Monday, May 06, 2013

I'm still here and I'm not too shabby

There are many things I wish I could do better, decorating for one, but really, for the most part I'm doing a good job.  (Why is that so hard to say?)

I used to do a yearly summary on this venue, but that's on the list of things I wish I did better.  Sorry.  Here is more list (and justification for its delay):

In the past two years or so, I've married another human, made a new human, took a big and scary promotion, fed that second human directly from my body for six drippy months, bought a scary new house, hosted a family holiday and a dear friends baby shower, did a hundred new stretchy scary things at work I've never done before, and painted all of our scary kitchen cabinets (that's a five step process, on 45 doors and drawers).

I cried an inordinate amount and doubted every single thing ever.   I'm still hopelessly addicted to caffeine, still have 30 lbs of baby weight to lose.  Short of quitting my job, becoming a farmer, and growing all sustenance myself, I have no idea what I'm supposed to eat, let alone feed my baby.  I lost 2 of my 4 grandparents within a year, and gained a completely functional house group at church.

There are intense joys, painfully deep body-blows, and little rest for the racing brain.  Here, in this place of mental and physical exhaustion, God met me in very unexpected ways.  I have limped, like Jacob, through the past few years with the following mantras:

1. The baby is fine.   I may be a mess leaving him at daycare, but the baby is healthy and fine.
2. I'm limited.  It has to be ok.
3. Consider Eve, who had no role model, only walked with God.  (I know many different people have  had similar experiences, but my story and my mix of challenges seemed to be my own to muddle through.)
4. I don't know what I don't know and it has to be ok.
5. Try to take good care of Luke, because you are crazy and he deserves a parade.
6. Force yourself to sleep.  You need it. Every night, eight hours a night.
7. Refuse Mommy guilt.  You are a good mom, see mantra number 1.
8. Deep breaths.  No really, just do it. Deep, even, slow breaths.  Yes, now.
9. Don't even think about looking at Pinterest.  You just aren't ready.
10. For all that is good and holy, get a cleaning lady.
11. Don't say everything you think, you aren't back to "you" yet.

I guess in disjointed summary: I am blessed, I am craving boredom and stability, but I'll settle for peace and rest in the midst of chaos.

Oh yeah, and I'm doing an okay job anyway.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ok. Lets do this.

Thanks for your stories and your advice, all.

I have made the decision to actively pursue a natural childbirth in a hospital.  (Hooray).

I feel I've educated myself, some additional stories have reassured me that this is a well and good (and achievable) path to take.   Now that I have signed up for pre-natal yoga, a Bradley class, and just flat out think that I CAN do it... my mind is easing tremendously.

If the train crashes and I need the drugs in the middle, it wont be the end of the world or of my pride, as long as the baby is healthy.

But I will do everything I can to prepare myself mentally, physically and practically... then let the chips fall.    There can't be anything wrong with that plan.

We are truly fearfuly and wonderfully made.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

23 Weeks.

I miss blogging.  I do think that blogging started and sustained me through a very hungry place in life.  Many things have changed and I feel less drawn to this angst-ridden place, but I think writing down things can and will continue without that gritty purpose. 

Maybe a new purpose, this little gentle Tiger growing in my belly, is reason enough to chronicle. 

Perhaps, well, no, certainly, I will greet that gritty angst-y hungry place of motherhood soon enough, and will need the outlet.  So as with all other preparations for this world-changing ball of uncertainty kicking me from the insides, I dust off the blog and commit to writing again. 

Oh yes, and we got a new camera.  So there's that.

Here we go.  First set of thoughts.

To medicate or not to medicate?  Or, the first test of how to be a 'good mom' according to 'them'.

If you use medical interventions or pain relief during the birth of your child, there is a school of passionate-well meaning granola-bars (Dr. Granola Bars, actually) out-there that write books and blog blogs about how this disrupts the delicate instincts of mothers.  The beautiful and perfect balance of hormones and juices and happiness and instincts that have kept our species alive and bonding for as long as humans have walked on two legs.  People who claim we are doing great harm in medicating and intervening in the process of birth, making the most normal and low-risk occurance a medical emergency more often than it needs to be.

There are then a school of mothers that want to punch those people in the face as they grab for the epidural button.

And doctors who listen supportively to your desires to have a natural birth and then roll their eyes and go order the epidural that they know you will cave-in and ask for.

I wish I had enough faith and trust in my body to be completely in the Granola camp.  I do not mean that to be an offensive term. I merely mean it as a description of the holistic care movement in general, of which I am not against in the least.  I want to do the best for my kid.  Right out of the gate.  And everything they preach sounds amazing and right and good and YES, of COURSE I wanna do that.  Doesn't make me want to paint my unborn child's placenta, that's a little off the path for me..but whatever....I'm MADE for this childbirth thing.  My mom did this (and to an 11 lb. 7oz baby no less).  I will do this! Maybe not even in a hospital. Maybe in a forest.  Or a waterfall somewhere. 

On the other hand, I also hate pain.  Right now I have a dry nostril that is giving me fits.  My mom said she would have taken the drugs had they been available. Other moms have said the same to me.  One MIDWIFE is on tape begging for an epidural at her OWN HOME BIRTH.  Doesn't inspire much confidence in my 'beautifully attuned system'.  Yet others have said their natural births "weren't that bad" or "the baby just slipped out".

