Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Can we have a talk?

Anyone know how to get in touch with The Big Guy (or Girl)? Not like prayer either, I pray twice a day. I mean like sit down have a Neale Donald Walsh type conversation with God. I have some questions and they aren't all nice. Trying to get pregnant is one of THE MOST frustrating thing EVER! And its worse after a miscarriage.. You have the normal i want to get pregnant so badly things mixed with the lingering idea of you should already be. Id be 14 weeks this week and I'm not. And worse I'm having a hard time getting pregnant again when all the baby books say "Hey guess what for the 3 months after a loss you're the most fertile" And granted its still early but usually by now Ive gotten a positive test. Sunday morning we got what looked like a faint positive and I was elated and today nothing. I know Ive been praying for when the right spirit chooses us for it to happen but I figured that would have been this month it just felt right and worse we did EVERYTHING right. And nothing so far. The conversation I want to angrily have is WHY? WHY seriously, have we not gone through ENOUGH over the last 4 years?? Why did I have to loose that baby? Why is it not happening now? Why did I loose the baby while taking whole food prenatals, eating the best food I can, drinking pregnancy herbal tea and taking it easy when I see baby addicted to drugs , breathing problems and fetal alcohol syndrome from moms who smoke, drank and did drugs through their pregnancies. All of those things increase chance of fetal death and premature birth but THEY have full term pregnancies. THEY get to have 3, 4, 5, 6 kids till they're 40. I have maybe another year to have kids maybe 2.. possibly. I just want one more God. Just one, a healthy, happy, gorgeous baby. A spirit choosing us as amazing and caring and loving as our boys. I'm not going to lie and say I wouldn't LOVE to have that little girl I dreamt about so long ago but I would love it no matter what. I know there is a reason and maybe I just needed to get all this off my chest first. I don't know. I would just like some answers. Maybe if I knew I could stop feeling this way. Maybe I just needed some sort of child like break down since I had to keep a brave face when it happened.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My 4th Anniversary of Becoming a Mom

Tomorrow my baby turns 4. I remember when I was pregnant with him I had a book "Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul" and I took  a lot of things from that book the following I never forgot:

To preface, the story is about mom's celebrating the anniversary of when they became a mom (basically the birth day of their oldest child).

"The anniversary of becoming a mother is one of the few life-changing moments that is rarely heralded. And whether our child is born to us or adopted, motherhood is a choice that permanently alters the way we view ourselves and our universe. It is the moment when we make a commitment to truly care for another human being.  This vow goes beyond words or ceremony: this vow is etched in our cells and knitted into our hearts."

4 years ago tomorrow I went in for an induction, I went through approximately 10 hrs of fairly painless labor, pushed for 30 mins and held my first baby for the first time.. He cried for a few seconds and they handed him to me, as I laid him on my chest, snuggled him in my arms and patted him gently on his booty, through my tears I said "Hi baby, I'm your mommy, Happy Birthday" He stopped crying and looked at me with the most pure love and comfort in his eyes. Ill never forget that moment for the rest of my life. The day I finally became a mommy. 4 years later Ive made some mistakes but I have a funny, empathetic, compassionate, smart, intuitive, creative, imaginative, ball of energy that makes me laugh everyday. Happy Birthday Baby Bear! Mommy and Daddy love you more than you could ever know. And Happy Anniversary to me, J, and all  the parents out there that celebrate the day they were blessed with their babies one way or another. <3 

Photo credit: Diego Rivera "Motherhood"

