Monday, December 19, 2011

The First First Time Mom

Usually around this time of year, especially now, I think about Mary and what it had to be like to be so young and pregnant, knowing your baby was going to be the Son of God.  Talk about pressure.  Today, though, I thought of another biblical mother-Eve.  I mean, now that's some pressure...being the first first time mom ever.  After thinking about this, I've never been so happy not to have been Adam's wife.

Eve had her flaws, you could say, and she may have encouraged Adam to eat of the fruit and is the reason child birth is so painful (thanks a lot, Eve.)  But perhaps the greatest punishment of all, was being a new mom all alone.  When I say all alone, I know she had God, and who better to have as a guide to mother hood, but don't you think she was in need of some other mom friends?  Who did she go to to vent about Adam not helping with the diapers, or how she didn't think she could make it through another sleepless night, or about the flab on her stomach that just doesn't seem to go away?  Those just aren't things she would probably talk to God about.  Poor Eve didn't even have access to a copy of "What to Expect When You're Expecting."

So even though I'm sometimes annoyed by the advice or opinions of other moms, I'm thankful that I have access to them, because the alternative is downright frightening! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

R.I.P "Natural" Childbirth

Lifetime has been showing re runs of "One Born Every Minute" during the day and I have been crying through watching them. After each episode, I'm left with the following thoughts: 1.) Why in the world is Jamie Lee Curtis narrating? 2.) How do I get on this show? and 3.) Sadness over the fact that I will never experience a "natural" (vaginal) birth.  Now, one and two I usually forget about it in a minute or two, but number three I tend to think about and sometimes mourn the loss of that experience.

I didn't have a c-section by choice, as I am guess the majority of first time mom's don't either.  I had it out of pure necessity to get Karter out safely.  I had spent a lot of time before having him frightened by the thought of something that big coming out of me.  I'm not going to lie, after our birthing class I was ready to convince Mark to birth our children. that I can't give birth naturally, I don't look at it as a frightening experience I look at it as a magical experience that I won't have.

I suppose I should clarify that I could give birth naturally, but I have read about the risks of a VBAC and I don't think it is worth it just for the sake of my body or so that I can have the experience.  I will already be at a risk for complications with my next pregnancy d/t the placenta starting to abrupt with Karter, and I don't think adding more risks is responsible on my part (plus, Upper Valley doesn't do VBAC's and we really love the chicken fingers there:))

After I have those times of sadness over the natural birth I'll never have, I realize that while I didn't plan on a c-section, it really wasn't so bad (and I bet next time it will be even better since I will have more than 5 minutes to prepare for it.)  I had no pain from the c-section, even in my recovery I never really felt pain...which may have been because I had them keep the pain pills coming.  I mean, the area was sensitive, but nothing like I have heard the pain from natural birth.  I wasn't afraid to go to the bathroom after, which was a big fear of mine when thinking about a natural birth.  

So my suggestion to those out there who are soon to be mom's is this...have a birth plan, but be flexible.  My birth plan was to not have a plan because I knew it wouldn't go the way I wanted it.  That doesn't mean I wasn't a little shocked the way it turned out, but at least I wasn't set in stone about anything-besides getting an epidural.  You just never know when you are going to be strapped down to operating table while they slice a hole in your belly...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Honesty-Is it the best policy?

So I like to be pretty honest about things, because I think when you are fake and sugar coat things, it does no good for you or anyone else.  I felt it was important to be honest when I struggled to get pregnant because so many people keep things like that private and then when you go through it, you feel like you are the only one.  Now, I feel that it is important to be honest about being a first time mom, but unfortunately that brings unwanted and unwarranted criticism.

I'm pretty sure that there are no perfect moms out there, although some may dispute that.  I'm by no means a perfect mom, but that's ok, because I love Karter more than anything and would do anything to bring him joy, safety and all good things in life.  I have the best of intentions for him and would never do something to purposefully harm him.  Even by my third child, chances are I'm not going to be a perfect mom or have all the answers.

I appreciate those that give me tips and resources because I admit I don't know everything.  What I don't appreciate is people who provide me with unwanted criticism.  Obviously, if I am asking for help or ideas I care about my child.  I know people have good intentions and would like to help, but making me feel guilty about things doesn't provide any help at all.  I have done plenty of research and tried numerous things in order to make Karter happy.  Positive feed back and affirmation is so much more helpful than critiquing my mothering skills. 

