Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sleep and the First Year of Marriage

Here's a hilarious picture of my chubby little boy! He's not really this chubby but he was making a funny face at me.

Well the day started out wonderfully, I awoke seal like noises coming from the cradle. Barclay sucks furiously at his arm when he's hungry and it sounds just like a seal. I like waking up to that much better than waking up to crying. Anyhow, I sat up in bed and realized it was almost 7 am and Barclay had only woken up once in the night! Praise the Lord! I can definitely do this! I don't know if it was the fact that we put him to be at almost ten thirty because we were at a friends house, or if it is that he's been sleeping in his car seat (to prepare for sleeping in Boston), or maybe it is just time for this little guy to sleep longer. Either way I was so happy!

I had a dentist appointment this morning and I wasn't looking forward to it. Let's just say with all the puking from the pregnancy and my lack of time and also lack of good brain power, flossing and sometimes even brushing is not my priority. I had everything ready. Baby clean and dressed and fed, me clean and dressed and fed. Baby in the car seat, mother on the way to the dentist to watch him. Everything was ready and...I cannot find my keys! I don't think there is anything more frustrating that not being able to find your keys! I turned the house upside down, while Barclay is screaming. I finally called my dentist in tears to tell them I wouldn't be there in the next minute. Sadly, that is an appointment we still have to pay for:-( After searching my house for another thirty minutes, Noah calls to let me know that he accidentally picked them up and he had them thirty minutes away. My whole day was thrown off, not to mention the good feelings from a pretty restful night.

Ok back to being happy:-)

Does anyone out there have any advise about things to help a baby in the plane? I know their ears must hurt from the pressure. Although having flown 15 hours to Korea when I was 32 weeks pregnant, probably will make him feel more at home.

I wanted to write a little post about marriage. I have a lot of friends getting married or newly married and I just wanted to write a little encouragement out for them.

I've been married for almost 4 years. I got married at 19, when I was halfway done with college. I remember back to preparing for the wedding and the NEGATIVITY that I felt from almost everyone (Christians included) about marriage. How discouraging! Not only were people warning me because of my young age, but people that I loved and admired were telling me, "The first year is so hard", and "Things are not always going to be romantic." What bride who has hopes of a blissful married life wants to hear such negativity? I was so discouraged as a bride and basically just focused my eyes on Noah and ignored the "advice". I'm not saying I thought our relationship would never change, that we would still kiss for hours and write love notes all the time. I knew things would change, and I also knew not to think it was going to fix all my woes of a single girl. But I was so discouraged that before I even got married, I felt people were feeling sorry for me and my doomed life. People said, "You're so young and you have so much life to live." My response, "Oh, I never thought that you stopped living when you got married."
People would say, "Don't you want to see the world? Don't you want to travel and be free?" To that I say, "Why can't you travel and see the world with someone?". All I knew is my life would be better with Noah. Not perfect, but better. I was right. And let me tell you, Noah and I have done our share of traveling!

Noah and I are the oldest in our families. Aka known as the STUBBORN ones. We also come from broken families which is another "strike" against us. Not to mention I was young. We came at the marriage determined to make it. We got marriage counseling for about a year before we got married. That marriage counseling led me to get personal counseling too. After just a few months of marriage, we decided that we still had so much to work through. So we went back to marriage counseling and here we are several years later, still in marriage counseling.

I remember telling a friend that I was going to go to marriage counseling that day. Her eyes got big and she said, "Why? What's wrong? Only people who want to get divorced go to marriage counseling." I was so shocked at the attitude and told her gently, "Actually, it's the people who want to stay married that go to marriage counseling".

I have found that to be the attitude of MANY people. I am so blessed to have a husband that even with all his faults, cares enough about me and our marriage that he wants to work through it. And even with all my faults (and there are A LOT), he loves me.

I don't think marriage counseling is for everyone, and I don't think that it is a fix all for a marriage. I think some people do just fine talking through things by themselves. Noah and I need a mediator. We are passionate fighters that are stubborn and we have had a lot of heartache in our lives. Marriage counseling is fun for us, we enjoy it, and it works for us.

I saw my love change as soon as I got married. Not in a bad way, but in a healthy, beautiful way. I no longer saw Noah as the perfect, gentleman, doting lover. I saw him as a deep, caring, hard working, romantic, broken man. Every time we had fights, the fact that he cared enough to sit down with me to hold and talk through things made me love him DEEPER. So yes, love does change, and some might see it as a negative change (not as much pursuing and wooing), but it changes into something that if appreciate can be the deepest, loveliest blessing.

I'm not saying that sometimes I don't just want a love letter that spills his guts about is love for me, because I do. And I do get that sometimes. I'm just saying that you are trading one joy for another joy.

As I said before, it bothers me that people told me as a young bride that the first year was the hardest. No one wants to hear that. It doesn't have to be true. I found that the first TWO years were the hardest, for me.

One day I found myself so discouraged. I felt like in order to have a sweet relationship with eachother, Noah and I had to work so hard. We are complete opposites and learning to communicate with eachother took so much effort. I was thinking, how can I do this for another fifty years? I'm going to be exhausted. Then it hit me, we were doing the hard work. We were putting effort and time into learning to communicate and love eachother. But just like starting to run or learning a new hobby or job. You do a lot of work up front and then it becomes like second nature. I realized that all the work we were doing those first two years, was going to pay off for the next fifty! Of course I realize that you don't just "get" something and then never have to work at it again, but it is getting easier and easier. I feel like newlyweds should be told that there is some initial work that has to be done in order to figure eachother out. Whether you do it the first year or after five years of marriage, it does need to be done.

You are living with someone who grew up differently than you, who loves differently than you. Just like you would have to learn about a roommate or a sibling in order to live harmoniously. You have to learn to live in harmony with your spouse.

So all you newlyweds out there, or brides and grooms to be, please don't be discouraged before it even begins. Know that your first year is going to be filled with some of the sweetest memories of your life, some of the funniest stories of your life, and some of the biggest lessons learned.

I am by no means the lady with the perfect marriage. I think Noah and I fight more than most people because of our personalities. But coming from several years of valuable lessons learned, encouraging progress, and the sweetest romantic times of my life, I just wanted to encourage others that disagreements are necessary in figuring out how to live with and love each other.

Some day I'll post about some of our hillarious (yes I said hillarious) arguments that make me laugh now. Think pink cake...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Warning...Random Thoughts

Since I'm so sleep deprived and Barclay is bound to wake up any moment, I'm not going to even attempt to write anything that flows or makes sense. I'm just going to list some random thoughts.

