Wednesday, January 30, 2013

May I introduce you to...

Isla Sparrow

My littlest finally arrived. And how silly I feel when I look back at my last post the night before I went in to have her. I was overcome by so many conflicting and dramatic emotions and thoughts that I turned into a really unpleasant person. Part of me regrets posting that whining, scared little baby post about being sad, scared, angry and in love
(all at once). 
But then I remind myself why I decided to push myself over the edge and click "Publish" that night. It's the reason I've mentioned many times - I need to see more realness and honesty in motherhood. And my sharing those unsanitized and half way thought through emotions are my best way at attempting that.

*I need to take a moment to note that I have been working on this post for 4 days now, 20 days late. Not because I want to make it something perfected (perfected, HA, I can't make complete sentences lately, let alone a well put together blog post) but because I have a newborn and a toddler. Which means the amount of time I have to myself is chiseled down to a couple of hours a day. And those hours are spent taking a shower and laying on an unmade bed wondering how the heck I'm going to manage to get laundry caught up with a perpetually peeing toddler and a newborn that spits up like a sprinkler.

My littlest baby was born January 3, 2013 at 4:59pm. And would you believe that my labor and delivery lasted about 7-8 hours? That's almost 20 hours less than last time.

Thank. God.
I mean literally, seriously. Thank God. I prayed so many prayers for that. I had many people telling me they were doing the same and it was answered. After Isla was delivered and held long enough for the realization that I'M ACTUALLY HOLDING HER to kick in, I remember asking several nurses, "Is that how it's supposed to go?? Is it supposed to be that easy??"

Now I'm teetering on the verge of pissing off a lot of other moms. I'm only dwelling on this because my first was anything but. However, before we were released from the hospital there was a short time where everything became uncertain and scary. But right now I'll retell the anticipated and predictable.

 I went in to be induced that morning partly feeling like I was going to the airport for an early morning vacation and partly feeling like I was going in for an appointment to have some teeth voluntarily removed. We had breakfast, arrived at the hospital making jokes about the hospital gown's boob pocket and posed for last opportunity belly pictures.

Like this...

and this. You know, per usual.

About an hour and a half later I was induced and promptly started walking the halls like a mental patient. Weed whacker hair and all. (I was so confused at how I got my hair into a ponytail and managed to make it look that terrible).

After a while it was harder to walk and talk so we headed back to the room where I thought I would rest until I took up walking again. The contractions started coming much more intensely and frequently, unlike my last experience with Bella, so it was unexpected. I ended up getting an epidural shortly after getting back to the room and the epidural wasn't nearly as unpleasant as it was the last time. (Last time when the guy put in the epidural he did something wrong because a shock went down my back and left me with an icy feeling.
'Fantastic. Now I'm paralyzed.'
Luckily I wasn't, but it was still pretty effing scary.) The epidural this time was magical. Sent from the Lord.

I have to take at least a paragraph to pay HUGE props to our nurse, Becky. She was absolutely perfect. She was so sweet, so sincere and so personable. We laughed about everything every time she came into the room and made me feel like she was a family member there to help me get a baby out. I love Becky.

On that note, I also have to build a statue to my doctor, Dr. Samantha Durland.
She. Is. Freaking. Amazing. She is the best doctor I've ever known and such a wonderful person. When she left the room after congratulating me on a successful delivery and beautiful baby I teared up realizing I wouldn't be seeing her again (not nearly as often, at least.) And I promise it wasn't (just) hormones. Every time after seeing her I left feeling so good about myself, my pregnancy and my ability to do anything. I could really take this too far, if I haven't already, but I loved her. I will truly miss seeing her regularly and am so immensely thankful to her.

Those two together on my team were phenomenal.

Before this turns into a love letter, I'll quickly summarize the last bit of Isla's arrival. Several hours went by after the epidural and eventually the time came when Becky told me it was time to practice pushing. She helped pull my leg back to my chest and quickly said, "Oh. Nevermind. I'll go get Dr. Durland". I waited for something more because I didn't know what that meant. I must have asked because she said, "She's right there and we need to start pushing!" Hooooly crap.

Dr Durland came in with her usual ball of righteous energy and in a few pushes handed me Isla, eyes scrunched shut and limbs spread out grasping for anything familiar.

My very first thought when I saw her was, 'Oh my goodness, it's Bella!'. They looked identical in their first couple of weeks in the world, especially in those first days.

Bella on the left. Isla on the right.

Isla is a remarkable little baby. She's so content; only cries when something is needed. She loves to meet your gaze and take everything in. She will look into my eyes and study my face for as long as I can look into hers. The things we could be saying to each other are endless and beautiful.