Being honest about things doesn't make me a bad mom, and I hope other people see that as well.  I hope that my honesty about being a first time mom to a tricky little baby will help another mother that may go through the same thing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It Takes Two, Baby

Call me old fashioned, but I believe the order of things goes marriage then baby.  Of course, there are several people, the Jessica Simpson's of the world, who disagree.  I'm not saying that you're not a good parent if you aren't married, as there are wonderful single mom's and dad's, but I believe that until you are in that committed relationship, a baby is not the thing for you.

Now let's pretend, for the purpose of this post, that the vast majority of people still take marriage seriously and that it means two people promising themselves to one another for the rest of their lives (and no, the rest of your life does not count as 72 days.)

Mark and I don't have a perfect marriage, nor do I think we are immune to the problems that many marriages face, but I do think we have one thing going for us-a commitment to each other to stick it out to the end (and our faith.)  Pre-baby, we had a wonderful relationship, our fights were easily resolved and we just enjoyed being together. Post-baby, we still have a wonderful relationship, there are just a lot more bumps and curves that we weren't faced with before.

When I think about why it took us so long to get pregnant, I know one of the major reasons is that God wanted us to have more time just "us" so that we could lay that foundation for a healthy relationship.  Karter didn't deserve to have parents who were immature in their relationship and took this out on the frustrating aspects of raising a baby together.  Sure, a baby seems like such fun and a way to really culminate your love for one another, but babies aren't just cute little things-they are hard work and test the best of relationships.

I am lucky that Mark is a wonderful father and devoted to Karter and helping me with him.  Without Mark, I couldn't have made it through the night that Karter screamed for 5.5 hours...or the first 3 months when Karter was so disinterested in sleep.  I mean, without the binds of marriage, how easy is to get so frustrated with each other while there is a baby screaming over the monitor and you're both so sleep deprived that you just realize the relationship and work isn't worth it?  Seriously, it's too tempting to have a "way out" once you bring a baby into this world.  Trust me on this one-from someone who is crazy in love with her husband, there are some days that I would just like to get in the car and drive until I run out of gas, but I can't and I won't, because I love my Karter and I love Mark.

So like I said, I know there are people who can do a wonderful job raising their kids who are not married, but I believe the best environment to bring a child into is that in which both parents are in the committed relationship that is marriage.  These past few days, when things have been rough, I realize how blessed I am to have Mark and so glad God knew when it was the best time for us to bring a baby into this world!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mom vs. the Crib

There is no denying that having a child, whether by birth or other means, creates such a surge of love in you that it feels like it's gushing out your eyeballs.  There are days that I wonder if Karter's cheeks are a rosy pink because I have kissed them raw (have you seen his could you not kiss them??!!)  I love him so much and would do anything to bring him only joy and happiness in life.

So the last two nights, Mark and I decided that Karter should move into his crib in his own room to see if that will help him sleep better.  Now I have to say, I was totally against this.  I would have been perfectly content to have him sleep next to me in his co sleeper for the next 5 years. I hate to be apart from him, even if we are both sleeping.  But...after a few nights of Karter screaming and fighting sleep, I decided it was best to try it.  Unfortunately Fortunately, it's working. My baby boy is growing up, becoming independent, and not needing me as much anymore.

Last night, as I went in to soothe him when he was crying, I just looked at him, so tiny in that big crib, and just wanted to crawl in there with him and wrap my arms around him and protect him from everything bad in this world.  It breaks my heart that as he grows, he is one step closer to being on his own facing the world.  I never want him to experience heartache, be subjected to bad people, or to feel less than the amazing boy he is.  I'm finding, even at 3 months, that it's hard to let your children grow and go. 