Friday, August 19, 2011

How to bottle feed with love

Ahh the joys of a pregnancy.. You have all these dreams, thoughts, and expectations for your baby. When I was pregnant with N I knew exactly what an dhow I wanted to do things and along with that I just KNEW I was going to breastfeed. Its natural, more bonding, it cures cancer, makes your child smarter, never ill, and all around its just better in every way.. Right? Wrong. I tried to breastfeed N, I really did. I battled through the pain, cracked nipples, engorged breasts, some consultants telling me "No he's latched properly he just has a forceful suction" to "NO if it hurts you're doing something wrong hes not latched right" but then no one could tell me how to fix it. I decided I could get through the pain (another tips that it takes a few months for the pain to go away) because I knew it was best to breastfeed for at least a year.  But then his first big growth spurt hit.. And he was feeding every 30 mins and fussing the other time. He never seemed full and he just cried. The PPD was already setting in and J came home from work early after a frantic call from me to find me sitting in the dark, alone, crying, wondering how crappy of a mother was I that I couldn't handle breastfeeding. He promptly went and got the "just in case" can of formula we had and made up a bottle and fed N. And he was quiet and content. The next day I changed his diaper and he has blood in his stool and I freaked out again, he had a milk allergy and I did it to him by feeding him the poison known as formula according to my google searches (Fast forward 3 1/2 years and we find out hes not actually allergic to milk but any dairy that isn't organic.) But I still cant keep up w the breastfeeding and he was so content with the formula. After seeing the Dr. she tells me that formula is not the evil poison Ive been reading, has me change his formula around and tells me that hes gaining a little slowly with just breast milk. A month later he's content and gaining perfectly. But that didn't stop me from my guilt and in that guilt I searched desperately for ways to bottle feed with love and bonding and there was nothing. So I taught myself through trial and error and when my 2nd baby came along I made the choice to skip breastfeeding altogether and M is a bottle fed only baby. So I want to share with all those mamas that maybe couldn't or just didn't want to breastfeed how to bottle feed with love and connection.
*Disclaimer: Breastfeeding has great benefits and it is natural, but to me so if not shaving your legs. Both of which are natural but not natural for ME or my family. Bottle and formula feeding is the natural choice for my family and myself. My son is 3 days shy of turning 4 and I can count on 1 hand how many times hes been sick despite being regularly exposed to illness between play dates and me being sick. Hes ahead of many milestones and is an incredibly loving, compassionate, imaginative little boy. M is 9 moths old and again has been sick twice and neither time was bad enough to go to the Dr. And is also ahead of his milestones by 2-3 months. Breastfeeding has benefits and so does bottle feeding. Please make the choice right for you and your family and don't feel guilty if that choice isn't breastfeeding.*

Ok. So after we have clean and washed the bottles and made up the formula (1 scoop for every 2 oz of water) Sit down and make time for your feeding. Boppy pillows are a Godsend, they prop the baby and allow you to cradle without your arms hurting. When you cradle your baby their mouth naturally will be close to your breast, position your bottle there, I tried to wear soft, thin shirts or low cut V neck shirts so baby's face can nestle against your chest or they can feel your body heat through the shirt. You can look into your baby's eyes, smile, talk, give kisses on their little nose. My boys always wrapped their little hand around one of my fingers and stared at me while we had feedings. Steady your breathing to breath deeply and relax, baby can feel your energy and moods. If feeding before a bedtime or nap time then have the area darker and maybe play soft music or read stories. Bottle feeding doesn't mean that we are lazy mommies and just prop feed our kids all the time. You can easily create the same bond and love bottle feeding as you do breastfeeding. And I hope this helps moms out there searching for answers and help.

Note: The baby in the picture isn't mine ;) But seemed perfect for the topic. Happy bottle feeding mamas!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Who am I? Turns into Who I am.

Ive had this realization recently how horribly insecure, not confident in my marriage and how much I generally don't value myself as a person. Overall I have really low self value. Normally I would just ignore and suppress my feelings but wouldn't you know it's starting to seriously effect my relationship and intimacy level. So the course of my day today I have been meditating, pulling my cards, reading books and articles to come to some sort of how it all began so I can start to deconstruct it and rebuild my sense of self. I love my life and everything about it except for me. I don't love my negative thoughts, or my jealousy, or the on edge feeling I constantly have waiting the day J comes home to tell me he's finally found the bigger better deal and theres another more fantastic woman. Instead of focusing on the fact that I'M the one to tamed the great J P. He was a play boy that never wanted to settle down, get married, and have kids and I was the one he found that was worth it to do all of those things. I just don't see it I guess. Like whats so great about me.. And not in the fishing for compliments sort of way but like I really just don't see my value beyond my cooking and cleaning skills. So because of this I have been reflecting on some programming of mine and hoping I can get it out on here..Maybe it can help someone else going through the same journey. I'm adding in excerpts from 2 articles that's helping me and I have the links posted below.