-There is NO substitute for ice cream. None at all. Rice ice cream is horrible, it tastes like ashe.
-I am terrible terrible terrible at nursing in public. I get all panicked and start to sweat. I just can't seem to do it without looking.
-I don't see the point to eating since I am not eating cheese:-(
-I have noticed an obsession with striped clothing both for me and Barclay. I would say 60% of what we own right now is striped.
-I broke three things yesterday. One right after the other. I did not break my baby though, so the day was a success.
-I sit and talk to Barclay about everything throughout the day. He tells me about his day, although it seems sort of boring as of late.
-I think sometimes Barclay cries because he's bored. Seeing boats float over his head in a circle to the same tune over and over is not exciting enough to him.
-I love love love love love love love love love being a mommy. I always knew I would, but I love it even more.
-I always wanted to have all girls (because boys scare me). But I cannot imagine not having this precious sweet boy. I want all boys now.
-Ok, I do want a girl someday.
-I have been to three stores looking for gnoche. I know two stores that have it, but they were "far away", well I should have just gone. I still don't have any and therefore cannot cook the yummy meal I have everything else for.
-I kiss Barclay probably over two hundred times a day. His poor face is a little broken out and I think it's because of my germy kisses.
-I don't want to be the woman that can't see past her baby, but I think I am her for the time being and I'm ok with that.
-I am thinking a need a bigger house, not because we have too much stuff but because I'm running out of walls to put up pictures.
-I want to go swimming...outside.
-I'm going to Boston on Thursday and I'm so excited!
-I hope Barclay doesn't scream on the plane.
-I hope our friends we are staying with have a guest room far from their room so they can get some sleep.
-I think I'm finally nesting.
-Never get white counter tops. They look fresh but they get dirty so fast. Everything shows up.
-I think I'm falling alseep as I right this but it is kind of fun.
-Sometimes when I'm driving, I miss Barclay so much in the back that I pull over to kiss him.
-I miss my sisters.
-I think I'm so sleep deprived that I've lost my "reading people gift". I now feel like everyone is mad at me, simply because I can't deduct from their body language what they are feeling.
-I hate planting and gardening. I hate it. I wish I didn't, but I do. I like dirt. I like flowers. But I hate gardening. I also hate watering things. I want to go buy plants and herbs but I know they are just going to die.
-Noah and I talk and moan a lot in our sleep and so does Barclay. Moan that is.
-I get so thirsty when I nurse, that I think I'm going to invest in a camel back.
-You would think I would run out of random thoughts but I'm not...and the baby is waking, and I feel so happy about writing some of my feelings down that's I'm going to stop.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, March 23, 2009

One Day at a Time...

As I'm writing this I'm crying a little bit because little Barclay has been screaming for twenty minutes. He needs to go to sleep and I've met all his other needs. I've gone in twice to rock him and check on him and he's just so tired he can't fall asleep. I've been trying to get him down for over two hours. I've tried rocking, nursing and cuddling him to sleep and he immediately wakes up after just five minutes. And now I'm trying the let him put himself to sleep. It's horrible though. I hate to hear him cry and see his tear. The past two days have been like heaven. He's smiled and cooed at me and slept a lot and been so precious. The two nights before last night, he woke up only twice and went strait back to sleep after nursing. Last night he was up three times and was up for an hour and a half each time. I was hoping the whole thing was behind us, but I guess each day is a new day and sometimes they aren't always good.
I know everyone has their ideas of how to get a little one to sleep through the night. I also know that none of them are wrong and that they work differently for each different baby. I feel I've done a good balance of all of them and none of them are working.

I was thinking the other day about how much I loved the feeling of this back in college:

I'm overwhelmed with so much to do. I can't figure out how to do it all and I'm tired. Then I suddenly realize, I can just not do it. I can lay here in bed and take a personal day. I can postpone those things to another day and this day can be mine. The feeling of taking an overwhelming busy day and turning into a day of recovery and rest is such a great feeling.

I've done it in high school, in my work, in my life. Just some times we need a personal day. Not to say I quit things, I just take a break or put it off till tomorrow. Even in marriage, you can take a personal day to regroup and be there more for your spouse. It hit me the other day that as a mother, I will never have the option to just take a personal day from mothering. In the middle of the night when I hear the beginnings of a cry from the crib and I don't see how I can move a single muscle, I cannot quit or simply put it off until another day. What a feeling of responsibility! What an awesome responsibility that this precious baby cannot go three hours without me. He needs me. Sometimes it's overwhelming...ok, most of the time it is. But I'm so grateful that God entrusted me with this responsibility.

Today is not such a good day, but we have had good days. And that is hope! Now it's been thirty minutes that this little one has been screaming his lungs out so I'm going to go check him and pray to the Lord that he falls asleep!

Here's some pictures from one of our priceless good days on the Blue Ridge Parkway this Saturday.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Yarn and bad dreams

Well, I didn't do any laundry yesterday...but I did take a few moments to set up a photo shoot of my sweet little chunkster. Here's a few of my favorite shots.

Hmmm I don't know if I'm going crazy from lack of sleep. Perhaps. The past two nights around two in the morning, I am feeding Barclay and all the sudden am overcome with the most uncontrollable ichiness. I feel like ants are crawling beneath my skin. If somone were looking in, they would observe a very funny scene: Here I am naked, because my clothes HURT, trying to nurse, holding a kitchen knife and itching my body with it. The first night I thought it was because I had washed some of Noah's clothes that were covered in Lime (he's "limeing the yard" whatever that means). But again last night the same thing took place.

One morning I called my mom crying because I was so tired. She was so sweet and replied with, "Well honey, of course you're going crazy, this is how the Chinese torture people!" So prehaps this is the end result of the chinese torture I've been experiencing for the past fifty or so days.

I finally had a dream this morning. It wasn't a very good dream...I dreamed that I microwaved my baby! I don't know what I was thinking, but the result was not pretty. Poor Barclay was all puffy and fat like a turkey. I woke up crying because I felt like the worst mother ever. Thankfully it was a dream.

Speaking of dreams, I had a pregnancy journal that I "tried" to fill out during my pregnancy. It had a section for writing down dreams. I wrote down two and then decided my poor child would not befefit at all from reading my frightnling strange dreams. Not once did a have a regular, "I held you for the first time and you were so perfect dream...".

Here is the strangest of my dreams:

I was feeling the baby kick and reached down to my lower belly. I was rubbing it and felt little wiggly toes. Before I knew it I felt a KICK and a foot was sticking out of me. I freaked out and reached down to....count the toes! One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve! On one foot! I started crying when all of the sudden...KICK. The other foot comes through. I reach down to count the toes on that foot. One...Two. TWO! I grabbed both feet and yanked my child out and to my horror found a little, fat, bald man with very unbalanced toes. He also had TEETH! He started swaying side to side singing Opera. They kept trying to give him to me to breastfeed and I kept freaking out and saying, "I'm sorry but I can't love him!". Right when it couldn't get any worse, I felt a KICK KICK and felt two other legs come through. Reaching down I couldn't find any toes! I pulled out those legs and out came a twin, a very tall and skinny twin who joined his brother in singing opera. Needless to say, strange dreams.

