9 Weeks and Counting

Baby DeliveryWell here I am 9 weeks away from D- Day and I am starting to feel like it’s the end.  Restless legs, charley horses, back pain, insomnia, and unable to catch my breath, I am in the uncomfortable stage of it all.

I sleep upright most nights to help with the breathing; however that is hard on my back and bladder.  I am up about every hour and half to go to the bathroom throughout the night, partly because of the pressure on my bladder, but partly because I am constantly thirsty and chugging water (I guess there are worse things).  However, nothing is as bad as the charley horses and restless legs.  That has been driving me insane.

Three nights ago I did not get very much sleep; maybe a couple of hours at best.  I was real delight that day.  My wonderful, supportive husband was amazing, as he dealt with my mini-breakdowns, and did his best to make me comfortable. I knew I needed to do something to at least to try to alleviate some of the discomfort.  Last night I took a hot bath before going to bed and for once my legs did not twitch.  I fell asleep in the tub and I might dry out my skin in the process, but if that’s what I need to do to sleep I will do it every night.  I also started eating a banana right before I go to bed hoping that will help with the charley horses.  A lot of people speculate that charley horses are result of dehydration (which is certainly not the case for me) or lack of potassium (possible).

I always find it interesting that at the very end of pregnancy it becomes unbearable.  Is labor not enough?  However, maybe that is the way it is intended to be.  I am in such discomfort the thought of labor does not phase me.  Sure it’s painful, yadda, yadda, yadda.  But, hey at least after it’s all over I will not be waking up in the middle of the night in agony grasping my calf muscle in pain, all while trying not to pee myself, because I have to go to the bathroom, again.

Yes I must admit as this third trimester is wrapping up I am getting quite anxious for D-Day.  I keep picturing in my mind what it will be like.  Of course, I am sure it will be nothing like I imagine, but one thing is for sure I can not wait to see the intended parents hold their baby girl in their arms.

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Spring Has Sprung

As the snow is melting and gives way to spring this week I begin my last trimester of this pregnancy. Spring is the promise of new beginnings and the birth of nature. I can’t help but be excited over the new beginnings, and rebirth that is going on outside and within me.

I am excited over the new changes that are going to be taking place. The baby is due in early June and I have been thinking a lot about my kids and their reaction to this. All along I have repeatedly told them how mommy is carrying the baby; however the baby will not be living with us. I know Liam understands, but unfortunately I am not sure if Ava does. She loves anything baby and kisses my tummy almost every night. I am sometimes worried about how it will be for her after this is all over. On the other hand, I think it will be great example to my kids of doing something kind for someone else. Granted this an extreme example, but what a great way to show your kids that it isn’t always about them and doing for others is very important.

The baby in the last couple of weeks has become more active. I have been thinking about the delivery of this baby a lot lately. Although the process will be the same the emotions will be quite different. A lot of people have asked me how I will feel about it. It is hard to answer that since I have never been in this situation before, however I can’t help but think I will be excited. Excited over the new family that will be created at the birth of this baby, excited over not being pregnant anymore, and excited over new beginnings everyone will be experiencing.

This time of year usually stirs an excitement inside of me, as the grass turns green, the leaves appear on the trees, the flowers blooms, and the air even smells different. My husband and I have plans this summer for our kids, trips to go on, activities to do, that I am looking forward to. This spring is going to be very special and I am so happy that Spring has finally Sprung

What a Wonderful Life                                                                                                        Louis Armstong

I see trees of green, red roses, too,
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue, and clouds of white,
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky,
Are also on the faces of people going by.
I see friends shaking hands, sayin’, “How do you do?”
They’re really sayin’, “I love you.”

I hear babies cryin’. I watch them grow.
They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world

We All Fall Down

Ava’s favorite new song/game is Ring Around the Roses.  When it comes to we all fall down, I squat down as each day it takes more and more energy to get back up.  However, my husband the good sport that he is falls to the ground and then Ava runs at him and pushes him till he is flat on his back.  We then repeat this process until Will or I get tired (Ava never tires of this game).

I thought about that this weekend as I was having an emotional breakdown.  Every once in a while the stars aligns perfectly and everything seems to go wrong all at once.  Unfortunately, this time it took a toll on me and I fell down too.

keep-tryingIt is amazing the resilience of children.  They can fall down and then get up again and keep trying to do something.  I wonder as adults at times where our resilience in things goes.  I couldn’t help but wonder if our adult logic gets in our way of getting back up and trying again.

Liam the other day was having a hard time putting a puzzle together.  He insisted on doing it himself, however every few minutes he would declare that he was giving up.  He then would continue on trying.  He eventually succeeded and was very proud of himself.  I was proud of him too.  He struggled and had a difficult time, yet even though he wanted to give up, he kept on trying.  I reflected on how many times in my life things were difficult and I struggled.  How many times did I persevere and how many times did I just give up? Why is that as adults many times we forget the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”?

My goal for the next few weeks as I feel I have been tested more and more in this area is to not give up so quickly. Whether it is a physical, emotional, or mental challenge, I am going to take the lesson my children have taught me and try, try again. At the end of the day even if I am not able to accomplish whatever challenge it may be, I can feel good about giving it my all and reflecting back the same admirable behavior that I am so proud of my children for portraying.

