motivational monday

Yesterday was kind of a blah day.

(And you thought this was motivational monday…)

We were all tired, one of us was jet-lagged, the other one kind of depressed, and the smallest one a tad bit grumpy (still cute though). A frustrating trip to get breakfast and some snippy words about a work project were the icing on the cake at my pity party, and I was left feeling disconnected from my husband and questioning my decisions as a mother.

I felt better after a nap and after we reconnected over Portillos for dinner, and as Joseph retired early for the night, I stumbled upon this article that was just perfect. It starts by suggesting that you have more bad days than good ones. Sounds encouraging, right? It really is. Take a look! If we never had bad days, could we fully appreciate the good ones?

a birth story – part 2

If you haven’t yet, I suggest reading part 1 first. (P.S. The wedding was the 24th, I had said it was the 26th.)

That night after the wedding, I felt my first mild contractions. They weren’t bad and were pretty far apart, but I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy about feeling pain. I didn’t even wake my husband, cause I didn’t want to keep him up if this wasn’t the real thing. And sure enough, come Sunday morning, they had stopped. Joseph and I decided to head home that morning though, just in case, rather than hanging out for the day with family in Madison. As we drove South on the expressway, I once again tried to will contractions to happen. I’ve discovered that doesn’t work.

We hung out together all day Sunday, just the two of us relaxing and trying to not think too much about the pressure we felt to have that baby before 8PM on Monday.* We were still up around midnight (normal for us at the time) when I felt more contractions. This time stronger, and closer together. Joseph whipped out the stopwatch (or smartphone, whatever) and began the timing. We took a walk outside, excited through the pain. I was having contractions of about a minute each, five minutes apart, for an hour when we called the doctor. That’s when they say you should call (the 5/1/1 rule), but I didn’t think it was that bad yet.

When the doctor found out the situation he told Joseph to take me in right away. What? Already? I had wanted to labor mostly at home, but…doctor’s orders. So we grabbed our bag and went, calling Joseph’s sister and my mom (our chosen labor helpers) as we whirled away.

As I sat in triage (where they measure you and ask you a bunch of personal questions), Joseph’s sister came and marveled at the fact that I was still talking and even smiling sometimes, as every time she’d been in that room she wasn’t able to answer any questions. I started to think, ‘hey, maybe I’m gonna be one of those lucky ladies who breezes through labor!’ That’s when they told me I was only like 2 centimeters dilated or something ridiculous like that, and they couldn’t admit me yet. I could either hang out around there or go home. I chose home.

We got home around 3AM and I had a few more contractions along with a snack and we decided to try to get some sleep. That was a silly idea because literally as I crawled into bed my water broke.

Again we made the calls, but this time I was able to labor at home for a few hours with the help of Joseph’s sister (what a champ). I ended up going to the hospital around 7AM when it got pretty bad. Since I had already gone to triage earlier that morning, I got to skip it and was whisked away to a room. That was nice, because at this point I could see how Joseph’s sister hadn’t been able to talk during her time in triage. I could also see that I was not going to be one of those aforementioned lucky ladies.**

I labored at the hospital for 6 hours (for a total of 13) before our sweet girl was born. It was kind of crazy how fast the time went even though it was so painful. You’d think it would go slow, but I think since my contractions were pretty close together the whole time I didn’t have much of a chance to clock-watch. Another crazy thing is that it’s hard to remember what the pain was even like and how terrible it must have been. I remember saying, right after she was born, “No wonder women forget labor pain. You’d have to in order to ever want to do that again.” But now it’s all getting foggy. I do remember yelling out a couple times and worrying about scaring or disturbing other mommies down the hall.***

I pushed for an hour (I didn’t have one of those movie-perfect two push deliveries) before she came. And then it was over, and the doctor was holding her and announcing, “It’s a boy!” Seriously, he said that. We were all shocked because they had told us girl the whole time. The shock lasted about 2 seconds before he corrected himself. “No, it’s a girl!” We’re still not sure if he was messing with us or if the cord was hanging just so.***

There she was, a perfect little bundle, and it was the most surreal thing. She was dark-haired and quiet. I couldn’t believe that the little human the doctor was holding had been in my tummy that whole time. It’s hard to explain. My first thoughts were relief and disbelief and my second ones were something about fingers and toes. But she was here, and beautiful.

Simona Myla was born at 1PM on August 26th, exactly 7 hours before I was supposed to be induced.**** And she waited until after the wedding, from which she had a window of 48 hours to make her appearance on her own. So I got to be at, and fully appreciate, my brother’s wedding. I had thought I wanted her out before then so I could bring her, but now I see that I would have been very preoccupied and tired, had I even made it there at all. (My expectations about what having a newborn was like were very skewed, but that’s another story for another time.) The timing really could not have been better. God’s plan is always perfect and always better than what we can dream up, and I remind myself of this story when I’m doubting or worrying or all caught up the way that I think things should go. I’m very thankful. The end (or the beginning).