When she's awake she's so alert. After they put the medication on her eyes she spent the next couple of hours awake taking everything in.

The nurse said it looked like she's been here before, the way she looks at everything. And I've lost track of how many times people have commented on how alert she is. Her eyes are so deep and so blue - the kind of pools of depth you feel you can see dreams in. Ok, I am her mother so that happens to me. But for real. She's a special little lady.

'We have another little baby on the way also. Little Isla Sparrow, who I can only imagine to know. Getting to know Bella has made me realize how complicated these little people are. They're brand new to the world as a blank canvas that we have no business marring with our own brushes. My Isla Sparrow - who will you be?'

Our short and easy trip through the labor and delivery wing at the hospital had an unexpected bump when the pediatrician came to our room with the words, "Well, a lot has happened in the past hour..." making us aware of some concerns she had with our new baby.

This isn't at all to be dramatic, I promise, but I'm making the next part of Isla's story a separate post so that I don't feel like this is so terribly lengthy. I need to get to bed at a decent hour tonight and before I do that, I need to kiss my baby girls one more time. My babies. I'm in the place in my life that I pretended to be in as a child.
I'm overflowing pride, gratefulness and love and wish I could share it adequately. A blog post will have to do.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pinteresting: DIY Lavender Sea Salt Scrub

I'm very anxious to start working on getting back to a place where I'm comfortable with my body after having a baby. I had read an article (pinned somewhere on one of my boards) that sea salt scrubs can help tighten loose skin after weight loss (or having babies). So I looked into making my own!

I used this recipe for a Lavender Sea Salt Scrub
lavender sea salt scrub diy

I've only used it twice so, obviously, I haven't seen any real change in my appearance but it smells and feels wonderful. It cost me about $15 to make and would serve as great gifts. (The site even has labels you can use if you give them as gifts!) Even if this doesn't magically fix my belly it makes me feel like I'm taking another extra minute to pamper myself and that's well worth it.

My DIY beauty attempts have typically failed and left me out about $10 - $20. So it was a relief that this wasn't another Pinterest fail!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pinteresting: Pancake Bites

Ok, Ok. I have to confess that this recipe didn't come from I don't think it really qualifies as "Pinteresting". But I'll remedy that by pinning this...and I did find it online so that counts for something...

Anyway, I'm a sucker for different variations of pancakes. Especially when it's easy. These Pancake Bites were just that. They took about 20-25 minutes and Bella was able to help (which is one of her favorite things to do).

Pancake Bites
 Mix up pancake mix
Pour into muffin tins
Add whatever you want to it - sausage, chocolate chips, fruit, etc.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 - 14 minutes 

Ta da!

Pinteresting: Tea Dyeing Onesies

I had a lot of white onesies I wasn't sure what to do with. I decided pretty quickly that I wanted to decorate some of my own (thanks to so many ideas on Pinterest) but when I saw the idea to use tea to dye white clothing, I thought the potential for the white onesies broadened.

I realize now how often Bella is not clothed.

After they dried we got to decorate them!

The onesie on the right I told Bella she could decorate however she wanted to for baby sister. She did this much and said she was done - I can appreciate the minimal...ism. :)

This is as far as we got because it was then time for bed and I spent the evening cleaning and getting things in order because, ya know, I was having a baby the next day. I almost always expereince intense creativity blocks and reached it fairly quickly with these - in this case because I had almost too much to work with. That being said though, I am looking forward to finishing these. Hopefully with the help of big sister who doesn't normally have the attention span to work too long on crafts (note onesie mentioned above :) ).

Here is the link if you're interested in trying this!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pinteresting: Pumpkin Cookies

Well, look at me. Day 1 into the year and into my Pinteresting challenge and I actually did something.

The Recipe
These turned out really good. I thought they tasted like pumpkin bread though a little sweeter. I would like to make it again with different canned pumpkin. I used WalMart brand's and feel like it would have been a little better with better quality pumpkin. (Sorry WalMart. You know how it is.)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Shutting down.

"Don't you go anywhere."
I'm laying in bed while Palmer plays with Bella downstairs. I had spent about 15 minutes scrolling through my FB app without reading anything - just swirling convoluted and intoxicating thoughts, worries and fears around in my head.
"Don't you go anywhere on me," he says again.
I'm laying in bed so this is making no sense. 
"You can't shut me out. You can lay down but please don't shut me out again."
Immediately I'm scolding the tears building up behind my eyes. I'm shutting down, which is what I do when I don't know how to handle something or when things are getting a little too dark; I bring it inward. That Palmer recognized that before I really did is not only proof of the man he's become over the past years and how well our relationship has learned to function but also a reminder of the dangers of my habits.

