Thursday, March 31, 2011

Birth from the "other side"

Yesterday was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I got to witness my first birth from the "other side"...meaning it was my first birth that I wasn't the one birthing.

The were to induce my sister around 8 pm on Tuesday night, but when they went to put the cervical pill in, she was having too many mild contractions to do it. Katie Beth had been having those exact type of contractions every night for a month. So they decided to just put her on a pitocin drip. All night long...nothing. All through the early morning...nothing. No dilation, no painful contractions. Nothing. We all started to worry that she would end up with a C-Section and I know that would have broken my sister's heart. Especially since this very well could be her one and only baby.
I got to the hospital around 9 and Katie Beth was laughing and talking away, she was 0 nothing. 10 am hit and all of a sudden she started having horrible contractions. By 1:56 Rainy Shiloh Lewis was born. It was an intense and VERY fast labor and Katie Beth did it all without any drugs or epidural! She was so strong and brave. I will admit that pangs of jealously for her beautiful, fast, natural birth came to me throughout the day. I mean, what is wrong with me that my labors last FOREVER?!

I felt so blessed to be able to be there and help her through it. Still fresh in my mind from 6 weeks earlier, I was able to remember clearly what helped and what didn't. I also felt so blessed because Katie Beth has been there for me through so much. All my preterm labor, during my labor. Always quietly helping me, and it was wonderful to be able to return the favor.
It was so strange to see Katie Beth in that much pain. She has incredible pain tolerance and in her whole life I have never heard her scream out in pain.
During the whole thing I just kept thinking, this is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. She's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
The actual delivery was pretty crazy. I cannot believe what the body can do! I must admit, I nearly passed out several times. The whole time I kept thinking, "I literally cannot believe I've done this before...twice!"
Katie Beth's husband stepped up at the very last possible second and was there for the whole thing. I must admit, it was really hard for me to see him there acting like the past 10 months had never happened, but I know deep down that it meant the world to Katie Beth to have him there. Something this intimate changes people.

Right around 10 when labor finally started.

Yes. She does look that angelic in the middle of horrible back labor.

I love this photo because Katie Beth got that tattoo for the baby she miscarried. It's a bible verse in Greek. James 1:2-3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Still so beautiful. Even though I hated to see her in pain, because I had just experienced it, I wasn't sad for her...because I knew that it would be over soon and that it was necessary to bring such a wonderful gift of life into the world.

I was bawling like a baby. This was the first time in nearly a year that I had seen true joy in my sister.

Isn't Rainy just precious?!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Made to be a Mama

We call her the baby whisperer. There is just something about Katie Beth that soothes babies. Even though usually Katie Beth is chock full of absolute fire and adventure, the second she gets around a baby, she reaches for them and this gentle aura comes about her.
Like me, Katie Beth has always dreamed of the day she'd become a mother. 30 mins after Barclay was born, she whispered in my ear that she was pregnant, I've never seen her happier. 10 days later (on February 14th which is Sullivan's birthday now), she miscarried that baby. I felt like a little part of Katie Beth died with that baby. She grieved so deeply for that lost life.
This pregnancy has been horrible. Not because of morning sickness or high blood pressure or back pain, but because the day she found out she was pregnant, her husband began an affair with another woman. And that affair has continued throughout the pregnancy. It has been a daily roller coaster and it has really taken the light out of Katie Beth. It has been so painful to watch her go through this.

Tonight they are inducing her...I hope to see a little of that light return as she holds her own baby in her arms.

Things I'm loving right now...

*Every morning when I make my tea, Barclay wants a little in his cup. We sit at the table and talk while we sip our tea. Don't worry, his is mostly diluted with milk.

*The fact that little Sullivan likes to eat and be snuggled all the time:-)
He's a good baby. As in doesn't cry for 10 hours straight like Barclay did, but the child likes his milk and he likes his mama, and I couldn't be happier! Why wouldn't I want to take a break every 1 1/2 to 2 hours to a.gaze at this precious little boy who changes every day, b.get actual calories taken out of my body;-), c."have" to take a break from other unpleasant things like laundry, cleaning, wiping poop off my toddler's bum.
A lot of people are like, have you gotten that baby on a schedule yet? Have you stretched him to eating every three hours? No and no. I feed him when he's hungry and I enjoy it every time:-)

*That Barclay tells me I'm beautiful:-)

*That Barclay follows every single sentence with Mama.
Examples..."Take care of me, Mama!"
"I don't think so, Mama."
"I want a piece of candy yes thank you Mama." (run ons are his thing:-)

*The fact that I am going to become an AUNT soon! All my sisters have been aunts for years, but tomorrow is the first time I will be! My sweet sister is being induced tonight with baby Rainy! I am just giddy thinking about the beautiful journey my sister is starting.