"In a land far far away, there lived a princess. A princess so beautiful, her Light shone, mesmerizing the people of the land. They talked only of her purity and kindness and regularly left gifts at the steps to her castle to show their appreciation for her being in their lives... "  
The reason this hit me so hard is because when I read it I flashed back to being a young girl watching so many princess movies and love stories and thinking to myself "I WISH I was like that." "I wish I was pretty or could sing, paint, draw, dance..etc"  I wanted to be everything. Perfect. The girl that had it all. See on one hand I remember being told I can do anything I set my mind to and how beautiful I was but then at the same time being told how all the talent skipped a generation and how I would always be viewed as a friend. I would never be viewed as girlfriend material or sexy and the way to land a husband was to make sure I knew how to cook, clean, sew etc. I can not really remember ever being told I was good at anything. And being raised in a very religious household I was also told that any type of self esteem was vanity, conceit and evil. I can remember being told how vain I was as a teenager for checking my appearance, but always being told to make sure I looked my best so no one knew we were poor.  On the same token I had nothing stable really in my life, I was homeschooled and moved around alot.. Living someplace for 5 years was an accomplishment. Hearing my father during arguments that my mother would voice her own insecurities of being abandoned he would yell that he could leave whenever he wanted and he was here because he wanted to be, but then frequently complained about freedom and how he was always tied down to us. I complain that I see people perpetuate the cycle of hurt and mistakes their parents made but I see myself doing it  in certain areas of my life. My parents did what they could with what they had but now I can see how their parents effected their own behavior as an adult and a parent. I need to heal myself and rise above that to break that cycle. I need to heal for myself, my marriage, my kids, my life. This is me challenging my memories, thoughts, and programming. This is me deciding to not be a victim and blame my upbringing for my problems now. I know they have shaped me, damaged me even, but I'm ready to move past that. I'm ready to live my life and have that fulfilled content feeling. 

"Self-love is not about ego, it is not conceited, judgmental, looking down on others to make yourself feel better. When you really love yourself, you accept yourself for whom and what you are. You accept the many different aspects of yourself. You make peace with the parts that you are not proud of, but accept them as being a part of who you are."

I'm on a journey. A journey of self exploration. I'm wondering who am I? How much of who I think I am is determined by what others think or have an opinion of me. Or worse how much is made up of my old programming?
 I am determined to get rid of these negative thoughts. I am determined to step into the space of Who I Am and stand in the light. I want to accomplish the things in the picture I posted with this. I want that to be what I leave behind. I'm ready. Maybe I wasn't before. Maybe I was too afraid to challenge my past, my thoughts, my beliefs more than I already have. I know this will not be an easy journey. But I'm going to start right now. I am going to tell myself all the things I believe to be true about myself and tell the voices that tell me I'm wrong or selfish or conceited or vain to SHUT UP! And STOP! As loudly and frequently as I can.
Who I am (so far):

  • I am an amazing mother. I live, breathe, change, and get up every day for my kids. They are my heart and my world.  I strive everyday to be a better mother than I was yesterday. 
  • I am a good wife. I work to be his partner, his best friend, and his lover. My job is a stay at home mom, so I work to keep our house clean, food cooked, kids raised. We work together in every way and I work to be the best I can for him.
  • I am a great friend. I try to be a constant stable rock for my friends. I try to give them the best advice I can when asked. I try to be a shoulder for them to cry on and a ears to listen to them vent. 
  • I am spiritual
  • I am compassionate
  • I am an empath that feels what others feel
  • I am sensitive. I cry at a lot of things, sweet things, sad things, happy things
  • I talk a lot because I have so many thoughts. 
  • I am a writer
  • I am a artist
  • I am a great cook. Cooking is passion, your food reflects your mood.
  • I am an animal lover
  • I am a hippie
  • I love quotes and books because I can rarely find the right things to say
  • I love art in any form especially tattoos
  • I am a music lover
  • I am a fighter against things that are unjust
  • I am a Libra
  • I believe in magic, first kisses, passion, true love, soul mates, doing the right thing, good karma and bad karma, signs and messages from God and Spirit. I believe laughter, food, good friends and family can cure anything
  • I am a woman, I am gentle, intuitive, resilient, strong. 
  • I'm restless and ever evolving. 
  • For now I am insecure and broken. Wounded. Trying to heal. And I will.