PS-I had not seen Benjamin Button at this point in my pregnancy.

Last night, my sweet friend Sophie came to visit. She's a friend I've made in the past year and I absolutely LOVE her! She's so easy to be with and we always have such sweet, REAL, and deep conversations. I made a quick dinner and was talking to her about my dietary frustrations. I LOVE cheese, I pretty much live off of cheese and since I've come off of dairy, I am at a loss of what to eat. I expressed to her my joy of discovering a replacement of ice cream...cheesecake. Sophie thought I was joking. But I wasn't. I know this sounds CRAZY but I thought if it was cooked, the milk part of it would cook out. Sort of like alchohal. Sadly, I have one more thing I love scratched off my list. Happily, poor Barclay's tummy troubles the other morning (from 3-7 am) are explained. Poor thing! First microwaving him and then eating CHEESEcake?!

Last nigth we watched a very beautiful and touching movie called, "The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas." If you want to cry, and I always do, this is the movie for you. The imagery was so thoughtful and lovely. Every frame was like a piece of art. It's about two little boys who become friends through the fence of a Nazi death camp. One is a Jew and the other is the son of a Nazi officer. It is SAD though.

Yesterday was a wonderful day. Barclay was so sweet and slept through both lessons that I taught. He also smiled at me a lot and snuggle with me. I'm so in love and cry every time he outgrows an outfit, which is pretty much every day now:-( I'm so blessed!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

And babies wont keep...

My growing boy...

It's funny how much a productive day has changed in meaning for me since the baby was born.

A list of what I hope to get accomplished pre baby looked like this:

grocery shop
do all laundry
fold all laundry
organize garage
teach five students
reply to five brides
write thank you notes
do blog
take car to get serviced
call 2 friends
cook dinner
work out

My list of things I "hope" to accomplish since the baby has arrived looks more like this:

Feed the baby and attend all his needs
if you have time, wash the dishes.

I'm learning that I can count myself as having a productive day, even if all I do is keep both baby and me alive. It's a little discouraging when Noah comes home and it looks like I've done nothing all day but watch Oprah and nurse. I know he wishes that after his long day at work, he could come home to a good dinner and at least have clean clothes to wear. I just don't think that he understands just how my day goes. A simple diaper change can turn into a full 30 minutes of clean up. (The other day, Barclay actually peed into his mouth:-/ I was so freaked out and also laughing hysterically that while trying to clean up the poor baby, I didn't notice he was gearing up to do it again. That little diaper change included changing the pad on the changer, changing Barclay's outfit twice, washing him with a wash cloth, me changing my clothes and washing the wall. That was 30 minutes out of an already short 24 hour day.

Barclay has been in a definite growth spurt the past few days. I know this because he DEMANDS to be fed every 2 hours. That is two hours from the time I feed him until the next time I feed him. So 40 minutes of that is already taken up with nursing.

Thankfully, I feel such support and wealth of wisdom from so many moms out there. Encouraging me to let the housework be last priority to enjoying my baby. I don't think it was like that many years ago. I think there were a lot of lonely mothers trying to make everything seem perfect when on the inside they were dying. I see a huge difference in the way things were when my mother was raising us, to now. People are more open and value honesty instead of perfection. I know there are mothers out there who truly can do it all, or at least most of it. I have come to realize that I am not one of them. Maybe it is because I'm the artistic sort and given a free hour, I'd rather write, or frame artwork, or take pictures.

There is a poem that my Aunt Helen recited to me in her beautiful southern drawl when I visited her when Barclay was just 2 weeks old. I had tears in my eyes most of that visit and was feeling completely overwhelmed. She has had 6 children and said this is the thing she wished she had caught on to in the beginning...

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow...

for babies grow up

we've learned to our sorrow...

So quiet down cobwebs-

dust go to sleep...

I'm rocking my baby

and babies don't keep.

I think I've hit another wall as far as being able to make it. I was so tired last night that I thought I was going to drop the baby when I went to pick him up. My arms were tingly, my head was pounding, I was crying. I tried to get Noah up to help me, but when he's asleep, there is no waking him. Four times I was awakened from sleep to take care of my sweet baby. Usually I enjoy the quiet night and the sweet times with the baby. But last night I felt like I was in a nightmare, wading through mud trying to get away from someone chasing me. I know it will pass and I am treasuring every minute, but I'm really missing my sleep.

Even as a young child, I couldn't wait to go to sleep. I had the most fantastic dreams and I couldn't wait to dream them. Throughout my pregnancy I slept at least 10 hours a night, sometimes 12. I LOVE sleeping. But now I dread night time. I know that I'm just heading into a dreamless sleep that will soon be interrupted. People have told me to nap when he naps. I get so frustrated because Noah says that the reason he can't help me at night is because I can nap and he can't throughout the day. The thing is...I can't nap. I try but it is one of the most frustrating things ever. It's not even worth it. Every time I try to nap, I am awakened within a few minutes by Barclay. It's like I try for ten minutes to fall asleep, and as soon as I do, he wakes up. It makes me feel even more frustrated and tired. I would just assume get something done, than frustrate myself. It really hit me the other day that no matter if I want to go to bed early, or want to sleep in, I'm at the mercy of my infant and cannot catch up on sleep that way.

I read the book Babywise when I was pregnant and was totally excited about the whole scheduling thing. It really made sense to me. I have two sweet cousins who gave me the advice of not worrying about it for six weeks and just enjoy taking care of him. Today, Barclay is six weeks old and I've tried for the past week to start scheduling him a little bit. The thing is, I'm so tired and I forget when I last fed him. Something comes up and I can't give him a full feeding. I schedule doctors appointments when he should be sleeping. Or it will take him two hours to finally fall into a fitful sleep and I just can't wake him up to feed him because I know he needs the rest. I'm not giving up on it, but I'm just saying that things aren't as neat and tidy in a box as I thought they could be.

I'm sorry for venting through this blog, but it is so therapeutic for me and I really enjoy the advices and encouragement that I get from Moms of all ages.

As for good things:

Barclay is becoming so much more alert, and when he's not screaming from the acid reflux, he is trying to tell me things with his gummy smiles. Every day he gets cuter and cuter.

I bought a new red shirt yesterday that makes me feel very ooo la la hot.

