Quote of the Day

“Forget it enough to get over it, remember it enough to never let it happen again”

– Unknown

I think this is what growth is truly about. It’s about not letting our damage define us, but letting it educate and guide us away from repeating the same patterns. We grow so accustomed to carrying our baggage with us everywhere we go, being weighed down by all of the negativity. How often are we allowing ourselves to leave the hurt of it behind and only carry the lessons we learned? How much life are we missing out on because we’re allowing our damage to hold us back, instead of using the wisdom we’ve gained from it to guide us down new paths?

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Quote of the Day

“Grief is like the ocean; it comes in waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it’s overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” 

-Vicki Harrison

Grief is like the Ocean...

Mommy Diary #1

          On Monday, July 3rd, 2017 after 40 weeks and 2 days of miracle working, I gave birth to the most amazing little boy I’ve ever met! My due date was on Saturday, July 1st and my husband and I were trying everything we could to meet our little guy. We spent the previous few days taking long walks downtown, through the mall, and through IKEA trying to get the labor process started to what seemed to be no success. On Sunday morning I woke up, went to the bathroom and noticed a few drops of blood. I calmly alerted the troops and we went straight to the hospital to make sure everything was okay. I wasn’t dilated, my water hadn’t broken and my contractions were very far apart and irregular so of course, they sent me home. My mom bent down to my belly outside the hospital doors and said “Ezra, this is grandma Lisa talking, everything is all set up and ready for you, it’s time to come out! No more games, no more excuses..COME OUT!”

          I went home ate, and took a nap and I started experiencing more intense, more frequent contractions around 6/7 pm and thought maybe I should start monitoring these. A bowl of cereal, a sandwich, a movie and some watermelon later, (around 9 pm) my contractions started picking up strength and frequency until they were lasting about a minute and a half each and occurring approximately 5-7 minutes apart. Around midnight the contractions were every 5 minutes and the pain was becoming unbearable so we once again alerted the troops and went to the hospital. My water still hadn’t broken yet but after a very difficult and emotionally grueling cervical exam we discovered that I was 4 cm dilated. They quickly started me on fluids and an antibiotic (I was Strep B positive) in preparation for the epidural and got me into my labor and delivery room. My contractions were now 30 seconds- a minute apart and were absolutely excruciating. Each one being worse than the last. Finally I got my epidural and things got very interesting very quickly.

          The nurse had me lay flat on my back for the numbing to properly take affect and she told me she was going to put a catheter in me and check my cervix again to see where I was at. I was pretty much completely numb from the waist down so I wasn’t afraid of the pain as much as just being nervous because I knew what was about to happen. A few minutes go by and I’m thinking, “Mann, she sure is taking a long time to prepare this catheter” then I notice this sneaky accomplished look on her face and everyone else’s in the room. The catheter had been done and she informed me that I was now 8 cm dilated! She told me to lay on my side for a while to make sure the medicine got distributed equally and that she’d be monitoring my blood pressure and baby’s heartbeat from her desk. A few hours go by and she comes in to tell me that in 30 minutes she’s going to have me switch sides and that she’s going to check my cervix.

           I was in such a great mood! I was singing Mariah Carey songs and was slightly delirious and loopy from the medicine in my system and lack of sleep. I had finally gotten into a good sleep when she came back in to flip and check me. When she went to turn me my bed pad was bloody and soaked with fluid! MY WATER BROKE AND I DID T EVEN FEEL IT! She goes to check my cervix and MY SONS HEAD WAS CROWNING!!!!! I was SLEEPING!!!! She frantically called about 15 nurses/interns/etc into the delivery room and my doctor is about 10 minutes away so the hospital doctor got me started with the pushing.

          On Monday, July 3rd, 2017 at 6:40 am my husband, best friend, aunt, and mother in law got to witness me deliver my absolutely perfect baby boy in about 8 pushes. No cuts, no tearing. Just one small abrasion on my inner labia. They placed my son on my chest and he made direct eye contact with me and made little cooing noises as if he was trying to talk to me. I burst into tears at the fact that this all just happened and at long last I was holding my prince in my arms. My husband cut the chord and the doctor delivered my placenta with ease. My son didn’t even cry until they took him away from me to weigh him and wipe him off. They placed him skin to skin with me and he latched on perfectly with one attempt and nursed for about 10 minutes straight. They literally took my heart straight from my body and placed it on my chest.

