Friday, January 31, 2014

Not forgetting how this all started

I just made reservations for Valentine's Day. This will make exactly a year since Jay and I have been out together, alone! No kids! Really a year, I am not shitting you on this. Last year on Valentines Day I was prego. Which meant no sushi or alcohol. This year I am indulging!

You probably are wondering how it has been a year. Some would say it is crazy, maybe a bit unhealthy. They say to be sure to do dates and spend alone time together especially after having children. Yes, we probably should do it more. My kids are small though. I love being around them, I want them around! It's not that we don't go do things or go out to eat, we do, but usually with kids in tow. We don't have a baby sitter and the only place I leave my kids is with my parents. I don't like leaving them. Every second I am away from them all I do is think about them. If just for a short time, I miss them terribly.

Let's  not also forget it takes money to go out. We are raising two boys, money is not growing on trees these days. 

I look at it that years will go by, they won't be little. Some day they are not going to want to hang out with mommy. There will be football, dates, parties and all these other things mommy will no longer get to be a part of. I don't want to miss moments with them. I want to be a part of creating moments with my children. To make memories that I will be able to look back on when I am sitting with their father on a porch some day, drinking a beer and laughing over this or that.
Maternity Photo While Pregnant with Wes. Taken by the amazing Wild Clover Photography.
It was him and I before them. It will be us after they leave. We created this beautiful family together. These boys came from love.

It is easy to lose sight of this from time to time. Children, as we all know, change things. There are ups and downs. Good days and bad. I know it will take effort, love, patience and understanding to make this relationship not only last, but also grow.

I do my best to be a good partner and mother. The two do go hand in hand. It's a balance. Like sitting on a teeter totter and waiting for your feet to touch the ground. Hoping that one day we do still look at one another and feel the love we did when we created this family.

With this being said, I am excited for our date. Though I am sure most of our conversation will fall back to the boys, it will still be nice to sit there with one another. Just him & I.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Real Stuff

"Motherhood isn’t made up these perfect moments with sorted toys and perfect gourmet dinners that are shaped into cool shapes and all of this other stuff. Motherhood is a raw place of realizing that sometimes you don’t have any clue what you’re doing and yet you keep on doing". ~ Rachel Marie Martin ~ Finding Joy 

I just read these words and instantly fell in love with it's truth. I love Rachel's Blog and often find myself with tears down my face as I read what she writes. I wanted to share this and hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 

And why not share this photo! Look at those faces! They are the reasons I keep pretending to know what the hell I am doing and hoping that someday I will get it right.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Where is the damn owners manual?!

Before I was a parent I had all these pre-conceived notions on how I would parent. There were things I said I would do, then there were those things that I swore I would never do. You guys know what I mean, I am pretty sure a majority of you can get this one. Parenting does not come with an owners manual. One thing I have learned is to do what works for you. The second time around I feel is easier for me.  A piece of it is that I try not to put so many expectations on myself as a parent. There is no right or wrong in parenting. What works for one family may not work for another. And more importantly, what works for one child, may not work for the other.

Here is an example:

I was pretty hell bent when I had Chase that I would not co-sleep. I remember the first couple of weeks feeling so exhausted trying to get this new tiny creature to sleep in his co- sleeper. When that didn't work I tried the swing and the car seat. I was tired. Frustrated. What worked, sleeping on me! For the first couple of weeks Chase slept on my chest. If I allowed him to be on me, sleep would happen. Eventually Chase did take to the co-sleeper and graduated to a crib. But he always wanted to be close to me. I allowed Chase to start sleeping in bed with me. He would start out in his own space but eventually end up next to me. Here I was giving in to something I said I would never do as a parent. He is three now and does sleep in his own bed and room.

When Wesley arrived a short time ago I began co-sleeping with him right away. This time around I knew this was what was what I wanted to do with my child. I don't have a time limit of how long he will be next to me. For now this is what works for us.
This is what I go to sleep next to and what I wake up next to. I love watching him sleep or hearing him breathe. He snuggles closely next to me most nights. There are others I wake and he is sprawled out as if he owns the entire bed.I get kicked, smacked...I wouldn't change any of that.

Is it that I am giving in? This is my last baby. I don't look at it that way. I look at it that I have grown. That I continue to grow (I have alot more growing to do!) I am learning what works for me and what doesn't. I have forgiven myself for the mistakes I have made, the ones I continue to make. I don't know some days what is right. There are days I feel like I fail miserably. In a world with so much judging, I decided to stop judging myself so much. At the end of the day I just want to feel like I made the right decisions for my family and myself.

Every stage is in parenting is different. Right now I am learning to deal with the struggles of a toddler. Let's just say not every day is a happy one. I know there will continue to be ups and downs. There will be some stages that are easier than others. Yet I remind myself  how very fortunate I am to be on this journey. I wouldn't change any of it. I would repeat every sleepless night that I have had, and continue to have.

