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Sunday, July 6, 2014

to remember.



The shreds of motherhood that elicit the most heart-warming feelings and smiles.  The ones that I know will fade, despite them being my favorites.

The way I can watch tiny baby parts move across my belly.  The minute I start to believe I haven't felt baby in a little while; I poke, baby moves.

The way princess songs have become the soundtrack to our lives.  I would estimate a modest 879 times a day that we hear these songs; sometimes in the car, but mostly just out of nowhere the tune is belted through their sweet little mouths.

This:

and the way that sleep comes in the summer: fast and heavy.  I'm also quite fond of the way Eisley requests to "tuggle" and Ruby requests to feel the baby before giving into the sleep.  It's unbelievably special that they still fit right beside me, and nestled in the middle is someone that is such a mystery, and yet so treasured.




days at the pool, which aren't exactly relaxing, despite their outward appearance.  Also, it's risky business asking a 3 and 5 year old to cover your back in sunscreen.  The two of them, however, look delightfully sun-kissed.  

The way time feels impossibly still and yet I don't have the energy or enough non-sick days to accomplish the things I wish.  It's a gentle reminder about how fleeting things are - I'm sick and tired because I'm growing life.  And that's something to smile about, despite the feelings that accompany it.


 this happens randomly and I eat it up.  Can't believe they are mine sometimes.

Thousands of questions.  Every single day.

The way Eisley begs for showers and baths multiple times a day, only to sit in there and be entertained by nothing other than princesses, foam sea creatures, and pouring cups of water back and forth.

The way ice cream and hot fudge punctuate summer days.  And the excitement right beside it.

The messages from friends that I get daily; things about motherhood, special people checking on me, and such a feeling of love.  

Motherhood is the hardest and sweetest thing that has ever happened to me. These moments are so swiftly flying by, it's hard to completely absorb them.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

summer, illustrated.


I don't ever want to forget the way her eyes sprung wider and the smile crept over her face as she felt her youngest sibling move for the first time.  It's surreal to imagine myself six years ago at this very time, when Jimmy was feeling her move for the first time. {June 17}

The notable sound of bare feet pad the sidewalk and then go missing before gleeful screams are heard from the pool.  It's our favorite place to be these days: poolside for me, with a good book.  Pool for them, with popsicles in hand.

They leave the familiar scent of summer behind on couches and pillows: sunshine laced with sunscreen.  Chalk footprints dance across the wood floors.

Life in the summer carries a simplicity that remains absent for the rest of the year.  The rush for school and scheduled events and life in general are replaced with the rush for the best sunshine hours and the walks to friends' houses.

Blogging has come behind the nausea and everything is had misplaced, but we have had a million noteworthy moments:

My baby graduated from preschool; kindergarten, here we come!








 We spent time in Missouri with some of our favorite people on the planet.  Many thanks to Grandma Lou for her years of wig wearing - they hardly came off the entire time we were there.










another moment for the baby book(s).








campfire stories


with Grandma at the house she grew up.  


 I'm sort of infatuated with you, summer.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

what not to say to a sick pregnant person: a PSA






The magic of the miracle that lies within pregnancy never wears off or grows dull.  Never.  Not with the throwing up, not with the stomach aches or the body aches, or the carpal tunnel that seems to accompany my pregnancies.

There is this sad belief that if truthful complaints are expressed, then that diminishes your gratefulness.  Let me be honest - I don't like incessant complaining.  I teach my kids that it's not a fun trait to be around, and really there is no point.  But pregnancy is no picnic, some people have it worse than others, and when people ask you how you are feeling, I am under the impression that they really want to know how you are actually feeling.

But in response, they have all the solutions.

Here's the thing:  I have never ever known sickness until this pregnancy.  It started at 4 weeks, it is still here at 20 weeks.  It is not the gentle symptom under the title of morning sickness.  It's a debilitating sickness that has left me in bed for so much of the last four months, it is actually almost unbelievable.  The tears that have come from inadequate feelings as a wife and a mom and the sheer imagery of having to do this for ___ more days.

I have had my fair share of comments that likely stem from genuine care, but are generally delivered in poor taste.

Here are some of my favorites. Take notes:


Have you tried saltines in the morning?

Saltines mixed with stomach acid first thing in the morning would be akin to eating cardboard and drinking a beer, knowing good and well it was all coming back up.  No thank you.  I'm putting ginger in this category too.  I wish a little ginger was the ticket to feeling better, but those precious little ginger lollipops are a joke in the face of persistent nausea.