"You are perfect as you are, right now. No-matter what is happening in your life, you are never alone. Whatever your beliefs, know that you are part of All That Is, you are a Divine Goddess. You are worthy and deserving of all things. Open your heart and mind, and allow yourself to receive all of the beautiful, wonderful gifts that await you. When you love yourself just as you are, you realize just how deserving you are"


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Adventures in NetiPot

I ordered a free NetiPot and got it in a few weeks ago. I used it an ended up with a migraine so I figured it was a weird coincidence. Last night I tried using it again and it is again super uncomfortable I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong since I followed all the instructions and everyone I kept hearing from swears by neti pots and how amazing they are (Cont below) So this morning I determined to try it again. I'm sick w this stupid annoying cold and my sinuses are killing me. So I follow all the instructions again even making sure the salt is super dissolved and the water is warm but not hot it still burns and stings and hurt horribly. So I pour a little out and add more warm water and give it another go. What do you know? Completely comfortable and amazing! My advice to anyone trying it if you try it and it burns and stings that's not right. Try cutting the salt down bit by bit till you find a solution that works for you. Once you do that its completely worth it!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Matters of the Heart

 As a little girl we watch a lot of Disney movies, then as a teen romantic comedies, we watch classic Gidget movies where her toes curl backward when she's kissed by the right man (or person). So many movies telling the tale of some adversity in the middle of the movie but then by the end all is resolved and they live (Say it all  together) "Happily Ever After"
    Then we grow up, get bitch slapped by reality, hate Disney, put on our big girl panties and realize that love is not always enough to sustain and there is not always a Happily Ever After and we have to have real skills to navigate through rough waters that can (and probably will) be a long term relationship.
  While I am in no way a relationship expert or Dr. Phil, I have been with my darling husband for almost 7 years and married for 4 years with a separation stuffed right smack in the middle of it. So I figured in addition to sharing my pearls of parenting wisdom I'd share some relationship wisdom Ive learned (and am still learning) along the way

#1 Love is not all you need
Sorry folks, I'm a huge Beatles fan but they were wrong on this one. Love, determination, strength, will.. THOSE are the things you need. A relationship is hard work. You might think something like love shouldn't be this hard, but then you should remind yourself that nothing in this life worth having ever comes easy. You have to be willing to fight for it. I think we are so jaded to that prospect because its so mainstream to get a divorce. I was married previously before I married J. I got married young and married someone that was way better as a friend in my life than a husband. So I'm not in any way bashing divorce I am saying to think about how much more picky we would be in choosing a spouse or how much harder would we work at it if divorce wasn't an easy option? Think about diving into a relationship that way. Be choosy, wait for your twin flame (soul mate) and once you have them never ever let go. Your soul mate will not abuse or degrade you. They are by far not anymore perfect than you are and they will most likely hurt you or even break your heart at some point but they wont abuse you or demean you. If that's the type of relationship you're in, find help and get out safely. Love is not abuse and those are not the types of relationships you fight for. You also want to think about if you have kids and what message you're sending to them, as a girl are you telling them that they aren't worth true love and love comes in the form of a fist or a boy learning that its ok to abuse his significant other? Or are you teaching them mistakes happen, we pick the wrong people sometimes but you are strong enough and worth enough to walk out and take them with you.. And that leads me into my 2nd point.

