like a torture device. It didn't go away after tums or awhile after eating. The best way to describe it would be a constant blaze, and sometimes worse, but never better.

Fast forward to now, two different medications later, and it's still hanging around. There will be a few hours here and there of relief where I just lay or sit there thinking "I'm so thankful to be feeling less pain right now, no matter for how long". Eating toast, crackers, bananas, and yogurt is getting old but I don't want to anger the beast anymore than I already have!  I'm doing my best to learn to manage it. I know the baby is taking up more space and crowding my whole body more and more. I'm glad she's growing!  Above all else if she's ok, I know I'll be ok. But right now I feel so overwhelmed. I don't want to be in constant pain until she gets here. Even if the stars align and I've managed the right food combo and meds timing and am feeling like I can sleep...insomnia has set in. And heart palpitations. And random shots of adrenaline that make you shoot up straight and grab your chest in a panic. (All of which I've been told are normal at this time, although not fun). And everything that happens I panic about when the last time I felt her move, is she getting enough food, will she only like to eat crackers and popsicles because of this?! (that would be a huge tragedy, because Thai food! Mexican food! Indian BUFFET!!!!!!)

Insomnia is the worst. I hate dreading the night. Sleeping and eating are two of my favorite things and they're both elusive right now! (lol--I mean don't you like to eat tacos and then immediately hit the couch for netflix and night napping?! Maybe I need a lifestyle change wake up call like whoa, haha). I feel like I have no more thoughts to think. I've been having six months of content happy thoughts, soothing lifestyle, excitement about the future, starry eyes and so on. And I'm still so thankful and in awe of this person God is allowing us to carry. I guess this is a lesson in how I cope with lack of sleep. I start to feel hopeless and losing interest in anything. I become a crazy person. My thoughts are so scattered and I can't control them. One second I'm thinking about LOST and then I'm thinking about a parent or student from five years ago...then there's the head music. There is a constant weird remix of Justin Bieber songs and praise and worship songs playing in my head; "It's too late to say sorry now.......in Christ alone.....BABY BABY BABY NOOOOOO........this the power of the cross.....you're awful indecisive is what I'm sayin..." And when I do fall asleep for 30 minutes or so, it's weird dreams about people I haven't seen in decades. Being weird. Making me feel weird. And halfway through the dream I always think "Aren't I in my 30's and pregnant? What is going on in this dream ?! Why am I at a weird carnival with the little brother of one of my high school friends, and he's trying to DITCH ME?!" Cue waking up with heart palpitations and being scared and feeling weird. And then cue Justin Bieber. FOREVER!!!!


Sigh.


Lord please help me to trust in you to care for us. I know you've given me this gift and will help me to the very finish! Help me to be wise in how I care for my body. Thank you for supportive friends and family who offer a listening ear and good advice. Thank you for a comfortable home and understanding husband. Most of all, thank you for the opportunity to have a daughter! Help me through this time, that I can learn, grow, and come out of the fire, refined. That I can be a good testimony through trials. And that through it all, our baby will be safe and sound.

AMEN!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Lately-EMO.TION

My determination to not let this time run away from me comes and goes. I think I'm at the point in pregnancy (ah, can't believe this is real still) where things will go pretty quickly. I still feel like I'm in the those first few weeks where it was all so delicate and still secret. Those days were precious! Now as we inch towards the finish line (to infinity and beyond!) I'm beginning to have anxious thoughts ("to put it mildly" as John McEnroe would say).

What if I can't hack this? I'm old and tired! What if I don't get her room ready in time? What if we don't have everything we need? I'm not doing enough healthy eating! I'm not doing enough exercising! I'M NOT ENOUGH! I'M NOT ENOUGH! I'M NOT ENOUGH! I'm not documenting this process enough, hence I must not be cherishing it enough! FAILURE! FAILURE! FAILURE!
Why am I not feeling more movement? Will the doctor say "sorry, no more heartbeat!" Am I coughing her to death? Am I sleeping in the wrong position? Am I already teaching her to be lazy and love junk food?

