Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A more uplifting post...

I have good news.... I'm feeling a little better these days! Yes, I still have the occasional overwhelmed meltdown here and there, but God has really been teaching me and pressing on my heart to keep looking to Him for help and strength and to enjoy these two precious gifts He's given me even in the hard times. Over and over in the last few days in multiple places (books, blogs, veteran parent friends, etc), I'm being reminded that these days with my babies aren't going to last forever and I need to soak them up. Yes, these days are hard, but in the blink of an eye, my boys are going to be all grown up and these newborn/two year old days are going to be just memories.

I have to share this video about soaking up your little ones while they're still little... I know it's everywhere and you've probably already seen it, but I have to share it anyway just in case you haven't seen it. Warning...if you're a mom, it will probably make you cry, no matter how old your kids are!

I also recently came across a blog about the first 3 months of motherhood that I thought was super well written. She really expressed a lot of what I've been feeling and I think it should get passed around. It was really validating for me and my crazy post partum emotions and it came to me at such perfect timing. I can no longer say that no one ever talks about these things! 

You can find it here

Thanks for the encouraging words that some of you took the time to meant a lot. I know it was a 'in the heat of the moment' post, but I am glad I wrote it and I am thankful to have this 'outlet', knowing that it helps me reach out to my virtual support network! ;)

Now, off to enjoy my boys!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Raw, honest moment...

Can I be a real for a minute? Can I make a confession? I don't love the newborn days.

Sure, I love the squishy snuggles and the sweet smiles and little chuckles as they dream, but there's a whole lot that goes on behind the scenes of newborn days that I feel like no one ever really talks about...but I'm going to. Because I need to get it off my chest tonight as I'm fighting back tears while my gracious husband tries to calm our 'screaming-his-head-off' little bundle of joy.

I know this is my second time around, but I'm just as overwhelmed as I was the first time around by the number of judgement calls and decisions you have to make regarding when to feed and even how to feed, how to calm, when, where and how to put to sleep, how to establish a routine, how to teach good sleeping patterns and teach the difference between night and day...what to do when your baby is inconsolable and you've tried everything you can possible think of to try to get your baby to stop crying. Newborns seriously cause me to doubt my abilities of being a mom, especially when I can't tell the difference between their cries like all the books tell me I will be able to, or when the sound of my own babies' cry causes me to want to flee the scene for as long as possible...

I've never quite felt as helpless as I do in these moments and I hate it! He's crying out in pain from tummy issues and I've tried every trick in the book to help him out, but nothing's working. I don't like having to wonder if I'm the cause of his tummy issues, because of something I ate. He isn't like this all the time, but this is the second night in a row like this. I wish some days we could fast forward a few months to the smiley, interactive baby stage.

I feel like a bad mom for all those confessions. Am I the only one who feels this way?! (Don't get me wrong though...I love my babies with a fierce love words can't even describe!)

Can I also say that being a parent is hard. There's no denying that! I feel like reading all the parenting books and blogs out there and all the babysitting/auntie experience you can get just doesn't prepare you for having your own kids. 

Today was another 'one of those days' in our house. Plenty of ups and downs...more than I care for. Started off with a baby that woke up at 5am and would not go back to sleep. Not fun. Played a repetitive little hide and seek game with a Lightening McQueen magnet book with my sweet almost 2 year old little buddy and loved hearing his priceless giggles and his "again?!" every time we went through our little routine. (Meanwhile little guy is sleeping soundly in his swing next to us) Super sweet. Got some major over-due organizing and put things away while a thoughtful co-worker came over and played with J while little guy continued to sleep. Yes!! Watched Cars with my little buddy while I fed little guy and stored away his sweet little expressive face in my never-want-to-forget-this memory box. Happy heart. Little guys' schedule is kinda off so my vision of sneaking in a nap for myself fades...and after two days in a row of having both boys sleeping in their own beds at the same time for 2+ hours, my streak is over. J literally screamed his way through nap time and refused to sleep today...and little guy also took longer to go to sleep than usual and required being held most of the afternoon. Nap battle followed up with dinner battle.

I should clarify that dinner in itself was on of those up and downs...made some real progress with getting J to feed last!! Then he decided to start flinging his spoon around and gets dinner all over the floor. And required a bargain with number of bites to get his yoghurt and cookie 'reward'. Grrrrr. And all this occurring while little guy decides he doesn't want to be put down so that we can eat...

Sigh...thank heavens it's not bath night!