And this is where I'm ridiculous. I can write again why I started this blog but it's all on the right hand corner under the picture. I needed a place to be honest and to share my honesty with other people, especially mothers, who may (and probably) struggle with the same things I do. 
However, I didn't intend for this to be a brooding or fluffy blog about how much I love my kids or about how sad I am that they poop all over me without apologizing. I just meant it to be me in words and pictures. So posting about our Christmas advent activities was fun. Posting recipes is easy. Sharing my little at home preschool adventures makes me feel good. But when it's time for me to sit down and type something brutally honest that likely reflects really poorly on me as a parent, I sit for days in front of Netflix avoiding my computer. 
Remember that time I started a blog intending to make myself vulnerable by posting my raw thoughts and feelings for a minute? That was funny. 

But it's time. I am over 10 months pregnant and might I add, that is not the 9 months that everyone's always sold you into. I go in tomorrow to be induced and I am dazed by my conflicting emotions. 

There is actually an end in sight. I can actually make plans for when I'm not pregnant, which I don't remember now what it's like to not be pregnant. (I'm kind of joking.) But we've been through these steep ups and downs with thinking the end was in sight that it's hard to believe it really is happening. It's hard to be happy. 

 I go from being elated at this thought to scared so blindly that I can't function. I had a rather traumatizing labor and delivery with Bella (what L&D isn't terribly traumatizing...a person tore through your vagina or was ripped out of your stomach...that's effing dramatic). But my labor was drawn out 26 hours, involved little pain medications, restrictive bed rest the entire time, lots of stitches in places that shouldn't be stitched and then an emergency life flight to Children's Mercy hospital where I was told my newborn may have a condition .1% of babies can get. She didn't - thank God. The morning my water broke through the first couple of weeks we actually had her safe at home are literally like a bad dream I luckily don't remember much of. 

So as the (miserably pregnant) days have drawn on and on, I find myself less prepared and excited and much more terrified and almost resentful. That's a word I've been very scared of saying because how big of a baby am I? And how terrible of an expectant mother am I to be pouting at being overdue? But I am. I go from being joyous at the anticipation of holding her in my arms to numb to the idea of the entire thing. I go from crying at pictures of newborns to laying in bed wondering if I've ruined the great balance and life we have. I go from thinking about the entire labor process feeling empowered to sitting in tears in the middle of the night scared to death of what I've gotten myself into
The last several weeks have left me with a lot of time to dwell on all of the things that can go wrong. And to make plans accordingly for all of those horrible "What ifs". This unexpected extra time has left me in more of the guilt of being an incapable mom to Bella as the times I say, 'Mommy can't do this' and 'I'm sorry sweety, pretty soon I can do that again' are more and more frequent. And then another round of my fear that I've made a horrible mistake in thinking that  I can be the kind of mom I want to be to TWO children. These days being confined and waiting have left me more and more terrified that the dark and scary weight of depression will revisit, too. The kind of darkness a good mom would never experience.

I keep mostly grounded in remembering that most of what I'm thinking and feeling are a waste of energy and time...but that only pacifies them for so long. 

Today I wanted to plan a final day of play for Bella and I. I was going to take her to Laugh Out Loud (a local indoor play area), we would have lunch with daddy, make a couple of projects together including decorating some onesies for baby and finish the day with daddy joining us in more fun. We made it to LOL and when it was time to leave we had a meltdown. It was one of those really embarrassing parent moments where your child is acting like a little snot literally in front of a circle of spectating parents and my giant Beluga whale pregnant self couldn't control the situation. We made it to the car, luckily held off tears from both parties until later, but it was really hard to keep this moment from solidifying all of my fears of failure.

I feel like now I'm just droning on about the same things. What I haven't said enough about is the other half of the time I just can't wait for sweet baby girl to be here. When Bella lighting up when we talk about baby breaks my heart. When I excitedly announce to whoever is around how old baby will be this time next year and I already have a hard time imagining her not being around. How much I love feeling how spirited she is and she's not even born yet. How it brings me to tears that Bella kissed my baby belly for the last time tonight. 

See what I mean? These thoughts and emotions make a person crazy. 

And for all of that I do apologize for this post. It's honest and ranty and all over the place, which is what it's supposed to be but I was hoping for something at least slightly well written also.

So at this point, I'm going to keep my mind busy with Netflix and wait for my Tylenol PM to kick in. The next time I write anything in this, I'll have had the baby. Awesome.

If for some reason you do read this before any kind of announcement that we've had her safely, please pray for us.