I titled this blog "Discovering Me In Them" because that is what I continue to do everyday.  They teach me, help me to discover, and together we grow. Sometimes I may stumble, flat out trip and fall on my face, but I get up and try again. Because at the end of the day, I have them!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Other Woman

The other woman, she is the one I confide in, lean on, vent to, and cry to. She understands me, feels what I feel and makes me feel like I am normal. Some days I feel absolutely crazy. I am not sure that I would want to be a fly on the wall some days and look at me. Okay, so really, I don't ever want to see some of these days. I know they can be ugly and there are days I become this person I never knew I could be. Ahh, thank you for this my child. Let's all be honest here. We love our children. We can't imagine life without them. They are the most incredible things we have ever done. Most days, we do a damn good job of being the best kick ass mom out there. Then there are those other days. You know the ones I am talking about, the ones where you end up crying, maybe even yelling. I always thought I was a patient person...then I had kids!

Then something wonderful happens. I hang out with that "other woman" The one who is just like me! The other mom! Yes her, the one you do play dates with. The woman you text or call when you feel like you have hit a wall. That one you watch and think "she has got it together". That lady, yes, she has those days too.

A lot of woman talk about losing friendships when they have children. How it changes with certain people, especially with those who don't have children. I like to look at this in a different way. I want to talk about the friendships that I have gained! I feel blessed to have become a mother around the same time some of my dearest friends have. I am fortunate that in becoming a mother, I have met some beautiful women that I am happy and fortunate to call my friends.

These friendships are sacred. It doesn't mean you have to see them everyday. There are times you may go days or months without seeing them. It's most important to just remember that at the end of the day, a particularly bad one, that she is there! So thank you my fellow mommy's! Remember that you are amazing, beautiful and strong!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Letting go of the Wheel

Saturday we just celebrated a milestone in my house. My first son's 3rd birthday. Another fun factoid is that it was also the day my second son turned 4 months. Both boys chose to be born on the 18th of their birth month. Both boys also chose the same way to come into this world. Maybe they wanted the excitement. A sign that they will be thrill seekers and I am indeed in trouble! Maybe they saw the "light" and said, hell no, I am not going "that" way! Both boys came via C-section.

When it was drawing near to have Chase I did what any new mother does. Think and wonder about labor.  I consider myself an open minded person and one who prepares herself for any scenario. Truth be told, I hadn't even thought my labor with Chase would end in an emergency C-section. It was a mess from the start really. I had to be induced with Chase after we had a non stress test and ultra sound revealing that their was no amniotic fluid. So I walked up to Labor & Delivery to get induced. Not how I had envisioned labor to start. I had started contracting before induction due to having my membranes stripped that morning. With a little help from my evil friend Pitocin, it was time to rock and roll. I will save you all the details in between for the next 17 hours. I will just tell you that Chase was not tolerating labor and finally I had to be wheeled away into the operating room to have my baby. Leaving behind his father and feeling terrified. Some short time later, at 10:48 am, Chase arrived. 5 days in the hospital and we finally got to go home.

For weeks I cried when sharing my birth story or even thinking about it. I felt like I was robbed. There was a vision in my head of how my baby would enter the world and C-section was not part of that. I would look at Chase and it seemed surreal that he was here. He was taken from me, I hadn't given birth to him. I did feel connected to him, I had for all the months he grew within me. I just was heart broken that my labor ended the way it did. Yes, I had a beautiful and healthy baby. Yet I still needed to grieve.

Part of what helped heal me is knowing that because it was my baby that wouldn't tolerate labor and not a health issue with me, that when we decided to have a second baby I could in fact have my baby VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean).

When I found out I was pregnant with Wesley I became passionate about having a VBAC. I wanted so badly to have a vaginal birth. I was under the care of wonderful doctors who were very Pro VBAC and felt that I would be able to do this. After having a C-section for my first I had prepared myself that some things are out of your hands. That sometimes you have to "let go of the wheel".

I started having contractions with Wesley on a Monday. They came on and off then finally on a Tuesday morning we were off to the hospital. Once there I was told that though I was contracting close together, that my body wasn't making any progress. So back home I went. I felt discouraged. My contractions ended up slowing down to half an hour apart. They remained this way through the night. I had already had an appointment set up for an ultrasound to check on baby if I hadn't had the baby yet. Ultrasound revealed that baby was OP, or what they like to call "Sunny side up". I was given the option right there to plan to go to C-section, or we could have my membranes stripped and attempt to go forward to deliver this baby. I felt I needed to try to have this baby VBAC. I wasn't ready to give up. I didn't want to feel like I had been defeated. My membrane's were stripped and home I went to labor all afternoon. That evening we went back to the hospital. My body still had not made much progress and there was talk of a morphine induced sleep so we could push along the next day. But Wesley, much like his brother, had other plans. Soon I felt like it was 3 years earlier. Nurses were rushing in. Catheters being placed, blood drawn, signing for C-section "just in case" and here I was having to let go of that wheel again. Wesley's heart rate had dropped and I was told  they would keep an eye on it, that he would probably be OK, yet they weren't sure why it had dropped. Not even a half hour later the same circus in the delivery room began and I was being wheeled away, once again, from my partner to have this baby.

