Saturday, August 24, 2013

All the Information for Me

I am an information junkie.

I love PBS/BBC style programming & will often find myself watching a fictionalized version of a real event or person's life. There are many (perhaps even most) times that I will stop watching & start researching what I am attempting to watch. I will get so wrapped up in reading about the actual events or person, I will altogether stop watching the program & never finish it because I've read enough about what really happened to be satisfied. Am I the funnest or what?

My whole day is like this. It's like I can't just "be". I always need to be reading or looking something up. It's a disease. And I'm not so focused to where I am actually bettering myself with my never-ending searching. My information outbursts are random.

I just read "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" and, oh my gosh, I loved it! It's not really a parenting advice book (which is what I previously thought), it's a 'this is my parenting journey' book, which is great. The author is so witty & able to see herself in a honest, sort of self-deprecating way. It was just excellent & I highly recommend it.

I really want to teach Gwen how to read this year. I think she is capable. Any recommendations on how to do this? (Don't worry, I will information-junkie the wool out of this before committing).

Hope your day is great.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

That Postpartum Feeling

It's here. And has been since my sweet babe was born a month ago: that postpartum feeling.

I say feeling like we all know It & can see it rolling on in as we struggle during labor & coo at our newest creation, but every lady's feeling is unique to her.

Mine encases itself in my body. Oh, I feel physically good. In fact, I feel great. The weariness of pregnancy is gone; the aches that filled my movements every moment have exited, but the body has remained. The one I see peaking from the mirror before I remember to look away. The one I hide beneath high waisted panties & control tops. The body that turns away from the loving eyes of my husband. The one that gave me each one of my precious (& precocious) children.


You see I've lived my life pretty unconcerned with this here ol' thing. I never played sports or exercised in my youth. But it stayed pretty okay, despite that. I didn't have the graceful muscles of a ballerina, I had a slender softness.

After my first baby, I was horrified by what was left behind. Can this be my body? Why had no one warned me that this could happen? Will it ever be the same? And actually, no, mine wasn't to be. I lost the weight I'd gained, but what was left-in all honesty-disgusted me. Loose skin fell just above my bikini line & long, dark marks marred my stomach.

After my second pregnancy, I thought I'd get another chance. Maybe it would be different. Perhaps I can reset it all and look like "me" again.

Instead, I was left with more loose skin & more dark marks. I never let my husband see me completely. I hid behind anything I could, so ashamed that my body was now so...ugly. I felt angry at myself for ever feeling like my body wasn't good enough before pregnancy. What was I thinking?

It's no surprise to me now that my body has once again given me such a gift & left me with more of what I have come to hate. I knew it was like this. And yet it still hurts. Why am I so attached to this idealized version of myself that never truly existed, but that has been gone for nearly 5 years?

It is so difficult for me to see gorgeous moms who look as if they've never carried a baby (or more). All I want is to look my best for my husband, I tell myself, though I know this is not true. He loves me just as I am. Always. And tells me so anytime he sees that fear in my eyes. Fear of myself. Fear of catching a glimpse in the mirror when I'm not prepared for it. I need to put on my armor before facing this, I think as I turn away.

"Mommy, your tummy looks silly." My 2 year old says to me.
"Yes," I say, forcing a smile & a cheerful tone, "Yes! I carried three babies in there! And that can make some mommy tummys look different. It is silly huh?"
She nods and smiles at me.
And the next time she sees my tummy she says again, "Your tummy is silly!" But this time she adds, "because you had babies." And she lovingly pats that place I hide from, loving me in a way I can't.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The 13th of July (A Birth Story): Part II

(This is the good part of the birth story-fluids & all that warning).

Where were we? Aw, yes, what are the chances of me going into labor while Ben was 3 hours away? 

I'd say pretty good because that is exactly what happened.