I love the daffodils that I see poking up everywhere

I have several bridal portrait shoots coming up and those are my absolute favorites to do

God is blessing Noah in his work

I am receiving a package of new nursing bras in the mail today, so I don't have to do laundry so much.

Noah and I are going to Boston in about a week to visit friends!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Love Story Part 2

Barclay has been better...sometimes. This morning he screamed from 8 am until 1 pm. I rocked him, sung to him, nursed him, let him scream, I laid him in his bed, I gave him his medicine. I don't know what it is that makes a baby calm one day and not the next. I've been eating the blandest food, so I know it's not that. Thankfully, I think I'm beginning to tune him out when I need to. We went to my last midwife check this afternoon and he was calm in the car. He started screaming about ten minutes from our house and coninued on the whole way home. We got home and he was sweating so I took his clothes off and put him next to my skin, nursed him, told him how much I loved him, wiped the tears from his cheeks, stroked his head and arms, and prayed for him. I even cried a few tears of love myself. Then when I was burping him, we had several precious moments of peace and smiles. He totally loves me back! He was smiling at me as milk dripped out the sides of his toothless grin. He was making the sweetest sounds of cooing too. So a bad morning, but a priceless afternoon. I finally got him to go to sleep and now he's in the swing next to the computer, sucking on the medicine paci that I gave him his gripe water in. He is so precious and peaceful. So instead of cleaning my house, taking a shower, or writing the many thank you notes I need to write...I am writing this blog:-) Which makes me happy.

Here's a little more to the love story that I posted a couple days ago, along with some fun old pictures.

Love Story Part 2

After the first summer Noah and I had together, he made the decision to stay home from his college and attend the community college here for a semester. He did it to be with my family. He saw five girls hurting and needing, not only a big brother, but even a dad of some sorts. I remember my mom being so sad that sometimes she just couldn't get out of bed. Noah would pick us up and take us around to our various activities. We had a wonderful fall of healing. Even now, the fall weather brings on the best feelings of the beginnings of love to me. We hung out with Noah and Eric pretty much every day. I remember one day, my dad was in an addiction program in Chattanooga and we were going to have our thanksgiving there. Being a single mom of five didn't really leave my mom much spending money and so we were planning to go and spend our thanksgiving surrounded by strange people in a strange place. Noah and Eric approached my mom before we left and presented us with $200 they had saved. It was just for us to use to have fun. The whole trip, which originally was going to be awful, turned out to be one of the greatest memories with my mom. We went and SAW Rock City:-) As well as all six going to see an Imax movie. We had dinners and ice cream and for the first time...pretty much ever, we didn't have to feel worried about the money.

My birthday in October. Our first fall together.

Throughout the fall I fell deeper and deeper in love with Noah. I started writing letters every single night to Noah and keeping them in a box. These letters expressed my love for him and talked about one day marrying, etc. I also wrote him letters I gave to him. These were encouraging notes with bible verses, cartoon drawings, and love. Because he was hurting from his parent's divorce as well. In the spring, Noah went back to Columbia for college. I would send him cookies and letters, all under the impression that it was a friendly thing, not a romantic thing.

I seriously don't remember high school. I know it's weird. I can remember even the tiniest details about when I was four years old, but high school is a blur. I'm pretty sure it is because I spent every hour thinking and dreaming about Noah. Living for the next time I would see him. I listened to Nickel Creek and Jennifer Knapp in my room while I wrote in my journal and wrote him letters, I would even sneak out at night to the Carl Sandburg field and dance around with the most overwhelming joy bursting from my heart. I was in love but couldn't tell anyone, and so I just danced.

That spring, I went with the Carolina Youth Symphony to New York City to play my violin in Carnegie Hall. I was so excited, not really for the opportunity or site seeing as much as I was excited that Noah decided to fly up for the concert. He, my mom, and my sister Julianna all flew up together to be there to cheer me on. I had a beautiful, full black skirt, a gorgeous black backless shirt and there was going to be a dinner cruise after the concert. I dreamed about how that night was going to go and hoped that I would get a chance to dance with Noah. It was even better than I could have imagined. I looked beautiful and felt grown up. The concert was completely amazing. I even had a short solo (I scooted my chair during the oboe solo so my mom could see me) :-) We were all dressed up and went on a boat ride on the river. There was dinner and dancing. There are two songs that are forever stuck in my head from that night. The first being, Backstreet boys, This I Promise You. Cheesy I know, but for me, it was the most romantic song of my life because Noah and I slow danced to it. I remember staring up at him and getting lost in his deep eyes. Those of you who know Noah know that he has the twinkliest eyes. I am a foot shorter than him and I remember his big arms enveloping me. Even now, if I ever hear that song, I just have to close my eyes and I'm there again. The other song is actually pretty vulgar but not the part that stood out to me. It's Come My Lady by Crazy Town. I just remember after the slow dance, Noah putting his hand behind his back, grabbed my hand and lead me up the stairs to the balcony, away from my mother and sister. "Come my lady, come come my lady..." was playing. I felt like a lady and I was sure coming with him! On the balcony, he wrapped his arms around me because it was cold and we just were silent together overlooking the city. As soon as the boat docked, all the musicians went back to the hotel to pack up and load the bus for the 13 hour drive home. I remember pretending to be sick, sticking my head under my blanket and day dreaming the whole 13 hours home of Noah and how much I loved him. I went over the night again and again in my head, and added on with thoughts of our wedding and life together. That Monday at school I got one of the tech savvy boys in my class to burn me a CD of those two songs. Funny, because I don't know if there is one CD in the WORLD with those two songs on it:-)

This picture is from that wondrous night in NYC

Monday, March 16, 2009

Barclay's Birth Story

Barclay's Birth Story

Prepare yourselves, there was no short way to write this:-)

I was almost a week overdue and was pretty ready to be over with the whole pregnancy thing. I had been having very regular and close contractions for weeks so I was just feeling discouraged and like it would never happen. It's not that I felt too uncomfortable, but I was just ready to meet this sweet baby who had been growing inside of me for the past 41 weeks. It was super bowl Sunday and Noah and I went to watch the super bowl at my friend Bethany's house. I was so determined to get things rolling that I brought along my hot pink yoga ball and decided to bounce the whole game. So I bounced and bounced for almost three hours straight! My thighs got a good work out too! We went home after a very exciting game and very soon after going to bed, I felt strange and when to the bathroom and noticed that I was bleeding some. I was thrilled! This meant things were opening and soon I would meet my baby.