Wesley was born on a beautiful sunset sky. I remember that sky as I was being wheeled back into my room after the C-section. It was bright with pinks and purples. It was the same sky that would hold the full moon that would light the sky that night. The night of my second son's BIRTH day.

I have to admit I have not visited the fact I had another C-section. I know I will have to. I know that I need to. Some things in life are out of our control. We have to decide what we want to do with that. How to react, how to heal. I am beyond grateful for my two boys, They are healthy and beautiful. Those are the most important things, I do know this. But my heart still aches, a sting that will most likely always be there in some way. I am a person who wants to feel I have control, to be the one to make my own choices and not having control of both my boys birth story's is bittersweet. I am thankful though for I have a full heart. A home filled with noise, messes, love and laughter. I have my boys, I don't need anything else.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Learning to Love Body after Baby

I recently took part in a series by  Burlington VT Moms Blog called Body After Babies, "Redefining Beauty". I was happy to be a part of this and for me it was a celebration of my body and the amazing thing that it did, grow my children!

After Chase I gained a lot of weight. I was at the heaviest I had been. My skin was squishy, I had cellulite now in areas I wasn't fond of. For awhile I didn't notice it. I was too busy enjoying my first born. I also fell into the myth that if you are nursing you will also loose weight. I wasn't fortunate to be one of those women who could indulge a bit here and there and get away with it. I actually lost all the baby weight initially, then put on more. When Chase was around a year I looked in the mirror and knew I had to do something about my new body.

I started with watching my portion sizes and limiting the not so clean stuff that was going into me. I began to lose weight pretty quickly just practicing a few good habits. I also used My Fitness Pal to help track what I was eating. After a couple months I worked in exercising. I did some at home work out video's, walking, and started a bit of running. It took about 6 months but I dropped 30 pounds. It wasn't easy. Nor was or is it easy to maintain. I continue to try my best to eat well and exercise. Don't get me wrong, I sure do indulge! For me I needed to have a cheat day. I love food. I enjoy a drink or two (okay so maybe more than two sometimes). Fridays are my indulge day. We usually order out and I try to get something sweet from the bakery as well.  Saturdays I try to follow my normal weekday eating, but also am sure I have some dessert. I need these moments of indulgent. And hell, I sure deserve them! That's my balance. It has worked well for me and I have been doing this for 2 years.

When I got pregnant with my second son I did worry about all the work I put in. How that would change my body I worked hard at achieving. I stuck to my diet the best I could and continued to be active. This time around it has been easier to lose the weight and I feel better about myself. There are still area's that I want to work on. There will always be those. I am not perfect and I never will be. I am okay with this.

Having babies changes your body. After two children I know that my body has taken on a different form, so to say. I have a scar from having both boys by c- section. That is something that will always be there. I look at my boys and know that every change is worth it. I think it is important for women to be proud and not ashamed. Look at yourself and your new body and embrace it! If you aren't happy then work for what you want. Change does not happen overnight, have patience! I believe you can always have what you want, if you believe you can!

Monday, January 13, 2014

"A mother is something absoultely new"

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” - Rajneesh

I just came across this quote and thought it fit perfect for me and this bog. I think many of us can relate to this. That's the beauty of it, that we as women can come together on being mothers. We need to be there for one another: to love, support, give guidance, and mostly, to just listen! It may be each woman's own journey, but one should never feel she is in it alone. As beautiful as it is, some days it is tough stuff! We need one another! Remember this mama's.

Happy Monday! More to come later when I don't have a toddler requesting me and a baby stirring from his sleep!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Chapter 1: The Beginning of this Blog

 As long as I can remember I wanted to be a mom. It is probably one of the only things I have ever been certain of. The longing for it came early on. Some people just know. Others discover. In my early twenties I was too busy "playing". As my late twenties came I began to wonder if I would meet the right partner to have children with. I even was contemplating that some day I may have to have a donor so I would be able to have a child. It wasn't just having a child either. I had the strong desire to be pregnant. I have always felt that being able to grow and carry a baby inside you is one of the most incredible gifts. Two children later and I am still in awe of this.

I was in denial the first time I was pregnant. My first son, Chase, was not planned. I put off taking a test. I figured I was just late. I was enjoying my time with his father. We hadn't been together long and we were at that stage where we were indulging in the blissfulness of a new relationship. After being considerably late and a girlfriend of mine suggesting that I was indeed pregnant, I took a test. It was a Sunday afternoon when I found out I was pregnant. Life as we knew it would never be the same. Chase came crashing into our lives on the morning of January 18th, 2011.

My second son was planned. I wanted him so badly. The second time around we decided not to find out the sex. I always knew it was a boy though. There was this strong feeling. A connection of sorts you could say. I still feel this when I look at him. On a September 18th, 2013, during a beautiful sunset sky and the night of a full moon, Wesley arrived.

I love them with every inch of me. I feel blessed to have them. Watching them grow, especially Chase these days, I have discovered so much about myself. They complete me. Now I sit back and can see myself within them. They teach me. I continue to learn and grow. I am finding out more about myself each day I am with them. I am "discovering me in them"...