#2 Children change EVERYTHING.
Let me repeat this for all those young (or old) and naive hearts out there that think in the midst of difficulty in your relationship having a kid will bond you together forever in love.. WRONG! They change everything about you, your life, your relationships with everyone and how you see the world. Its completely different. It better and amazing in every way. The sleepless nights, the constant work, all of it, completely worth it. However the change will undoubtedly put a strain on even the most stable of relationships. Its an immediate change that no books or person can properly prepare you for and hopefully you're in it together. But the stress of being a parent to a new baby will test your relationship fully. Stay in communication with each other, if you aren't good at communicating then now is a perfect time to head to counseling for some ideas or grab a marriage book. You must show a unified front to your children, they're like sharks and can sense separation and fear and will attack and bring on an argument. Not because they are malicious but because they are exploring their boundaries. Communication is key.

#3 You can "date" for years, but you will never really know a true test of your relationship until you live together.

Face it anyone can put their best foot forward during the dating phase. Hair, make-up, fresh breath, nicely dressed etc. You really know about how much you love someone when she's make up less, hair in pony tail, PMS acne everywhere, eating everything in sight complaining about cramps and randomly crying. Same goes for dudes.. You know its love when you're still attracted to him after waking up for a 3am pee and seeing him asleep, mouth open, drooling, snoring and hair a mess. Lets not even go into the amount of love it takes to put up with whatever his many time consuming obsessions are or his talks about his last poop.. Even more so your love will be tested through paying bills, working, hardly seeing each other, household chores, arguments, kids, pets, extended family etc. The reality is that Disney never made Princess movie about what happens after they get married, have kids, do laundry, dishes, work, yell because Prince Charming forgot to put his clothes away or the dish in the sink AGAIN. It all seems perfect and lovely until you seen someone for who they really are, in the morning light, and bare. You know its real when you see it and love them anyway because you realize you are not complete without them despite the bullshit.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I'm no Superman

A few months ago I felt like Supermom. Everything was clicking perfectly. I was happy, upbeat, positive, and I felt unstoppable. I had just ventured down the road of baby wearing and cloth diapering, feeling this new found sense of empowerment as a mother. I could handle anything. Even when J lost his job and the "new" car we had bought in cash and spent almost $700 repairing to get it to state inspection started to break down 2 weeks after we bought it, I still saw the silver lining. After a few months of this life high and things still turning for us in the better, cashing in all those good karma points from us struggling for so long it hit me. One day I was sitting on the couch, N turned to me and said "I don't want to live with you anymore. You're not fun" And I broke. I sat there and cried and cried. I couldn't understand it. We had a routine, we played, I made him breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. We had started Love & Logic and the yelling and threatening mommy I had once been was now gone. WHY WHY WHY would he say that? For some reason at that moment I realized I was in fact not Supermom and I suddenly felt completely inadequate. How can a 3 year old bring you to your knees so quickly? The next few months were your basic life and parenting struggles. Nothing crazy. Then we hit the rough patch that has been our adversity over the last month. Baby loss, J's kidney stones, him out of work for almost 2 weeks, short paychecks, our Subaru not starting forcing us to drive the less appealing and more gas drinking car, and me having to take the responsibility for our entire house. You never know how much your spouse helps until they can't. The pressure of balancing the smaller paychecks, grocery shopping, errand running, tending to  every need of the boys, all the house work and taking care of J was up to me and I was fine at first. I was a rock. Then the day after J got his stint out I completely crumbled, and I have been breaking down more and more every since. My house has been trashed, dishes only done enough to cook for that night, yelling, frustrations and threats have emerged and my laundry is barely done. I feel undone, imperfect, un-super and completely...human. I know I will bounce back and be back to feeling completely empowered again at some point, clicking on every cylinder like a well oiled machine, I just wish I knew when that would be. In the meantime I guess I can keep thinking positive and hopeful and just let go of my need of control and go with the flow. I'm terrible at that by the way, admitting when I'm not perfect, relinquishing control and going with the flow. Maybe once I do that things will go back to the normal blissful life I'm used to.. Maybe that's my lesson.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Baby Story

When I was pregnant with my oldest son N I went to a book sale and found Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mothers Soul. Toward the end of the book is a poem called "Baby's Choice" (see below) I read this poem and it forever changed my outlook on getting pregnant and giving birth. I had never even considered in reincarnation when our spirits are ready to come to this earth we choose our parents. It's such a lovely thought. I know I chose my children but they chose me too. (I know at this point many readers will start the argument of why would a child choose abusive, neglectful parents. My response is our soul and God knows what we have been through in our past lives and what lessons we need to learn going further. We will not understand fully why we are on the path we are on.) 