By the time I woke up in the morning, my contractions were about 8-10 minutes apart and not very painful. Even though I'd been having contractions like this even closer, I knew I was close because of other symptoms. Sadly, I did not have that sudden burst of energy and urge to clean, I just felt exhausted. So I laid on the couch and watched CSI all day. Near dinner time I went on a ride with Noah to meet a client at Target. It was cold outside so I decided to walk in Target to try to keep things going. By this time, I was having to stop with each contraction and wait for it to pass. I've always heard never to go to the hospital until you can't talk through the contractions, and they weren't that bad yet. So we decided to go to Papas and Beer (the best Mexican in the world and the hottest salsa). We are pretty much regulars there and every time that I would come in those last few weeks, the sweet waitresses would tap my belly and say things like, "You're still here?" We told them that night that we were probably going to the hospital that night. I wasn't feeling too great, even with my favorite dish in front of me. We still opted to go home instead of heading up 26 to the hospital. At home I got on my yoga ball again and rolled back and forth and tried to watch house. By this time, I was almost delirious with pain because I couldn't comprehend what was going on during the show. I stopped it and went into the room where Noah was sleeping to let him know that I thought we should go the the hospital pretty soon.

I then curled up next to him in bed, my belly pressed skin to skin to his. He could feel the contractions and we cried and prayed together. It was one of my favorite moments with him ever. It was so sweet. I then got up, called my midwife and we headed to the hospital (which is almost an hour from our house). It was a very cold night and we got to the hospital about 12am. They took me to triage where they monitored my contracts which were about three minutes apart. I was so embarrassed but I was just screaming with each one. I felt sure that I was at least five centimeters dilated, but after several nurses attempting to check me (I was a tough one), they came to the conclusion that I was only one centimeters. I was so sad and started to cry. I didn't know what to do because they said to come to the hospital when I was in so much pain I couldn't talk..and I was. I felt totally like a looser and had to text my family and tell them false alarm. They gave me a sleeping pill and said that if I couldn't sleep, to come back in because I was really in labor. So we took the long hour ride home, with me sobbing and still screaming from the contractions. At home, Noah said he needed to sleep so he got on the couch. I tried to sleep but was constantly awakened by the worst pain of my life. I was so freaked out. I thought I had extreme indigestion. It felt like a huge bubble was just moving around my intestines. I took probably thirty to forty hot baths, rolled around on the bed, rolled around on the floor. I didn't think it was labor because it was constant. I didn't feel the "waves" that my birthing class said I would feel. After about four to five hours of screaming and moaning, Noah walked into the bathroom, where I am in the fetal position (well as much of a fetal position that an overdue woman can be in). He said, "What are you doing?". I was sobbing and said that I hadn't slept at all and had really bad indigestion. He freaked out and said, "No you don't! You're in labor!". I kept telling him that I wasn't and that I didn't want to call the midwife because I was embarrassed about my previous false alarm and that I knew I just had horrible indigestion. He dialed the number and thrust the phone at me. My midwife Jan answered the phone and I tried to tell her what was going on but I couldn't even get it out. All I said was, "I don't feel a break between the pain.." and she said to get to the hospital as fast as I could. I was so freaked out and we got in the car to go up. That whole hour ride I was just constantly screaming. I thought I might have the baby in the car because the pain was constant and so awful.

We got to the hospital and they immediately (without checking me) took me to a room. I was so worried that it would just be indigestion and they would send me back home again. My other midwife who had just gotten on call, Roni came in to check me and pronounced that I was at 3 cm. Uggg! I had heard they didn't admit people until they were four and I couldn't do the ride back home again. She was actually pretty please with the progression and announced that I was in true labor and could be admitted. I immediately felt a huge weight being lifted off of me. All those weeks of wondering if I was or wasn't, were over. I was and Barclay would be there soon...or so I thought. I looked around the room and noticed that there was no Jacuzzi tub for the water birth that I was so excited about. We asked and they said that since there was a huge ice storm coming, the pressure drop had sent so many ladies into labor that we had gotten the last room. One without a tub. I was so upset but knew there was nothing we could do about it. I had asked my midwife if I could deliver in the small tub they had in the bathroom and she said she didn't see a problem with it. I started walking around, sitting on my ball, screaming my head off with pain. I did this for hours and hours and it just felt endless. The problem I was having is that my contractions were not regular at all. I was having horrible, endless ones for maybe an hour and then it would taper to only every five minutes. I never felt like I had a good break to collect myself for the next one (this was my whole plan about how to make it through). I took baths in the small bathtub but the water was so cold and it was so small it barely covered my belly. I started to feel completely out of it and remember biting my arm and pulling my hair. Noah would try to help by massaging me or talking to be but it just made it worse and worse and worse. My who family had arrived that morning and were anxiously waiting in the waiting room. Around noonish, they broke my water. I was told that I had a LOT of fluids because they could barely feel the babies position through all the fluids. I was expecting a huge gush, but really there was hardly anything. They said the baby's head sealed it so well that all the fluids were behind him. They were right. I like to say that Barclay surfed out but that gives the idea of ease, which wasn't the case. But he sure got baptized with fluid as soon as he came out.

