I Never Had to Split My Heart in Half

When I got pregnant with E, I was ecstatic. But almost as soon as I saw that positive sign, another weird, unexpected feeling rushed over me along with the joy. That was guilt. It instantly hit me that H would no longer be an only child and his world of near constant attention and having his parents all to himself would be over in several months. I knew having more than one kid was absolutely right for me. I knew I was going to have more than two kids even. But I never knew how part of me would feel guilty for growing our family. I never thought about that when I was younger and to be honest I never really thought about it much until I learned I was pregnant with my second child.

The feeling of joy was a million times stronger than the guilty and sad feeling. But when I let myself really dwell on those two words, it got worse and worse. I knew how much I loved H. SO MUCH. So how on earth could I possibly love another human as much? Was my heart even capable of somehow dividing such a strong, powerful, fierce love to two kids? How would H not just always be my favorite because I’d had him and known him the longest? Would my second child feel neglected? Would he see that I had a ‘better’ relationship with his big brother? Fear and worry would creep over me easier each time I allowed myself to think on these scary thoughts.

I did my best to ignore them. People add children into their families every day and guess what? The other kids are ok. The new babies are ok. The family is ok. The mom…I hope she is ok. I would switch my focus back to joy. Adding this new little brother to our family was perfect. He was going to be so sweet and handsome and I couldn’t even handle the thoughts of how cute his relationship would be with his brother. Having two sons was absolutely going to be the best thing ever. It was right. It was good. It was perfect. I was going to figure out how to split my love.

Split my love. I hated that phrase, but I thought it all the time. Somehow I’d have to figure out how to take half the love I had for H and give it to his brother. Thats where the real guilt came in. Would H notice I had to share my love? Would he feel like he was less loved and less important? Sure he wasn’t even two yet – but even toddlers notice change. Was he going to be sad? Was he going to be mad at me? Was he going to resent his brother for this big life change?

I never told anyone these fears. No one. I was worried saying I was worried I couldn’t love them both as powerfully, equally and strongly made me a weak mom. I thought it would make me a bad mom. I kept it to myself and I tried not to worry and focus on the joy. I prayed a lot. I tried to have as much faith in myself as a mother as I could.

Then the day came. November 10th happened and I had my second son that night!

I learned something incredible. The second my c-section started I started praying in my head. I prayed that the operation would go well and that my new baby would be safe and healthy. I prayed I would be healthy. I prayed that H was happy back home with his grandparents.

I prayed that my heart could figure out how to be a mom of two.

Something pretty cool happened then. E’s delivery was a little bit scary. As soon as he was out, he was taken immediately to a NICU team in the next room and my husband went with him. I was alone on the operating table with medical people around me. They were talking to me, trying to distract me from the scary thing that had just happened. They were trying to distract me so I wouldn’t dwell on the fact that my new baby still hadn’t screamed or cried or taken a very good breath. I was terrified. Their distractions didn’t work. All I knew is I had only seen my sweet son for a split second and he was gray and silent. I just wanted to hear him cry. I needed to know he was ok. Nothing else in the world mattered in those unknown moments.

Thats when it all dawned on me. I loved him with my whole heart. I loved him just as powerfully, equally and strongly as I loved H. But it wasn’t because my heart split in half. It was because my heart doubled in size in a way only the heart of a mother can do. My love didn’t change, it didn’t shrink or alter for H. It stayed big and the same – maybe it even grew. My love for my new son matched the love I had for H perfectly. I just knew all those worries and fears I’d had most of my pregnancy were all a thing of the past now. I knew that both of my sons had equal, huge love from me. It was such a calming, overwhelming feeling. I was so gracious.

It felt like forever, but not too much longer there were finally some loud and glorious screams from the room next door. My doctors all sighed with relief saying, “there he is!” or smiling really big at me. My anesthesiologist energetically patted my shoulder. My nurses cheered. He was ok. So was I. I loved that little boy I hadn’t really seen so, so much.

