Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Reality of Motherhood

So, I have seen a lot of blogs lately about how to live the perfect life. How to make adorable lunches for your children every day, how to craft beautiful holiday projects, how to make your living room look like it popped right out of a Pottery Barn catalog, how to fit in a workout daily, how to cook simple organic meals for your family...etc. But can we talk real life for a moment? I mean the good, the bad, and the ugly. I suppose it's not entirely impossible for some women to live their lives that way...but for the majority of us, that life just seems like an exhausting, strange parallel universe.


Before I say anything else I will preface this with saying that I would not change a single thing about my crazy life. I love being a mommy more than I have ever loved anything and I love every single thing about my daughter...even if she makes me want to rip every single hair out of my head sometimes. I love her endlessly.


Okay. So I thought that being a stay at home mom would be a piece of cake. I used to think to myself...what were those women complaining about? You can easily clean the house and make dinner while your baby takes a 3 hour nap mid day. And why can't you run any errands with your baby in the stroller as he just peacefully eats his cheerios? And surely you can make time for your friends too...plenty of people want to babysit that little bundle of joy! Well this is my formal apology to all of you. I was so blindingly naive. Now I know the truth. That if your baby naps for 3 hours every afternoon in his own crib, he is a saint angel baby from heaven...because that definitely doesn't happen in this house. Ever. Not even once. And basically forget about running any errands peacefully. A trip to the grocery store involves a whining baby attached to me and if I get through half of my grocery list without a meltdown, then it's a successful trip. Time for friends...what's that? I hardly have time to shower! Seriously. I shower twice a week for about 10 seconds before Makena doesn't want daddy anymore and I need to rush out with only one leg shaved to calm her down. Most days I have spit up all over my dirty tank top. And when I say most days, I mean all days. One day this week I literally didn't have time to even brush my teeth. My poor husband came home to a messy house, no dinner, and a smelly wife. Speaking of dinner...hahahahahahahahahaha. WHO HAS TIME TO COOK!? I made turkey burgers last night and felt super accomplished. Most nights we're lucky to have frozen burritos. I would love to eat organic low-fat meals nightly, but that's just not even on the priority list anymore. Makena gets homemade, organic baby food though...because that is where my priority is now. Who cares if I haven't brushed my hair in a week or eaten a real meal since the last time I was at my mom's house? My baby is clean and well fed and better dressed than I am, and that's what matters!


I have had a baby literally attached to me for nearly 6 months. I mean 24/7. She doesn't ever want to be put down. I have learned to do everything with one hand...which I consider to be quite the talent. We are working on crib naps this week and that's been fun. If fun means that you want to gauge your eyeballs out with rusty spoons. Of course I know that when she finally gets the hang of napping on her own, I will miss her cuddles. It's just another sign that she is growing up already and doesn't need mommy for every little thing. Nobody told me how completely heartbreaking it is to watch your child grow. To think that one day she won't need me to rock her to sleep, or that she won't scream when I walk out of a room, or that tickling her belly won't make all of her problems go away...it actually feels like I can't breathe. As tiring and frustrating as these days can be, I never want them to end. And that is the reality of motherhood. The days are long, but the months and years are too short. I constantly think I am doing everything wrong. It's messy and stressful and perfect. Well, it's MY perfect. My house doesn't look anything like the houses on Pinterest. I rarely feel put together. I don't have time to work out or go dancing with friends. If I'm dressed before 11am, it's a good day. I spend all of our money on my baby, even though I desperately need new clothes. Makena is anything but easy-going. She's bored after 5 minutes of anything. She screams...a lot. Forget about sitting quietly through a meal or movie. She's much too busy for anything nap-related. But I love her and I love her huge personality in her tiny little body. Even if that means sacrificing any social life for a while. I would take this crazy baby over a boring one any day. I know one day she will be a very strong woman and that makes me so proud.


