Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sybil's Birth Story and Slideshow

After nearly five months (what and HOW!), it's time for her story. Going in for a second labor was sweet in a whole new way. I knew what awful felt like (from Declan's), that I'd make it through, and what it would feel like to hold my baby for the first time. But I didn't know what an extra special moment it would be to see my daughter, to hold my Sybi girl. And after weeks of growing dilation, effacement, and discomfort, I was so ready to find out.


The day was full of doctors. My 39 week appointment followed by the pediatrician for hours to get to the root of Declan's super high fever (virus) then going to Tegan's vet for an ear infection then coming home to start counting contractions and head over to the hospital. The hospital was the sixth medical facility of the day, but by far the most special.

It was a sweet labor. I was surrounded by two great friends and my lovely husband. We chatted, played music, and enjoyed some steaming herbal tea. I arrived, to my surprise, at 6 cm. and was in good enough shape to be taking selfies of my bump. Thus I was able to labor naturally for hours, until I got stuck at 8.5 without my water breaking and was ready to have fun again. And though the epidural was not nearly as amazing as my first (it actually kind of blew), it did give me a bit of a break.

Sweet Sybil arrived with three pushes, pushes so easy that I was literally told that I was going to laugh her out. And each precious moment of that night held the knowledge that she was coming, my very own daughter. I would think back to Declan's birth, a morning that truly changed my life and being in such huge ways, and was thankful for his paving the road. This time I understood what was to come, all the joys and troubles and love. It was not leaping into the unknown but rather taking the path scattered with memories. It was so sweet and so different than his arrival. I was a mom welcoming a daughter. I was getting the privilege of living these days yet again. I was imagining decades from now when I might be watching her in this very same spot, about to welcome her little one, and I was just blown away by love. It was truly incredible.

Because of this, and the possibility of sharing this experience with my sweet girl years from now, it was extra special to have a friend of mine, Jenni of J. Noel Photography, present to photograph the birth. The following slideshow that she made shows the night beautifully. I couldn't have wished for better. Thank you Jenni for showing such love and care and support. It was an honor to have you there.



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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Life Lately

{a little june iPhone photo dump}

Here I am, tucked in bed at the Bristol Holiday Inn as my babies sleep in this sound machined room and my man has a longer visit with his parents. I'm finally taking a breath from the whirlwind that has become my life, a long enough breath to try and document exactly what has been going on. Because my baby girl is three and a half months old, three and a HALF, and I've missed writing so much for her. I have yet to even tell her she was born in her journal, let alone talk about any of her developments. And this is simply because life is busy. Any available seconds I have I want to spend with her or him or sleeping. It's really that simple.

Let's scroll back to two months ago when she was about six weeks. We were just getting in some bit of a swing of things, but with two kids that swing is creaky. There was never any time for cleaning, barely any for cooking, and energy was split between the two babies in a way that almost never felt like it was enough for either. I was happy, but it was hard. And then a job fell in my lap. A job that I wasn't looking for at all but was truly too great of an opportunity to pass up. It's part-time, with three mornings from home and four afternoons in the office (where Sybil is welcome); it lets Declan go to "school" three times a week, which he absolutely adores but wasn't in our cards before; it allows Sybil to stay home as Peyton and I switch day duties with her; and it gives the extra income to cushion things like a housekeeper and a few meals out and to really give me the feeling that I'm doing the right thing for my family. Plus I love it. I'm the listing manager for our amazing realtor and work with three other fantastic girls around my age in the office. I get a breather from an occasionally tantruming toddler to actually work with rational people. He gets to go to school and learn songs and play on the playground and paint and draw and learn. And sweet Sybil amazingly gets more attention with us working at home sans Declan than staying home with them both.

With this in mind, our days are just full. When I get home I have a clean(er) house so that I can truly focus on my family. And I love that. We have yet to figure out a good dinner plan but rock at tag-teaming tub then all cozying up on Declan's floor to read stories. It's golden and enjoyable because we are savoring the moments of togetherness after some hours apart. There are times that I miss staying home and want to be with my boy every day like before, but it's not like before. There are two souls to take care of and twice the needs to be met. He is older and busier and just needing more and this just happened to coincide with a time when I couldn't give more because it's all I can do to fit in eating enough to make milk for the baby. I had a great run at the stay-at-home mom gig, and hope to again. But though I miss it, there is no absolutely perfect scenario, and I'm just going with what feels right in the moment.

But today finds me, a working gal, on vacation. Trekking through Tennessee to make it to Baltimore to head to the beach to then jump on a plane with my two add-ons to visit a (blogging!) friend in Michigan. I'm hoping to find some more moments like this on the trip, where I can actually feel like we are vacationing rather than just traveling, and I'm sending good vibes to the universe to give me some of those vacationy feelings on a sunny beach. If not, we will continue to fill our days with friends and family and visits even if they are no break from the crazy, and life will be good, just as it always seems to be.