          I lay in my hospital bed holding my then 1 1/2 day old in my arms as I originally typed this. My sweet, oh so nurturing, oh so perfect husband was getting some rest on the pull out chair and I had truly never felt so complete in my entire life. The doctors nurses and staff made everything about my whole experience so beautiful and so special. I never knew I could love someone so strongly and I certainly didn’t think there was any more room for the already tremendous amount of love I had for my husband to grow. I thought we had already maxed out on the love meter but the way he took such good care of me and our son, and the love I see in his eyes when he looks at either one of us, it’s reached a whole new level. 

Now, a year and a half later we still look into our little boy’s eyes with such wonder and amazement that we could ever create something so perfect, smart, silly, affectionate and eager to discover the world around him. My sweet Ezra Joel makes every single one of my days worth living and I can’t wait to share some of that joy with you!

     

Pregnancy Diary #2

Two ultrasounds ago I was told by the technician that I have an Anterior Placenta. I had never heard the term before so of course I ask, “Is that a bad thing?” to which she simply responded, “Nah its fine”. That was that. I didn’t think anything else of it. When I met with the doctor afterwards I felt no need to ask any questions about it or even have an explanation given to me as to what it even was. I was content knowing that it wasn’t a bad thing. 

Lately I’ve been concerned about how little I’ve been feeling my son move. I’ve consulted online forums, my doctor, co workers, anyone who would give me the time of day really. Everywhere I turned the answers were pretty much the same: “He might just not be a very active baby” or “There’s still so much room in there and he’s not that big yet, you don’t need to worry”. As comforting as those answers should’ve been, I just couldn’t find satisfaction in them. 

Yesterday I was browsing through the topics and comments on one of the online pregnancy forums I follow and I noticed one where a woman mentioned her placenta also being anterior. She talked about how it limited how frequently she felt her baby move and I had to know more! I read through all of the comments but nothing gave a clear explanation of what was going on. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel but it felt like the tunnel was never ending. 

Once I googled the term a wave of relief and slight embarrassment washed over me. Basically, instead of my placenta being located behind my baby, it’s actually in front of him acting as a barrier between him and my belly button. I felt silly because if I had actually paid attention to the words being used, I could’ve figured this out easily and saved myself weeks of unnecessary worrying. Anyhow, this means that although my son could actually be in there doing acrobatic stunts, I’m only feeling dulled versions of those moments every so often because of the positioning. 

From the time he first started moving I did notice that I could only feel him on the lower sides of my belly, no where else. I didn’t think anything of it, but that is another result of the position of my placenta. The bottom sides of my belly aren’t covered by the placenta making his movements easier to feel. Not rocket science, but my mind was blown! 

I wish that my doctor would have taken the time to explain everything to me, but I’m so thankful that everything is okay. If you have had any similar experiences with this or want to share your pregnancy stories please do so in the comments! I’d love to know that I’m not the only one who has experienced this or has been a little paranoid at times. 

Thank you for reading!

Quote of the Day

“You really have to look inside yourself and find your own inner strength, and say, ‘I’m proud of what I am and who I am, and I’m just going to be myself’.”   Mariah Carey 

Mariah is one of my biggest inspirations. To me, she is the epitome of elegance, strength and confidence. She doesn’t allow herself to get torn down about what others may say or think about her. She knows her worth and she knows how hard she’s worked to get to where she is. With the voice of an angel she delivers lyrics that tell not only her story, but the stories of so many people around the world. I haven’t heard a song of hers yet that I couldn’t relate to somehow, or that didn’t bring up memories of a certain part of my life. 

This quote means a lot to me because I used to always compare myself and my situation to others’ and I often felt inadequate and unhappy with myself. Whether it was my grades, my looks, my relationships I was always either punishing myself or validating myself based on other people’s lives. When I started to focus on myself and my own situations only, I was able to see the things that were going right for me instead of all of my failures. I was grateful for the things that I do have, not stressed over the things that I don’t. 