OH MYLANTA !(which according to Fuller House, is DJ's catchphrase--does anyone remember, did she ever even once say this on Full House? Did she feel left out not having a catch phrase like Steph and Michelle? They're really trying to make it happen. All that to say I'm fully enjoying Fuller House, hah!) All the feels and then some.  I've been listening to Carly Rae Jepsen's album "Emotion" a lot and I keep thinking the lyric "ALL THAT WE CAN DO WITH THIS EMOTION!' And to think a few weeks ago I thought the hormones weren't gonna bother me, I would be someone who could skate by without ever being a crazy pregnant woman. When will I learn to STOP THINKING THAT STUFF!!!!! BECAUSE NOW I FEEL LEGITIMATELY CRAZY!!!!!!!!

I'm going to write this to myself as a pep talk and reminder;



Dear Anxious Self,

Ok girl, just take a deep breath. You've waited for this a long long LONG time and are so thankful every minute (you know you are; don't be so hard on yourself!) Maybe take a few more pictures if that makes you feel better about documentation. Remember to be more disciplined about making posts here, small baby steps always make you feel MUCH better! Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the spiral of you're not good enough and then do NOTHING instead of a very small something. You know for a fact the not good enough line isn't TRUTH. When you start feeling this way, it's a sure sign you gotta dive back into your Bible and pray more than what's currently been happening. It's ok. You can do it. God will give you grace; just stop wanting to throw in the towel at every minor glitch. Also remember what you've seen throughout your entire life; a lot of little somethings always add up to a big something! Work is work, you go at your own pace and it seriously does make you feel better to do what you can. Make a green smoothie! Get some paint samples online! Drink tons of water! Go for a walk!--put some of your head knowledge into practice. You've been given an amazing gift and you thank the Lord each day. He's giving you the right child for your skills set and personality. You were created for such a time as this! It's going to be ok and then some. It's going to be great! Don't let anxiety bind you; remember you are free indeed and it's a privilege to be alive. Enjoy these days-remember to enjoy each season you're in. I think you already do that anyways:) I know you're still in awe of this happening--but it really is happening! So baby step forward and don't be a perfectionist. You're flawed but you are made perfect. Don't try to sprint, you aren't a sprinter! But you do try, haha. Baby steps. Marathon. Tortoise. That's you. Don't fight it.

Love,
Your More Centered and in Her Right Mind Self


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Confession and a Book I Read

Just checking in, trying to discipline myself to write some thoughts. Why do I put off things I ultimately enjoy because the getting started part is hard? I guess it's just being human. JUST START. Here we go, metaphoric pen to metaphorical paper!

Ok so the confession part first, because it ties into the book reading: Lately something has been annoying me. (I know, this is so out of character for me!!! Is this really a confession or a trick to complain and have you read it?! It's both) Non fiction books aren't my first pick. They aren't my jam, as they say. Sure I love a good biography by a comedian or athlete I like.  (Bossypants anyone???)  Here's the thing (the confession part) : I GET ANNOYED by every christian lady on Instagram showing they only read non fiction books by christian bloggers. WHY does this annoy me? Oh, so many judgmental reasons of course! Allow me to rant for a minute or two:)

So, I guess because I love fiction so much it annoys me when people "don't read". I understand if reading isn't your passion, you don't enjoy it, and it doesn't align with your sense of "accomplishing" something. That's totally fine and I get that. Because other people enjoy running 26 miles and I don't understand THAT. A lot of people are "doers" as the yelling guy from Home Depot commercials would say and if they don't have something physical to show for their time, they feel it's been wasted. So a lot of these doers when they do read, it's always a non-fiction "self help" or christian lady blogger book (which depending on what it is, can be very similar NOT that theres anything wrong with either of the two genres--I have read both).

There is definitely wisdom in reading about someone else's perspective and life challenges. But I do hate fads. Especially in Christian ways of thinking. And it's always revolutionary at the time. And everyone's freaking out. By how so and so reinvented the wheel. I don't even like fads in non christian ways of thinking. (I'M LOOKING AT YOU KONMARI METHOD!!!!) Basically I guess you read with a grain of salt and take away some key points that DO resonate with you. Or tuck away nuggets for the future. Or totally disregard it because it's the worst (aka the book that says you don't have to diet or exercise to lose weight but be "mindful". I'M SICK OF THE WORD MINDFUL!!!)