I know it's just a crib, but I feel like it's the first major step in Karter becoming his own person, and I selfishly want him to want to stay cuddled in my arms forever...or at least the next couple years.  There's a good chance that I am suffering from more separation anxiety than Karter!  I know it's healthy for his development to learn independence and self sufficiency...but there's a good chance that when I'm finished writing this post, I'm going to go check the weight limit for his crib.  Just in case. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So frightening

Maybe it's just me and my watched-too-many-48-hours-mystery self, but sometimes Karter freaks me out.  It usually happens when I am changing his diaper.  We'll be "talking" and he'll be smiling and then all of a sudden he looks beyond me and fixes his eyes on something...and I'm usually 99% sure it is a killer.  I mean, he gets this serious look on his face like he is looking at something, or someone, and it makes my blood pressure shoot through the roof.  I turn around slowly and am always surprised when there is no one there.  I don't know what makes him do this, and I wish I could make it stop.  Until then, I suppose I am just going to carry a knife around with me on the off chance that Karter does spot a killer before I do.

Does anyone else have a baby that does this??

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So much to be thankful for

As I reflect back upon the last year, I realize just how blessed I really am.  Last year at this time, I was wondering if I would ever have my own baby to spend the holidays with.  Little did I know, that a little baby was either created or growing while I ate my turkey (ok, so he probably wasn't actually created while I was in the process of eating my turkey.)  I feel so blessed to get to be the mother of Karter and that God entrusted such a beautiful and sweet bundle of joy to me.  I know I was blessed before Karter came into the picture, and that feeling blessed isn't just based upon receiving what you want, but I can't help but feel extra thankful this year.  From start to finish, he has been a little miracle. 

So Happy Thanksgiving to all and for all those who are in the position I was in last year this year, I hope and pray that next year you will have a little turkey (baby) to spend the holidays with!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Our Special Connection

It's official, well it was official like 6 weeks ago, Karter is a momma's boy.  There's no denying it, as much as Mark might like to!  Karter seems to have decided that the only person he is really going to like in life is me, which is an honor and a curse all at the same time.

In his first few weeks of life, Karter seemed to be crazy about his dad and other family members, but it seems that things have taken a turn for the worse. Now, Karter screams at the top of his little pterodactyl lungs every time someone else tries to hold him.  This case of the "mommy's" may be due to the fact that he spends the majority of his waking hours (which is about 20 hrs a day) with me. 

At first, I was touched that he liked me so much.  I mean it was kind of rewarding to know that I was the only one who could console my little man.  But now, I just wish I could make him like someone other than me.  The muscles in my arms are bulging now due to having to hold him all the time, which I guess is fine as I never liked lifting weights anyway.  So how do I do get him to like anyone else but me? 

I guess I should take advantage of this time that he wants to be with only me...because chances are in a few months or years he will probably want nothing to do with me and just want to be with his dad.  Let's just hope he outgrows being a momma's boy by the time he is 18...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Am I the only one?

Seriously, sometimes I feel like I am the only mom with a difficult baby.  Maybe people just don't like to talk about it, but am I the only person with a baby who isn't crazy about sleep, wants to be held all the time, and cries for anyone but mom?  If I'm not the only person, then why don't other moms share their struggles?  I'm not trying to complain all the time, it's just that I am desperate for ideas from other moms on how to make my little man happy.

I don't want you to think that I am a bad mom or that I love Karter any less for this.  I know we are so blessed to have such a healthy baby.   I love him more each day and I am continually amazed at the amount of unconditional love I have for him...but there's no denying he's a tricky little baby.

While I wouldn't trade my baby for anything in the world (no, not even a good night's sleep), I do get jealous of people with seemingly perfect babies...those that sleep through the night, don't fuss, etc.  I feel like it makes me seem like a bad mom because my baby isn't happy in comparison to these other babies.  And believe me, I have tried to make him happy, but things only seem to make him happy for a short period of time.  Something that works one day he hates the next even though I keep trying.

I called the lactation consultant the other day for some advice and she spent 35 minutes giving me ideas on how to make him better and it was just frustrating after each idea to say "we've tried that, it doesn't work."  I felt by the end of the conversation she was just making up ideas to try because she wanted to give me some sort of helpful hint (ie "maybe have your husband not wear deodorant, maybe Karter doesn't like the smell"....umm, no, then I might not like my husband!)

There's that saying that "God won't give you any more than you can handle" and I find myself several times a week at night going "Ok, God, I can't handle anymore."  Apparently, God thinks I can handle more because it doesn't seem to be getting easier.  As we were up for an hour and a half last night at 3:30am and I was asking Mark why he thought we were having such a hard time, Mark wisely told me that perhaps God is teaching us patience or that our marriage is being strengthened because if we can get through this then we can get through anything.  While that seems wise and sweet now, at 3:30am it didn't seem like a very good reason to me. 