By 6 pm, I was still only about a 5. I remember looking at the window in my room and thinking about jumping out of it! I was so out of it that I couldn't communicate or distinguish time. My nurse finally asked me, "Honey, why don't you want an epidural?". I told her I really wanted to deliver in the tub. She said that really wasn't possible in that small bathroom and I decided that was the only reason I was holding out. I was so tired too after being up for thirty six or more hours. She said that someone was going for a C section and the epidural would be unavailable for almost two hours if I didn't get it. I barely knew what I was doing, but said yes please. I was so proud of myself for being open and not beating myself over the head about not doing it natural. To tell you the truth, I probably would have done it earlier if I had been able to function clear enough to think straight. I was so thankful that I didn't really understand or know how an epidural works, because I was unaware of what was happening. I got stuck three times! She just couldn't get it right. It was pretty awful because my legs felt like they were being electrocuted the first two times they stuck me and my legs were jumping around and I was so scared I would move and get paralyzed. We discovered after the second stick that this was an intern! The teacher finally stepped forward to help her. I was pretty upset but too tired and in pain to care or say anything. It took a while for it to take affect and it felt really weird. I had it only on my right side, so I had to lay on my left to let it drip over. That was a weird feeling too. Finally I was numb and couldn't feel anything. Not a pleasant feeling at all, but a whole lot better than the whirlwind contractions that had me screaming for almost the past 24 hours. They hooked me up to pitocin to speed things along, as well as some monitors. It was crazy because my contracts read exactly like I felt them (even with the Pitocin), irregular. I was having huge mountains of hard contractions one on top of another. Some of my contractions were three minutes in length! And then it would go to almost nothing. My midwife had already by this time delivered TWO babies from the practice. I was so jealous because I was still there. I finally got to seven centimeters. My mom (who has had 7 babies) told me hundreds of times, as well as any of the staff who would listen to her, that when I got to seven I would shake and have the baby in twenty or so minutes. Well, sadly, this wasn't the case. Because I still had another twelve hours or so till I had him. The epidural was nice because I felt I could nap a little bit since I was exhausted, also I was able to have my sisters and our parents come into the room to visit. Noah at one point ducked out of the room to deliver a contract to be signed downstairs to a client (talk about dedication!). I think that the whole hospital was thankful I got an epidural because I'd been screaming bloody murder for hours and hours and hours. I was progressing so slowly, and I would just watch the clock move. I was so sure that would have that baby on February third, but as the night went on, that seemed like less and less a possibility. Throughout this, I never once thought about the possibility of a C-section, but was told later by my nurse and midwife that they thought I would surely end up with one. Finally, after almost ten hours of having the epidural, I started to feel my legs. I requested that they take me off the epidural so that I could feel to push. They did and I was soon fully aware of my lower half and the pain. I was so focused that at this point, I was barely even screaming, just going somewhere in my head. I was finally a 9 and a half and I was so excited to push this baby out! It had been more than two days of labor. Right when I was near pushing, my midwife was pulled out of the room. Another client from the midwifery had shown up ready to push. She told me to hold on while she ran to deliver the other baby. I was so upset! I had been there all day and night and I wanted to have my baby. And those of you who have had a baby know that telling a pregnant woman not to push is pretty awful. It probably worked out well because I just let him move as much as he could down without having to exhaust myself. Well that lucky lady had her baby in less than an hour and I finally started pushing at about 4 am. Previously the midwife had turned the baby because he was face up which is more difficult to deliver and was the cause of lots and lots of back labor. By my little boy had plans of his own and had returned to the difficult position. I pushed for over two hours before Barclay came into the world. It was extremely painful but not nearly as much as contractions. I could feel him moving down and stretching me, and then he would move back up again. I had a mirror and was watching the progress. I finally asked for it to be taken down because it seemed like it was impossible and I wasn't about to watch my body split in two. I had Noah (who had been the sweetest thing on the face of the earth) on one leg and my sweet nurse Stephanie on my other leg. Those two hours were blurs. I was in another place mentally. Strangely, that place was Target. I had them laughing so hard because I would say, I'm in the jewelry section now, and the next contraction I was on the aisle with dog food, etc. For some reason it helped me have something to think about while I was pushing with all my might. It's weird because at that point I knew that I HAD to get him out. I couldn't quit and I had no other option. At that point I was having a huge contraction, followed by a small contraction. The small one wasn't worth pushing through. I labeled these contracts as my Target contractions and my motorcycle contractions (for the small one). I don't know why but I had everyone in the room laughing hysterically. I loved watching Noah. He was right there and enjoying the process of it so much. He was so encouraging and so enthralled. I truly didn't know if he would get to the place where he was nearly as excited as me about this baby, but it just took him a lot longer. I witnessed the whole process that day. When I was pushing, the nurse and midwives kept commenting on how big he was. They estimated him at over nine pounds. When I finally pushed Barclay out, I felt the biggest sense of awe about what my body could do. When they pulled that baby out of me and set him on my chest, I couldn't believe it. I immediately started sobbing and declaring my love for this baby. Noah was sobbing and so was the midwife. It was by far, the most rewarding and miraculous thing I have ever been through.

Barclay Thomas George was born at 7 lbs 7 oz (not very big at all), 20 inches with the biggest cone head you've ever seen! He was nine days late. I immediately loved him more than anything.

My midwife told me later that she could not believe I didn't end up with a C-section and that she was so proud of me. I know if I had a regular doctor, they probably would have not given me any other option. I was thankful for a patient midwife.

She also said that if I had lived when medical intervention hadn't been available (ie epidurals and pitocin), I could have been in labor for a week and would have probably died.

Even though my birth didn't go even a small amount the way I wanted, it was perfect for me and allowed me to rest just enough that I was aware for the first moments of Barclay's life.

Right after I delivered, my midwife was called to ANOTHER woman who was 9 cm and almost ready to push. She delivered 5 babies in the 24 hours she was on call. A record for the midwifery. I heard later that all the rooms were so full, that there were women laboring in the waiting area with my family while they waited for rooms to open up. While we were in there, there was a terrible ice and snow storm. I was unaware and warm the whole time. Our precious families had waited about 24 hours in the waiting room to meet him.

Even though my labor was long, hard, and painful. The moment Barclay was born I knew he was worth every minute of it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Precious Moments

I grew up watching my mom nurse 6 babies. I always loved when I would curl up in bed next to my mommy and marvel at the new baby with her. Never in my life have I ever wanted to do anything so badly. The morning I found out I was pregnant, the second thing I said after exclaiming how excited I was to have a baby, was how much I couldn't wait to nurse them! I prayed throughout my pregnancy that the Lord would bless me to be able to nurse. I know it sometimes doesn't always work out the way that I plan.

I got to nurse Barclay just a few minutes after he was born and it was so precious. Every time since has been even sweeter. I love that for hours upon hours every day, I am required to stop what I'm doing and take time to nourish and cherish my baby. I get to lovingly look over every eye lash and the color of his eyes. I get to notice every ounce he gains, and where he puts it. I get to stroke his soft hair and his soft skin and talk to him. I get to pray for him and for his little soul that will live forever. I'm so grateful to have the blessing of a precious child and the ability to spend these precious times with him every single day.

My little mouse:-)

Here's a quick funny story about one of my adventures in public breast feeding.

My friend Monique and I have had several fun trips to Greenville to go shopping at the 99 cent a pound goodwill. We went the week I found out I was pregnant, as well as several times during and several more times in the weeks I was just waiting to deliver. We were so excited to take little Barclay for his first encounter. We decided to go down town to have lunch outside, because it was a beautiful day. We sat outside and Barclay was screaming and screaming because he was so hungry. I tried to descreatly feed him under a blanket, away from the families that were walking around post church. We were both sweating, he was slipping, I was hungry myself and I was getting lots of stares. I finally got him on there and began eating in the wonderful silence that followed. Monique and I were talking about all kinds of things and I decided to take a quick peek below the blanket to see how he was doing, because I was starting to feel kind of odd. He'd been under there about ten minutes. I was shocked to discover that he had been suckling the wrong spot. I had a nice hickey on my chest and the poor baby had gotten nothing. Needless to say I had to finally shock a couple people and get rid of the blanket so I could see what I was doing and my poor baby could fill his belly. I laughed so hard!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Love Story Part 1

Part of the reason that I have wanted to start a blog is because I've always wanted to write an auto biography. I've had a very exciting life in my short 23 years and the Lord has proven over and over and over again that he will take care of me. Writing this book is hard for several reasons. Number one, I keep living...:-) Number two, I have no idea what format I want to use. Number three, it is so hard to be motivated. Even if writing a book was all I had to do (and it definitely isn't), than I would still probably have a hard time. I realized that even if it isn't in a format, the fact that some people would be reading it, would make me want to write. So I'm going to not only blog about my life currently. But I'm planning on blogging on my past. Hopefully that will get the juices flowing and eventually help me out in telling my story. It will probably be in more of a ramble and I definitely don't have the best use of grammar, but at least it's a start. And hopefully people will laugh, cry, and draw inspiration and encouragement from it.

