Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Weekly Photos :: 7, 8, 9

Sweet Sybil. Sweet, sweet Sybil- 

You hold your head up like a champ. Sat in the bumbo with daddy yesterday for the very first time and apparently rocked it. It seemed like one day we looked at you and there you were gazing around on my chest with very little wobble. Life is easier when you aren't a rag doll I'm thinkin'.

Your sleep is what dreams are made of. Down around eight, up at five-thirty for a top-off, and up at eight for good. I accept that all the good karma I've put into the world has come back in spades with you, so I realize that with this extra rest I must go restock again. Good deeds done in the name of sleep. Amen. 

Little offerings of smiles and coos are goin' 'round. Your sweet language just melts my heart and you're realizing more and more each day that communication is in your blood. (As in, you get that from your mama!)

Tummy time, shmummy time. You nail it. (For about 2 minutes...) 

And your brother. He absolutely adores you. Each night he pats his crib saying, "Right dare, right dare," until I place you down. He cuddles up close, giving you kisses and putting stuffed animal offerings on your belly and books for you to read. You've begun to take him in as well, gazing up and sometimes even dropping the paci for a little smile. Thick as thieves, I can already tell. 

And finally, as for pictures, we missed a week. But just ask Declan- that's how we roll. 

So much love, 


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Declan's Birth Story

Today was kind of amazing when it came to thoughts. As different hours ticked by and we sang happy birthday to our boy for the umpteenth time, I'd look at the clock and relive that moment from two years ago. The day that I became a mother. The day that he was born. How fitting to celebrate the two together on Mother's Day. So today, after putting it off for far too long, I am finally going to touch on his birth story.

**The reason I never posted before was the 1,000 photos I had to go through. In doing all I can to make this post happen, I've given up on all editing. They won't be pretty, but they will be real.**


It began midnight May 11, 2012 as the back pain that had been bothering me turned more severe, into contractions that were nothing like I was told. Lying down turned to crawling around on the bed, trying to find any comfortable position. These were closer to one endless painful seize than the ebbs and flows of waves. Relaxing between was impossible, as was counting the time. There was no rhythm, no beauty, no broken water- just nearly endless pain. And despite the obvious signs, it was such an unbelievable feeling to think that it might actually be happening.

{the only pre-epi picture - trying to smile.}
After going to my mom's bed where she soothed me through the pain as Peyton tried to time contractions, calling doctors and packing bags, we decided that it was time to go. We were sure that those three hours of intense home laboring must have taken my three centimeters from that morning closer to seven. Upon arrival, after throwing up twice from the intensity and shaking on the bed with no give in the pain, we were told I was at four. FOUR. And that's when the epidural was ordered. 

Back labor is no joke my friends, no joke. An endless pain. It was all I could do to stay still while the doctor inserted the needle, keeping my mind focused by singing songs about the three bubbles floating in my IV. And I would have kissed that doctor right then and there, Steelers apparel and all. It was that good. The love for the epidural man is real, my friends, as all fathers know too well. 

Within moments I began to see and engage in the world again. The contractions became manageable, then nonexistent. There were cheers (from me) for epidurals and that's when the party truly began. My doctor came in scolding me that I hadn't called her. It was 6:00 am. I was 6 cm dilated.

{big contraction.. but BAM. epidural.}

Then there was the breaking of my water, the knowledge that there really was no going back, our boy was arriving that day. 

An hour later I was at 10. I was ready; it was time. Except not, since waiting an extra hour to push would allow the full four hours before giving the second antibiotic dose that I needed. So wait I did, and at 8:10 I started pushing.

The following hour was a party. It was joking between pushes, hearing those cheerleaders count to ten as I gave it everything I had, then telling more stories. It was laughing as my doctor texted our mutual friend the progress updates between pushes. It was nothing like I had imagined it would be and one of the least dramatic labors of all time. And as I got jealous hearing those age old comments of "There's the head! And the hair!!" a mirror was rolled out so I could join in on all my hard work. It was two steps forward and one step back as he made his way in, rolling the way my contractions never did. Until 9:17, when things shifted- we were here for a purpose and this was it. Our boy was coming. And so I pushed. And he was there. And he was crying and pinking and perfect. 

Just perfect

He came to my chest and I was completely overwhelmed by this little life. It was unreal, utterly unreal, that he was ours. I don't remember how much I kissed him or what my first words to him were, but I do remember realizing that in an instant my life had changed. I was still in the exact same spot with the exact same people, but just like that my belly was empty and my son was here. I was a mother. He made me a mother. It was such an incredibly difficult gift to process at that moment. I had no idea what lay ahead.