Let's back up. I'd been having consistent contractions for a few weeks now & was at a solid 2 cm dilated. But baby was still pretty high up & not engaged-at all. I had been having some signs of impending labor a couple days before the 13th & was fully freaking out (internally, of course, I like to suffer silently). Because Ben's test was nearly 3 hours away, and the test started in the morning hours-he'd be leaving town at about 4 am on Saturday the 13th. I wasn't sleeping well that night, partly because I was nervous for Ben (he was sleeping soundly) & partly because I was extremely pregnant & paranoid. At some dark hour I rose to peed for the trillionth time when I noticed some (TMI ALERT!) fluid in my unders. Thus far this pregnancy I had not peed myself, but I was not above realizing that it could happen. There wasn't a ton of fluid, so I was wary of thinking it was my water (and also denying that could happen before Ben left), so I slapped on a pad & went back to bed. By the time Ben got up, I had leaked more fluid & was starting to flip a wig. I did not tell Ben and just smiled sleepily when he bid me goodbye. By the time Ben made it to his testing location (about 8am) I was pretty sure I was leaking amniotic fluid. I was only pretty sure since my water had never broken on it's own in my previous labors, that was always done by my midwife or doctor, so I had no experience with it outside of immense gushing. I had not told anyone I thought my water had broken, even my mom who was staying with us & taking care of all things domestic. It was like, if I say this out loud, it will be true & Ben will miss the birth of our third child. His test began at about 9am & we figured he'd be home around noon. I was contracting, but nothing too intense. Therefore I decided (because we're totally in control right?) I would not be pushing any baby out without my husband there beside me. Instincts be damned.

Ben was on his way home by 10am & things were starting to pick up. I had not wanted to tell Ben before his test because I wanted him to be able to focus (saintly behavior no?). But now that he was done & driving home, I decided to give it to him straight: hurry your bum up so you can take me to the hospital! I had been putting off calling my midwife in case she told me to go in-priorities. Finally I dialed her up & she asked me all the questions & since I wasn't feeling too much told me she'd call me in about an hour. Ben was home by 12:30, right when I was starting to get testy when people would DARE talk to me when I was having a contraction. The girls were picked up by my father-in-law (per before labor plans) & right around 1pm my midwife called. Things were more intense, but I was not ready to go to the hospital. She pulled rank on me & asked I come into her office. Just in case.

Ben & I pulled up to her office by 1:30. While checking my cervix, she declared I was at an 8! Good thing she pulled rank eh? So onwards to the hospital.

At this point Ben had been awake since 3am & had driven for 300 miles, but you wouldn't know it. He was so awesome & excited. It was great. The nurses went to work checking us in & getting a hep lock put in, hooking me up to monitors. But before all that, I changed into my labor gown. That's right, I brought my own gown. If you're wondering why I would do such a thing, I will tell you: I try and go at this labor/birth ordeal all natural. I was successful with my second & loved my experience. When I'm laboring I want to feel as great as I can & that means feelin' pretty (for me at least). After I put it on, I
During a contraction, rockstar status
knew I was ready to do this thing. One of the nurses commented it looked like a cocktail dress. And it did kind of. With holes & ties everywhere. It also looks nice in pictures (wink).

Apparently me being at 8cm & chatting between contractions was a sight, because tons of the folks coming in & out of my room were noting it. But really, things were pretty nice. My contractions were still 3-5 minutes apart and I had lovely rests in between (don't hate me). My amazing husband was with me, reading my signs like no one else can & acting accordingly. After a couple hours of this, my midwife checked again & I was more or less where I was when we got there. The baby's head was still way up in space & not engaged at all! She decided to see where his head was while I had a contraction & told me it came down, which was good. Finally, she checked me again while I sat on the toilet (glamorous!) and the rest of my water broke, gushing everywhere & getting this party started!

As I said, up to this point I felt really good. I could handle the contractions with breathing & focus. Ben had actually taken some photos of me while I was laboring, but they were deleted by mistake-darn! After I laid back on the bed, things got way more intense, very quickly. I was still breathing through them, but I was vocal & holding onto Ben as if for dear life. It was pushing time! This part is always hardest for me. But thankfully, it went quickly (by my past experiences) and he was born 22 minutes later. A whole 6 hours after Ben got home & a little over 4 hours after we'd arrived at the hospital. On July 13th.

Daddy & his boy

More pics here. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

The 13th of July (A Birth Story)

We found out we were expecting for the third time in November of 2012.