Oh well, I mean, I guess there's a chance Karter is getting all his difficultness out now and will be a perfect toddler while those other babies are terrors in their terrible two's.  Let's hope.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Where would we be without facebook?

Even though my husband despises facebook and refuses to join (I, too, almost felt this way after seeing "The Social Network"), it has become an invaluable resource to me as a first time mom.  I guess mom's managed before such social networking sites, but I don't know how.  It's so nice to have a place where I can post a problem I am having and other moms who have been through the same thing can provide me feedback and solutions to my problems.  I mean, I never would have taken Karter to the chiropractor if it weren't for all the comments I received on facebook.  Who knows where we would be without that advice-definitely not with a baby who is only getting up once at night!  It's so nice to have a platform where mom's can share their knowledge with us newbies!  So moms of the facebook world, keep your input coming as I post struggles along the way...I certainly appreciate it!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I don't know if you can ever go into motherhood with the correct expectations of what it is going to be like (I even read "What to Expect When You're Expecting!).  That may be one of the hardest parts of being a new mom.  Whatever you thought it was going to be like, it's not.  I mean, obviously you know you are going to fall in love with your baby, but you just can't understand how much and how quickly you are going to fall in love until you are holding that baby in your arms for the first time. 

I thought I went into motherhood with pretty realistic expectations.  I knew I would be up to my ears in poopy diapers and that sleep wouldn't be as good as it was before, but I guess I didn't fully understand what it's like to be a mom.  This would probably explain why I had Mark buy me a book of People magazine crossword puzzles so that I would have something to do during my "down" time while off on maternity leave.   Needless to say, I haven't opened that book since Karter got here.  "Down" time seems to be a thing of the past. 

The thing I have learned so far is that I need to be flexible and be ok with the fact that my expectations weren't correct.  I love Karter so much and will learn from him what to expect being a mom.  Hopefully, the second baby will be easier now that we've gone through this once!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Baby Smarts

This is no exaggeration...I might have the smartest baby in the world, as well as the cutest (sorry all you other moms:)  Really, he's a freakin genius.  The look he gets on his face when he is projectile pooping as you change him is a look that says "I know what I'm doing and you're just going to have to deal with it.  Have fun cleaning it up, mom."  He could save that poop for a diaper but he thinks it's more fun watching it fly over the changing table.  Then there's the look he gives me when I sing the wrong words to his favorite songs.  He may only be 6.5 weeks old, but he knows that the driver on the bus does not say "I love you." I feel like sometimes I should research the words to the songs I sing him so that he doesn't give me that look out of the corner of  his eyes!  Karter also knows that if he keeps me up the night before then his Grammie will come over and watch him the next day so I can sleep (he loves Grammie time.)  At this rate, I should probably start checking out the advanced classes that are offered in Covington...

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Even though I've only been a mom for 6 weeks now, I'm already finding myself doing things I never dreamed I would do.  I blame these things on hormones and my overwhelming love for my little guy.  Since I love lists, I thought it would only be appropriate if I made a list concerning these mommy-isms.

You know you're a mom when...

-Instead of sizing up your car to someone else's, you now find yourself sizing up your stoller to another mom's (I have serious stroller lust.)
-For some reason, all words now have an "ies" added to the end.  For example, "did you go poopies?"  It's a sickness.
-The phrase "give him the finger" now means "put your finger in his mouth as soon as possible to stop the crying".  It no longer has an offensive connotation. 
-Your sleep is disrupted by worries of your 6 week old's marriage ending in divorce or not passing his driver's exam.
-You've lost the grossness factor.  I wouldn't pick my own nose, but I have no problem wiping snot out of Karter's nose or earwax out of his ears.
-You're willing to put up with all sorts of pain in order to not disturb the baby sleeping on your chest by moving to a more comfortable position. 
-Your showers are now no longer than 5 minutes because there is a little someone screaming on the other side of the curtain because they want to be held. 