I know that if you don't have children, you are probably reading this thinking that I am a mess. And I understand! I would have thought the same thing. And you know what...I probably AM a mess! But I am just too happy to notice. (Or maybe I'm just too sleep deprived and delirious?) And this is MY reality. :) 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

6 months old (almost)

KenKen,

You are 6 months old, (well..almost, but who knows when I will have time to sit at a computer again and blog, so close enough!) and I can not believe how fast time is flying by. I was rocking you to sleep last night, just staring at you wondering how you got so big. I'm so sad knowing that you are growing fast, whether I like it or not. But each new stage is more fun and I love you more and more every day...which seems impossible because each day I feel like if I loved you anymore my heart would literally explode.


You have quite a little personality. You like you yell. All the time. Every now and then you use a little gentle voice, which I love, but mostly you like to yell! You like to pull on our faces and laugh. You like to put EVERYTHING in your mouth. Seriously...everything. My hair, Meeko's tail, daddy's nose, any finger that you can grab...anything and everything goes in your mouth. You love to smile at mommy's funny faces, and daddy makes you laugh when he gives your belly raspberries. Your laugh is the cutest thing I have ever heard...I spend all day tickling you and kissing you just so I can hear it! You are trying very hard to sit up by yourself, and can do it for a couple of seconds on your own. But then you get bored and launch yourself backwards, because you're crazy. Although, you sat up for your entire bath last night. I think you just do things when you feel like doing them and don't let anyone tell you what to do. I wonder where you got that from...EEK! You crawled a little bit last week, but you are still figuring it out. I'm almost sure by the end of this week you will be crawling all around the house like a little maniac. I think your fur sister, Meeko, is in big trouble when you can really move. You love her and love to pull her tail. We are still working on the whole "being gentle" thing.


You are finally learning to nap by yourself in the crib. Actually, that's where you are right now. Up until now you have been only napping on mommy. Not daddy or nana or anyone else...only mommy. Honestly, I miss the cuddles already. I picked you up at 3am last night and brought you into bed with me just to get some extra cuddles! But you're learning to be independent, and that is good too. You had your first taste of baby food the other day. We tried avocados first and you didn't like them, so next we tried oatmeal which you liked...but it didn't agree with your tummy. And today I am making you some sweet potatoes! I am planning your first Disneyland trip for October (in about 6 weeks). I bought you the cutest Mickey Mouse jumper. You only like Mickey Mouse, you yell at Minnie when she comes on tv. We do a mommy and me class once a week and you love to look at the other babies. Last week we had to leave early because you were really cranky, but we will try again today when you wake up.


It feels like I'm starting to get the hang of this mommy thing. I can't believe how much you have changed my life over the last 6 months. You have taught me SO much and you have made me a better person. It is funny how someone so little can make such a huge impact. You don't even know how very special you are. I hope that we always have a bond this great. I hope that you always look at me with the same loving eyes and scrunched nose smile that you do right now. I hope you know that when I say I will love you, unconditionally, for the rest of your life...I mean it more than I have ever meant anything.
I love you so much that it hurts, Makena.
I am so lucky that I get to be your mommy forever.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Birthday, Makena!

 
Makena June Byrne was born on March 7, 2013 at 12:53pm.
She weighed 7lbs 15oz and was 19" long.

 
We are just a little bit obsessed with her...
okay, a lot. We are A WHOLE LOT obsessed with her!

 
I was scheduled to be induced on 3/7/2013 at 7am. I went in the day before to get a foley bulb catheter put in...which is basically just a catheter that goes in your cervix with a balloon at the end of it. It is supposed to help you dilate, since inductions are typically more successful if you are dilated first. Well, Makena was apparently a little bit impatient because the catheter didn't just help me dilate, it put me into full on labor! About 30 minutes after it was inserted I began contracting. And about 30 minutes after they began, they were almost unbearable. We waited for an hour or two to see if the contractions would die down or if this was the real thing. They were only getting worse and had almost no breaks in between. When I couldn't take it anymore, we finally went to the hospital. I was admitted and found out I had dilated to 4cm in just over an hour. Yay!
I got the epidural and O M G...it was the best. I couldn't feel my contractions anymore and I was able to sleep a little before all the real action began.