He was finally brought out to me where we had our little post c-section face snuggles. It was so spiritual and perfect. He was snorting in my ear and seemed to be telling me he loved me and he was comfortable and happy to be back with me. It was perfect. I told him I loved him and I felt that. I truly, truly meant it.

My heart never had to change its love for H. It knew what it was doing. Maybe all the while my belly was growing, preparing to deliver a child, my heart, too, was growing – preparing to love another sweet little baby.

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Break My Heart, Why Don’t Ya

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Nothing hurts my heart quite like a sick baby. For over a week our poor E has been feeling yucky. It started with a cough that grew into a bad, frequent phlegmy cough. Then a very runny nose was added, followed by a fever that was all over the place, but always higher than I hoped. Our pediatrician is close to the family so I was in pretty close contact with him, along with a few other family members during this all – asking advice and for tips and tricks. Two nights ago in the middle of the night I touched his head and he was on fire. Hotter than he’d been before. I took his temperature and it was so high. I called the after hours nurse immediately (@3:30am) and she told me what to be extra cautious of but said I definitely needed to see our doctor that next morning. I was given things to look out for, that if they happened I needed to take E to the ER. Luckily none happened and we monitored him very closely that night and ultimately felt like we’d be ok to wait until we went to the doctor in the morning.

So yesterday we got our booties over to the pediatricians to hopefully start helping our littlest buddy. It turns out E has a double ear infection, with one ear quite a bit worse than the other, and a mild, less scary/serious form of RSV. Break my heart! My poor boy! Now he is on an antibiotic and we have some special saline drops and suction instructions. Hopefully things start helping him and his situation begins to look up. I can’t handle his sad, sick, helpless face much longer! He tries so hard to be our usual happy E, but thats always interrupted by a yucky cough/gag/cry. Ugh.

I’m glad we went to the doctor. I’m glad I followed my mom gut. I’m glad my doctor genuinely cares for my childrens wellbeing and I’m glad that we have some answers and solutions. Feel better soon, little guy!!

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How We Found Out #2

Quite a while ago I posted about how I found out I was pregnant with H and how I told Wild Man. You can read that story here if you’d like. I figured it was only fair that I also share the story of this baby, as well. Just a heads up – much like the story of H – this is not anything exciting or cutesy. Apparently I turn incredibly uncreative when it comes to giant life changes like this.

We didn’t get pregnant immediately when we were trying for H. So when we had settled on a timeline for when we would start trying for baby #2 I wasn’t holding my breath for it to happen very fast (for the record, Wild Man had a very different attitude about this). So when we hadn’t been trying long like…at all…I was both hopeful and skeptical. No way it happened this fast this time. Nope. Regardless of my negative attitude, I couldn’t quit thinking about the pregnancy test sitting in the box under our bathroom counter.

One day Wild Man had just got home from work and we were all at the table eating dinner. I wasn’t even a day late for my period yet but I had been thinking about it all day. Somehow I just felt pregnant even though it made no sense. There was only one way to confirm my suspicion, though. I decided the next morning I would take a test because rumor has it, you get the clearest results when you take pregnancy tests in the morning.

Never mind. The longer we sat at dinner the more impatient I got. I knew I was pregnant and I just needed that little stick to tell me I wasn’t crazy. I got up from the dinner table and just said I needed to use the restroom but didn’t explain what I was doing. When you take a pregnancy test you’re typically instructed to lay the test on the counter for 2 minutes (or so) and check back on it. But I wasn’t about to wait 2 minutes. As soon as the test began I sat and watched it. I watched the test go from blank to…positive. I was right. I was pregnant.

I said a quick prayer of thanks, had my moment, cleaned up then ran out to our kitchen and stood right next to Wild Man and said, “Want to see something cool?” Then I handed him the test. (my cute, creative announcements are back at it!) We were both so excited! We told H he was going to be a big brother then Wild Man talked to my stomach for a minute. The rest of the day was just full of that pure elation you feel after seeing that positive sign – and to be honest we’ve been riding that high since and now we are this close to meeting this sweet baby!!