It's all in your head; mind over matter.

If only I had worked some meditation and yoga into the hours I spent heaving over the toilet, I would have felt fine for these last many months.  If only I had known.

Right.

No it isn't mind over matter or the state of your mind.

Well, at least you aren't gaining weight!

I just can't even with this.  Would you ever say this to a person with bulimia?  The only time in your adult life you are supposed to be gaining pounds to ensure the baby you are carrying is receiving the nutrients and proper care.  It's already grouped in with the other inadequate feelings that lie in the very nature of being a mom.  Wondering if your baby is getting enough is a miserable feeling - I'd put on 60 pounds again rather than worry about that and feel this way.

You should be grateful.

Let me just be clear: the feelings about nausea/throwing up and the feelings about my growing child are completely separate.  I am thankful beyond what words can illustrate for this miracle.  I have lost a child - there is not a single second of this that I have ever taken for granted or wished away.  Wishing the vomiting away and counting down the days until I meet my child are in fact not discounting my gratitude.

Have you tried any medicine?

This almost doesn't deserve an answer, but the long and short story is: yes.  Medicine isn't a fix-all, in case that wasn't obvious.

It has to be over soon!

I heard this before first trimester was over, and just about every week since then.  Believe me, the hope is in my own head (SEE! Mind over matter.) and here we are.  So maybe it will be, and maybe it won't be, but the fact is: no one knows.  So that comment is just as frustrating as the ones crawling through my head.


You are welcome.

Sincerely,
Sick Pregnant Women Everywhere

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

hi, peanut.



If I haven't written enough evidence to persuade you into the belief that I am one hot mess when pregnant, well, then maybe I don't know what constitutes that sort of description in your book.

It takes a great amount of courage for me to get to twenty weeks, and then through my anatomy scan.  I don't know why I feel this way - sort of a combination of being robbed of pregnancy innocence and the whole  it's a small world vibe coming from the internet.  I know of too many horror stories that begin with that monumental ultrasound.

I have heard the song Oceans by Hillsong United an unfathomable amount of times this pregnancy.  I have told Jimmy and a few others that it seems to be a semi-subtle message about improving my faith.  Every single time I hear it, I stop and breathe.  It's reassuring and humbling.  We drove to our ultrasound appointment this morning, my stomach churning.  One could imagine the song that came on halfway through the drive.

Peace.



That precious little face is in there!  I have been so caught up in the nausea, it hardly seems like there is something so beautiful beyond.  That perfect button nose, and the hand that stayed near the face.  So unbelievably in love.  There is a new depth to this experience that I know well from the girls.  I can't fathom the miracle that lives within.

Tipping the scales at a whopping approximately 12 ounces - baby is measuring ahead by a handful of days, each little part of it formed perfectly with love.

I was the most tempted to surprise ourselves early with this little one - I held tight to the knowledge of what the end holds with the surprise on birth day.  I don't have any extraordinarily strong feelings one way or the other - and we truly don't care.  I can't wait to kiss that perfect nose and those tiny little fingers.

Ruby has been asking to make a chain to count down the days until peanut's arrival.  We finally did it today.  It's hard to explain such a concept to little people.

the countdown is on - as slow as life seems at the moment, I know those links are going to disappear in a way that will leave me compulsively checking to do lists at the end.

141 days.

So very thankful for the miracle of life.  Thankful for a God that is patient with me as I wade through scary territories.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

so, here I am, still sick.



I'm sitting here cautiously wondering if perhaps the people that work for the looney bin will be stopping in my driveway.  I'm sure my husband and children would happily hand me over, and I'm sure they drive a perfectly nice white van of questionable nature, but I'd rather stay here.

Bless the sweet soul of a nurse that took my phone call today.  I sunk beneath rock bottom - plummeted right through, actually.  Jimmy called me to ask about groceries and I burst into tears.  I have been in bed plagued with debilitating nausea for days, and evidently the grocery list was the last straw.

I have tried to fight this morning sickness for 15 weeks now (!!!) to no avail.  I have tried everything but prescription drugs.  It's a fine line to walk when you know they carry possible complications, but now that I feel completely overwhelmed with the inability to do things while the to do lists pile up, it's time to figure something out.

The mind-blowingest part of all of this?  I have gained ten pounds and look enormous.  I can feel baby quite a bit these days which is a huge blessing in this mess.

I think all of my sweet friends and family know the countdown to D-Day as well as I do.  Nearly halfway there.

For now, the mantra of my life shall be this.

Prayers for renewed strength and health would be so appreciated.