Many mothers say they were overcome by a love unlike any other when their child was first placed in their arms. That was not me. I loved him, a lot, but not in an all-consuming, angels-singing way. I didn't know him. And while that might sound harsh, it was magical to watch my love grow with him. He was fascinating. As he opened his eyes more and more each day, learning to coo and grab and roll and crawl and walk and talk and run. As he's grown deeper and more difficult and endlessly more giving to this world. As he showed me that being perfect is not the pinnacle, but it is a state of being that can continue to shift and grow. For just as he was that morning when he first hit my arms, he remains as perfect as can be. He is my boy, my son, my heart. The one who made me mama. And for him I will forever be grateful, and forever be in awe.

Happy birthday sweet love.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

These Busy Days

For Throwback Thursday -- something I wrote roughly three weeks ago (five weeks into two-under-two) but want to post for the archives.


When I sit down to write it feels that I have so much trying to tumble out that all the words block themselves. It's silly really, because throughout my day, every day, I go through what I want to post and how I want to capture certain snapshots of this or that moment or dive into topics that I long to go deeper on. But then life happens, that life that consists of a newborn and a toddler, and another day slips by where I don't find time to capture these thoughts. And they build and build until I am here, spending precious moments writing about why I'm not writing what I've longed to write.

But this is my life currently.

Feed, diaper, repeat.
Feed, diaper, repeat.
Carry stray sock back to bedroom and old smoothie cup back to kitchen.
Feed, diaper, repeat.
Re-spin laundry because of the god-awful washing machine.
Tummy time.
No, markers.
No, blocks.
Feed, diaper, repeat.
Hang diaper covers outside for proper UV cleansing power.
Ring out still wet diapers before dryer.
Another load.
Another load.
"ou-side, ou-side, ou-side."
No, smother Sybil.
Kiss Sybil.
Run away with Sybil's paci.
Feed, diaper, repeat.
Nap time.
Take what feels like one single long breath after getting Declan down and Sybi to sleep annnnd...

It's an all out scramble to get necessities completed, while at the same time trying to slowly soak in these precious moments of growth and development that are happening day in and day out. So when there are moments where I let myself just be, where everyone is settled and asleep, I have choices to make. Do I go from the to-do list that caters to the house and productivity? Do I take this time to try to keep even a small flame lit under my hobbies? Or do I sleep? Because, well... sleep. And each day I've tried to rotate it around but it's hard. It's hard to choose pleasures over production, though it is truly just as important. And it's hard to realize that this list will never end, much like the laundry. The never-freakin'-ending laundry.

Adding in a second really has been far less intimidating than I had worried. It really helps that she sleeps (more like she's an olympic sleeper) and that the past few mornings I've woken up truly refreshed. But the monotony of the job can get intense, as I'm repeating the same actions over and over and over again, sometimes with very little to show for it. (Just children who've made it through the day, but you know, no biggie.) And this is not me complaining. I am lucky to have the pleasure of soaking them in while they grow. But once in a while, as in every day these days, I just wish that our house would magically clean itself over night or that I'll awake to find a fridge full of prepared plates for Declan's day.

What can I say? A girl can dare to dream...


Friday, May 2, 2014

Weekly Photos :: 4, 5, 6

This girl, man. I'm in love. Every night those words break free as we gaze at her sweet sleeping face. I love her in that way that makes you want to squeeze them so hard and kiss them all over and smoosh up nice and close. But of course I can't do all of these things since she's an infant, so a few kisses and cuddles and lots of "I love her"'s will have to do.

And sleep, oh sleep. What I was most afraid of. And as a gift of sanity I'm getting it, probably more than I was in pregnancy. She's a snoozing champ with a nighttime long stretch of 5-7 hours and shorter ones around 3, along with daytime naps every 1.5-2 hours. And while this is utterly incredible, it's also amazing to see her starting to notice the world. To recognize me and smile, big, face-melting grins and gurgles. And oh those baby sounds. Those sweet, sweet sounds. When they go from just crying to more finessed yelps and coos. And the soft breaths while they sleep. And the big, pre-historic grunts when they stretch. And the swallows and sighs as they nurse. Just writing these words makes me want to go kiss her some more. 

The idea that there was a time pre-Sybil blows my mind. The whole transition has gone so smoothly that it doesn't even feel like it happened. She was missing and now she's here. Plain and simple.