This is just for me to remember.. We were almost 4 weeks when I found out..

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Pray. Say thank you. 

I woke up with my husband this morning – which is code for: I woke up really early this morning. Like 5 or something gross like that. Of course, he didn’t know I woke up because I laid there with my eyes closed trying desperately to fall back asleep. I’m almost 35 weeks pregnant, so it’s no surprise that I didn’t have a great night of sleep last night. Our sweet little H who has been struggling to sleep all night lately laid beside me sleeping soundly and I was jealous. He looked so relaxed. So I tried really, really hard to fall back asleep. But every time I felt like I was at the brink of sleep, something would wake me up again. A movement from H, a sound from Wild Man out in the kitchen, a wiggle from baby boy, a sharp pain in my hip or another charlie horse in my leg. It was weird. It was like everything but my own brain was telling me to stay awake. 

I heard Wild Man leave and I could hear the dog adjust in her kennel out in the living room. Then there was silence. I laid in our dark room with my eyes open just wishing I was asleep. There seemed to be absolutely no reason to be awake at such an early hour. Then, what felt like out of nowhere I had a thought pop into my head: Pray. Say thank you. 

I’m a little bit embarrassed to say I didn’t immediately start a prayer. H was wiggling around and I was watching his funny little sleeping faces. Baby boy was also wiggling and I was trying to figure out what body part it was I could feel. I knew I should pray, but I guess in my mind I thought it could wait so I brushed it off. Both of my boys settled again and as I sat in the stillness and quiet and looked at H’s perfect little face I heard it run through my mind again: Pray! Say thank you! This time the thought was accompanied with a realization that it is because of Heavenly Father, who I pray to, that I have my sweet, healthy, almost two year old, my wiggly baby boy in my stomach and an incredible husband. I knew exactly what I was supposed to say thank you for now. 

I didn’t even sit up or kneel. I stayed in the same position in bed with my toddlers left arm draped over my face and his feet tucked under my belly. I closed my eyes and said a prayer in my mind. I thanked Heavenly Father for my many, many blessings – especially for my wonderful family. It wasn’t a long prayer and it didn’t feel particularly powerful. When I finished it, I didn’t feel as if I’d had some incredible experience. But as I sat there I came to realize I was feeling something I haven’t really felt the past week. 

I felt peace

I’m not sure what it’s been about the past little while in my life, but it’s been hard for me not to feel overwhelmed, inadequate or like I’m doing my role as a wife and mother. I have been easily upset at myself, I’ve been impatient, emotional and feeling very off. It’s been a struggle. I have a lot of craziness running through me, likely since I’ll be having a baby soon – but I felt like there was even more to it. I was a mess and my mind was a mess and (a lot like my house, lately) I couldn’t get it cleaned up and organized which just caused me to feel less and less peaceful and…ok. 

My shoulders felt a little lighter after this prayer. I felt like the elephant that’s been crushing my chest lately was gone – or at least less paralyzing – and I could feel my regular happiness starting to familiarize itself with my body again. That’s when I realized that this whole time I’ve been feeling miserable for myself, I’d been praying the whole time, but I was always asking for things. I was asking for help. Begging for relief. For things to go my way.  Complaining and venting. But I never stopped to take the time to pray about what was going right – what I was thankful for. It hit me like a ton of bricks. THATS why I was feeling off and that’s why my life seemed as if it had a little extra level of difficulty to it that I couldn’t figure out how to effectively combat. I wasn’t thanking Heavenly Father for my blessings! 

The sun hasn’t even come up yet. It’s not even 7 in the morning yet. Who knows if I’ll fall back asleep this morning or not. But I am grateful I woke up at 5am this morning (NEVER thought I’d say that) and they I finally said a prayer of thanks. I hope it has set the tone for my day. I hope this can be what flips this weird month around for me. I hope I will remember this experience and not go so long without being thankful for my blessings. I feel so good. I feel so light and happy. I feel like I was a dead battery and am now fully charged and ready to go. My mind is much clearer. 