 
The epidural began wearing off once I was fully dilated around 10am. They gave me more, but it was ineffective since the baby was so low and ready to come out. At 10:45am I started pushing. It was more exhausting and more painful than anything I could have ever imagined. I thought there was no way I could do it. I pushed and pushed for over two hours. I was EXHAUSTED and I didn't know why she wasn't coming out!

 
Finally, my doctor came in. He quickly realized that Makena wasn't coming down any further. She was too big! I was given the choice of forceps or c-section. There was no way after all that work I was about to agree to surgery, so forceps it was. That was when the real pain started. I thought I might literally die. But with the help of forceps, an episiotomy, some tearing (ouch), and the most amazing doctor in the entire world...3 pushes later she was out.

 
My doctor had me look down and watch as she came out. I am so thankful for that because it was the most incredible thing I have ever seen.
The moment I first saw my baby girl is indescribable. I immediately forgot about all of the pain. I am crying just thinking about that moment. The best moment of my life. I wish I could relive it over and over and over again. What a miracle. I can't believe I did it! I can't believe she is mine! I am so in love. SO beyond in love. I love her so much it hurts my heart.

 
I held my sweet baby for over an hour while we did skin to skin and she learned to nurse. It didn't take a lot of teaching though! She came out hungry and ate pretty immediately. My strong little girl was holding up her head and looking for food the second she came out.

 
25 stitches and a whole ton of pain meds later we got to go to the recovery room. Recovery was NOT fun. Good thing I have an amazing husband and mom to help me! Two days later, on the 9th, we got to take our baby home!

 
Makena is 3 weeks old now and time is flying by. I want to press a pause button! I love her so much and I am learned new things every day. I'm not fully recovered yet (but getting better every day), and I'm not back to normal life yet...but that's okay. Everything is so worth it for this little face! I'm soaking up every second of these first weeks. I'll get back to normal life eventually. :)

 
It was a long road to get here, but every moment - every up and every down - was worth it.
I'd do it all over again for you, Makena!
I love you!
 
P.S. Sorry for the typos and spelling errors...I've got a sleeping baby on me!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Almost at the finish line!

Well, it's official!
Sometime in the next couple of days we will be meeting our baby girl.
I'm getting induced in 36 hours. (Reasons: Baby is big, I am not. Blood pressure has been a little bit higher recently. And my hospital is an hour and half away.)
Club Uterus is closing, baby girl!
Which is good, because I'm not sure how much more my body can take.
She is really kicking my ass in there!
 
 
Symptom update!
I am just about 39 weeks now, and since 36 weeks I have been in pretty constant pain. My arthritis in my hips is unbearable at night, making it almost impossible to sleep now. Not to mention that I get up to pee at least one time every hour. I'm not expecting to sleep a whole lot once the baby is here, but it will be nice to be a little more comfortable again. I've still been fighting that nasty acid reflux, but since she dropped about a week ago it has been a little better. I thought that my ribs would feel better once she dropped and that I'd be able to breathe better, but either this baby is long or I'm too short! So no relief in that department yet. And with all this extra weight, the arches of my feet have been pretty pissed at me lately, too! I've been elevating them and wrapping warm towels around them. And of course making hubby give foot rubs. And back rubs. Lots of back rubs...thanks, babe. The newest (and most unpleasant) symptom has been a tearing/popping feeling at the bottom of my abdomen. It literally takes my breath away and makes me cringe. Sometimes makes me scream...it hurts so bad! Doctor says that the baby is hitting nerves in my pelvis. Lovely.
 
 
All that being said...I actually feel like I have had a fairly easy pregnancy. Or maybe I'm just making the best of it. I am so very grateful for this amazing experience. All the pain is so worth it and I'm so thankful for the incredible support system I have. My husband has been THE BEST through this whole thing. I love him even more now than I did before. I couldn't have gone through this past year without him. It is so incredible to think that last March we were finding out about Finley's Triploidy diagnosis and preparing to lose her, and this March we are just days away from welcoming our baby girl into the world.
 
