Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
My blog is named after my favorite book, Traveling Mercies by Ann Lamott. The book is about the author's journey to becoming a Christian and all the people who walked along side her. Those quiet moments where God speaks to us, whether it's about helping our kid to take more naps or way bigger things like making a life change or forgiving someone who has hurt us are traveling mercies. It can also be a kind word from a friend, a warm drink that takes the chill away or a small kindness from a stranger, but it's those moments where you feel God's presence in big and small ways.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Sometimes being a mother is really hard. It's hard to balance taking care of someone else with the rest of life's responsibilities. Don't get me wrong, it's the best thing I've ever done and I wouldn't trade a single second, but sometimes...life just seems out of balance.
And...now it's 1:48pm and I still haven't finished this post. The baby is finally napping. Why are 8 week olds such little tyrants? Jack refuses to nap in his crib. He will sleep there all night long, but try and put him down during the day and he completely freaks out. He is now swaddled and sleeping in his swing.
I think I might attempt a shower.
On the horizon are big decisions about working. I have an offer on the table for a part-time position but it means finding some kind of childcare for the baby. I've looked at a few places but haven't found anything I feel comfortable with. On days like today, I'm itching to spend a few hours away from the house, doing something for myself.
I think the truth is, I'm nervous. Nervous to add another responsibility to an already full plate. So, we will see what the new year brings. Hopefully a better attitude on my part and a baby who is a little more willing to sleep!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Please notice he is wearing John Deere cowboy boots!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Back in October I had the opportunity to write a post about my thoughts on fitness and health post partum for a new web site called Bodies in Motivation. My post was published this week (scroll down, it's the second post) and it got me thinking about my goals and it made be do a bit of a gut-check (did you catch the alliteration?).
Yesterday was exactly six weeks post-partum. On some accounts I have done very well. My most favorite pair of jeans became wearable this week and the scale says I have about ten pounds still to lose, from the 35 I was facing on the day of delivery. But it's more than just the number on the scale, to me it's a good time to check in on how I'm doing as a woman, a wife and a friend.
Let's do a bit of a comparison...me at 40 weeks:
It really is amazing the body's ability to heal and transform. Just as it blew me away to watch my body grow and deliver a child, I have been almost equally amazed as it has transformed yet again into another version of myself.
I think as women we need to embrace our bodies and be proud of their capabilities. We have the tremendous gift to create and nourish children that no amount of squishy tummies or jiggly thighs should take away from that awesome accomplishment.
Not to say I don't almost daily give into what the world says I should look like. I have shed a few tears over my silver stretch marks and looked discouragingly into my closet at all the clothes that still don't fit. But, I have to remind myself that it's health that's important not a number on the scale.
I'm documenting my transformation...the physical and the emotional. Because I am committed to health -- physically, emotionally and spiritually for myself and my family. I don't think I can mother effectively nor be the woman I know God wants me to be if I don't take seriously all the pieces that make up my life. I know that the healthier I am, the happier and healthier my family will be.
This is sort of a disjointed post, but I am realizing each day that to be an effective mother, one who is calm and joyful and energetic, I have to pay attention to myself as well.
Anyway...just scroll down the my little elf...
Monday, December 1, 2008
Cost of Jackson's future therapy after Mommy loses it after said ticket was purchased -- too much to put a number to.
Cost of multiple trips to Starbucks to refuel because 5-week-old baby decides sleep is for the weak -- $12
Cost of frantic trip to Target to stock up on travel size everything -- $32
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I feel a little melancholy when I think that a month has already gone by with my boy. Where did the time go? On one hand I am eager for him to grow up, get to the next stage...and then all of a sudden I am hit with a pang of sadness that it's all going to fast. He's growing and changing so much every day and there isn't enough hours in the day to soak it all in.
Don't get me wrong, there are moments (okay hours) that I want to pull my hair out. There have been ugly moments when I am so frustrated with his crying, the endless hours on the couch nursing, and feeling all around inept at this job I have in front of me, that I have said and done some things I'm not proud of.
And then I take a deep breath, and in the blink of an eye, my son is cooing and smiling at me. He willingly hangs out in his bouncy seat while I take a long shower or he falls asleep on my chest and I am overwhelmed at my love for him.
As usual my words fall short. But, this is such an incredible gift and I have never felt so vulnerable in my life. Never before have minutes and hours been so important. Because, every time I look up, they have passed by and I don't want to miss a thing.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
To find the perfect Christmas tree! And thankfully we had spotted this beauty over the summer and actually remembered where to find it!
Unfortunately, Aaron's behind got a little chilly in the process.
Can you tell how big the tree is? I think we are going to have to cut off a few feet!
Friday, November 21, 2008
I'm sure tonight he will wake up every two hours to eat, but last night was awesome, and I feel like you have to celebrate every little milestone. Yesterday marked four weeks with our boy and in some ways I can't believe I've been a mother that long and in other ways I feel like I've been doing this forever...not just four weeks.