And 6 months later:


*Looking back on it, maybe we should have spent all day sleeping, but how were we to know that our we had already had our last night of good sleep for quite a long, long time?

**While I wasn’t one of the rare women who breeze through labor with hardly a whimper, I feel very fortunate to have the labor story I did. I am not in any way complaining about how it happened, because I know that some women experience much worse and that mine was fairly average.

***Yeah, even in labor I’m a people pleaser.

****He is an excellent doctor. Really. No lie.

*****I know that not all induced labors are really that bad, and that there are women who have had good experiences with it. Unfortunately though, the stories that you hear, or at least the ones that stick with you, tend to be the negative ones.

a birth story- part 1

It was a warm summer night and we were on a walk. I loved our night walks, we’d often walk the mile to the main street in town and get ice cream or dinner. This walk was different though. I didn’t feel as relaxed as I normally did, couldn’t fully enjoy it because I was trying so hard to conjure up a contraction.

I was overdue, by a week. We had been trying every labor-inducing technique in the book (save for castor oil, which sounded disgusting) for a couple weeks at least. I wasn’t really uncomfortable, and wouldn’t have minded my belated baby except for the fact that my brother was getting married in less than a week and I needed to get that baby out by then. I couldn’t bear the idea of missing his wedding, which by the way was 2.5 hours away in Madison, where we had planned to stay for a few nights with all of the family.

I was due on the 11th of August and his wedding was the 24th. Plenty of time to get the baby out and come to the wedding, we thought. But as the days went by and nary a contraction (not even Braxton-Hicks) came to pass, I started to get a little anxious. I think we all did, except for Simona, who was perfectly happy where she was. (And God, who knew exactly what He was doing.) My doctor said we should schedule induction, so we scheduled for August 26th at 8PM.

By the time Tuesday the 20th came and went, we all started praying the opposite of what we’d been praying up until that point: that the baby would stay in until after the wedding. We got the okay from my doctor to go up to Madison, he assured us that if contractions started there, we’d have plenty of time to get back in time if we left right away. Most women have pretty long labors with their first child, he told us. (Super.) But we were happy to have his approval and so on Thursday I sat in the passenger seat as my husband drove North on the expressway. I had a stomachache, but that wasn’t going to stop us from going, and it also wasn’t stopping me from eating a big chocolate chip cookie as I talked to my sister on the phone about my pains.

Fast forward through the favor-making, family-bonding, girls-shopping-trip hours before the wedding (all so fun) and I had made it Saturday with my belly. I sat there for the beautiful wedding, not without tears, and marveled that I could be there to fully enjoy it. Once we got to the reception, I gave the okay to the baby that she could come out now. But she decided to stay in that night as I got down with my (big) bad self on the dance floor and had a general blast celebrating.

photobooth at the wedding

After the reception, I made sure the baby had gotten the message about coming out now. I really wanted her to arrive before my scheduled induction on the 26th. I’d heard terrible stories about induced labor, involving drugs and C-sections and many many hours. It has to happen sometimes, and I’m grateful for modern medicine, but it just wasn’t what I wanted. And now the clock was ticking. I had two days until then.


Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon!

2014 goals

Goals (for life in general, not just this year)

by strawberrymoth on etsy

more reading…less screen time

more face-to-face…less facebook

more tea…less soda

more exercise…less sitting

more intentional about getting together with people…less waiting for others to organize

more counting blessings…less focusing on problems

more praying…less worrying

motivational monday

Monday is the day we all need a little extra push, isn’t it? I know I tend to want to sleep late, eat bowls of cereal and mosey around the internet. So when I stumbled across this article which articulates exactly how I’ve been feeling and emphasized exactly what I needed to hear, I could’ve cried. It’s pretty awesome and I think you should read it too.

And oddly enough, I had just scribbled the above phrase in my sketchbook like an hour before.

days like this

Days like this make me want to write.
Windows open, early fall breeze blowing in, ruffling curtains
Iced coffee rests patiently by, the scent of candles wafts in with the wind
I envision Carrie Bradshaw, atop New York, gazing out her window as she ponders something to write
about sex
and maybe the city.
Didn’t we all want to be Carrie Bradshaw?
The writer’s life, with it’s desperate glamour
Troubled thoughts spill onto paper, released from the mind
I take it a step further
I’m a writer, but not for a sex column
I don’t know what I write about, but I do know that I write from a house on the beach
I sit on the patio that overlooks the water
and I write
famous stuff.
But for now, until then, I will sit here at my dining room table
Windows open, early fall breeze blowing in
Piles of papers and in-progress sketchbooks surrounding me
(I should clean up.)
Jittery from coffee
I will write.