 
 
I have so many emotions, I'm not sure how to feel. Everyone keeps asking "Aren't you excited?!" And I don't know how to answer. The obvious answer is yes, of course I'm excited to meet my little girl. But I'm really overwhelmed. I'm scared of labor. I'm scared of the life change. I'm scared something will be wrong. I'm scared of SIDS. I'm scared of everything. I'm not letting the fears take over, they are just in the back of my mind. And I think all of these fears are pretty normal. But I guess the real answer is that I won't be "excited" until I'm holding a healthy baby girl in my arms. This has been such a long journey and it all seems surreal at this point. I understand what is happening, but it doesn't seem real. I have a tendancy to not let myself get excited because when I get too excited, I get anxious. Me and anxiety aren't friends, so I guess this is my way of avoiding it. I'm staying calm and taking things one day at a time. I'm not a fan of stress, so I'm trying to just let things happen and be in the moment. Both of my pregnancies have really taught me how to stay calm and relax, so that is exactly what I'm doing in these last couple of days!
 
This has been a very personal and private experience for me that I've held very close to my heart...and that is even more true these last few days. To my friends calling and texting, I will get back to you eventually! I hope everyone understands.
I can't wait to update with my (hopefully very positive) birth story. Thank you everyone for following along in my journey. We are almost at the finish line!
 
 
And to my baby girl...
Mommy and Daddy can't wait to see your beautiful face. We have dreamed about you for so long. I know you will have Daddy wrapped around your little finger the second he sees you, and I know that you will steal my heart. Your big, furry sisters are waiting for you, too! I can't wait for you to be friends. I'm so excited to watch you grow and can't wait to help you accomplish all of your dreams. Actually, I can't wait to see what your dreams are! My hopes for you are that you have a big heart, that you're compassionate, strong, and humble. I hope that you are confident and believe in yourself. I hope that you make good choices and that you learn from your mistakes. I hope that you never accept less than you deserve. Most of all I hope that you are HAPPY.
And when life gets hard, because it will sometimes, I will always be here to support and love you.
Always.
You're gonna change the world, little one!
And even if you don't change the WHOLE world, you will change OUR world.
We are all waiting for you baby. You are already more loved than you will ever know.
See you SOON!
Love,
Mommy
 
 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Nursery

It's nursery time!
We have just about 5 weeks left until we meet our baby girl, so this weekend we kicked our butts into gear and finished the nursery!
 
Brian will be working quite a bit over the next month, so I wanted to make sure that we had things ready for the baby while he could still help me.
 
I'm not super girly. I don't like over-the-top, hot pink, brightly colored, glittery girl things.
(No judgement if that's your thing!)
I wanted our baby's room to be neutral and calming, with hints of "girl".
I'm so happy with how things turned out!
 
 
Dresser and changing station
 

 
I liked the idea of having birds around the nursery.
Some cultures believe that birds symbolize eternal life or the transition between earth and heaven.
I thought that was fitting for us!
 
 
Reading/play area
 

Cubbies that will soon be toy-filled.


You are my miracle!


Her bear from London from her Big Nana.



Our friend made this sign. This is my favorite decoration in the nursery.



Can't have enough blankies!

 
Reading/feeding/sleeping area
 
 
I love these striped crib sheets.
 
 
How cute is vintage Eeyore?
 
 
A closer look at the bunting flags that my Mom (and second Mom) made!
They were made for my baby shower, but I loved them so much I added them to the nursery.
 
 
The cutest blanket I received at my shower.
A mama and baby bird! Fits perfectly.
 
 
Our friend made this sign as well.
Every baby needs some ABC's!
 

The most adorable happy monster.

 
This is about 1/8 of her clothes.
She will be more well dressed than her Mommy, for sure!
 

My first born, Meeko. She claimed this chair already!
(After trying to eat the happy monster...uh oh...)
 


 
Meeko and her sister, Kanga, are exhausted from watching us build things all day long!
This is their favorite room. It is so cute.
I love my fur babies!
 


 
We are getting so close to meeting our little girl and I am getting anxious!
I hope the next month goes by quickly!
 