Jackson is starting to wear 0-3 month or 3 month clothes and I sadly packed up a few of his newborn clothes this week. His favorite activities continue to be nursing, sleeping. pooping, sitting in his bouncy seat and baths. He has also decided he likes to go for walks in the bob stroller and lay on his baby play mat.
I'm forced to start really thinking about when my maternity leave ends and what I am going to do. I can't imagine leaving Jackson for 8 plus hours a day, but I feel weird about giving up my career all together. In my perfect world I would just do freelance work and that might be an option but it would have to be consistent which isn't really the definition of freelance. My other option is to negotiate to go back to my current job part time or fin a part-time job elsewhere. Unfortunately, public relations and marketing jobs don't really exist in part-time status that often.
It will be interesting to see how this all pans out because at this point I can't even predict.
Here are a few pictures of Jackson's favorite things...
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
- First full week of stay-at-home mommying under my belt and overall it was awesome. We had one pretty hard day last week but other than that, it's been a lot of fun. I just need to figure out when I can clean my house, because that needs to happen at some point.
- We took Jackson to Spokane over the weekend and had our first overnight! He was a dream in the car and it was super fun to introduce him to our family.
- I nursed the baby in an Arby's parking lot in Moses Lake, nothing says being a mom like whipping out your boob in a fast food parking lot.
- I can button a few pairs of my jeans, but I have a long ways to go. I'm looking forward to two weeks from now when I have the clearance to work out, but it's another thing to add to my day when the days already fly by.
- Jackson loves his bath! In an attempt to start building a routine, we give him a bath every night. It seems to calm him if he's fussy and sort of help him wind down to go to sleep.
- We've had a few nights of five hour sleep stretches but we went a bit backwards last night..oh well.
More to come I'm sure...when my brain works a little better.
Monday, November 10, 2008
We ran out for a cup of coffee, nursed and snuggled some more, went for a walk, Daddy came home for lunch which meant a leisurely shower and combed hair for me and then we has some lunch ourselves, a bit more nursing and a long visit with one of my girlfriends. Jackson actually slept in his car seat for another hour when we got home so Aaron and I were able to have dinner together. Now, Daddy is burping the baby and I snuck upstairs for a little blogging time. (I actually need to be doing some freelance work...but I'll get to that...)
I am recognizing more and more that if I keep my boy full, he does significantly less crying. Sometimes he wants to eat every hour or hour and a half and other times he gives me a three or hour hour break, but if I don't feed him when he makes his hunger known, then watch out.
I was nervous that today would stretch out endlessly, but we had a really good day. It always helps my attitude when the sun is shining, and today was one of those perfect fall days. I am making the transition into 'mother' in fits and starts. I stumble and fall, get frustrated and then have a shining moment where he is happy and content and my heart feels like it could burst with pride and love.
As usual, my words fall short in expressing the state of my heart and mind.
Today was a good day.
I'm looking forward to so many more good days...
Saturday, November 8, 2008
My happy boy hanging out in his bouncy seat. Mama likes it when he sits in his chair.Proof that the kid knows how to scream. This was mid diaper change yesterday.
Monday, October 27, 2008
It's the most incredible thing I've ever done.
I've never felt more powerful, as if my body could do anything.
I feel beautiful...like a queen.
When I woke up last Wednesday, I was excited but still silently questioning the induction, wondering if I could honestly say I knew it was the best choice for baby. Throughout the morning I noticed that I was having more and more contractions, finally paying enough attention to notice they were consistently between 10-15 minutes apart.
I went to breakfast with my girlfriend Libby and then headed to my friend Trisha's house to pass the time until Aaron could come home and hang out with me. I mentioned my contractions to Trish (who is a labor and delivery nurse and my 'douala') and we agreed that the contractions would hopefully dilate my cervix a little bit, making the induction that much easier.
Aaron came home a little early and we ran a few errands. I silently watched the clock, secretly getting a little excited that maybe...just maybe my body knew what to do. At about 4pm I laid down to take a power nap and 20 minutes later I sat straight up with a contraction that required walking around. We decided to go for a walk to see if we could get things to intensify, and that is exactly what happened. Over the next four hours the contractions went from 10-12 minutes apart to 4 to 6 minutes apart.
What is sort of funny about the whole situation is that I still didn't think I was in labor. I thought at the most it was pre-labor. The contractions were certainly painful but bearable but I had an expectation that it would instantly be awful, so I just didn't take it all that seriously.
We arrived at the hospital at 8pm on the dot, got checked in and were taken to our room. When the nurse came in I mentioned I thought maybe labor had started on some level. We laughed at how this kid probably takes more after me than we thought, procrastinating until the very last second. The nurse decided to check me and not only was I in active labor, but I was at a 5 and 80 percent effaced! I was elated and nearly started crying because I was so excited! No induction necessary!