*Weeping cherry trees. Seriously, every time I see one (which is about every three feet) I just gasp in awe! They are so romantic and so exotic. In fact, I did a photoshoot on Friday and the guy proposed under one!

*Settlers of Catan. I've been playing it for years but recently became re-addicted. It's so nice to have something to do at the end of the day that involves actually talking to other humans vs. watching a movie.

*Organic Chocolate Milk. And it has to be this brand. I have tried non organic and I have tried other organic brands and this is the only one that tastes like fireworks to me. Since the baby was born, I go into my fridge and take swigs out of the container every time I feel that breastfeeding STARVING feeling, but don't have time to eat. I know. Super healthy...

*Walking. I used to detest walking with Barclay in his stroller. But two things have changed that this go round...
1. I live downtown now! In fact, in less than a minute I can be on a sidewalk with endless entertainment. I've started walking more than two miles nearly every day. It's fun, I like exercising. I like that both boys are silent for nearly more than 30 minutes. I like it when cars pass me and look at me and think, "that is such a cool, hip, downtown mama" :-)
2.I saved and saved and asked for Christmas and we got a double BOB stroller. It is like pushing butter! It makes all the difference. Plus I am counting the fact that we canceled our YMCA membership towards it;-)

*Even though it drives me nuts sometimes and it happens at the WORST time (like trying to nurse and check out all my groceries at dinner time last night), I love that Barclay is clingy to me. I love that he wants me to "hold him like a baby" and "feed him milkies from my boob boobs)...which I have NOT done:-) I love that when I am editing photos or folding laundry, he always finds his way into my lap.

*I love that since we moved this winter, I am just now noticing that I have the most beautiful flowers popping up around our house. Some of my favorite flowers too, like Daffodils, Tulips, and Flocks. AND I didn't have to plant any of them! I hate gardening.

Well my lovey and clingy little one has found me again so I must go!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I hate talking about poop

BUT I must say, in the past 2 weeks, I have said poop, pee, and potty more than I ever have in my life.
If you had told me a year ago that I would be taking cell phone pictures of various poops Barclay has had, and TEXTING them to all my family and friends, I would have probably thrown up in my mouth:-)
It's kind of crazy that Barclay pooping in the potty first thing this morning with no fighting or waiting made my day more than a trip to the beach would have.
Of all the stories we've made so far of the experience, I must say the funniest was this:
Barclay hadn't pooped for 2 days and he kept yelping every five minutes, running to the potty, sitting for a second or two than getting off. No amount of reading, making funny faces, or singing would make him go.
So one time he ran, closed the door and told me not to come in. I waited outside and soon I heard an agonizing groan...and then a shreek! "There's a snake! There's a snake!" Sure enough there was a "snake" in the potty. I laughed so hard because Barclay really thought it was a snake!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Trudging through molasses

Marriage is hard.

I just feel like Noah and I are in a funk. I do my thing with the kids all day. He does his thing at work. We meet around five...he takes Barclay to the park, I cook and feed the baby...we eat and bide the time till we put Barclay down...then we are both exhausted. He makes phone calls, I want to read status updates of Facebook...then it's time to do it again.

We've been dealing with some very sad, sad things with my sister (who is due today with her little girl) and her marriage ending. It's a non stop, roller coaster of emotions, and it's been going on for 9 months. Sometimes I feel like we pour ourselves into fixing that more than our own marriage.

At times in our marriage, I've been able to see the bigger picture and just enjoy wonderful times of pure happiness. I've been able to see how hard work is worth it. But there are other times...aka...right now that I feel like we're trudging through an endless amount of molasses. It's hard, and you feel like it's never going to end.