These are just a few...feel free to add your own!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No more "first"

Today was my six week post partum check up at the doctor (only 3 lbs away from pre-pregnancy weight now-can I get a hooray?!)  As I was sitting in the waiting room, not so patiently after 40 minutes, I was looking around at all the pregnant women around me.  Now believe me, towards the end of my pregnancy I was ready to be done with the whole pregnancy thing and just meet my little man, but looking at those pregnant women made me miss being pregnant.  I miss rubbing my belly, feeling that closeness to my little guy, and looking in the mirror and finally having an excuse for having a belly!  Not only did it make me a little sad that my pregnancy is over, it made me sad that my first pregnancy is over.  While I will be so joyous if Mark and I are blessed with more little ones (hopefully ones that come out of the womb sleeping!), I'll never get to be pregnant for the first time again.  When people ask me when I am pregnant again if this is my first, I'll have to reply 'no.'  It's always after an experience that I look back and wonder if I really took advantage of it or if I made sure to enjoy the experience for all it was worth.  Getting through my first pregnancy is kind of one of those major milestones that make me sad that it's over but leave me looking forward to the future.  I hope that I milked the whole first pregnancy thing for all it was worth!  While these past few weeks have been rough, I can't wait until I am one of those women again in the waiting room with a pregnant belly...even if it won't be my first!

Disclaimer-don't worry, there's no bun in the oven or will there be for awhile:)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hospital Outtakes

If my life was a sitcom, which I often times imagine it is, there would definitely be an outtake reel.  As I was thinking back on my time at the hospital, I realized that there were several humorous things that happened that would end up on said reel.  I think it's time I shared them with you, and wrote them down so that Karter can chuckle at his mom one day.

-So breastfeeding is kind of scary when you are a new mom.  I mean, how are you supposed to know if your baby gets enough to eat?  You can't see how much the baby is getting, so you just hope for the best.  Me, being the paranoid new mom that I was, kind of went overboard on the nursing, you could say.  The nurses would bring Karter back to me at night when he would start to fuss so I could feed him.  Well, on the second night, I fed him, and fed him, and fed him.  Eventually, I looked at the clock and realized he had been nursing for an hour and 40 minutes (which, is like an hour and 25 minutes longer than he normally eats!)  I called in the nurse to ask her if I should keep nursing or if he was done.  She kind of laughed and told me he was just sucking and not eating.  Looks like Karter played his momma for a fool! 

-There's a good chance that I had no idea what time he was born until a few days after he was actually born.  You see, I was pretty drugged up when they wheeled me back to my room, but I still felt it necessary to facebook post that Karter was here.  In doing so, I facebook posted the incorrect time he was born.  I wrote he was born at 10:55pm when really, he was born at 10:31pm.  I've considered getting it legally changed that he was born at 10:55pm because becoming facebook official kind of trumps everything else. 

-After the c-section, I wasn't allowed to shower until late the next day.  I was feeling pretty gross by Monday evening so I was eager to get in the shower.  Due to the amount of pain medicine I was on and what my body had undergone, the nurse wanted to make sure there was a nurse there with me while I showered.  Well I buzzed them and waited and waited and no one showed.  I was starting to get impatient so I started the process of getting ready to shower and figured Mark could just supervise me.  It was during this process that there was a knock on my door.  I figured it was finally the nurses responding to my calls.  I yelled "come in" and imagine my surprise when it was my uncle.  Needless to say, when you are mid-getting ready for a shower, you should always check who you are calling "come in" to.  Sorry about that, Uncle Steve!:)

I am sure there will be more outtakes to come in my journey as a mother, but this is what I've got so far!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Baby Items

I am still in some disbelief that BabysRUs exists.  Isn't it crazy that there is an entire store devoted to baby items?  I mean really, all Karter does is poop, eat and could he possibly have a need for all those items in the store?  Well, as it turns out, I have decided that maybe he does need some of those items.  In fact, during this month I have come up with a list of additional baby items that need to be invented to make life with a newborn easier.

-A automatic back patter-Who hasn't sat their with their newborn patting their back wondering if their hand is going to fall off?  Karter's kind of high maintenance and likes to be on our chest while we pat his back in order to fall asleep.  There's been many a time when I thought my arm just didn't have another pat in it but I had to keep it up or he would wake up.  What I wouldn't give for an automatic hand that would pat him for me when my arms can't take it anymore.