It’s funny how the Lord works sometimes. But it’s always in the most perfect way for our individual needs. He answers prayers in His own way and His own timing and it’s always just what we need. 

Now let’s hope that with all this newfound light and clarity, my body and house can get on board 😉 

xoxo

ceeceesparkles 

How I Deal With a Bad Day

This morning was one of those days where I learned very quickly after waking up that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, wasn’t feeling well and was just feeling off. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that my almost two year old refuses to sleep in his crib lately (only wants mom and dads bed) and doesn’t fall asleep until waaaaaay past his bedtime, has a cold so he wakes up lots in the middle of the night – which in turn wakes me up – and that I am almost 8 months pregnant. Couldn’t be that right? 😉

I didn’t want to get out of bed. Thankfully the dog slept in for a while so I didn’t have to get up to take her outside as early as I usually do so I just laid in bed with H for a whole extra hour until he was finally so sick of just laying there that he insisted we get up. I grouchily got out of bed and threw some clothes on that I pulled out of my dirty clothes hamper. We did our little morning routine and I was very much not myself and wasn’t very patient with myself, my son or the dog. I looked at the clock and it was 9:15am and I realized that I already felt like my day was ‘ruined.’ I hated that. I didn’t want the morning to set the tone of the rest of my day. H was being sweet and happy and the dog was actually being really obedient. There was no one to blame for my grumpy attitude except for myself. So I made the decision while we ate breakfast that I was going to actively change my day and *hopefully* my mood, also. I went to bed last night with a lot of mom/wife guilt and I didn’t want to do that again tonight.

Whenever I feel bummed out like that I typically try to change the day around. I believe I’m in control of my own attitude and thats a very powerful tool I have. Sometimes I try harder than others to make the day good, but on the days I really do try, there is a difference and I find that as I lay in bed that night I’m proud of myself and the effort I put forth.

This is how I combat a bad day. Like I said, sometimes it works a lot better than other times – but thankfully today its worked pretty well. Of course its only 1:30pm so theres still a lot of day left, but I’m determined to keep on being persistent in making sure I make this a much better day than it started.