We had been being "open to life" for quite a while & I was starting to get that feeling of grief that comes with greeting a familiar Aunt every month. Why weren't we conceiving? Was something wrong? We became pregnant with Avalene just 10 months after having Gwen, and the fact that Avalene was now 2 years old (in October) and we still weren't pregnant made me accept that if we only had our two rambunctious girls, I'd be okay. That did not stop me from desperately wanting another baby and fighting tears when I'd stare at a negative pregnancy test.

Then, it happened! Just weeks before my mom, the girls & I were to venture off to Disneyland, I found out my prayers were answered & I'd be bringing another babe on the Disney trip with us (in utero)! Obviously, we were thrilled. And of course, I'd totally forgotten how grumpy & miserable I am while gestating. Oh well, it was the early weeks, so I still felt great & the joy was all I saw.

Fast forward to spring. Ben was in an aerospace electronics program & nearly never home between school & work. When a job in his most desired field came up-we fantasized about him getting the job and what it would mean for our growing fam (hint: amazing things!). For the first time in our 5+ years of marriage, we saw an opportunity for us to finally settle.  Ben applied in May & was moved on to the aptitude portion of testing along with nearly 600 other applicants. Did I mention there are 4 positions? Well, there are. He was moved on again to the third phase along with only 75 other applicants. Wow!! Ben scored higher than 500 other people on the aptitude test & would get to take the physical strength test. Hooray! And here is where the story gets interesting...

Our baby boy's due date was July 15. As the job testing & so on took weeks, so when we found out Ben was moved on to the strength test it was late June. And the testing date? July 13th. A mere two days before our impending & much anticipated (by me at least!) due date. Did I mention the test was 3 hours away? Cue internal never-ending running track of worst case scenarios by me.

Both Gwen & Avie were born 4 & 3 days past their respective due dates. So really, I didn't have much to worry about it right? What were the chances of me going into labor while Ben was away for 8+ hours on July13?

Just guess

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Baby Boy is HERE!

 Gideon Elias
July 13, 2013
9 lbs 3 oz
21 in

First moments

My guys


Scrumptious baby


Meeting sisters

Already getting smothered with sisterly affection


Sweet boy-so glad he's here!

We are SO blessed! I am going to have to pound out his birth story soon because it was pretty suspenseful at times! We are now settling into being a fam of five.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Thinking Thoughts


It's been a while and I know my last post was uber cryptic. I am good. It was never 'end of the world', but all struggles can feel that way at times. Amirite?

After reading Kendra's post, where she talked about the lurkers that suck the self-esteem from good people (my words), I realized why blogging is so hard for me: I really want people to like me. I can take constructive criticism well. When I write fiction, I love getting feedback because I know I can improve. If you're familiar with creative writing you know that revision is a huge, large, giant part of the entire process. And actually, it is sort of my favorite part. But with blogging...I am writing me basically. And while I can improve myself-I am going to do that through the loving guidance of my family & in real life friends. I am a 'fix-it Felix'. If something happens where I need to work on an aspect of my life-I plan it. I brainstorm ways I can track my effort. But if someone just doesn't like my blog or leaves a scathing comment-I can't improve that. I can't make myself not me.

The magazine/literary & arts journal my short story is in has just reached the shelves. I am so thrilled and can't wait to sneak into one of the stores & pretend to be looking at my phone while I take a picture of the display. It's available in a handful of local stores (since it was published by the local college), and while that's not many, I cannot explain how wonderful it feels to know that people, people I don't even know, will read my story and perhaps be touched by it. And that's what I want to do. I started blogging because it is a form of writing (and I love to write) and it's relatively easy to begin. I tried to keep up with it and do the link-ups, but the truth is: I want to write fiction. That is where my writer's heart lays and it's what my personal life dream consists of. I still read all my fav blogs, but I just can't seem to muster up the energy (hello-35 weeks pregnant) to blog & work on my fiction writing. I'm not going to close down this blog, but I won't post regularly. I will post a birth announcement when our little guy arrives (soon, I hope!!!) and I may use this domain to test the waters on some of my stories.

I love all of the bloggers I have gotten to know through this whole thing & I am still with you every step of the way as I read through your lives. If you are dabbling in fiction writing, I would love to hear from you and maybe we could get a group together where we share our work & get feedback.
Email me if so: eheartsg(at)gmail(dot)com

Heart heart hug kiss hug!

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