Little Love showing off her new headband
These last couple of weeks have opened my eyes and twisted my heart strings in so many ways.
I’m sorry for getting deep here – prepare for tears…
It started when a family that I know only through an online support community lost their sweet little boy after a very long and brave fight with cancer. Even though I personally did not know their Little Love, his passing affected me in a way that I couldn’t explain. I wished that there was something that I or anyone could do to ease their pain and turn back time. I marveled at their strength during this time of immense grief and how much love this wonderful and happy child had around him through his short life and how even his very young siblings cherished every moment with him.
Then as if the universe knew that we needed a positivity boost, on Wednesday when the Husband, Little Love and I went to Chipotle for dinner (I know… Romantic), we went to pay we were told that the lady in front of us in line had paid for our meal and had said to, “Have a Wonderful Day”. This small gesture by a stranger brought tears to my eyes and I wish that I could personally thank that wonderful woman.
Lastly, on Thursday I spent a couple of hours at Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital with some of the team from work and Jess Ekstrom of Headbands of Hope. We met some wonderful children and parents while handing out headbands that were made by UA teammates. Seeing the strength of these children was something special. Faced with some huge challenges ahead, they are all smiles and muster up the most amazing energy to have conversations with us grown-ups who just stop by for a few minutes in their very long days. It’s not something that most people would consider major but it is heartwarming to see that even something as small as a headband can bring so much joy to a child and in turn to their family.
I look at these children and these families and then I come home and give my Little Love the biggest hug. I am so blessed to have a happy, healthy baby but in the back of my head I live in constant terror that one day the strength of myself and my family may be tested as we face our own scary situation. I know that many parents suffer from the nagging thoughts of impending doom. It’s why we sneak into our baby’s rooms in the middle of the night and listen for those glorious breaths and grunts or lie awake at night staring at the baby monitor watching every little twitch. It’s why we triple check the car seat, baby proof our houses like prison guards and clean, wipe and sterilize everything to the point of no return.
I know that parents are crazy… ok fine… I know that I’m crazy… but as much as I try to control the world, I know that there are many challenges coming our way and as much as I would like to keep Little Love tucked away in a sterile and perfectly safe bubble I know that the big wide world is a terrifying but exciting place that she will love to explore. And I can’t wait to watch her grow and dominate at this thing called life.
** Headbands of Hope – www.headbandsofhope.com – For every headband sold, one is donated to a child with cancer. To date, Headbands of Hope has donated to every hospital in the US.
Little Love showing off her new headband from http://www.headbandsofhope.com
I feel like I’ve always defined myself by what I was doing or what career path I took. As a child I was a dancer, then I was a horse-rider. Then I found my career in Public Relations and loved every second of it. I was constantly planning and attending awesome events. My events could be spotted in the social pages every other month and I felt that my career was something to be proud of.
Then I fell in love, which prompted the universe to tell me to pack up my life and move to a new country… twice. I will never forget my boss at the time asking me if this guy was really worth giving up my career for (Of course my answer was yes and here we sit 9 years later).
I had always considered myself a career woman. Work was first, and babies would come later. It was very important for me to establish myself and climb that proverbial ladder. This turned out harder for me as I had to make a complete career shift a couple of times and constantly felt like I had to start over again, thereby pushing my baby timeline further and further away. I had very strong opinions about the fact that the third bedroom in our new house was NOT a baby’s room, but an office for myself.
I always knew that children would be a big part of my future but career was also a very important part of who I was and what I was striving for. I was one of those people who was always willing and happy to work late into the night and a large part of my many jobs was working 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
I was constantly trying to “plan” the best time for us to start trying to have kids. Looking at calendars and working things out as if there is a science to how long it would take to get off birth control and get pregnant. Then planning the gestation time and when I would be back at work. I was soon brought to my senses and told that there IS NO GOOD TIME and that there is no true way to manage this process and it’s just something you have to either do or not do… So I did.
And here I now sit, trying to climb that ladder in yet another brand new field. Except now I have a baby, a family, I’m a mom. I’m torn between feeling the need to be a powerful and successful career woman and wanting to stay at home and cuddle my Little Love all day long.
