Wednesday, October 19, 2016

In Memory Of....

So it's been a while :) Life has been good... busy but good! Since  so many of you have followed our journey to  children, I found it was only fitting to update you on how I recently have honored our angel babies! 

I turned 30 on Monday. I really was dreading it, and I still don't love it, but turns out 30 feels a lot like 29 :) I guess I'm more legit now, too :) Anyways, I have always said I wanted to get a tattoo.... and recently, I was saying I was going to do it when I turned 30. In recent months, I quit talking about it so much because I was scared I might not actually go through with it, so I decided to just wait it out. The older I get, the more scared I get to do things (except let my tags expire... it lets me live on the edge :)). Anyways, I'm here to say "I DID IT!!!" 

Over the years, I've gone back and forth about what I wanted to have tattooed. I always said I wanted the word "faith". I just have always felt like I needed faith to get through anything that comes my way. That's a pretty general term. When we were having our struggle with staying pregnant, I really clung to Psalms 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” (NLT). I constantly was quoting that first part in my head. It just helped me have faith and get through. So as time has gone on, I decided that was just a bit more of a specific way to have "faith" tattooed somewhere. Over the course of the last few  months, I saw a few friends post about tattoos they had to honor their miscarriages. In a sense, mine already was, but I also wanted  something a little more specific. 

I decided on 3 little hearts, to honor Jessie, Lincoln,  and Myrtle :) 

I'll be honest though, I wasn't sure I wanted to commit because I still struggle with the idea that we could have more miscarriages in the future. But I ultimately decided I wasn't going to live that way, and if that happens, I'll figure out how I want to handle that! Be still... right?

Also, check out that swelling! eek!  It definitely didn't feel good and I don't  expect I'll be getting a sleeve anytime soon, but I did it, it wasn't THAT bad, and I love it! 

 Check out the transformation.... ha :)

( I got a fitbit for my birthday, too!)

Oh, and in case you're thinking I'm super hardcore over there (over my small tattoo :)), I threw up twice the day of, in anticipation of this :) So there's that... :)  

Also... if you're just tuning in...  You can go here for where our journey began 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The First 3 Months

In my last post, I referenced blogging about the first 2 weeks. It's almost 3 months later and that never happened. However, you should definitely know it's not because it sucked! If you remember my post on the first two weeks with Vera, then you can imagine my excitement :) I kept waiting for it to become terrible. By the end of the first week, when I still felt like things were going fine, I got even more nervous about what was to come. Honestly, I'm still holding my breath. I keep thinking that maybe it will be terrible when Dean starts fighting sleep more. And it probably will. But I'm also coming to realize that while I'm still a crazy schedule freak, and BabyWise is my crack, I have to let a lot of things just go with the flow.This article summed up my thoughts so well thus far!

It should also be noted that I did placenta encapsulation this pregnancy and it was a game changer. I definitely still had my down moments and I didn't feel like myself and I still had that moment of relief about feeling normal about a month- 6 weeks post partum, but those pills kept me sane. Even Derrick would notice if I didn't take one and would kindly remind me that I might want to :) You know when your husband picks up on it that it's working :) But for real, you can roll your eyes, but I'll never have a baby again without those. I still have lots left too and use them when I'm feeling a little cray :)

The biggest challenge has and seems to always be Vera :) She ADORED Dean and while I did kind of expect that, there was no real way to prepare. It was really hard for Derrick and I to sort through that. We didn't know how to discipline the new behaviors we were seeing. They weren't even negative, but they needed correcting and it took us a while to find a groove. She constantly wanted to hold him or feed him or touch his eyes and his mouth or sit in the baby swing with him or lay beside him on his playmat... you get the picture. All absolutely precious moments but I she didn't understand her strength. So if you're expecting and you have a little one at home who doesn't' immediately obey yet, talk through those things with your significant other. Figure out how you will handle things and be consistent  from the beginning. We stumbled around with for so long that it was hard to correct once we figured out how we wanted to handle things. That has died down some. She still wants to do all of those things, and we let her, but now she understands she can't always. And I also let him sleep away from the crazy :)

The biggest difference is our busy level. I'm absolutely convinced that babies are easy (after having my second and although he seems more laid back, he still doesn't compare to terrible twos :)) but I also feel like we have reached a new level of busy. The weekdays just feel crazy. We are constantly going between full time jobs, preschool, and feeding schedules. It's not necessarily bad, but important to note for all of my expectant momma friends.