Because otherwise?  This precious babe, cute as it may be, will be starting life on this side with a grounding sentence for life.


(pictured at 18+ weeks - on a day that happened to be good.  I was probably unrecognizable to my family wearing real clothes and actual makeup.)

Monday, May 19, 2014

irrational thoughts of a preggo.



Let's just get this out of the way:  I despise the word preggo.  I'm carrying a child.  A life.  I am not a jar of pasta sauce.

May 13th - the first day since February that I have felt good.  Mark this down, because I actually wondered if I'd ever live to see the day.

--

No worries, it was a false alarm and I haven't felt anywhere close to that good since.  This kid in here?  Has mastered the prenatal shenanigans.  I think that means I'm owed a lifetime of cuteness and sweet as pie-ness.

You guys.  I am like reaching full-blown psycho level.  This laying in bed, the heaving, the inexplicable excuse for enough boobage for 18 people.  I can feeeeel my brain cell population depleting.  My exciting nights have become showers, Dancing with the Stars (obsessed!  Don't know where I have been for the last umpteen seasons), and ordering pretty fabric for my borderline-hoarder stash of fabric.  Just in case I ever decide to start sewing again.

Yesterday I flew into a mini hormonal rage and decided some smaller, fitter, unpregnant person that would actually wear my clothing should have them.  A goodwill trip is in my future.

My house is in a sad state of affairs.  Several weeks ago, Jimmy wore a proud grin and told me that he had dusted everything.  Bless his heart.  I didn't have the heart to tell him he should have already done that 13 times at this point.

But seriously.  I'm turning him into an amazing house wife.  The other day - the day I felt good (are you realizing how depressing that sounds?  THE DAY.  THE ONE.)  I went with my friend Erin to see a movie.  As I left, Jimmy and the girls were baking cupcakes.  First you should know, Jimmy has just recently started baking.  Second, this recipe they used called for self-rising flour, so he decided to make his own.

I get home, and the bumblebee cupcakes were swayback bumblebees.  Looked like they placed golfballs on the tops as they were fresh out of the oven.

So, he isn't a master baker yet.  But he is really good at bedtime routines, and keeping the house in some semblance of an order.  And I really am thankful.  It appears as if Eisley does really messy things only when Jimmy is out of the house.  Like that time she decided to do a paraffin dip in my tartlet warmer.

Me?  Well, I'll count growing a human as a talent.  And also, eating in bed. Laying down.  And I must get the award for the most random and disturbing stream of thoughts at 3 am.  I'm also really good at rootbeer floats, gaining weight while throwing up, and pregnancy brain.  Practically a professional, actually.
the good day.
(16 weeks)

--


163 days in case the rest of you are as desperate for the finish line as I am.

(and in the interest of full disclosure: I know the rewards are far greater than the complaints.  I am blessed to carry life again.  As a sweet (and hilarious) friend of mine told me: "when you can't wine, wine, wine, then whine is the next best thing."  I'm getting really good at it.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

happy mother's day.



I once read someone's innermost thoughts on social media - they were defending their choice to not have children, which I can respect.  The reason, however, is something that stuck with me for a very long time.  Children change your very identity.

I mean, sure if you count the princess soundtrack we all know by heart that plays in the car.  Or the way I know the best angles to set the chairs for stable forts and reading nooks.  Or maybe it's the way I scrutinize food labels for the things I'd like to keep out of their precious little bodies.

My heart did change the day I found out I was carrying life.  Its edges softened, its capacity grew, and my very soul gained a dimension I knew nothing about previously.  Life slowly transforms from being neat and compact to slightly dicey when your heart wanders outside your body.

Being a mom - something that sounds so simple.  It's what dreams are made of, right?  The title is so deceiving.  When you become a mom; the picture of mom transforms from matchy family portraits to a frazzled mom wearing yoga pants for the third day in a row while juggling an impossible number of things while the baby eats dog food for the 54th time that day.

The truth is, the hard is worth it.  Those fluttering lashes and soft cheeks that have the ability to ground you in an instant.  The way you wake up renewed with the morning sun, ready to juggle it all over again.  The way you strive for the best like you never have before.  It's invigorating - the rewards, the challenges, the way my children love me no matter what.

To the moms out there - to you, you, you, and you - you are doing an amazing job.  God made you for this job, and you are good enough, even on the rough days.  Having children does change you - it's only a glimpse into how much Jesus loves us.  And if my heart is softer, and my horizons broadened for having children; I'm glad I did change.

Happy Mother's Day.
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