 

 

A Family That Throws Up Together Stays Together

It all started last Wednesday night I got home late and Liam and Ava were already in bed. I was standing in the kitchen with my husband talking, when I noticed that there was an eerie silence. I can’t explain it, but something was not right. I checked on Ava and she was sound asleep. I then went down to Liam’s room and in the dimly lit room I could see he was sitting up. I went over to his bed and placed my hands on his covers and right away realized they were wet. That was when I saw that Liam’s body was heaving and the horror washed over me. He was throwing up. In his almost four years he has never thrown up. When he was he finished he looked at me and said, “I can’t make it stop.” It broke my heart and thus we began the stomach bug that ripped through our house.

That night my husband and I did not get much sleep every half hour Liam got sick and we constantly were stripping his bed and changing his clothes. However, by morning it had subsided and he was now just a weak, tired little boy. Throughout his stomach upsetness Liam made mention to the fact that he had “the throw ups”. I felt so bad seeing him like that, but I thought the worse was over. Until early Friday morning…. I woke to hear my husband violently sick in the bathroom and right away realized another man down. At 4:00 in the morning I knew I wanted to get out of the house as early as possible for many reasons. One being it would be best for my husband to be able to recover in a quiet, kid free zone; but two maybe if I left I could escape the germs. Having already done 16 weeks of morning sickness and now finally at 20 weeks feeling good I did not want to go back to hanging over a toilet. Besides this stomach bug although short term (lasted about 6 hours) was intense making you sick every half hour. It took days for Liam to even start eating and moving about again, and I feared being pregnant getting dehydrated. I stayed at my parents all day on Friday. Liam still was less energetic and spent most of the day lounging about, but Ava played lively all day. We ate dinner with my parents and as we were cleaning up Ava was running about. All of the sudden she stopped and right there in my parent’s living room, she began her six hour tour of the stomach bug. Fear crept over me as I tried to comfort her. I could see in her face she was scared as she did not understand what was going on. I live 40 minutes away from my parents and knowing the past two experiAva ence, she was inevitable going to get sick in the car. My mother had an ingenious idea and took a huge plastic shopping bag and cut holes to fit over her head and arms to protect her coat in case my fears were realized. Twenty minutes from home as I was trying to make my best attempt to make it before the next episode occurred, Liam announced that Ava had the “throw ups” again. I quickly moved to the shoulder where I cleaned her up the best I could and prayed there would not be another incident before I got home. By the time I got home my recovering husband helped me get the kids inside and Ava situated. Ava finally finished her round of the “throw ups” around midnight. My house was silent and still. My poor husband and kids lay in their beds as their bodies were trying to heal and rest. I was wide awake. Exhausted but terrified. I had come to the realization at this point that I was the only standing survivor and it was not likely I would stay that way. I believe I related it to on Facebook like a game of Russian Roulette. The trigger was going to be pulled and it was only a matter of time to find out whether it was a blank or not.

Bang! 2:00 AM I awoke and knew immediately my time had come. Paranoid of the dehydration after each round I sipped cautiously Gatorade. Funny thing is that maybe it was the sugar or the electrolytes in the Gatorade, but throughout my bout I could feel the baby kick, which gave me peace at mind. By 8:00 in the morning it was over but I was weak, achy and very tired. It isn’t an easy position to be in in general, but when you know your family Mommy and Ava Recoveringisn’t at its best either it’s hard not to feel bad. Luckily my husband who certainly wasn’t completely better rallied and took care of the kids and me. I slept most of the day. Liam and Ava using their doctor kit they got from Santa, periodically checked my temperature and gave me shots to feel better. There something so soothing about the innocence and kindheartedness of a child. Liam repeatedly said that day, “Mommy I just want to make you happy and feel better.” And you know what, he did. Those four days were a rough time for our household and I hope we may never have to go through that again. We had to lean on each other, take care of each other, and in our own ways did what we could to make the other person feel better. However, I am convinced a family that throws ups together stays together.

A Sensitive Soul

The Merriam-Webster dictionary has many definitions for the word sensitive.  One definition being, aware of and understanding the feelings of other people. That does not sound like a bad thing to me.  Don’t we all wish that people could be more empathic?  Why is it than, the word sensitive has a negative connotation to it?

I never gave this much thought until recently.  I had made mention in passing about my sensitivity in an adverse way and the person I was speaking with had a very different perspective on things.  He said to me, “Why do you say that as it is a bad thing?”  I was dumbfounded.  I never saw it any other way.  He then went on to say to me having feelings and being able to express them is not something to be shameful of.  I thought back to all of the times I had fought back tears in my life during emotional moments (happy and sad) or during a movie for the sake of no one seeing an illicit tear escape from my eyes.  I can recall the painful tightening of my throat in order to keep in the welling emotions that were stirring inside me, all so that no one would see how I truly felt.