Don't get me wrong though.....I still find myself twitching when Dean won't sleep as long as he's supposed to (and that's from the time I put him down to the next feeding) or that he still wakes up at 3am (ish) just to be comforted, or that sometimes I still hold him for a nap (cause there's nothing better than baby cuddles), but I know all of those are phases. And sometimes, I twitch over that fact... that I'm not super stressed by it. But in the end, I'm enjoying this time around so much more and that's priceless to me!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Dean's Birth Story

Since I started this blog, I have really loved to go back and read the posts of where we have been. It's been so healing for me with everything we went through. I tend to forget so many of the details as time goes on, so I'm using this to document all the memories! I love reading birth stories, so if that's not your thing, move on now :)

On Tuesday, we went in for my pre-op appointment as I was scheduled to have another c-section. We had decided to go with the c-section unless I went into labor early. There were just too many risks involved and at the end of the day, as long as our baby was here and healthy, it wasn't worth the risks of trying it naturally. Dean was breech anyways, so it wouldn't have happened regardless. Anyways, the pre-op appointment was quite ridiculous, in my opinion. They asked me a series of questions (that could have been asked a million other times) and gave me specific instructions for the night. I had to shower at night and use these anti bac wipes on the soon-to-be incision area. No eating or drinking past midnight. I was instructed to wear clean clothes and have clean sheets. Seriously?! Not that I sleep in gross clothes or sheets, but still! I could have gone into labor at any given moment and none of those things would have occurred. I totally get that it's preventative but it just seems crazy! We found out that we were scheduled for 8:15 the next morning and needed to be there by 6. I was super excited about this! I knew I was #3 of the day, but it turns out #1 went into labor early so she just moved me to her spot. I also wanted to be out of the house before Vera woke up!

The night before went pretty quickly. I was trying to soak up as much time with Vera as I could before rocking her little world. It was very strange to have a scheduled day to have a baby. Putting Vera to bed was really emotional, knowing what the next day would bring. I loved on her a little extra and cried like a baby for the next hour or so while I finished packing.