I never thought I would even consider being a stay-at-home-mom and yet now the idea is oddly appealing to me. Luckily I cannot afford to quit my job so the decision doesn’t actually fall into my hands but it’s a strange feeling trying to get to know this new version of myself. This person who turns down happy hours and exciting events to get home at a reasonable hour to bath the baby and put her to bed.
Who is this person who turned her home office into the most adorable nursery?
As a mom of a 5 month old baby girl I’m constantly getting asked the question, “Is your baby sleeping through the night?” The short answer is No. So why do I feel the need to explain myself? Well no, BUT, we’re getting a lot better; She only wakes up once to feed; Some nights are better than others… Blah Blah Blah! She’s 5 months old! It’s totally normal for us not to be sleeping through the night.
But I’m also surrounded by stories of babies who are wonderful sleepers which keeps me asking What am I doing wrong? I started obsessing about why my baby wasn’t sleeping and what could I feed her before bed to get her to sleep longer? Formula didn’t do anything, a bed time top off boob didn’t do anything. Oatmeal didn’t really do anything either. Why are none of the recommendations and suggestions working for us?! Am I doomed to never sleep again?
Sensing my imminent breakdown a friend sent me this link. This post is so beautifully written by a mom who was going through the same sleepless nights. This mom’s story really opened my eyes and parts of my brain and my heart that had been clogged with unrealistic expectations and warped perceptions.
My rocking chair in the dark used to be a very lonely place for me. I felt like I was the only person in the world that was awake and that no-one noticed or cared. But after reading this, I have started to try cherish my 2am wake up calls. I’ve started to notice that every time I walk into my Little Love’s room at whatever random time she’s chosen I am greeted with a smile and excitement. I started to become thankful for this time with my daughter. I now know that when one day these night time rendezvous’ suddenly stop I will be sad. While I’m sure I will be thankful for a full nights rest and the relief that my little girl is developing and growing up, I will miss my late night cuddles.
I’m not saying that dragging myself out of my warm and comfy bed is all of a sudden easy, or saying that this has suddenly cured my physical and mental exhaustion. But I am saying that in the darkness of every late night or early morning I have my little shining light. That sweet child that will one day not want to be cuddled all night long and that wont call for me when she needs a midnight snack.
So for now I will enjoy my sleepless nights for soon we will all be sleeping through the night.
** Credit and big thanks to Anna Gannon for sharing.
Because I terrified a bunch of my almost due friends with last week’s post I thought I would try be a little helpful with this week’s entry… Hopefully this is Less scary?!
I feel that a lot of the information that is found online is a little less than helpful in preparing for birth and those first days at home with baby. The best advice I received was from moms I knew that had gone through it. They were able to help my brain sort through the mounds of “You NEED to do this” and let me know what worked for them and what didn’t. Of course everyone is different and every birth and every baby is different, so take all of this with a grain of salt and use what you want and trash the rest.
PS – Show this to your significant others (SO) – they need to be in the know here too!!!
Continue reading “The Sh1T no one tells you”
The newest and biggest change in my life is that I am now a mother. My gorgeous little girl is the light of my life and everything I could want in a child (except for her apparent hatred for sleep…)
I was lucky enough to have had a pretty easy pregnancy. I actually enjoyed the process of growing a human (except for the trouble sleeping… can you tell I’m obsessed with sleep). My cravings limited themselves to grilled cheese sandwiches and apart from some brutal sciatica and back pains I have to say that my pregnancy was relatively trauma free.
Stupid and delusional me, I had all but convinced myself that my perfect pregnancy was going to continue into a perfect birth story and that my pre-natal yoga and gym sessions had given me the tools to be strong yet zen and that I would breeze though this like Superwoman.
I should mention that prior to actually getting pregnant, the whole birth thing terrified me and I was certain that I would need to be knocked over the head with a toaster and driven to the hospital where they would quickly remove the baby and give me a tummy tuck and lipo at the same time.
But hey, I’ve aced this pregnancy thing so let’s push a baby out – no problems!
Continue reading “My Birth Story … You’re Welcome”