Also, when it comes to fiction; I often feel like the writer lets on way more about their ideologies and life than they know. I like learning lessons through fiction more than non fiction many times because  of that very fact. When you're writing in your own voice you're more self aware but you  may miss the point because it's really hard to see yourself and your whole "thing". It's like Ferris Bueller looking at the painting with the tiny dots. I guess to tie it all in with why it annoys me about Instagram ladies is like because of blogs (my love hate relationship with blogs strikes again!) it's like what are they writing that we haven't actually read before ??? Why do blogs equal book deal? Should I just accept that is the way things are now? Why do I act like I'm in my 70's and want to go back to type writers and Ernest Hemingway and scotch and being mean to women?  I don't, for the record-but yeah I'm crotchety at the very least).

Ok anywho--with all the instagram and "oh my goodness I LOVE HER"'s going around it  often seems like a culture club, the ol christianity culture/popularity contest that swears it's not a culture but is totally it's own microcasm. The competition. The who can be the most gritty, the most having had been/are a sinner, the most redeemed, the most good at all the things even though proclaiming they aren't good at all the things, tee hee. Honestly I feel like they can be more damaging than good sometimes.  I get grouchy and it seems pharisaical and that's just mean of me because I really haven't read all the books enough to know if that's true. So I guess that makes me the pharisee grump in this story rather than hardworking authors.  All that to say-- I READ A NON FICTION BOOK. AND REALLY LIKED IT. AND LEARNED A LOT. AND THE AUTHOR WASN'T HUMBLEBRAGGY TRYING TO BE THE NEXT "IT' GIRL IN ANYWAY !!!

I'll segue now!

So a friend actually lent me the book, and I DO trust her opinion on books to the max. She said it wasn't life changing but good. And the topic directly related to something I was telling her I was struggling with so she was very kind to think of it. Something I've come to cringe about women's Bible study type things is that I feel that it's all so incredibly softball if you will. Seriously every women's Bible study I've went to has been about being a godly/biblical woman. WHICH IS GOOD to learn about, of course! I don't want to sound like I'm scoffing the Bible or anything. But basically we would always end up talking about modesty and how often you cook or clean the house. SIGH. EYE ROLL.  UGHHH. PERFORMANCE. PERFORMANCE. PERFORMANCE!!!

The book I read is called "You're Already Amazing, Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be"-by Holley Gerth.

Ok, so the title is a little softball BUT the subject matter was really good for anyone who has struggled with the "performance treadmill" of Christian life. Basically the point of the book is to emphasize that we are not intended to do it all and be it all to everyone. We all have strengths that make us different than another and it's ok and GOOD to not "be like her", aka the girl in your church or Instagram who is "doing it all". I took notes and I'm excited to share more of what I hope I can remember to incorporate into my life. It felt like it all rang true with struggles I've had in the past with self comparison. I'll save the more in-depth for another post, because yes this one has gotten out of hand and super long. I'm excited to use my strengths for a larger purpose! And to now go read some more fiction.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

thoughts on finding out

Yesterday was a big day. An important day. A nervous day. A fun day!

Yesterday we had our anatomy scan and we got to find out the gender of little nugget!

I don't know why I was so anxious, I guess I get that way every time I have a check up of any kind.

I want to know everything is ok. That the baby is ok. That's literally all I care about. I start to feel ok after I see or hear proof (just call me Thomas, o ye of little faith!) And I start to doubt as the weeks creep by and there are still weeks to go until you get to check in again. But God is SO GOOD. As soon as the nurse pulled out the ultrasound wand (or whatever it's called) there baby was, all curled up in the fetal position--napping. And when the poking and prodding began you started to move around and the tech said "Well, it looks like you'll be using your girls name!" And just like that we knew what had been predetermined all along. WE'RE HAVING A DAUGHTER!

I really and truly would have been happy no matter what but those words were just so sweet. A girl! For whatever reason I always pictured myself a boy mom--not because I don't want a daughter just because I thought that's how it would be. But we're having a girl and we're so excited and thankful and just...relieved to know? We finally know something about our kid! I loved that she was sitting kind of indian style (like I do) and at one point rolled all the way over onto her face--looking like she was either throwing a fit or trying to escape the wand. (faceplant!) She seemed like she liked being curled up. I can relate!

Before our appointment, we went to Starbucks to sip coffee (I finally got one, I wanted the baby to up and dancing around so there would be no confusion about which gender) and hang out and talk. We ended up playing Checkers and having fun. I think we were both pretty anxious so the Checkers took our mind off of things.