  • Get dressed and put on make up. If I am in an actual outfit (not pajamas, sweats or leggings and a giant t-shirt) I feel better about myself. When I wear make up I am almost always in a better mood. When I allow myself to be so lazy that I skip both of these steps in the morning I typically realize that I’m a little less happy that day. Today I threw on a comfy maternity dress, put on a full but simple face of makeup and worked on a new top knot and it was the start of something good, for sure.
  • Make the bed. I don’t even know why, but a bed thats made just make you happier. Even if you didn’t make it until noon.
  • Count my blessings. This one really helped me out this morning. I especially focused on my sweet husband and son. I sent a text to Wild Man thanking him for all he does for our family and I talked to H about how much I love him. It filled my heart with gratitude and gave me something else to think about besides how tired, annoyed and grouchy I was.
  • Eat a treat. I don’t care what time it is. Its never too early for a treat. Treats help. They make me happier so its 100% justifiable to me and I will stick by that. This morning I had a piece of licorice and laugh all you want, it played a significant role in turning my mood.
  • Read a scripture or two. Sometimes you happen upon that verse that you feel like was written just for you. Thats one of the most amazing ways to feel God’s love for you. Even if it doesn’t speak to you so powerfully, its a nice reminder of something to strive towards or internalize and really ponder throughout your day.
  • Pray. Duh. It always helps. Our prayers are heard and we can be comforted, guided and blessed through it.
  • Do what makes me happy. The #1 thing that makes me the happiest right now is spending time with H and Wild Man. Uninterrupted time with my boys is the most powerful form of therapy for me. Since Wild Man is at work, I sat with H in his room. We talked, read books and played with cars. I laughed at his funny little mannerisms and unique characteristics. He gave me random hugs and would sit on my lap and lay his head on my chest. He’d laugh at the silliest of things. It lifted my heart in a way nothing else could have.
  • Clean. A clean house does wonders for the soul. I think clearer. I feel happier. My load is lighter. Its a sure way to perk me up when I’m feeling down.
  • If the motivation to do so is lacking – push yourself. This is what I struggle with the very most. Its so easy for motivation to straighten my home to fly out the window on days I feel like this. I’ve found that on the days I physically make myself buck up and get housework done I always end up feeling better, lighter, cleaner, prouder and I just feel better because my house no longer looks like a bomb went off in it.
  • Let it out. Its never healthy to keep thoughts and feelings inside. Eventually they explode out in a very exhausting way (for me) and I find myself wishing I would have voiced things as they were happening instead of when there was too much to process anymore and it causes me to just lay in bed and cry. (i’m not the only one this dramatic, right? right?) Even if its just sending a quick text to your spouse telling them why you’re frustrated or emotional – it helps! Just don’t keep it in. It always makes it worse. At least in my experience…
  • Take a nap. If I’m ever given the opportunity to nap – I will! I know naps aren’t meant for everyone. Wild Man swears naps make him wake up groggier and crankier. So obviously for him naps are not the answer. But naps for me are PHENOMENAL. Even when I’m not huge and pregnant naps are so healing for me. They don’t have to be super long even. Sometimes its just nice to completely turn off for a bit.
  • Get outside. Some fresh air is really as therapeutic and healing as everyone says! Its a change of scenery and a change of perspective.
  • Give service. We’ve all heard how the best way to be happier is to forget yourself and serve someone else, right? It sounds like a lot of work but its absolutely the truth. Service makes you feel better.
  • Give yourself time and patience. We can’t always be happy and on top of our game. I think its important to recognize that life can’t always be perfect and carefree, full of smiles. Its ok to have a bad day or feel different sometimes. Its just part of the journey. I love myself more when I allow myself to feel and to understand that its not a bad thing to be sad or feel off. It is perfectly normal to have our emotions change!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

32 Weeks + Some Venting/Worries/Whining

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Today I’m 32 weeks pregnant with the worlds most frequently hiccuping baby and all the sudden that seems really, like really close to my due date! I feel decently ready. We have the stuff we need and we are super eager to meet this little guy, but there are always the nerves (for me at least). I have this fear of getting to the hospital and realizing I forgot something important and even though I know I have plenty of people who could swing by my house or stop by the store, I still worry. Its really fun living inside my paranoid brain guys.

Now if you aren’t in the mood to read a pregnant girls whining and venting then maybe you should just close out now because its about to get rambly.

I had my 32 week appointment today. I was pretty much ready to have this confirmed, but I have SPD (symphosis pelvic disorder) which basically means my muscles, ligaments and bones are already loosening, stretching and aren’t properly aligned. Thats great when you’re about to have a baby, but its a pain (literally) when you still have 8-ish weeks left. Its been going on for the last 3-4 weeks and basically its just awful pain down yonder. I am popping in my hips, pelvic bone and pubic bone and its excruciating. Did you know your pubic bone can even pop? Well it can and it’ll stop you in your tracks and can even make you cry if it catches you off guard enough. Pretty much everything from my mid back to my mid-thighs hurt so bad that I’m waddling and moving like a 100 year old woman and theres pretty much nothing that can be done. Except have a baby in several more weeks. Its discouraging to basically hear, ‘yep, thats gonna hurt and it’ll keep hurting until you have a baby,’ but I’m grateful that its only pain I am feeling and baby boy is doing great. While we are talking about pain, I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this or not yet, but I’ve had this for a few months now but…vericose veins. Down there. Its as crappy as it sounds and hurts like crazy. Pregnancy hurts sometimes.