The next morning, I was ready to go! Of course, I had been throwing up all the day before, as any other day in my pregnancy, and I was so thirsty! Maybe I followed the rules too much cause I really would have loved some ice. I just didn't want them to tell me they couldn't deliver my baby that day so I followed the rules :) We got to the hospital and after a little waiting, we were taken back to the triage rooms. I was told there had been an emergency c-section so we had been pushed back some. Big bummer, but in the moment, you are glad you're not the emergency so I didn't mind it. As we kept waiting, my nerves (and thirst) started building. My nurse was a bit of a train wreck and was making me even more nervous. I won't elaborate much more there, but she didn't help my growing nerves. My mom, dad, and sister were all rotating coming in to hang. By 9:40 or so, we were headed back. I was really nervous about the spinal they were giving me (similar to an epidural) and the fact that they wouldn't let Derrick be in there until that was over and I was totally prepped for surgery. The part I needed him most for and they won't allow it. Again, frustrating! The nurses were great though and I had one holding my hands and helping me through it. As soon as that was over (and it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected), they had me lay down quickly before I went totally numb. At some point over the next few minutes, I started feeling super sick. Of course, Derrick still wasn't allowed in, as I was frantically asking. Part of me thought it might be my nerves. The anesthesiologists are very adamant to make sure you let them know when something isn't right (they were also awesome, by the way!). I brought up that I felt sick and they indicated my blood pressure had just dropped really low and they were working on getting it back up. At that point, I started gagging and throwing up. I felt terrible! I was getting clammy and they could tell I wasn't responding well. However, I have to admit that they have a fabulous procedure! Within seconds, someone was holding something for me to throw up in, someone was wiping my mouth every time I threw up (I was tilted to the side for this) and someone was placing cold cloths on my head. That would have been a really handy crew for my terrible nausea all pregnancy! That happened again one more time, but not as severe. After that, it wasn't long before Derrick came in and the show was on the road! I was so unbelievably calm during this surgery. I wasn't expecting that and it was welcomed! It felt like it took forever for the arrival of our (still unknown gender) baby! At one point, the doctor made a comment about how ridiculous my abs were. He was having a hard time cutting through them, which was kinda hilarious and also a huge compliment! I can't credit that to workouts though. It was all the throwing up I did over the past 9 months. After a couple more jokes about the holes in his fingers from cutting, we were getting close! At 10:05, they pulled out our sweet son. It was such a surreal moment. I absolutely loved finding out the gender in that moment (and him peeing on me apparently). My instincts the whole pregnancy have been boy, but you never know! As soon as he was out, I literally said "that feels so incredible". Although I was numb, you can still feel pressure and all the pulling and tugging. And unfortunately, the smell of burning flesh. That part was pretty gross but they put the oxygen over my face a little more so I didn't have to breathe that in! Anyways, back to that sweet baby! While they are cleaning him up, I just sit and stare. I hate not being able to hold him and love on him, but that's also a sweet time to see Derrick get to help out! We hadn't agreed to a name yet, so I was running through our options in my head while staring at him. After they did their thing with him, I got to love on him for a little bit. I definitely got to hold him a lot longer this time than I did with Vera and it was so sweet. Soon after, he and Derrick left and they finished stitching me up. With Vera, they knocked me out after (cause I had been panicking a little), so I didn't know what to expect. I just laid there while we all chatted about running, music, etc. It was just funny to have those conversations after just having a baby, but it was fun! My doctor is super fun anyways, so it was great. At one point, I asked if they had given me something to make me calm because that was so not my nature. They hadn't though! I don't even know how long that all took, but I think by 10:50 or so, I was being wheeled back to recovery. In those moments, we agreed to the name Dean. That was Derrick's first choice and after running through the other names in our head and ruling some of them out, I agreed. He did look like a Dean to me :) It's such a grown up name to me, but he's obviously just destined to be super manly :) (you're welcome future wife).

I couldn't be happier with the whole experience! It was so different from my experience with Vera, and I enjoyed the calmness about the day! 

By noon or a littler after, we were being taken to the mother baby rooms where our journey with a new baby would start! Stay tuned for another post about the first 2 weeks at home!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Almost Time!

I've been wanting to write one more post prior to this baby coming so I wouldn't forget some of my experiences/thoughts! We are currently 10 days away from welcoming this little munchkin and I cannot contain my excitement! I have literally been so miserable for the past 9 1/2 months (cause those 2 extra weeks count when you start throwing up before you find out you're pregnant). Like I posted before, that miserable feeling comes with such a guilt. Guilt for wanting this so much and knowing how many people would love to be in my shoes, but still struggling to face everyday with a smile. I haven't handled this pregnancy well, and I really have tried, most days! I'm just as excited to no longer be pregnant as I am to meet this baby and find out it's gender!

Speaking of gender... we have waited to find out this time. Mostly, I told Derrick we weren't finding out and since men have no rights at the OBGYN, I was calling the shots :) He indicated he was going to be vocal at our 20 week ultrasound and find out and I insisted I would announce that I wasn't sure he was the father if he tried :) He knows I wasn't kidding, so he didn't push too hard to find out :) For the most part, I've loved not knowing. With having a scheduled c-section, there is really no surprise with this one. Around 30 weeks, I wanted to know. I was finding it really hard to connect with this baby. I have no idea if that's because I don't know gender or because I've struggled to enjoy being pregnant, but I think a lot of it has been not knowing. I've had some conversations with others who didn't find out, and they all agree it was a little harder to connect. It could also be because in a nutshell, this baby revolves around Vera. I know I will have to change my mindset with that, but everything about this pregnancy has been about how Vera will be affected. Only child problems, for now, I guess! The scheduled c-section part has been great cause I can have set plans for her. The timing of this baby puts me into tears almost every time cause my sweet Vera will start pre school 2 days after we come home with baby. Talk about guilt! We had plans for her to attend before we even knew I was pregnant, but she doesn't know that. I stress about how she will handle the new addition and if she'll know I still love her even though all of my attention is no longer on her. There are all normal feelings and thoughts, but it's just been interesting to see how my views have changed from the first time around.