I'll have tons more to write later...I'm so thankful and just trying to live in joy and enjoy this gift to the best of my ability.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Things I Want You to Know

They tell me to talk out loud to you. That you'll start to recognize my voice. I gotta admit, by myself I feel weird doing that. When I'm by myself it's almost like I shut down on the outside so I get to live solely on the inside (which is pretty much my favorite). A robot with a human heart. I think this voice (my writing voice) is often times much more my true voice than anything else. So for the moment, I'll use this voice to talk to you. Maybe one day you will read this. Maybe not. I hope if not you will still know these things I want to tell you because I will have told you. Or showed you by example. Or taught you. Or all of the above.


The things I want you to know are many. I'll simply begin. I could write volumes and there would be volumes more. Because basically I've waited my whole life to "talk" to you! That's a long time for thoughts to pile up. I'll just start with a few for now:) You're welcome, wink wink.

I want you to know that the pursuit of joy is far greater than the pursuit of happiness.

They are so close but so very different. You'll be able to find true joy when you're walking with God. The world is going to roll it's eyes and tell you we just get this one chance and that's it. That the idea of God is just a band aid to console the lesser minds and the weak. That if you open yourself up to enlightenment you won't need God, because you are one. You aren't. But you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You have a purpose, you are one of a kind, and you are important. Your view point and set of skills and talents will bring to the table something very necessary but the world will try to tell you it isn't. You aren't enough. You're less. Don't believe the lies and remember to pursue joy. Because you can have joy in the midst of sorrow. You can have joy in the midst of things not going your way. You can have joy whether or not you're the best. If there's anything the long journey it has taken us to get to you has taught it's been that pain and hardship can refine you to see with clearer eyes and a more compassionate heart which truly transforms the world around to a more beautiful place.  Because your eyes are open to it. Seasons. Friendships. Laughter. Animals. Learning. Music. Books. Literally thousands of other things! Joy is found in the smallest of moments, not only the shiny big momentous ones. So if you look there will be so much of it for you to find. I can't wait to see what kind of things give you joy.


I want you to know that doing your best is better than being the best. 

At the risk of sounding like an after school special, I do want you to know about doing your best. It is a competitive world and if you get caught up in being the best (really there are so many things we humans find to compete with each other about! You'll find out about this) If you worry about being the best you will never find peace. Resting in the knowledge that you've done your absolute best is the BEST feeling, haha. You won't have to wonder "what if" or "if only". Sometimes doing your best looks like different things; sometimes doing your best is getting on your knees and praying. Sometimes doing your best is exerting yourself physically.  Sometimes doing your best is knowing you can try again and learn from a mistake rather than going to pieces. Sometimes doing your best is to simply be prepared. Sometimes doing your best is having the wisdom to know which battles to fight and which to walk away from. Sometimes it's all of this! When you jump off the performance treadmill (aka others and society's expectations of you) you will find freedom. And it will give you more energy to do your best rather than putting everything into being perfect.


I want you to know it's ok to have both roots and wings. 

Oh you don't even KNOW how happy and excited we are to finally have you in our arms and home. It's like Christmas to the one millionth degree! We're going to enjoy the heck out of you!  We want you to always feel loved and valued in this family. But we also want you to have the confidence to go into the world and do what you're supposed to be doing. To open yourself to your own life experiences with us cheering you on all the way. I want you to know that no matter where you go there will be this invisible but unbreakable string that ties us together. It's permanent. We are inextricably linked.  But the string is as long or as short as it needs to be at any given moment.  I want you to know I'll do my best to equip you rather than make your decisions for you. I want you to know I will truly give it my all because I'm so blessed to be your mother. 


And for some shorter but still important tidbits;

-I want you to know it's ok if we don't share the same tastes in music or movies but let's be cool about giving each other's "stuff" a chance. Deal? Just say you'll like the Beatles! I mean this is more for when you're older but still. Also tennis. It would be cool if you at least tolerated it. No pressure.

-I want you to know that we might not be rich but we're going to have fun. You're gonna find out soon enough I like to make things fun.

-I want you to know that we really really can't wait to see what your personality is like! You're going to be just what we needed.

-I want you to know that we'll do our best to adapt our parenting to your needs. We'll try not to make you feel like a square peg.

-I want you to know that we love you an amazing amount but God loves you more. And I pray you will love Him too.

-I want you to know we won't be perfect. There will be things you will resent us for probably but then you can just over correct that when you become a parent. It's called the circle of life!

There's so much more that I want you to know. This seems good for the moment.