Ah, bed time at last...not so bad with J. Merely escaped a meltdown and managed to turn out the light with no tears. Yes! Time for little guy to eat...again. Successful feeding, sleepy baby returned to bed for the evening and we finally get to crawl into bed. Or so I thought. While I went downstairs to console myself with a little chocolate and decaf iced coffee, little guy decides to wake himself up and spit up in his bed and decide he's not going back to sleep...and that's where we are now, almost 2 hours later. I was starting to lose it so Bobby took over and I am still hearing the occasional scream downstairs...

And, as I was typing, over the monitor, I heard whimpers from J so I went into his room and asked him what was wrong...but got no response and found out that he was sound asleep and must have been dreaming! Glad to have dodged that bullet, but seriously, when it rains it pours right?! And, just for humor's sake...there's a mosquito in our room that has bit me 3 times now...but I just got rid of him!

Anyway, whether that seems like a rough day to you or not, my point is, parenting is hard...and exhausting. And I'm tired! I know everyone says the days are long but the years are short and all the 'time flies' proverbs from veteran moms are true...but can I just say today was hard. And I can't wait for it to be over...but it won't really be anytime soon because I've got a newborn to feed every 3-4 hours tonight that may or may not go back to sleep in between feedings. And tonight I'm 'flying solo' because Bobby has a 7am prayer meeting tomorrow and needs to sleep...and speaking of that, I need to go relive him so he can go to bed.

I know some day before I know it I'll be looking back at these days and just smiling at the exhausted desperation seeping from this post, and I'll be an empty nester wondering where the years went, but it sure is hard to be thankful for days like today. 

But I think deep inside I am. I know I prayed for these two precious gifts for a long time and wanted nothing more than to have the experience of being a mother...and God gave me the desire of my heart and blessed me with two fantastic little boys. I can't wait to see how He will use them for His glory in this world. I know He's already using them to refine me and conform me into His image...through days like today! I'm thankful He is with me every step of the way, and I know He hears my desperate cries tonight. I have much to be grateful for.

Not sure what my purpose in writing this post really was (hopefully I don't regret it!)...maybe it'll be encouraging for someone else to hear that I don't love the newborn days like everyone else seems to, or maybe it will end up discouraging someone from having kids!!?? (I hope not!) But, it feels good to get that all out, and process the day I had today. Reminding me to cherish the good days, even the normal everyday days...if those ever happen again! ;) 

Thanks for sticking with me.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Noah's arrival

Noah Benjamin Baden came into the world on April 5th, weighing in at 7lbs 4oz. 😊 Although I've had most of this all written out since just a few days after he was born, for some reason it's taken me a month to get his birth story posted! (And, I never did get that Joshua update written!)

We got all checked in on Monday he 4th, and had a pretty quiet day...Had a non stress test to make sure everything was looking ok and had surgery prep. We had a talk with the anesthesiologist, going over how things would happen the next day and we got a little my last checkup, we had confirmed that I would be getting an epidural and would be awake for the surgery, just like when Joshua was born. But, when the anesthesiologist came in, he started talking about giving me a general anesthesia...meaning I'd be asleep during the surgery. Obviously we were a little surprised by this, because I really had my heart set in being awake to be able to see Noah right after he was born, knowing that I wouldn't be able to for the next 24 hours. The anesthesiologist was the same man who put me asleep when I had my gallbladder taken out so his reasoning was that a general anesthesia was safer than an epidural because among other reasons, he knew that I didn't have any reactions or anything last time.

But, that news was really hard for me to hear and in spite of my best efforts to hide my feelings from him, halfway through our conversation, he told me that because he could see it was really important for me to meet my baby, he agreed to try an epidural first (3 attempts) and if that didn't work, he'd do a general anesthesia instead. I was thrilled to hear that and really appreciated his accommodation!

Tuesday morning was an IV and then we just waited for 1:00 to roll around!

Tuesday pm- wheeled into OR at exactly 1:00. The anesthesiologist  attempted an epidural for about 40 minutes but had no success. The nurses were very helpful and sympathetic, but everyone kept saying I would be able to see the baby tomorrow which made it harder not to cry. I was awake until right before surgery started as they didn't want to make the baby sleepy, but I started to wonder if I was going to be awake when surgery started...I was relieved when anesthesia kicked in so fast ;)

I felt real peace while I was in the OR and wasn't really nervous...I was praying it would work to get the epidural, but at the same time I felt kind of like maybe God was using this as an opportunity for me to grow...and let go of my desires and give this over to Him and allow it to be a testimony for Him. I really didn't want to make the anesthesiologist feel bad because I know he was doing his best and was looking out for me, but I am not sure I communicated that very well with the tears that came after he told me it wouldn't work. I wish I could have told him I was really ok, and to please ignore my tears! He was so kind and gentle and spoke enough English to help me feel at peace and again I really appreciated his efforts to accommodate my wishes.

The anesthesiologist is actually an acquaintance of ours (his wife is an English student) and he felt so awful for not being able to do an epidural, but we were able to talk with him afterwards and let him know that we were completely fine about how things turned out and did not want him to feel bad because we know he tried so hard.

I remember waking up, but not being able to talk or even really open my eyes...everyone said surgery was finished and everything was fine. The tube in my mouth was really bothering me and I think I woke up before they really noticed and took the tube out. They asked plenty of questions that I could barely respond to which was frustrating...I felt like I was pretty aware of what was going on around me, but didn't have to ability to communicate because I was so groggy! Thankfully I was at least able to nod and shake my head. I remember getting wheeled out and knowing Bobby was with me, but not being able to let him know I knew he was there. (When I had my gallstone surgery, I was so out of it I don't remember waking up at all...I woke up back in my room long after everything was all done, but nothing in between!)

 The Doctor and nurses knew how badly I wanted to see my baby and really went out of their way to wheel me into the nurses station and past the nursery so I could see him, but I couldn't open my eyes wide enough to get a good look because he was far away...they recognized that and got me closer (apparently moved some desks around just for me!) and I was able to look at him! And right when I got wheeled up beside the window he turned his head with his eyes wide open and looked right at me, as if to let me know everything was ok. It was one of the most precious moments of my while life and it was the moment I needed to get me through the next 24 hours of not being able to see him. It was definitely a gift from God that I will never forget! I will always be so grateful for how the staff went out of their way to accommodate the one wish that I had not wanted to compromise on.

The rest of the day was pretty much a blur...I tried to sleep as much as I could and wasn't in too much pain. This time felt so different because all the nurses and the doctor kept telling me to let them know whenever I was in pain because there was medicine! I think when I had Joshua, I was basically in constant pain, and didn't really have much sympathy (which is actually kind of a long story behind that one, but I won't go into it) 

One funny thing I almost forgot was that they were playing 'music box' music in the OR and right before they put the mask on me to go to sleep, I heard Brahm's Lullaby (I think that's the name) where it says 'lullaby, and good night...' I just thought that was so funny and don't want to forget that!

We are pretty much in shock of how different this recovery experience has been from Joshua's birth. There's multiple different factors, but one of the biggest I think was knowing what to expect this time (somewhat anyway!) I knew that if I could just make it through that first 24 hours, I'd get to see my baby and everything would be ok! My sister who works on a mother/baby ward told me there's a night and day difference between moms who have scheduled c-sections and moms who have emergency c-sections...and I can totally see why, having been on both sides now! My recovery has been a lot faster and easier this time even though I was expecting it to be a lot worse. I am kind of in shock at how little pain I've been in...mostly just discomforts. I was able to walk around on the second day and after just two or three days, I wasn't on any pain meds! (Not to say I was pain free, but it was very tolerable, low pain, lessening every day)

Nursing is going's hard to remember this is a whole new thing for Noah and I need to be more patient. In a lot of ways I feel like a first time mom again, having forgotten how to do a lot of things and lacking confidence in my abilities to provide good care for my baby. His biggest issue has been waking up to eat...he is a sleepy baby!! I never thought I would mind that, but boy it makes feeding him complicated. He doesn't eat enough from me because he almost instantly falls asleep, so he got supplementary formula while he was in the hospital, but now he's exclusively nursing. Still not 100% perfect (I say that because it still hurts when I know it's not supposed to), but it works.

My parents left yesterday after having had them here for 3 weeks :( Just our first day by ourselves and I'm already wondering how we're going to ever be able to make it through a day without a meltdown (mostly mine!) J did great with our co-workers who looked after him for us while I was in the hospital and with my parents over the last few weeks, but today I can tell he's feeling the same gap we do! He's been pretty whiny and really working hard to get our attention which is hard when both of us have things we need to get done and when there's a screaming baby to deal with as well. I know God will help us through this 'season' but I sure do wonder how we're going to make it! Functioning in very little and very broken sleep is not my forte and I hate how it affects my attitude and my patience.

Anyway, enough worrying and complaining...this is hard, and I'm allowed to feel that way, but I know I'm not the first person to have 2 kids!

Life is busy and exhausting, but we are blessed and I will just have to keep reminding myself this won't last forever and I only need to take things one day at a time!