I am a little sad about not going into labor. As crazy as that sounds, and as terrible as a 27 hour labor with an end result of c-section was, I really did enjoy the whole experience. I loved the excitement the day brought and the chaos of it all.  But... I'm really glad to have a set end-date!

Mostly, I can't wait to hold this sweet baby in my arms, to no longer be with child, and to not live like I have a stomach bug! Here's to cold cuts, a glass of wine, and getting my body back! 10 days people!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Round 2 (or actually 5)

I can't believe it's been {almost} 2 years since I have blogged! I've thought about it a ton, but I work online all day and usually just don't want to sit in front of a computer any longer. I do most of social media on my phone only!

It's been pretty clear through any post I make, but if you haven't heard the news, we are expecting again! Also due again in August :) This is pregnancy number 5, but pregnancy 2 for healthy, growing babies (if you're a new reader, you can read more about that in all of the 2012 posts, but the initial journey began here). I must like torturing myself through the summer. Blogging on so many topics related to this pregnancy has crossed my mind and now that it's officially my summer break, I decided to just do it.It should also be noted that I only actually remember one of those topics, so this might not happen again :)

I'd really love for this not to be a complaining post, but it probably is. I have struggled so much this pregnancy with the guilt of hating being pregnant. If you remember, staying pregnant was not easy for us. Fortunately, with this little miracle, we have not had any issues with the actual baby or being pregnant.  For this pregnancy, I'm beyond thankful, but it's almost made me feel extremely guilty that i.hate.being.pregnant. I'm not even going to embed disclaimers everywhere because you can read all of the 2012 posts and know how badly we wanted a baby. I really try to see the positive in all of this, but for me, that's just the end result. I really don't think there is one thing my body handles well with pregnancy. To name a few, I'm 28 weeks and still throwing up after almost every meal. The only positive there is that I barely gain weight, so post baby weight is awesome for me :) I was much thinner after having Vera than I've ever been (Of course, I took advantage of that and it didn't take long before that wasn't the case anymore!). My whole outlook on life is skewed. People bother me, my husband bothers me, driving bothers me, people bother me (worth noting twice), life bothers me. I felt so bad the first few months that I almost felt depressed. It was so hard to keep up with Vera and try to be a good mom. Fortunately, a mom's conference (Birds on a wire, check it out!) helped me get past that and see the light. My body doesn't want to breastfeed (mostly due to a reduction I had about 6 years ago, but still). My feet literally get bigger. As in, I needed almost all new shoes after Vera. My eye sight completely fails. Not even exaggerating there. I now wear contacts 24/7. Before being pregnant, I had glasses for night driving {sometimes}. Those are just the things I can think of in 5 minutes.

At this point, I have come to a place where I'm okay not being excited about pregnancy. It doesn't make me less thankful or less excited about the actual baby coming. And it doesn't make me a bad person.

Counting the days until August.....

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Breastfeeding Woes

Before I even get started, this post is not meant to become a debate (for all 2 of you who leave comments :)). I absolutely know and acknowledge that breastfeeding is the absolute best nutrition for a baby.

I've commented before that in 2010 I had a breast reduction surgery. It was not a hard decision for me to make. I knew that I was risking the possibility of breastfeeding one day and that was the one con that I battled with at the time. However, we went through with the surgery and it was seriously one of the best decisions I made. I had dealt with it long enough and wanted the surgery. It made such a huge difference in my life.