-Baby hammock-So apparently it's a big SIDS risk for babies to sleep on their bellies.  It's unfortunate really, because Karter prefers to sleep on his belly, at least I think.  So I've thought that if he had a mesh like mattress, specifically a hammock with sides, he could sleep on his belly and still breath.

-A replica of a human chest- As I said above, Karter prefers to fall asleep on our chest, which is cute...for awhile.  But at 3 am when you just want to sleep and he will cry if he leaves your chest, you get kind of desperate for a spare chest.  Last night, he was in such an odd position on me but I couldn't move, and half of my body went numb.  Plus, it gets kind of sweaty when he lays his head on my chest...this boy has an abundance of hair that creates a lot of heat!

So if anyone from BabysRUs is reading this, please help a girl out and get to work on these things!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tips for Making it Through the First Month

Tomorrow my baby boy turns one month (I wish I could justify getting a DQ ice cream cake for this occasion.)  I know eventually months don't really matter, but it feels like a small victory that we've made it through the first month.  So much about him has already changed.  His baby mullet is getting longer, his eyes have changed to a color other than black, his belly button has fallen off, and he is so much more alert now. 

Many moms have shared their knowledge with me to help me get through this so I thought I would share a few tips of my own.

1.  You're going to feel like a failure...just accept it-  Before having Karter, I thought of myself as pretty good with kids.  I've always loved kids and have worked with them in some form for many years of my life. Naturally, I thought this would mean that I would automatically be a great mom and would have no trouble.  Wrong.  I may have worked with kids, but I have never been a mom before.  It's a whole different ball game.  There are days when I feel like I am failing as a mom.  I know I'm a good mom and that I love Karter with all of my being, but there are times when he cries and I don't know what to do.  It happens, and it's ok.

2.  Accept whatever help you can get- Don't think you won't need help, you will...unless you are a super mom, which in that case, just skip this step.  I don't know what I would have done without my mom, my brothers and my mother in law providing relief so I could nap.  It doesn't make me less of a mom because I need help.  It makes me a better mother because it gives me a time to myself and a time to sleep!

3.  Read "The Happiest Baby on the Block" before having your baby-  Thank you to Brandy for telling me about this book.  I wish that I would have read this book before Karter got here so I would have had an idea what to do when we first got home from the hospital.  Going along with this point, I would also recommend stocking up on swaddling blankets, lots of them.  I really enjoy the ones that come with the velcro already on them, since I suck at swaddling.

4.  Stock up on Kleenex-  At least for me, I was extremely emotional the first few weeks after having him.  I cried for no reason, or the reasons that I was crying for were not that big of a deal.  I would cry and feel better and go on with my day.  It's just a natural part of child birth, I mean your body has been through a lot.  Side note, let's all celebrate the fact that I haven't cried in like a week and a half!  Woo hoo!

5. Sleep as much as you can during your 40 weeks pre baby- Seriously, I know it's hard to sleep when you have to pee all the time and your body is uncomfortable, but do it.  Unless you have a magic baby that sleeps well from the beginning, you will soon come to the realization that sleep is an old friend you probably won't see for awhile.

That's all of my tips for now, as Karter is screaming for some food (another tip-if you are breast feeding, you will soon find that shirts are a thing of the past.  What's the point in putting on a shirt when you'll just have to take if off in an hour and half to feed again??)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Check Engine Light

Wouldn't it be fantastic if babies came with a check engine light?  I mean, I guess crying is kind of a check engine light for babies, but a simple little light might be better.  At least when a check engine light goes off you can take it somewhere to diagnose the problem.  Unfortunately, when Karter's check engine light goes off, his crying goes from a simple fuss to pterodactyl like screaming in a matter of seconds, leaving me little to no time to diagnose what his issue may be. I just wish he could tell me what is wrong or what would make him happy.  I feel like I should know just the right thing to make him happy because I am his mom, but I'm still trying to figure things out too.  I suppose until his cries are a little more definable all I can do is love on him as much as possible until he is happy again!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Feelings of Guilt

Don't get me wrong, I love my baby boy.  I love the way he smiles in his sleep, the way his little fingers wrap around mine, and the way he bobs his head up and down when laying on my chest, among many other things.  But at 2am when he won't go to sleep and I am exhausted, it's hard for me to remember all those things.  I mean, I still rock him and kiss him and tell him I love him, but that doesn't mean I'm not frustrated.  Then the feelings of guilt take could I get frustrated with this blessing that God has given me?