I've realized a lot today how MUCH I want to change things about Noah. There are certain things that for our entire 6 year marriage, I've wanted to change about him. And despite hundreds of hours of marriage counseling and work work working on it, they aren't gone. They are still issues.
AND I realize there are certain things about me that Noah would give anything to change...aka...the way I hurriedly do things and break things...the fact that I put CLEAN laundry on the floor, the fact that I would rather decorate our home than clean it...the way I cook and make the biggest messes. These are things I want to change about MYSELF! I try and try and try...but in 6 years I feel like I've just made a drop of water in the ocean of progress. How frustrating! How discouraging. And it just feels like for the next 50 years of marriage every single day will be the same.

Just being honest about how I'm feeling right now about marriage.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Potty Training Advise Needed*

Last week, I decided at about 6 pm to start potty training Barclay. It has gone really well. The first day he peed in his underwear 9 times before noon...but we pressed on and now he goes by himself all the time and very very rarely pees in his pants.

He did poop in the potty 3 times but for some reason he is scared of it now. For like an hour he'll squeal out , "Oowwww!" and run to the bathroom but he will not go. I sing to him. We count. I read to him. After about an hour of this, he'll just go in his underwear.

Does anyone have any ideas or advise about this?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I know it's a little early for me to be talking about the potential of another baby or not.

It's funny because all my life I've wanted a lot of children. I was thinking 5 or 6. But with the kind of pregnancies I have, I have really be convinced that maybe it's a selfish thing for me to want another baby. Because it would mean me being almost totally out of commission for 10 months. That means a lot of stress for my husband and family. That means 1o months of not getting to fully invest in my boys lives. Plus, God has given me so much contentment with my two boys. I would have never thought I'd be the mom of just two boys! But now it seems right.

I'm not saying we're done for sure...but I am going to be selling my maternity clothes on craigslist and giving away 99% of outgrown baby clothes.

Adoption is definitely a possibility and I'm not closing the door to God's will for us to have another one of our own, but for now I am letting go of baby things as they are outgrown and enjoy this now time and most of all enjoying feeling good instead of terrible:-)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mother of TWO

It's been 16 days since I became the mother of two. I still cannot believe that Sullivan is here and that our lives as a family of four have begun.

It's crazy to me that you are pregnant for so long and then all of a sudden in a crazy day or two, you just aren't. And you suddenly have a whole new person there with you all the time.

I can't tell you how scared I was that I wouldn't love Sullivan as much as I did Barclay. I just couldn't imagine that I could. Not only have I been growing in my love for Barclay every day for the past 2 years, but he was my first...and I just didn't think that I could have that feeling again. Aside from the traumatic birth and the not getting to bond for a few hours, I can say with certainty that I do love little Sullivan as much and with the same giddy feelings I had with Barclay. I can't explain it but my heart just made room.

Sweet little Sullivan is SUCH a good baby. I know we are still in the "honeymoon period" so I can't say it with certainty but he appears to be a relatively good sleeper and he doesn't seem to have any tummy problems so far. Even this early in the game, Barclay was screaming all the time and not sleeping. Sullivan is such a snuggler and is constantly wiggling and grunting to get closer to me.

I have said so many times how much I love breastfeeding. This time around has been beyond wonderful. It was like I never stopped with Barclay it just came so naturally. I love it because I have to take time every few hours to just sit and stare. To just take in every tiny bit of this new little person. Sullivan has the most beautiful olive skin, the most precious nose, the most dainty mouth, the softest cheeks. About a hundred times a day, I just burry my nose in his neck and kiss away. I know I'm babbling but I feel like a love-sick little girl who is just giddy about a boy at school.

I cannot believe how well I have been doing with TWO babies to take care of. Now my husband might fight me on my choice of words since our house is STILL in disarray. But I have been so thankful that the Lord has given me extra extra patience and extra endurance. Barclay has been sick since Sullivan was born and so we have been dealing with a sick toddler and a newborn. I cannot BELIEVE how many diapers I clean up a day. I really feel like the second I clean something up, another chaos is created. But despite all of the craziness, I haven't felt this peaceful and patient...ever. I am so content and happy to be feeling good and I just feel SO blessed that I have two healthy, sweet boys that the Lord has entrusted to me to raise. I really cannot believe it sometimes.

Sorry this post has been all over the place, but both boys are asleep and I just had to type it out fast!