Sunday, June 16, 2013

This moment


I am writing this post while bouncing my sweet crying newborn and it devastates me to admit it... my beautiful baby is one of THOSE babies. A colicky baby.

I have a colicky baby... again

Why is that so hard to come to terms with?

Why do I worry so much about labeling her?

 She is so much more than fussy.
I want other people to see that too. She is sweet and cuddly and alert and an old soul that has eyes that connect with my spirit. I want our family and friends to love her, not hand her back.
Not compare her.
Not talk about her negatively in anyway.
She is my little baby. She is innocent and deserves connection, acceptance, and love.

We all want our babies to be the "the Gerber babe": Nurse like a champ. Sleep through the night. Contentedly coo in a bouncy chair. Self-soothe. Charm everyone they come in contact with.  Pose perfectly and take perfect pictures. 
The ultimate Angel Baby.

When  things turn out differently, there's this grieving period, I think. Mourning the baby you THOUGHT you might get and coming to peace with the baby you have. Pretty as she is, as much as I cherish her, I have been working through those less-charming feelings and emotions. The truth is it's not just her it's me. If I were someone else I could handle it better. If I didn't get overwhelmed so easy. These are the things we NEVER want to admit to people:

I just want to check into a hotel alone for a couple of days. Eat, sleep and watch tv.

I wish being a mother of two was still an exciting "someday" and not a difficult NOW.

It's not fair that I get robbed of enjoying my newborns.

These aren't pretty feelings. It puts knots in my stomach to confess them, and I am daily struggling to reconcile them and get through to the other side. Dealing with my faith at times like these is rough. 

Did you not hear my prayers for an easy baby? 

Is this not my dream job? I signed up for this willingly!?

Why did I do this again?

Isn't it hard enough dealing with the stresses of juggling two children's needs and the fog of sleep deprivation and the baby blues?

I'm pretty hard on myself these days... I feel foggy. Inadequate. I feel frustrated. I need to keep going to see the light at the end and to keep pushing to get there.

I could write about it all day... talking about what makes it "colic", describe why I think it might be acid reflux, talk about how I have gone off dairy to see if it helps. Go into the details of how she seems to know when I am not using both my hands to soothe her, and immediately wails until I give both hands back to her. I could talk about all of the suggestions I will get. It's all been said and done. I have tried it all. In the past and now again. Not that I don't appreciate advice and theories... I've just been dealing with this for so long already that most of the conversations have been had. I have read all of the books, the advice on slings, shushing, swaddling, swinging, car rides, white noise. 

Gripe water? We give it to her. I think it's a placebo for ME more than anything. Mylicon? We use it. Allergies? Maybe. I just talked my pediatrician and he nonchalantly tells me to try cutting out cabbage, broccoli etc. I wish there were more of an urgency to help my seemingly in pain little one. But it's common enough that there isn't.

The truth is, among all the tricks, ideas, stories, and everything, it's probably just going to take TIME. The cure of TIME.
 What it is, is a sweet baby that is high-maintenance and needy. Very particular in what works to calm her, to get her to sleep, to keep her asleep. There is a LOT of crying. Intense crying. We're lucky that she's not the WORST colicky baby ever--- we do get some good days, and good half-days. But when it's bad, it's exhausting, and frays the nerves of everyone in the house. 

So. For now... it's just good for my heart to get the story out. To confess that my baby isn't the Angel Baby we all hope for. To purge a bit of the guilt for feeling frustrated at my life right now. It's not pretty. Any of it. Her crying. My feelings. The mood in the house a lot of days. But. We're managing.

 My main goal is to get through it and come out still excited. Unchanged in my hopes of her. For now I will look upon her sweet sleeping face and let myself love every bit of her while she is quiet and still. Find new ways to do things with one hand. Accept help. Accept that I look a mess and my house reflects my state. I am trying to pray more. I am trying to listen to what I am supposed to learn from all of this. Trying not to let myself think I deserve this, or think that it's punishment.

Much of the time, I am just coping. Getting from one moment to the next. But sometimes, things are good. Sometimes she is alert, curious, and Chloe is petting her and talking sweetly to her, and Adam is playing with our Chloe and giving her the attention she needs.
 We are a team and  I am so thankful for him.
 He has really stepped up.

Little things get us through. 

I don't want to lose this entire period of her life, when she is so perfectly tiny and lovely, to grief and stress. I am grateful for the photos I worked so hard to get in her  first week of life...  
I want to remember her tiny toes and strawberry blonde hair. 

I want to remember the incredible circle of support and amazing meals everyone so selflessly provided.
I want to remember her little piercing eyes. Her perfect little lips. Her cheerio mouth. 
I want to remember how she slept in our arms ALL THE TIME (And love that we got that time with her instead of resenting that it took us away from other things.)
I want to remember the incredible joy I feel when she gives us 10 or 15 minutes of sweetness and contentedness.
I just..... just want to remember that this, even this, is beautiful.