Share with me in the comments what this quote means to you and what impact this way of thinking has had on your life! 

Pregnancy Diary #1

Pregnancy has always been hands down the most fascinating subject to me. From as early as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a mother and experience every step of the journey. I can remember attempting to breastfeed my baby dolls and always walking around with pillows under my shirt pretending to be pregnant. As soon as I learned how to read I would take my mom’s pregnancy books and ask her a million questions about the stuff I didn’t understand. The concept of a whole human life forming inside of another person just blew my mind. It was magic.

Now that I am currently embarking on this journey, I have a whole new perspective. I still believe that pregnancy and being a mother are among the most beautiful things in the world, but now that I am experiencing it for myself a whole new light has been shed. I’m not talking about the physical and emotional changes I’ve been going through, those I expected. I didn’t realize, however, how paranoid and scared I was going to be. Everything I feel or don’t feel, what to eat or not to eat. Every decision I make now has nothing to do with me, only the life I’m creating.

Right now I am 24 weeks and 6 days pregnant, or 6 months. From the moment I found out that I was expecting on October 31st, 2016 thousands of thoughts flooded my mind about what I was doing right or wrong and what kind of mother I would be. The day I got my big fat positive I was already 5 weeks and 2 days, or 1 month along. Prior to even suspecting that I could be expecting, I had been drinking alcohol. Not excessively, but I definitely had my fair share. I was so worried that I may have already harmed the baby somehow or that this could cause me to miscarry. It wasn’t until my first ultrasound at 12 weeks that some of those fears got put to rest. When I saw that perfectly formed profile, heard the soothing sound of a heartbeat and saw that tiny little body thrusting itself about on the screen, I knew that somehow everything was off to a good start. Checkpoint complete.

Fast forward to 18 weeks, aka 4 1/2 months. I felt my son move for the first time on Thursday, February 2nd, 2017. I was sitting in the car in the parking lot of a shopping center waiting for my husband to come out of the store with my much-needed hot sauce. As soon as I felt the flutter I immediately texted my best friends, our mothers and my aunts. I remember the rest of that night I was frantically hoping he’d do it again for my husband to feel . As the days went by I was feeling him more and more. His movements getting stronger and stronger. I could tell you like clockwork what times of the day that he was going to kick and it’s been on of the most exciting parts of my pregnancy so far.

Lately his kicks haven’t been as strong or as often. The first time I noticed a difference was almost a month ago when we moved out of our one bedroom apartment. I was up at 6:30 on that Saturday morning and we didn’t finish up until 12:30 am. I obviously didn’t do any heavy lifting, but I did help as much as I could despite getting light-headed frequently and needing breaks constantly. I started to panic on Sunday when I hadn’t felt him move and I thought maybe I over did it. Maybe I put too much strain on my body and now I was going to experience the ultimate punishment. I felt horrible.

The next day I went in to my doctor’s appointment extremely nervous and prepared for the worst. We had an ultrasound done and although we could hear his heartbeat, he wasn’t moving. It was only for a few seconds, but those seconds felt like hours and it was hard to breathe. Finally, he started moving and playing with his feet, he looked like he was having the time of his life in there! When we met with the doctor shortly afterwards she assured us that everything looked great. She told me he was healthy, the right size and that I had nothing to worry about. Relief doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling I felt that day.

Today, it’s been just over two weeks since that appointment. I have been able to feel him every day since, but something is different. His movements are not as strong, there is no pattern as to when I’m going to feel him move, and the movements are happening much less often throughout the day. I’m trying to stay as sane as possible but at any given moment I’m ready to march right back into the doctor’s office and get another ultrasound, just so that I can see for myself that he’s okay. If only there was a secret window of some sort that I could look through and monitor him whenever I please. There is no such thing as being 100% sure about anything.

My next appointment is in two weeks, I will not get an ultrasound but hopefully I will get some peace of mind. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but it’s so fragile it can make you neurotic. Especially if you’re a first time mom, like myself, and have nothing to compare it to. Everything is new and scary, yet exciting and magical all at the same time. There are certain feelings, emotional and physical, that are difficult to describe and impossible to share. My due date is July 1st, 2017. I can not wait to bring my son home and give him all of the love and affection I can possibly give!