Now fast-forward to pregnancy... my entire pregnancy I hoped and prayed that I would be able to breastfeed, despite the decision I made to have the surgery. A few times, I found myself questioning if I had made the right decision to have the surgery and if it had been too selfish. While I decided I don't think that, I just hoped for the best. I looked into things I could do during pregnancy to help my supply and did a lot of research on it. Turns out, I really just had to wait and see what would happen. I had become okay with the idea of supplementing formula since it was very likely I would need to do this. However, I still hoped I wouldn't have to! We were armed with an app that would let us track her feedings and her diapers, which would tell us if she was getting enough food.

Now fast-forward to right after Vera's birth. She immediately latched and I was so happy. She wasn't crying, so I knew she was getting something. We met with the lactation consultant, in the hospital, who encouraged the paci as a training tool and a shield since Vera was thrusting her tongue and couldn't stay latched. It immediately fixed the problem and I was feeling really confident about things! We were tracking everything religiously and according to the amount of wet and poopy diapers, she was getting enough. After we got home, something changed. Granted, I was on pain killers and my hormones were likely all over the place, but I found myself really stressed over feeding. I was a hot mess, crying through practically every feeding. And when I wasn't nursing her, I was stressing about the next feeding. I was fortunate enough that everything was going so great. I barely had any discomfort and to the outsider looking in (which there weren't any of these since that's creepy), everything was great. However, I I felt so guilty that I hated it so much. I felt trapped. I couldn't drive so it wasn't like I was trying to go anywhere, but I felt like I was never going to be able to leave the house again, nor was I going to be able to be away from Vera ever again. I was working toward scheduling her, but those first few days are really unpredictable and sometimes she wanted to eat an hour after she had just eaten. I was for sure my life was over. And those sweet moments women talk about it that they have while they sit and nurse their babies... yeah, I didn't have that. It wasn't "sweet" to me and I dreaded each feeding. I seriously couldn't quit crying. A lot of it wasn't even feeding-induced but over the course of a few days I realized that the root of most of my crying was over feeding (and missing Derrick!). At Vera's first doctor's appointment, we talked about the feeding. I started crying and the pediatrician looked at me and said "Formula-fed babies can still go to Harvard". Of course, they recommend breastfeeding, and I wasn't questioning which was healthier. I knew that answer. But it was so nice to hear that. He let me know that if it was stressing me about to the point of not enjoying my baby that it's not worth it. Well, I wasn't really "enjoying" anything 3 days post-delivery so I decided to stick it out until Derrick and I could talk about it and until I knew my milk was in. Well, my milk came in and I still hated it. I finally told Derrick about how I was feeling and we really needed to talk about it. He gave me so much encouragement. I reached out to a few friends who gave me so much support. When I reached out to them, I honestly was expecting them to tell me it gets so much better and that it will be okay! However, what I heard was so different. Each of them told me that it is really hard and it's a job in itself. The conversations extended past that, but they all told me it was okay if I quit. Not that I needed their approval, but it was so wonderful to hear that breastfeeding moms understood and weren't judging the fact that I hated it. Some of them hated it too! We started supplementing a little after that. When we were out and about, I would give her a bottle. It was so freeing. I immediately felt relief and honestly, I felt like I could love on her a little more because she wasn't trapping me and I wasn't associating her with stress anymore. However, the issue still made me cry. I knew breast milk was the best and I was so conflicted since I had so desperately wanted to be able to. I felt guilty about the possibility of switching to formula when I was able to breastfeed. I was pumping as well, and was barely getting anything, so pumping a bottle for her wasn't an option either.