I've been thinking a lot about my husband lately. With a new baby it is so hard to think straight, let alone be nice to your spouse. I've found myself so frustrated throughout the day, that by the time Noah gets home from work, I' m ready to let someone have it...and sadly, that someone has been him. I hate it:-( When we decided that we wanted to start a family, we knew one thing that needed to be a priority for the rest of our lives...each other. Even though my love for Barclay is one of the most wonderful things I've felt in my life, if I put him before Noah, or even love him more than Noah, then the whole foundation of our family is off. I know these early weeks are hard with a newborn, but I'm really going to try to bring myself out of the fog and focus on my husband more than I have been.

I want to go way back for this part of my past and probably will do it with several posts. I want to write out the story of how Noah and I met and fell in love...

Even though now people know me as a hopeless romantic, as a little girl, I wasn't like that at all. I never wanted to get married, I didn't dream about my wedding, I would rather play mommy than bride. Basically I found out at a very early age that I couldn't marry my daddy and all my dreams were shattered from that point on. I remember harboring some very mean feelings towards my mother for marrying daddy before I could. Anyhow, I had a lot of little boys sweet on me growing up. At church they would chase me and steal my big, Charleston bows. At camp in middle school, they would try to hold my hand by the fire pit; that kind of thing. I always prided myself on never being interested and never giving in. I remember in 7th and 8th grade saying over and over and over again. I never want to get married, I just want to have lots and lots of Chinese babies. 101 and to be exact. I always knew I wanted to be a mother, but being married wasn't appealing to me. I had a boyfriend at the end of 8th grade and it was sweet, innocent, passionate ( we kissed across the foot bridge at church). We wrote letters all the time and held hands on our class trip to the planetarium.

But I still truly still never wanted to get married. That was until I met Noah George.

My family and I, for reasons that are going to be several posts in themselves, were living in our motor home at Bonclarken (a Presbyterian conference center in Flat Rock NC). I had grown up going there every summer since I could remember for a week. We were living there all summer this year and were looking for a place to live permanently. I was a sad and angry 14 year old who was just uprooted from Charleston SC where I had made a life. Just a couple months before I was planning on attending Bishop England, a very prestigious high school in Charleston with my best friend and cousin, Kathrine. I was planning to try out for cheer leading, I had taken all the entrance exams, I had even bought my beautiful (or so I thought) Kelly green skirts and plaid knee high socks that were required. I had in my mind how my high school life was going to be, and then everything got turned upside down and I was now going to attend a small Christian school in the mountains of North Carolina. I was mad at God for uprooting my life that had for the first time in my whole 14 years had just become stable. I couldn't imagine that life could ever be good again.

That all changed when I met Noah George.

We met at the Bonclarken swimming pool one summers day. My sisters and I swam there every time the doors were opened. We have always been little water babies. We were swimming around the pool annoying the lifeguards:-) when I saw this older guy with really curly hair, strong muscular arms, and a tan organizing something in the deep end. I swam over closer to see what was going on. Then he looked at me and came over to me and asked, "Would you like to play a game of sharks and minnows?" I knew at that moment that I wanted to get this guy. He had taken a pool full of children and teenagers and gotten them all to play together. This was the kind of man I was looking for. I of course played and an instant bond was formed.

The first time Noah remembers me, was one day after the pool incident. He said he saw me wearing overalls and he said to his brother Eric, "I'm going to marry that girl". I didn't believe him when he told me this years and years later, but I asked Eric and he said it was true.

That summer I was 14 and Noah was 19. I was going into my first year of high school and Noah had just finished his Freshman year of college. Of course at that age difference, you cannot have a romantic relationship. Or you can, it is just illegal... So I would refer to Noah as my brother. And he really was like a brother for a couple of years.

Noah and his brother Eric had just experienced the divorce of their parents and were living with their dad. My sisters and I had just experienced the same thing and were living with our mom. All of us were just raw with grief and sadness but we found such joy in being together. Literally every night we would get together for movie nights, camping trips, and every other kind of adventure you could think of. We ended up spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families combined. It was like we had been feeling empty and broken and were at last feeling whole again. Through this all, Noah and I were just like brother and sister.

Here's a picture from that summer in the same overalls that Noah fell in love with me:-)

I'm going to stop here because I can get carried away and the story is LONG. I'll write a little bit more tomorrow.

Thank you for all the prayers for sleep and a calm baby. I don't know what is working but something is. Barclay has been about 50% less fussy, and last nigth my Mom and sister Georgia Ann were able to stay up with him all night and I slept for 9 hours straight! I couldn't believe it when I woke up. My boobs couldn't believe it either. They were HUGE! I feel so much better; like some cob webs have been cleaned out of my head. Thank you for the prayers!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lifted Up