At my 28 week appointment baby was sideways. My doctor wasn’t too worried because it was still early enough that he didn’t have to be head down yet. Well today he is completely breach. Head up, bum down. Exactly the opposite of where we’d like him to be. Again, its too early to really get too worried about it but…c’mon, this is me we’re talking about. I’m worrying. Duh. My doctor said its still possible he’ll flip but it is trickier for baby to flip the bigger they get. He also said sometimes during labor if they are breach they’ll just randomly flip into the correct position. He also said that his partner is really good at flipping the babies in the stomach closer to delivery and has a pretty high success rate. Although I hear thats a very painful option – eek! But if it comes to that I’ll totally give it a try. Then he explained that if baby just won’t flip then the safest route to deliver baby would be via c-section. At first that scared me, but people have c-sections all the time and I’m a firm believer in getting baby here safely, no matter what method that is by and if we have to do a c-section then I won’t fight it at all. But its still hard to process when you hear that your perfect baby isn’t in the perfect situation and you may not have the vaginal delivery you’ve been visualizing your entire pregnancy. For some reason I’ve been really emotional about grasping that today. Which just makes me feel crazy. Because honestly if it comes to a c-section I have no issues with that. So why do I keep crying? Hormones are doing me no favors.

Ultimately, the most important thing is that baby brother is doing amazing, growing great, is right on track. Nothing is more important to me than to hear that! I can’t believe he is due in 8 weeks.

(which also means i’ll have a 2 year old in 8 weeks – gulp!!)

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

24 Week Update

Just like that I’m 24 (actually closer to 25) weeks pregnant! This pregnancy is flying. I’m assuming things will start slowing down once I get closer to my due date, but as of right now I feel like November is going to be here after just a few more blinks. I think I’ve said this before, but I’m really torn on how excited I am for November. Obviously I’m thrilled because November is baby time – but its also the month H was born which means he’ll be turning TWO! What? I’m going to have a two year old? We’re stopping there. I can’t dwell on that too much.

On Monday I had my 24 week appointment and everything is looking, sounding and feeling great and Baby Boy is doing awesome. The results of our big 22 week ultrasound came back and all is well. Again, I was nervous because with H’s 22 week appointment they found that there was a possible issue with his kidneys so I had to get another ultrasound at 30 weeks to just ensure everything was fine. And everything was fine, thankfully, but those were a lot of weeks to sit and worry about my baby. I really was hoping I wouldn’t have to do that again this time around – and thankfully we don’t have to.

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Now on to the bullet points

  • I’m going to start with this. In a couple weeks I’m taking my final glucose test to see if I have gestational diabetes (i had it with my 1st) and even though people are being so kind and sending tons of positive vibes, I am terrified that I have it. My levels haven’t been super this pregnancy but not bad enough to be diagnosed. So I’ll keep my fingers tightly crossed until I know for sure. Wish me luck.
  • I’ve started feeling really heavy lately. My belly must be really growing because I feel like if I’m not careful I’m going to just tip over and fall on my face – which can’t be good for me or baby.
  • A few weeks ago I did something to a stomach muscle and its been feeling pretty awful ever since. My doctor said that unfortunately there weren’t great chances of it healing before baby is born since my stomach muscles are thinning and aren’t very strong (were they ever?) so I’m gearing up to feel this the rest of my pregnancy. I also found a fancy, supposedly really amazing belt/band thing thats supposed to help a lot and also help my back pain. I have high hopes.
  • This isn’t new news, but my body still kills. Nothing has helped so far.
  • I’m still sick, but still doing way better than my first pregnancy. I haven’t put on much weight, but if you compared my numbers this time to last time, you’d be giving me a standing ovation.
  • H has started noticing that my belly is getting big. Sometimes he’ll come up to me and just pat it or lay his head on it. I know he’s too young to understand he’s got a little brother in there but it still makes me excited (and sometimes a little emotional). The best is when Baby Brother kicks back when H pats my belly. I hope they’re such good friends.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles