Beginning Week 3

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I’m setting more goals for myself this week, and one of them has been to blog once a day, at least Monday through Friday. I mean, I’ve got plenty of time, you know? I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what all there is to talk about, but hopefully I can get kind of creative sooner than later.

Quarantine life hasn’t changed much since last time I talked about it. We still have nice slow mornings, we get ready for the day (usually) because it gives us a sense of normalcy and we spend a lot of time doing schoolwork, sensory boxes, activities, show watching, walks, chalk and coloring. Is it getting old? Just a tiny bit, but I feel like I’ve done a pretty ok job at mixing it up and keeping things ‘new’ and fun. We are having a good time, but sometimes it actually takes some work! Craig has been mostly working from home now down in our basement, which is actually really nice. Its good to know he’s down there being protected from stupid COVID-19 and its fun to see him pop upstairs from time to time. Although keeping the boys upstairs is becoming a bit of a challenge.

I feel bad for the boys. They miss going places and getting out of the house. But I also feel incredibly impressed by them. Despite their wishes to go to school, library class, church, museums, stores, grandparents houses, etc, they are going with the flow and being patient with me as I try to navigate this new journey in motherhood. I just have a lot of gratitude for them and I can’t wait until I can take them out again!

So just for a second can we talk about this virus? My thoughts have been so all over the place with this. When it first started, I was one of those people who believed it was just some bad flu and it wasn’t that big of a deal. I took precautions to make sure hands were washed thoroughly and disinfected a little more, but I honestly didn’t feel like I needed to panic. But then it started spreading faster and people kept dying. I kept thinking about my grandparents. I kept thinking about my unborn baby. I didn’t, and don’t, want them harmed by some evil virus that seemed to show up from nowhere. It started to scare me. I decided to educate myself. I have been pretty good at only paying attention to CDC articles, and I have found. lot of direction and peace in the messages from church leaders, especially our sweet Prophet, Russel M. Nelson. Between those two things I’ve come up with my own take on this, and its this:

We are following the rules. We are social distancing. We don’t go out unless we absolutely need to, and I’m seeing more and more, there is not hardly any need for us to go out – so we don’t. I don’t know how this could effect me while pregnant, or my unborn daughter, or my daughter once she’s born. I don’t know if this could take a turn and do something harmful to my toddler sons. So we are being careful. We are washing hands frequently and thoroughly. I’m disinfecting a lot. Hand sanitizer is everywhere. We are being mindful and aware. Its a little isolating and tiring, but we have chosen to do our part, follow the rules and help flatten the curve.

The Prophet has spoken about how we will defeat this. There will be relief. We just need to be smart. I take so much comfort from his words. We will get past this! I hope we can all do so safely, smartly and healthily.

Ramblings of an Anxious Mama

I woke up this morning to the aftershock of an earthquake. This, coming after a terrible nights sleep because of a two year old who was having random ear pain all throughout the night and having so much anxiety all throughout the night because its like suddenly it clicked to me that I’m a pregnant woman during a pandemic. Then I started having these scary thoughts – we already know we won’t have anyone come in and visit after I deliver baby sister (even her brothers *cue sobs*), but then I started thinking about, what if Craig gets sick and he’s not allowed in either? What if I have to do the whole thing without him?

Then I remembered I find out soon if I have gestational diabetes again. Everything I’ve been reading has said that basically, jury is still out if being a pregnant woman makes you high risk for Covid-19, but I have read since the beginning of all this that being diabetic does put you at high risk. Does that include gestational diabetes? Not to mention, I just really don’t want to have gestational diabetes again – that was a low point in my life haha. The only food I can consistently rely on during my pregnancies is candy, so you can imagine how that just really, really sucks for me.

Anxiety is fun, folks.

This is all kind of ticking me off, because up until last night, I really haven’t let the stress and panic of everything get to me. I really haven’t, and thats incredibly impressive for me! I’m not great at remaining calm, but somehow I have been. Then I went to bed last night and my anxiety and dumb brain that won’t shut up got the best of me. Then, like I said, I woke up to news of an earthquake. Now I’m making a plan on what to do with my kids in case another one comes soon (or ever), and let me tell you, for an anxious person, making a plan like this does not necessarily calm you down!

I’m just trying really hard to be mindful and aware of things lately. Pay attention. Don’t let unimportant things distract me. Hug my kids tighter and, as always, wash the crap out of our hands.

One Great Guy

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Pregnancy, man. I am only barely exaggerating when I say that EVERYTHING HURTS this time around. Ok, so my arms are fine. But like – thats it. I. hurt.

I try so, so hard not to complain because there are people who would kill for this opportunity and I know what a precious blessing it is, so I really do try to focus on the good ad the amazing and not dwell so much on the less-fun side of pregnancy. But… can I just vent real quick? I promise it’ll be a quick little thing, k?

My pelvic pain is off the charts. I can’t even find words to explain the pain I feel but a good way to try is to say that it makes me cry on a daily basis, it takes me over 15 minutes to get out of bed (no joke) and sometimes it makes my legs/pelvis/hips go numb and tingly. Its quite something. My back always aches and throbs. My belly feels heavy and stretchy. My thighs have this dull, owie pain. Heartburn is of the devil – I despise it. Nausea is exhausting and gross and just gets really old after a while.

Ok. I’ll leave it at that. You get what I’m trying to say.

BUT NOW I have to say this:

I’m so, so, so grateful for Craig. I feel like there’s only so much a husband can do when his wife is pregnant to help her body out – but he helps in every way he can and I’m eternally thankful for him. He encourages me to vent it out and complain when I need to and he lets me talk to him freely about all the stuff happening in my body and how it feels. He is totally the reason I’m able to stay sane. He’s a good, good one.