Yesterday morning I felt like I was near death. I've never felt so much like just going under my bath tub water and falling asleep. I wrote my last blog post and I was overwelmed by so many precious people who encouraged me, whether it be offers of help, advice, prayers, stories of friends with the same problem, etc. Throughout the day I felt lifted up through prayer and the Lord really encouraged me.
Here are things I'm thankful for:
1-My friend Bethany Roach brought me some frozen, thin mint girl scout cookies because I can not eat any fun things.
2-I was given a portable swing several months ago and it hasn't worked. I knew I needed a swing but didn't want to purchase one. I was at my wits end yesterday afternoon and decided to try the swing one last time. It all the sudden started working and Barclay spent 30 minutes enjoying it, which is a lifetime in baby minutes.
3-After finding out I had been trying to pump with a broken pump, I decided I had to get one. I went to Walmart (where I had a gift certificate) to try to find one. My options were limited. $150 for an electric pump and $50 for a manual pump. I thought both were outrageous but I needed something. Breast pumps are the sort of thing you can't buy and return (understandably), so I decided to try Target and see if they had something in the middle.
They did and I got a great electric pump for $70.
4-I pumped 3 oz of milk yesterday! I felt like I had wings! I called almost everyone I knew with the news and wanted to even take pictures! (I didn't though). Just that 3 oz of milk gave me hope that I would one day be able to go swim at the YMCA again, or have dinner with my husband, or SLEEEEEEEP!
5-My friend Catherine has been here since Tuesday helping me out with things. I think Barclay overwelms her, especially since she's never changed a baby's diaper before. But she has been so encouraging to me. I've had intelectual stimulation, she's helped me cart him around, stayed in the car with him while I've done errands. Last night she cooked me a soup of what was left in my fridge. Not to mention that she's help me paint my bathroom and guest bedroom (two projects that were started and never finished for the past two months). Now I can hang up art, and get things semi together.
6-After writing my last blog, I decided to cancel my two lessons for the day. Not forever... but until I feel mentally alert enough to handle it and the moms of my students were so understanding it actually made me cry.
7-I can't tell you how much every comment on facebook, or text, or email means to me. I feel so loved and surrounded and so prayed for. I really don't understand how people do it without support. I just know that I would probably be in a looney bin if I didn't. Thank you all for being so precious.
8-I shaved my legs today...both of them.
9-My mom is going to stay up with Barclay tonight and I think that I will finally be able to sleep a whole night through for the first time in almost fourty days.
10-Even though I have a screaming baby, I love him more than anything in the world and would NEVER give up this blessing for a quiet house.
Here's a picture of my sweet boy where he's the bath like his mama.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A very honest ramble

I feel like I'm at my ropes end. I've heard that new babies are sapposed to sleep 10-14 hours in a 24 hour period and Barclay only sleeps about 7. Everytime he goes to sleep, he wakes up in horrible painful screaming. His Pediatrician said he has acid reflux really bad and that he is woken up by burning in his belly and esophagus. I sometimes think that doctors are quick to diagnos this for fussy babies. They put him on previcid. Well I forgot to give it to him about two nights ago and I'm positive that they were correct in their diagnosis. He screamed even more, if that is imaginable.
I tell you what, it is the worst feeling in the world to hear your baby scream their lungs out in pain for hours and hours and hours, endlessly. I rock him, sing to him, feed him, bath him, rock him, rock him, rock him, rock him...etc. and it doesn't help. I feel awful! He looks at me with swollen, wet eyes and his bottom lip quivering and I can't do anything to help him more than I'm already doing.
I've done everything I can think of. I've stopped eating dairy, and salad, and broccoli, and other yummy things.
I bought a sling cradle especially for acid reflux babies, I've given him milicon drops, and gripe water (which really really does help gas), I've let him sleep in his car seat, I've swaddled him, I wrap him in a ceramic blanket and nothing works.
If at last he stops crying for a brief period of time, he is so precious and calm and alert.
I'm certainly not mad at him because he can't help it. I'm just frustrated and tired.
In the 5 weeks, one day since he was born, I've only been away from him for 3o minutes. My mom held him while I went sledding with my sisters. I've tried to pump milk several times and to no availe. Yesterday my mom came to help me (since I'm using her old pump...strange I know) and we discovered that the pump doesn't work. So today my number one goal, other than staying alive and keeping Barclay alive is going to walmart to get a pump. That way, maybe Noah could feed him one night and I can get some sleep.
I had such a hard pregancy with being nausous beyond belief for months and months and months, even up until I was 9 months pregnant.
I also had a very intense, hard, and long I was sort of hoping for a calm and easy baby. That hasn't been the case and a lot of my plans are changing.
I previously planned on teaching my 7 violin students and even adding an 8th. I thought, how hard would it be? I'll get my mom or mother in law or sister to come and hold him while I teach and it wouldn't take but four to five hours a week. I'm finding just washing dishes and showering overwelming and the thought of continuing to teach puts me in tears. I love my students though and really want them to progress and I want to help them. I just feel like I'm going to be an awful teacher with my mental state right now. I have tried to contact some of them to get started again and just trying to find a time that works for them is wearing me out.
I'm definitely still doing my photography. The fact that most of it is going to take place in the summer is so reassuring and the fact that I LOVE it and couldn't not do it helps too, but I feel like being a Mom (and a mom to a fussy baby), and doing photography, and trying to be a good wife, housewife, and friend is too much to handle.
I'm praying about perhaps dissapointing people and quitting teaching. I hate dissapointing people!

I've always been ahead of all my friends. I got married way before them and throughout college I really struggled because I wanted to not be "that" girl who became completely attatched to her husband and wouldn't do things. I think I worried about it so much that I wasn't healthy in my marriage, because I was scared people would think I had changed. But I had changed. I was married now and should have been focusing more energy on my husband and our life together. Thankfully, I've had two years out of college to really connect to Noah and be OK with being the "married girl". It does help that many of my friends are now married. I am now finding myself, again, ahead of the game and wanting to not be that Mom who doesn't do things, or go places. I don't want to be left out. But I'm finding that unlike when it was just Noah and I, this baby depends on me. I cannot be selfish and want to please other people. My baby needs me.

I'm hoping that today I can make it. I'm taking it one day at a time. Thankfully, my good friend Catherine is here helping me get some of my house in order. It also helps to have someone here when the baby is screaming all day, because I don't feel alone.
I'm pretty sure she's not in any rush to have a baby any time soon though:-)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A perfect spring memory

Yesterday I had a moment. The kind of moment that I know I will treasure in my heart for the rest of my life. I had a day full of running here and there trying to get things done. I carted Barclay here and there and we were both tired, hot, and there were still many many more things to get done. I looked in his car seat and knew that even though I had a million more things to get done, he would never again be this small again and I just knew that I had to hold him. I had carted him around all day and knew that he, like me, needed just to be held. So I picked him out, took his clothes off, because it was so hot there was a nice breeze outside. Then I took him out on the porch with a soft blanket, opened the door of our house and cranked up Nora Jones. I held Barclay close to my heart and slow danced in the wonderful spring breeze. It was a moment of pure bliss. We watched the sun go down to the love songs that Noah and I have danced to since I was 15. I closed my eyes and took it all in; the smells. the feel of the breeze on our hot skin, the look in my sons eyes as he looked up at me, the smell of his baby head, the way he snuggled agains my chest. It was a perfect spring day.

This is now going to be my new lullaby for him. It is also the song that Noah and I danced to on our wedding day.

The Nearness of You

Its not the pale moon that excites me
That thrills and delights me,
oh no Its just the nearness of you

It isnt your sweet conversation
That brings this sensation,
oh noIts just the nearness of you

When you're in my arms
and I feel you so close to me
All my wildest dreams come true

I need no soft lights to enchant me
If youll only grant me the right
To hold you ever so tight
And to feel in the night the nearness of you

It was the perfect calm in between non stop crying sessions, guilt about housework and work, and the every day grind.