20150101_180646I have been thinking about this a lot lately because my kids are quite empathic.  I was thinking about what had been said to me and how I viewed sensitivity.  I have to say it has made me quite uncomfortable.  I would never want to pass to my kids a message that would make them think that something about them was shameful or embarrassing, and yet even if I changed my perspective, I can’t help but think that society as a whole sees sensitivity as a weakness.    It’s funny because one of the things that melts my heart and I praise my kids for all of the time is how they try to cheer each other up when the other one is upset.  At their young ages they feel with all of their hearts and are unaware that by society’s standards they are not supposed to express themselves so openly and unequivocally.

I am not saying tomorrow that I am going to be openly weeping at my desk at work, but I think the best way for my kids to feel comfortable with who they are and how to express themselves is to model that emotions are ok.  If I can I can let the tears roll during a sappy moment on TV or if I had a bad day and I feel like breaking down a little bit maybe I should.  Instead of hiding my emotions and being embarrassed by it all, maybe it’s time that they see mommy cries too.  With that said there is a time and a place for everything.  In time I think they can grasp and understand that crying to their boss that they spilled coffee on themselves is not appropriate, but at least they can feel more comfortable with owning their feelings instead of being ashamed of them.

Learning to Love Myself

I look back to when I was 16 years old, 20 years old, and even 28 years old, and I have to laugh.  I am not sure why it took me having to carry two children to learn to love myself more, but it did.

When I was 16 years old I danced, played field hockey, and fenced.  I was quite fit, however I still had a little tummy.  Probably unrecognizable to everyone else, but to me a thorn in my side.  I refused to wear two piece bathing suits or anything that was fitted, as I was very uncomfortable with my form.  As I got older my view did not change of myself and I became very critical of how I looked.  If only I could take the pudge from my tummy and add it to my chest, well that would be perfection I used to think.

I was envious of women I saw who I viewed had the “perfect” body. But more so, was envious of the women who seemed so content and happy with themselves.  I wish I had had their confidence, their inner happiness, their magic secret.

It’s funny, I am not sure why, but after having two children two undeniable things changed for me.  Let’s face it, not everything went back to the way it once was and the stretch marks on my thighs and tummy are like a road map that tells the stories of my pregnancies.  Nonetheless, I am more comfortable now with myself than I was five years ago.

Having a son and a daughter I think it is so very important to stress the importance of loving yourself and breaking the cycle of belittling yourself.  I want Liam and Ava to grow up with a more confident, loving sense of themselves then I did. I wasted so much time and energy on my looks that I know I did not enjoy some opportunities to the fullest. Instead of comparing myself to all of the other girls, I wish I had been able to have the strength to just be.

That is why I am so unbelievably excited to introduce a new concept that Jennifer Sanzo of The Flower City Fashionista launched today. It’s called the #NoMoreLies campaign. This campaign’s goal is to break the cycle of self-hate due to body image. It’s a wakeup call to everyone, men and women alike.  I encourage all of you to share your personal struggles with body image and your commitment to change the next generation by adding your voice to the #NoMoreLies Join here: http://new.inlinkz.com/luwpview.php?id=460585

The Heartache of the Fourth Birthday

Liam Turning Four
Liam Turning Four

In three weeks Liam will be four years old. I am not sure why this upcoming birthday has been so difficult for me. But if I talk about it too much or let my mind wander to him being four I tear up. It isn’t that I want him to be a baby again either. I much rather have him be the age he is now. We can play, talk, and interact with each other and have some real bonding moments. However, next year will be his last year in preschool and then he goes off to Kindergarten. That blows my mind. Where did the time go?

When Liam was born everyone said it goes fast and it wasn’t that I denied it, it is just unimaginable to me how four years evaporated away so quickly. My husband and I were just reminiscing this morning about Liam’s third birthday and what we did to celebrate. It seems like that was just a couple of months ago. How did a whole year slip away?

I took the kids for haircuts yesterday and when Liam was finished it took everything in my power not to start blubbering. His golden curly locks lay on the floor and there he was with a little boy haircut.   The transformation unfolded before my eyes and I was blown away.  To me it felt like a huge milestone had been made, but in reality it was just another haircut. An undeniable reminder of how big he has gotten.

On Friday Liam called for me and when I got there he said, “Look mom I wrote my name.” There he had written “Lia”.  I said to him, “That’s great but you are missing one letter.” He said to me, “I know mom, but I did not know how to write an “m”.” My heart soared. My son knew how to spell his name, but at the same time a little piece of me was sad. I was so proud, happy and every other positive word you could think of, but I didn’t even know he knew how to do that. He is learning something new every day. It is so much fun to see him learn and explore these new things, but it is also hard as I know these are the small pieces that are needed for independence.

Of course, I want him to develop learn and become independent, I just was hoping it would happen at a slower rate. I then think maybe no rate would be easy as it always going to be hard to slowly let go. But that is part of the process of growing up. Liam learning new things and mommy learning to let go. It is a beautiful bittersweet process for mother and son to learn together. He will teach me how to slowly let go and I will always be there cheering him on as his grows and learns. However, if he ever falls in the process of trying something new and he needs someone to pick him up, my arms will always be open.