Fast forward to her 2 week check up. She still wasn't to birth weight and wasn't close enough. Not a huge deal, but something to watch out for. I kept breastfeeding and was giving a bottle sometimes. However, she also started sleeping a lot better this week! We had to go back after a week, and she still wasn't there. Supplementing was now something we needed to do. We did so and I also was trying some things to help increase my supply. It started working almost immediately and I was excited!! Now that I knew I could give her a bottle when I wanted to, I suddenly wanted to be able to breastfeed. Just being able to be out and about and not have to go sit in the car or in a bathroom was fabulous. I know some people are cool with whipping it out wherever they are, but I wasn't. Not even with a cover. There's an art to using that cover and I don't think brand new moms have that down just yet. So anyways... as you can tell, I couldn't make up my mind about anything. We were back at the doctor to check her weight again. Still.not.there. So now, we had to give her a certain amount at each feeding to make sure she was getting 2.5-3 ounces at every feeding. I was still breastfeeding at each feeding. I would breastfeed, give bottle, and then pump. It was a terribly long ordeal but I committed to it to see what would happen. Her sleep also turned glorious this week! At her next appointment, we finally had her to birth weight! That was just last week, so it's been such a battle! But we're there. After multiple attempts to increase my supply, it seemed like it was only getting smaller. It took me about a week to pump 3 ounces for her. Any mom knows that's insane. That should be one feeding. She was spitting up, and we were switching formula weekly to help with it. Because the possibility of acid reflux was coming up, I wanted to be able to breastfeed even more, since she never spit up that. But that's also likely because she was barely getting anything. However, the right formula has seemed to really help that issue although she does seem to be a happy spitter! Still praying it doesn't turn into reflux. Last weekend, we decided to quit fighting the battle. I truly did not have enough for her and the process of feeding, pumping, bottle was exhausting, especially when she was barely getting anything from me. At 5.5 weeks, we decided to go formula only. Which is basically what it was before that but I felt better knowing she was getting a little from me. I truly do hate that it turned out the way it did, even though in the beginning I desperately wanted to quit, but I'm just so happy to finally have a set plan! I was able to quit cold turkey, which also says a lot. I never had to pump or wean it and I never hurt or got uncomfortable.

I write all of this so that other moms know breastfeeding isn't the picture perfect scenario it seems to be. I surely thought it was! I knew it could hurt but that it was temporary. I didn't know how trapping it felt and I had NO idea other moms felt that, too! For myself, I found that after the baby blues started to disappear, it didn't seem as bad. I still didn't get the warm fuzzies from it, but I could do it and be okay with it. I'm glad I pushed through and can have good thought about it now, and with (possible) future babies, I'll try again, but right now, I'm thankful for formula, and that's okay!

and that's the last mommy post on my list.... (for now :))

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The First 2 Weeks

When I was still pregnant, I was getting so tired of all the comments from people... "Enjoy your sleep now", "your life is about to change", "enjoy time with your husband, it'll never be the same", etc. It was frustrating and no one really had anything good to say. I often rolled my eyes (after they weren't looking) at the comments. Now that I'm on the other side, I get what they were saying. The sleep is different, our lives have changed, and my time with Derrick is definitely limited. No one can fully prepare you for what you are about to embark on. I thought the sleep I was already lacking while pregnant wouldn't be any different, but I was wrong. There are nights I would gladly go back to that constantly-interrupted, have-to-pee sleep. I would love to have more alone time with Derrick. In those first 2 weeks, honestly, I wondered what the heck we had done. Before I go further, I want to acknowledge that I am only speaking about the first 2 week of sweet Vera's little life. Well, really a week and a half. Everything at the hospital was totally fine! Things have gotten SO much better and so many of the things I was feeling no longer hold true.

As mentioned 74 times before, Vera came at a really bad time in terms of work schedules, specifically Derrick's. RA training is his only real time to get to to know the new RAs and that's of great value. We had decided early on that I would go and stay with my parents while he did RA training. I could have stayed at home, but his hours are very long during these 2 weeks and he's exhausted. I didn't want Vera to be keeping him up at night and I didn't want to do it alone all day. Luckily, my parents were thrilled at the idea of us being there :) As anyone who follows me on social media knows, I couldn't wait for Vera to come. After she did (late, I might add), I saw why she didn't come early. I would not have made it 2 full weeks without Derrick.

That first week at my mom's house was terrible. I had all the support I could imagine. My mom was willing to be up all hours of the night to help me, she cooked for me, and listened to my constant complaints and concerns. However, it was still awful. Like I said, no one can fully prepare you for what it about to happen. I was tired, excited, and overwhelmed. More importantly, I missed Derrick fiercely. That was new for me. Sure, I love him to pieces, but I have never been the needy type and I was miserable being away from him. The baby blues kicked in right when we left the hospital and I would cry at the drop of a hat. I pretty much cried through 90% of her feedings (more on that later!), anytime I would think about her eating, and anytime I thought of Derrick. As a new mom, you're thinking about feedings a lot. And when I wasn't, I was thinking of Derrick. And when I wasn't doing either of those, I was likely sleeping. So pretty much, I cried and slept for 2 weeks. I can't really put into words what it was that was so terrible. Mostly, I think I was experiencing some serious hormonal changes, the Lortab was making me slightly crazy, I had a brand new baby that I didn't know what to do with, and I was away from my husband. I so desperately wanted her on a schedule. I think a lot of it stemmed from that, too. I had read Babywise (I know it's controversial, you can hold the comments!) and was ready to go. I thought I would be able to train her in her first week of life. Any parent reading this is likely smiling right now. It probably took me those 2 weeks to realize (with the support of family and friends) that those schedules are goals, and not something I can force immediately. I was still hanging onto it though and anytime she would veer from it, I would cry, thinking how am I ever going to do anything again? I was seriously convinced I'd never be able to work again (since I work from home) and that she would never be on a schedule. In my mind, my life was over. I need a schedule and I definitely needed my child on one! Derrick would call me and I would just starts bawling. It was pitiful!

When I was home with Derrick, things got better, but I was weaning from the pain meds and I was getting a little more used to things. However, it was still tough. Feeding was a huge stressor for me (again, more on that soon!), and we were still just trying to figure her out. All of our conversations revolved around her and her eating and sleeping and it was overwhelming. I thought we would never be able to have normal conversations again and we would never be able to just lie on the couch together and watch TV again. Sure, those things are limited now, but they do happen! And I cherish them so much more! We have to make a conscious effort for our conversations not to be all about her. It's taking time but it's getting there. 

People tell you all babies do is eat, sleep, and poop. This is true. But what those people don't tell you is that while your baby is eating, you're stressing out about it. While your baby is sleeping, you're wondering how long it might be before they wake up or why they won't sleep more than 30 minutes or why they want to be held all the time. While your baby is pooping or not pooping, you're worrying about why it's so much or why they haven't pooped in 4 days, examining it for color, consistency, and amount. Which by the way, who knows if it's a small, medium, or large amount as a new parent. Who defines that anyways?! It's poop and it's disgusting whether it's small, medium, or large. ugh! (by the way, I definitely know if it's small, medium, or large now:) ).

I write this as a reminder to myself that the beginning is awful. I've already forgotten everything it entailed, but I don't want to forget that it was the hardest 2 weeks of my life. IF we decide on more children in the (very distant) future, I need to remember that it gets better.... so much better... but I also need to remember that it was so difficult. I admit that a lot of it was my expectations. I wasn't fully prepared to deal with all the emotions, as I thought all that babies did was eat, sleep, and poop, so how hard could it be?

Derrick and I have real conversations about life now, we lie on the couch together, we go out alone, I get out alone, I'm not trapped, I get sleep, I don't do laundry all day, and while we are still working to figure out Vera's schedule, it's definitely much more defined than it was. I am sane again and I don't just sit around and cry anymore. Whew! I thought that would never end! Sure there have been a couple days where I was brought to tears by her neediness, but that's so much different than thinking my life was over.

To all the new moms out there and soon-to-be moms, don't be fooled by all the negative comments. Sure, things are about to change, and I'll be the first to tell you how terribly difficult and draining those first 2 weeks are, but I'll also be the first to tell you that it gets better and for me, all the changes have been good. I value my marriage so much more, I treasure the moments alone with Derrick, I have a compassion for people I didn't have before, I live in the moment more than ever before, I'm realizing life isn't all about schedules (although I will get her on one!), and most importantly, I survived the first 2 weeks and I couldn't be more in love with our baby girl.