I feel obliged to love being a mother 24/7 because I wanted it so bad.  I didn't get pregnant on was due to lots of prayer and months of hard work (not so much on Mark's part:)  So I feel that since I really wanted to be a mother and desperately asked God for a baby that I should love it at all times and am not allowed those times of frustrations.  I don't want God to think that I am not grateful for the blessing he has given Mark and I, because I truly am.  I look at Karter's precious little face and I am constantly reminded of the miracle he is...but being a mom is exhausting, frustrating, wonderful, stressful, rewarding, and a joy all at the same time.  I'm sure that many other mom's feel these moments of frustration and me feeling guilty about it only makes it worse.  Sometimes I wonder if Mary ever got frustrated with Jesus when He was a baby.  Did Jesus ever keep Mary up all night long or cry for no real reason?

Hopefully, I'm not alone and you other moms out there can relate!

Monday, August 29, 2011

My post baby body

So I loved getting my belly while pregnant.  It was something I had lusted after while Mark and I tried to get pregnant.  It was a sign that "we did it!  We actually made a baby!"  It became less appealing when the stretch marks started to appear and a little less when my belly button disappeared (I'm happy to report that my belly button is now back and intact.)

Now I find myself 2 weeks after having Karter and I couldn't love my body more.  I am happy to report after gaining 30 pounds during my pregnancy I am now within 8 pounds of my pre-Karter weight (that's for all of those who felt it was necessary to tell me how large I was during my pregnancy.)  I am no where near what I looked like before I got pregnant, but I am really ok with that.  My stomach is still flabby, I have a c-section incision scar, and the stretch marks are still there and prominent, but that's what makes my body beautiful now.  The thing is, is that flabby stomach is proof that I carried a baby in there for 40 weeks; that scar is a reminder of how blessed we are that there was a way to get Karter safely into this world; and those stretch marks, well, I really have nothing good to say about them:)  I won't be getting into a two piece anytime soon, but I have a healthy baby boy and my husband still thinks I'm hot, so really, what more could I need?

Friday, August 26, 2011

My racing mind just won't stop

I remember when my biggest worry going to bed at night was where Mark and I would go out to eat that weekend.  After five minutes of contemplating that, I could usually fall asleep pretty easily (when I wasn't thinking about giving birth or epidurals!)  Now that Karter is here, it's a whole different story.  It's like as soon as he was pushed out of the womb pulled out of the womb, my mind was filled with a million different thoughts.  I've had help all week with Karter so that I could catch up on some needed sleep, but as soon as my head hits the pillow, the last thing on my mind is sleep.  I'm pretty jealous of Mark, who falls asleep as his head is making the descent into his pillow (must be nice being a male!) Here's just a few examples of the absurd thoughts/worries that keep me from sleeping:

1.  Where will Karter live when he gets older?  Will he live far away?  Will he care if I move to be close to him?
2.  When should I enroll him in swimming lessons?  Should we get a family pass to the pool?
3.  Is he going to be bullied in school?
4.  Will he feel abandoned when I go back to work?  How will I be able to leave him throughout the day?
5.  Have I earned his trust as a parent?  Am I responding correctly to his needs?

I know, as I lay there that these are ridiculous thoughts and that many of these things I have no control over.  I think Karter's entry into this world was another gentle reminder that I am not in charge but God is...but that still doesn't help relieve my mind of these thoughts.  Oh well, I guess this is motherhood...who needs sleep anyway!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Baby Blues

I don't know if I would consider myself going through the baby blues... maybe the baby cerulean (it's my favorite shade of blue.)  I love my little man and I look at his precious face and think "life doesn't get any better than this", but then I still find myself crying at the most random of things.  I cry because I love my husband so much, I cry because I want Mark to get sleep at night, I cry because my mom has helped me out so much, etc.  So it's not that I am sad and I am crying, I am just overly emotional. 

Luckily, Mark has been super understanding.  When I cry to him for no apparent reason, he reassures me that I have been through a lot and it is normal for me to be emotional.  The thing is, prior to having Karter, I just wasn't a crier.  The last time I really teared up was probably watching the ending of "The Notebook."  Mark promises me that he doesn't think I am crazy...yet anyway.