They say if you go into a natural birth unprepared in a hospital setting, you will at somepoint ask for an intervention.   They say if you go in with a "we'll try it, why not?" attitude, you will fail. 

The other camp says if you go in and dont' go through with the natural birth, you shouldn't feel as if you failed.

One camp says "visualize" your birth positively.

The mothers who have had babies say " that until 7cm...then get the drugs"

I'm certainly not discounting the births where medical interventions are most certainly necessary.  But it's become more and more unclear to me what 'certainly necessary' even means.   I think most, including the modern medical community are in the camp that inductions are undesirable.  Luke and I agree on this.  But epidurals?  One teeny-weeny one can't hurt can it?  I do find it odd that the same doctors who tell us not to even take cold medicine during pregnancy are suddenly ok with narcotics during labor.

It feels like a hot mess.  Like, once again, we are trying to control and put something into a neat little box, that by nature was never meant to be so controlled.  Giving birth to a human being was really never designed to be something for our convenience or comfort.  Blessing? Absolutely.  Fun?  I'm just not so sure.

Right now I'm living in a mental cycle that goes like this...

"YES, I will do it naturally, and I'm stark raving TERRIFIED about it.  Well, I shouldn't spend the next 17 weeks in terror.  No... just relax, plan to get the drugs, everyone else does it, and then I feel ashamed that I am agreeing to jack with my hormones and with my baby....maybe I should try it naturally..."

Seems like a healhy place to be right?  Maybe this is why I am having dreams where I shoot people.

My way-more-stable husband had a good mantra that is sustaining me for now "Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby"  even though I dont really know what that means. It suggests that the end is more important than the means and that we will get through it somehow.

I welcome advice and thoughts and your personal views on this delicate subject.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Since being Pregnant...

List of Weird Dreams.

More on the general state of Pregnancy later.

1. Dreamt that I had the baby early on two separate occasions. One was a girl with no nose, and one was a boy with full goatee.

2. Dreamt that I have shot two people now. The son of the man who operates our local deli, and a random stranger who was in my high school.

3. Dreamt that I have been slated to play college basketball again, for some magical fifth year, and was woe-fully ill prepared, no shoes, no jersey, wrong jersey, not a single day of practice under my belt, etc. (Have had this dream about 4 times now, including once where my ‘boyfriend’ Gary Coleman was in the stands, and once where immediately after, I was scheduled to perform as the lead in a production of Les Miserables)

4. Dreamt that I had a liturgical Role in Leigh Abernathy Cannons “wedding” which was like no event Leigh would EVER plan, and certainly not the man she married. Included the most Hitchcock-like release of VULTURES instead of doves at the end. I knew none of my lines, and the wedding was absolutely hideous and covered in heavy dusty velvet tapestries with gold tassels and such.

5. Dreamt I killed some close family members Dexter-Style (they shall remain nameless because I am not entirely sure which ones they were). With no regret except that Luke and I hid the bodies in a bad place. The closet of a lake house that was for sale and being shown regularly by realtors. “We need to have a talk” I told him when I woke up.

6. Dreamt I had my vehicle taken over by Dave Geiser and his three kids (Dave only has two) and they boarded my Equinox from a moving vehicle on the highway while wearing black hooded cloaks. Then, after dropping them off at their destination, I left my car and returned to find the ENTIRE Iowa State Men’s basketball team and three cheerleaders sleeping in my car, and they trashed it.

7. Dreamt my house burned down. This was the most horrible yet.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Long Time

Has been awhile.   Lots goin on. 

Went to Charleston SC on our honeymoon.   We ate our way through the city, happily.  She-crab soup and salads with bacon-jam on them. (!)  Grand Marnier souffles and fried green tomatoes.  Sweet potato pancakes and lovely local greasy spoons. And grits.  Oh man, did we eat.

Back to a reality that is new and fun. Resting. Building a life together. Nesting. Breathing. Laughing.

Not really cleaning so much.  But we'll get there. I hope.

Road trips to see new family and friends are never dull.

In our apartment. We rent a parking space from our downstairs neighbor, Jeffrey.  He has lived there for 1000 years and makes soup and freezes it.  He has two little white dogs he calls his "boys" and they often chew our welcome mats and sleep against our front and back apartment doors.   It's sweet and weird. Luke put some cayenne pepper on the back one, I think it only served as bait.

Luke looks cute in scrubs.

I have put on all my weight again, I look cute in nothing but circus tents. But he loves me still.

If life goes in cycles, we are certainly in a new one.  One where new friends are now very old and deep friends.  Where I have just completed my 10 year anniversary at my company.  They have also become very old and deep friends.

Friends babies are now almost driving.   My hair has a few grays, my hands more stiffness, my knees creak and groan.  The volleyball court gets more social and less competitive simply because we cannot keep up with the springy young gazelles anymore.   I think striving ceased a little.  It's nice.

Fall in St.Louis is as beautiful as ever and church is starting to feel like home again.

The Lord is ever present, ever faithful, and ever deafeningly silent, like He does.

AND. That blessed day approaches when we get to have a whole extra hour!  My heart dances and sings.

I am thankful.

Monday, June 13, 2011

So how do you like that?

Whew.  I'm married.  It happened.  I'm happy.