The reason I bring this up is because of my latest journey in life has been loosing another baby. Knowing that J and I wanted to start trying again in Aug I decided that starting to set that intention and prayer in May would be plenty of time to manifest this miracle in our lives. When I saw the positive HPT I was shaking. I couldn't believe we were pregnant! I told my husband while shaking uncontrollably. So many thoughts racing through my head. Were we ready? Would he be mad that we got pregnant early? When was my due date? When I realized I got the positive test 2 years to the day that we had lost another baby I felt a sense of dread. Trying to think hopeful I thought maybe this will reset the bad feelings I have about the months of June and July. Then I realized "Wait, in Feb (when we were due) we were going to be moving, that's so close to my due date" I also didn't know at that time if I was going to be able to handle 3 kids. What if I couldn't? Over the next 2 weeks I had fears of seeing blood when I went to the bathroom because I didn't FEEL pregnant. I didn't feel the same connection I felt when I knew I was pregnant with my sons. Friday morning, 2 weeks after that positive HPT I went to the bathroom at 6am stood up and saw blood. Not brownish discharge or spotting, but blood. I knew. I knew right then that I was loosing the baby. A trip to the ER, blood tests, meds, u/s, more blood... I remember laying in the hospital bed and feeling empty. The baby was gone. No one understood what I felt. How I felt. How guilty and empty I felt. How could I mourn the loss of my baby when I never felt connected to it in the first place? What kind of mother was I that I frequently forgot I was even pregnant and would catch myself lifting something or cleaning something I probably shouldn't have been? How could I feel so heartbroken that I lost this thing I had named when I didn't feel that same "thing" that familiar feeling I had felt with my boys. I remember feeling that disconnect when I was pregnant and lost the previous baby in June 2009. And that made me feel even more guilty. Over the next few days I cried and looked for any possible thing I could have done to prevent it. There was nothing. Nothing at all, I was even doing things to prevent a miscarriage (taking Maca Powder, whole food prenatal vitamins, organic pregnancy tea, eating chemical free healthy food etc) So I started doing more soul searching. I prayed and thought about it a lot. I remembered the poem, I remembered my belief of a baby choosing the parents and thought of the emptiness I felt. Maybe I jumped the gun on trying to be pregnant, maybe there was a physical baby but not growing or thriving because the perfect spirit for us had not chosen us yet. We are going ahead with our original plan or trying again in Aug (in a couple weeks actually) and I pray not that we get pregnant, but that our future son or daughter spirit finds up and picks us so we can love and raise them in this life. The last month has been difficult. Not the most difficult we've been through thank God but very difficult nonetheless. Ive hopefully handled it with more love and grace than I did in the past and hopefully this is the last time we have to go through loosing a baby. Since then I have realized I can easily handle 3 kids and definitely want to. I imagine my life with 3 children playing and helping me in our garden or hanging our clothes, playing in the sprinkler together. I know I'm meant to do this. For those of you reading this please send loving thoughts and prayers that the perfect spirit for us finds us and we conceive that beautiful healthy baby and carry it to term. Thank you all for letting me share my story. 

Baby's Choice
Did you ever think, dear Mother,
As the seeds of me you sowed,
As you breathed new life inside of me
And slowly watched me grow,
In all your dreams about me
When you planned me out so well,
When you couldn't wait to have me there
Inside your heart to dwell,
Did you ever think that maybe,
I was planning for you, too,
And choosing for my very own
A mother just like you?
A mother who smelled sweet and who
had hands so creamy white,
A tender, loving creature
Who would soothe me in the night?
Did you ever think in all those days
While you were coming due,
That as you planned a life for me
I sought a life with you?
And now as I lay in your arms,
I wonder if you knew
While you were busy making me,
I was choosing you!
~ Colleen M. Story ~