I just hope that one day my emotions start to level out.  I know it's only been a week and a half and I should cut myself some slack, but I'm going through the Kleenex pretty quickly over here.  Oh well, I guess I will know it's over when I can watch a Hallmark commercial and not cry...

Monday, August 22, 2011

What's in a name?

So our adorable baby boy made his entrance into the world last Sunday...and I have a feeling life will never be the same!  It is amazing how much love you can have for someone you met only a week ago.  I want to remember this time as I start out on the journey of motherhood so I thought, there's no better way than to blog about it!

I think it's important to share Karter's birth story, as it was not anything I had planned at all (I hear it never is, though).  As many of you know, Mark and I had struggled getting pregnant, which made it all the more of a blessing to us when we finally got a "positive" pregnancy test result.  We had gone back and forth for awhile trying to decide what we wanted to name our baby boy.  Finally we were able to agree on the name "Karter Josiah."

I liked the name Josiah from the very beginning because it means "God will help" and I thought that was so true considering the circumstances around me getting pregnant.  Little did I know how much God would end up helping us and how appropriate Karter's middle name is.

After a few false alarm trips to labor and delivery (I may have been a little too eager to have Karter!) and one that day, Mark and I were relaxing last Sunday night getting ready to go to bed.  As I was sitting on the couch I felt a "gush" of something, which is how I had heard many people describe as their water breaking.  I ran to the bathroom thinking "could it finally be time??"  only to find every pregnant woman's worst nightmare-blood...and lots of it.  I was bleeding and it wouldn't stop.  I don't think I had seen so much blood in my life (sorry for the graphic image, but I promise, it's important to the story!)  I immediately started freaking out and Mark and I gathered everything up and headed to the hospital.

The ride there was torturous.  All I could think of was "how could I make it two days until my due date and lose my baby now??"  I mean, how often to do you hear of pregnancy+lots of blood ever equaling something good.  I kept prodding my stomach trying to make Karter move so I could have some reassurance that he was alright.  I finally got a little kick, but I was still scared out of my mind.  I thought of having to return home and see the swing in the living room, the crib in the nursery, the cradle in our bedroom and not having a baby to enjoy those things. 

After what seemed like forever, we made it to the hospital, where I was by now shaking out of fear.  They hooked me up to the monitor and I was so relieved to hear his heart beating and it was a normal heart rate.  The poor nurse who was checking us in had to deal with my 20 different variations of the question "Is my baby ok, am I going to be ok?"  The nurse contacted my doctor and my doctor decided I needed to have an emergency c-section.  Within minutes the anesthesiologist was in my room getting me ready for an epidural.

The funny thing is, I had spent many a night not being able to fall asleep thinking about the labor process and how terrified I was of an epidural. Now there I was, finding myself with no time to freak out about the epidural or the fact that I was having a c-section, which I never imagined having.

Amazingly enough, and definitely a God thing, everyone that needed to be at the hospital for my c-section was available.  My doctor had decided to work late so he was there and ready to go.  Fast forward through all the gory parts, and I found myself checking into the hospital at 9:30pm and a mother to a beautiful, healthy baby boy at 10:31pm. 

It turns out my placenta was partially abrupting from my uterus, which is not a good thing at all.  I was told that if I hadn't made it to the hospital when I did, then Karter probably wouldn't be here.  When the nurses who were taking care of us at the hospital would hear about why I had to have a c-section, I was told many times how lucky we were. 

Looking back on that day, I see God's hand in Karter's arrival in so many ways.  First of all, at church that morning, the sermon was on prayer and we were asked to write on a post it note our prayer requests.  I have thought what could have happened if both Mark and I hadn't written "baby" and "birth" on our notes.  There was also the fact that Mark had asked if I wanted to go to bed an hour before I noticed the bleeding.  Had I said yes, I may not have noticed the bleeding in enough time to get to the hospital.  It was also amazing that all of the staff that were needed were there in order to perform my c-section. 

So looking back on the whole experience, I would say that Josiah was a fitting middle name for Karter.  Every time I look at his precious little face, I am reminded of all the ways that God has been faithful and helped us in this situation.  Now if only I could get God to help with this sleeping situation...