Mommy and Daddy can't wait to meet you, baby girl!!!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Big time lazy day...

It's safe to say that I am definitely feeling (almost) 8 months pregnant now!
I have been pregnant for 13 months now...and I am more than ready to finally meet my baby. 58 more days feels like 58 more years. Now, more than ever, time is craaawwwwwlllliiing by. Here's to hoping that it speeds up? 
 
I had a doctor appointment yesterday...one of the many I will be having now that we are nearing the end...and got some reasons for the not-so-great discomforts that I've been having. The newest, and most uncomfortable, development is that I have pregnancy induced arthritis in my hip. Arthritis is no joke! It keeps me up all night and hurts when I walk. Seriously, there have been nights that I stay awake crying because it aches so bad! Bad news is, there's nothing I can do about it. Good news is, it will go away once my little baby girl is out of my belly and in my arms.
 
Speaking of not sleeping...anyone else take Unisom or Benedryl while pregnant? They are on my "safe medications" list, and I really hate taking pills but I am getting 2-4 hours of sleep nightly and I think it might be necessary to function as a normal human being now. I mean really...it's 11:30 and I'm still in bed! Usually I'm up and out of the house by now, but I only slept for about 30 minutes last night so I have decided to have a lazy day and re-charge my batteries.
 
Anyways, I had been worried about the amount of braxton hicks that I've been having...so I brought it up to my wonderful OB and turns out they aren't even braxton hicks! Once he described what a braxton hicks usually feels like, I realized I haven't even had one of them! Too many contractions (even pretend ones) can be a sign of pre-term labor, so I was happy to hear that is not what is happening! Instead, the feeling I've been having is my stomach and upper colon swelling. I guess they are running out of room and baby's butt is pushed up against them, so everything is squished. Doctor says that is likely to get worse as the baby grows...unpleasant, but better than pre-term labor.
 
Some more good news is that baby seems to be more on track for growth now! She has always measured ahead...like way ahead...like 80th percentile ahead...so we were expecting an 8-9 pound baby. I would be very happy with any weight...as long as she is healthy! But we were a little worried that I might need a c-section if she got too big. Now we are measuring about a week ahead, instead of two, so doctor is thinking she will be closer to 7.5lbs now! That's exciting to me. "Normal" is always exciting! I never get tired of hearing things like "normal", "perfect", and "right on track". Man, I will never those words for granted again.
 
In other super exciting news...my first baby shower is on Saturday! I can't believe it is already shower time. I think that makes things more real. It's still hard to imagine that I will be someone's Mom after all of this...well someone other than my fur babies! Speaking of which, I'm starting to get nervous about juggling my fur babies and human baby all day long while hubs is at work. My pups are VERY needy and I love to spoil them with attention. I know, I'm totally setting myself up for nervous breakdowns. Eeeeek...but that's for another day!
 
Oh! Interesting fact of the day! I'm assuming that everyone watched The Bachelor? Did you see the girl with no arm? (I feel bad calling her that, but I don't remember her name! Sorry, girl with no arm...) Well, she explained that she lost her arm before birth due to amniotic band syndrome. Ohhhh how happy I am that I never googled that or even saw this episode months ago. I had amniotic band syndrome early on in this pregnancy. It is basically a piece of placenta that grows accross the uterus like a rubber band. I was told not to google it or listen to horror stories, because the doctor wasn't concerned that it would cause problems. And he was right! The band is gone now and baby has all of her limbs and fingers and toes...thank you, thank you, thank you! I think I was so numb to things for the first half of my pregnancy that I literally forgot about it and didn't care to research...which is totally unlike me! I just couldn't deal with more worry. But seeing that woman with no arm made me soooo thankful that my band resolved itself without hurting my baby. Perfect timing, because I needed that reminder as I get more and more uncomfortable. Perspective...it's all about perspective.
 
All this typing has made me a little bit tired...maybe, just maybe, I can take a nap? Well, that's not up to me...that's up to the little ninja in my belly. She has a lot of energy today...but it can't hurt to try, right?! 'Til next time, blog world...