Some Body Love

This post and these pictures are a little out of my comfort zone, but I’m posting them even though it makes me a little…eek. Why? I have two reasons for you.

1) Keliana Shop sells amazing active wear. It’s functional, comfortable and cute! I was sent this adorable set and loved the looks but I was nervous about the color – I thought for sure I’d lean over and they’d become transparent. But they didn’t! Covered, modest and still comfy. Love it. I love the ruffle detail on the bra, and the amazing support it has with its removable cups (I always opt for a little extra support!) and the bottoms are high waisted which this woman with a mom-bod absolutely appreciates!

2) I’m embracing my body! I can get so picky and hard on myself when it comes to things I’d like to change about my body. It actually makes me nervous to think that I may never fully be happy with what I look like, but if I really think about it, my body is awesome! This body has kept me healthy, active and given me very few problems for almost 29 years now. It has grown and birthed two babies that were born very differently from another, and it managed to recover from delivery as well – even from one that was a bit traumatic. Then my body fed both of those babies for well over a year. My body is amazing and capable of so much and deserves so much more respect than I give it! EVERY body is amazing, no matter its shape, size, what it’s accomplished and what other people think about it!

I hope this week you can love yourself and give your incredible body the respect it deserves!!

21 Months Later

Twenty one months ago around nine at night, I had my little Emmett. I honestly can’t even believe he’s that close to turning two – but thats a post for another day. For the last couple of months I’ve been really focusing on myself, especially my body and the way I am caring for it and thinking about it.

Its been a rollercoaster, thats for sure.

Quite truthfully, I’ve always had a very up and down relationship with my body. I’ve always caught myself wishing it was looking like something that it was not or wishing it was doing something it wasn’t currently doing. I’ve been all over the place inside of my own brain when it comes to my body.

This makes me sad because my body is awesome! It has been pretty darn healthy for my almost twenty-nine years of life, its allowed me to go on adventures, walk miles and miles in Disney parks, birth two beautiful babies – one vaginally and one through c-section (both incredible feats) and thats only to name a few of the things its blessed me with. So then why the heck can I be so harsh with it and speak so unkindly about it?

A couple of months ago, admittedly after weighing myself for the first time in who knows how long, and not feeling in love with the number I saw (stupid scales), I decided something needed to change. Maybe physically, but especially mentally.

I needed to love my body again.

So I made a pact with myself.

No more shameful words towards my body. I see all those posts all the time about ‘wear the swimming suit’, ‘talk about your body how you wish your daughter would talk about her body’, etc. That last one is the one that got me. I’m sure its likely more significant with daughters, but guess what? Sons watch their mamas really closely, too! I want my boys and my future kids to be confident in themselves and I want them to have learned their confidence at home from their parents!

I also made myself vow to treat my body kinder. Not as much junk. A lot less Diet Coke (still accepting this one). A significant amount more of exercise. Choosing the active day instead of the lazy day. Maybe I’d lose some weight and gain some muscle, but hopefully I’d lose some body negativity and gain some confidence, acceptance and pride in my body.

And guys? I think its working!

I’m still working on myself physically. If I’m being honest, I know I’m capable of shedding a few extra pounds, eating healthier and getting toned up in a couple places, but I’m not rushing myself and I’m not beating myself down when those goals aren’t being reached as fast as I’d ideally like. I’m also being patient with myself and reminding myself that I’m human and sometimes, as a human, I really want a cookie and a giant Diet Coke from Sodalicious and that is PERFECTLY OK. While I try to work on whatever my goal body is, I choose to love my body every step of the way. Weather its softer than its ever been, really sore, growing another baby, feeling sick, feeling strong – I’m going to love it, respect it and honor it because I can’t deny how amazing it is.

E’s Ears

I’m not sure if you know this or not, but my sweet baby E has had a rough go when it comes to his little ears. In his fourteen months of life, he has had twelve ear infections, most of those happening since August/September-ish, and most of them being double ear infections. We also found our pretty recently that for a while now, both of his ear drums have been ruptured. Isn’t that awful? You’d be floored to hear this if you know him or have seen him recently though, because he’s just so happy still. But it definitely now makes sense why when he was ticked, he was ticked. The pain tolerance his little body has is absolutely incredible. During a recent discussion with E’s ENT (ear nose and throat doctor), he told me that the pain he must have been feeling was so excruciating it would send a grown man to the Emergency Room. That shattered my mom heart. I had no idea. I mean, I knew it hurt, but I had no idea it hurt that badly.

We finally got him into the ENT a little while ago where they told us E needed tubes (no shock – thats why we were there). Thats also where we learned about the double rupture. Poor baby. So earlier last week, he finally got his tubes put in, along with a small exploratory surgery just to check out his ears and make sure there isn’t anything else to be concerned with. Good news, everything looks great. I’m so grateful for modern medicine and for doctors. I’m especially for doctors who make your children feel special. I was so impressed with all the doctors and nurses we talked to on E’s day of surgery. They all got down on his level and talked to him – something that social little boy really loved. It made me feel even more comfortable and confident.

Recovery has been pretty good, all things considered. The first few days involved a lot of blood and a lot of ooze, but thats all stopped now. He hates the ear drops we have to put in multiple times a day with a passion, but those are almost over with. We are so excited for a pain-free baby who hopefully hopefully hopefully won’t have to deal with anymore painful infections anymore.

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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.