So. That's all for now.  This baby wants BOTH my hands most of the day, and I'm gonna give them to her. She needs me. And I'm okay with that. because one day she won't, and I'll wish I was back in this moment holding and rocking my warm sweet little newborn.

Monday, June 10, 2013


This weekend our little Chloe turned three! We had her a simple little party this year at the park. Chloe and her best friend Scarlett always find trouble when they get together! 
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They started out innocent enough... photo IMG_8749_zpsbb662332.jpg

They got into the streamers and turned themselves into mummies. 
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We had a cupcake pinata that I think we must have overfilled with candy because just a couple of hits from Westin and and it busted wide open. Here he is warning Scarlett to stand back because he is about to hit a homerun. The kids loved it!
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Then the girls got into the bubble machine and "swam" in the bubbles... until it got into their eyes...over and over again. At least they were clean after all of the soap from the bubbles.
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Thanks Courtney for taking care of that fiasco!
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Little Piper Jane slept through the whole thing on grandmas lap.
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Scar and chloe couldn't help getting their fingers into the birthday cake..
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All of a sudden the wind picked up, and we couldn't light the candle, so Chloe blew out the lighter. She didn't mind though.
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Happy birthday my little big girl. You are now three!
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The Birth Tale .

If you're a birth story junkie like me, here ya go. I've finally got it written and documented. 

8 pm Sunday night May 19th my contractions became consistent. Six minutes apart. I had been having sporadic real contractions through out the day but they weren't organized so I didn't know for sure that I was going into labor. Still I started cleaning and getting out the last of the baby things. By 10pm I was sure this was happening and had it in my head that this would be a shorter process than the 16 hour labor of Chloe. I had heard that second labors were about half as long as the first, so I figured I would have miss Piper by about 4-6 am. So I prepared myself for a long night. Switching between the birthing ball, the bed, pacing, warm baths, and Adam putting lots of pressure on my lower back
 By 4:30am I was ready to go to the hospital. Contractions were 3 minutes apart. Having labored all through the night we were tired and ready for our little baby to come. They checked me and I was at a three. Exactly where I had been for the past week. I was so discouraged. I was in so much pain and had nothing to show for it. So we decided to go home and give it a few more hours and see what happens.

 By eight thirty I was in so much pain I just wanted to be admitted. I decided that if they checked me and I was still at a low number I would get an epidural. If I had progressed significantly I would pioneer on.. I had not. I was at 4 cm. It had been over 12+ hours of labor already!

 By 945 I had my epidural. It took perfectly this time, but it completely stopped my contractions. Three hours later at about 1pm in comes Dr Wells with the news that either I can wait and see if my body starts back up again and have a baby in five more hours, or I can have a little pitocin and have her within an hour. I chose the latter and with only a few pushes she was born at 2:17 pm. My doctor asked me to pull her out myself, which I did and loved. Instantly she was here. She came out screaming. One of the first things I hear was "you have a little red head". She lay there on my chest and I was so in love. She is beautiful and perfect. Piper was born Monday May 20th 2013 (on her due date) weighing 6 lbs. 11oz. (one ounce smaller than her sister) 19 inches long At 2:17 pm 

I always wondered what it was like for moms and dads of second, fourth, sixth etc. kids.. Did it ever become routine? Was is ever like "well here is another one.."?
I can tell you with for sure, no it does not. Piper Jane in my arms feels as new, and special to me as when I first met my Chloe. She is not "just another one". She is beautiful and breathtaking, and life-changing.

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 Through out the evening Piper kept gagging and choking a little from the amniotic fluid that was still in her stomach. At around three in the morning that night she stopped breathing and turned dark purple I immediately pushed the button for the nurse. She ran in right away to help and rushed her to the nursery to work on her. I stood in the hallway watching as the alarm was sounding and all of the nurses were running into the nursery to help her.

 My heart dropped. What if they don't get her to breath? What if she went too long without oxygen? I started bawling helpless in the empty hallway of the postpartum ward. Finally after what seemed like hours a nurse ran out to get me and tell me that she was okay and that I can come see her. They had oxygen on her and they were patting her back to try to break up the fluid. They kept her in the nursery for a couple of hours and brought her back in to me with a syringe full of fluid and told me that they had pulled it out and that she shouldn't have any more issues. Luckily they were right. 
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We were in the hospital for about 24 hours after Piper was born, then we went home with our little tiny newborn in hand. It's hard to wrap my head around being a family of four..  DSC_1693
It's such an amazing feeling bringing a new life into the world. Adding a new personality to the family. We love this new little baby. We are soaking her innocence in. Loving our family of four.  photo BabyPiperJanesbirth10_zps50f83ccf.jpg