Trisha had shown up by that point and the three of us high-fived and got serious about getting my labor to progress. I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but we honestly had fun. I don't know if it was because I had such awesome support or if I was just giddy over the fact that labor had started on it's own, but I was in the best mood despite the pain.
We hung out in the room on the birthing ball for a couple of hours, walked the halls and finally got in the jacuzzi tub. (I got in the tub, the two of them took turns holding my hand and cracking jokes). Around 1am, I was 7 centimeters dilated and the contractions had ramped up. They were harder to breathe through and they were starting to come on top of each other. Jackson was posterior, which is why I had such intense back labor. Aaron and Trisha took turns putting pressure on my hips which helped ease the pain somewhat.
I decided I was ready for the epidural. A half an hour later the anesthesiologist had come and gone and I was feeling much much better. Unfortunately, it didn't really take on my right side and a few hours later, I could really feel the contractions again and they had to come and re-bolster the medicine.
From there, they let me 'labor down' for several hours. Basically, once they broke my water at 10 centimeters, Jackson didn't like the contractions very much. His heart rate would dip during each contraction and we had a few scary moments on and off. At about 7:30am, we got serious about pushing. I've never worked so hard in my life. I thought I would be terrified, but instead I felt powerful and strong. Thirty minutes later, Jackson arrived. Unfortunately there was meconium in the amniotic fluid, so instead of being put directly on my chest, he went to a nicu nurse to be assessed and have his lungs cleared. It took him a minute to cry which was probably the scariest and longest minute I've lived through yet, but he was fine and moments later he was being laid on my chest.
I look at my child and feel in complete awe of God's goodness and faithfulness. I love this child with an intensity I didn't know possible and after just five days I know my life has changed forever because of his presence.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
I met with the doctor who will deliver Jackson today and I adored him. He was kind, encouraging and I felt like he really listened to me. Aaron had a million questions of his own and he patiently answered all those as well.
Unfortunately, I remain a tight 1 centimeter. No change in three weeks now. As much as it was initially disappointing to face the reality of being induced, I have rounded the corner and I'm honestly almost giddy about it. I have faced the reality that my body is going to take it's sweet time to go into labor and enough is enough. If it needs a little push in the right direction, I'm willing to do it. Also, it's sort of feeds my need to plan!
Tomorrow I'm going to clean up my house, organize some of my maternity clothes, do laundry and finish packing my hospital bag. On Wednesday Aaron is going to come home after lunch and keep me company which will help pass the time.
Yea for baby week! I can't believe in a few short days this is all going to be over and I'm going to be a mom. I am so excited.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
In an effort to induce labor I have tried the following:
- massage with pressure points
- evening primrose oil
- raspberry leaf tea
- spicy food
- praying (pleading is probably more accurate)
- begging...the baby, God, my body and Aaron to just do something already!
But, it has been in vain, because here I am one day past my due date and no baby in sight. I think one of the reasons this waiting game is so challenging is because my body is certainly "preparing" for labor, it's just not actually going into labor. I was reading the pre-labor symptoms in one of my baby books last night and basically I have every sign except consistent contractions that continue to ramp up. Oh well.
This is such an exercise in patience...
I had a small epiphany this afternoon, that this is just one more thing in my life that I can't control. I can't control when this baby is going to arrive, all I can do is wait patiently and have a good attitude while I wait. So much harder to do than say; I won't lie.
Here is one last frightening picture of myself, 40 full weeks. I can't believe that belly, there had better be a giant baby in there.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I visited with my girlfriend today who had her baby two weeks early! My induction day was her due date. This little thing is so cute and tiny (6 pounds 2 ounces) and I kept thinking...oh my gosh...my baby is bigger than this baby and still on the inside of my body.
Today I made chicken and rice casserole, a pot roast with all the fixings, berry sweet bread (in my new bread pan!) and pumpkin muffins with a cream cheese center.
I also swept all my floors, vacuumed anything with carpet, dusted the house, washed our bed sheets, bought my husband new shoes, worked on a bit of freelance work and went for a walk. If this isn't nesting...I don't what is.
And yet...I don't have baby. So, I'll keep waiting, and praying and trying really hard to be patient. I'm not very good at this waiting game.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Aaron and I indulged in some chai tea tonight. This has got to be one of the most unflattering photos of me, but for the good of the blog I decided it should be documented. Also...check out the girth. This is probably the last photo you will see of me until I am un-pregnant and had a few weeks to lose the gallon of water weight I'm carrying around along with baby Jackson.
This is the one legitimate activity I participated in today. Lots and lots of laundry. I am caught up and all I need to do is put away one last load.
Our family is taking bets on when this baby will arrive and most of their predictions are for this weekend. Let's hope they are right! Friday is getting closer and closer!