baby · parenthood · pregnancy · reflection

Dear Bdub

I found this wonderful little gem in my drafts today. It was a much needed pick me up, reading through my old thoughts from before Charlie was born! I almost forgot we even called him “Bdub” before he was born, haha. For the first month he was here, I kept almost calling him our little nickname for him; now he’s definitely Charlie!

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Dear Baby,

I can’t believe we are just a few short weeks away from finally meeting you! I have pictured our first minutes together (and millions of minutes after) so many times, and your father and I are counting down the days until we can kiss your sweet face, hold you on our chests, and look into your wonderful little (and inevitably blue) eyes. I have dreamed of your tiny fingers wrapped around my own, and the wrinkly little toes and feet which are destined to patter up and down our hallway.

I think you are almost ready to come into the world, these days. Just this week I panicked once again as you slept for most of the day in my tummy, rather than stretching and kicking gently as you normally do while we sit in the swively chair at work. Momma has had a hard time not worrying about your well-being since the second we knew we were pregnant with you. It’s normal, I think for a first time mom, but I know I’ll forever worry about your happiness and health; a task I willingly take on as your mother.

I promise to always love you more than words can say. You are already the light of my life, and I am already proud of you for everything you’ve done and have yet to accomplish. I promise to always love you for exactly who you are – no changes, improvements, or tweaks to be made. You are perfect exactly as you are.

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letting go · pregnancy · Uncategorized

Anxiety, you asshole

 

The past couple of days have pretty been much a 180 from my happy place that I’ve been in lately. One thing I’ve been struggling with more since gaining a billion times the hormones, is anxiety. Like I said, I feel open and exposed to the cruelty of the world, and hearing about bad things on the news puts me in a bad place.

We lost more people to a mass shooting the other day in the town where I went to college. Friends who still live there were in the same apartment complex as the shooters, where that had pipe bombs and more ammo stored. Along with their six-month old child.

It feels like the world is in such a bad place right now, and it terrifies me having decided to bring a child into it. However, as my bestie reminded me yesterday, things happen when they do for a reason, and my child will cope with the bad things the same way we did growing up. All we can do is live our lives the best we can and focus on our own little corner of the world. There’s no point in being scared to leave the house. And right now especially, I can’t be stressed about everything because as I learned yesterday it leads to sciatic pain and false contractions. Going into panic mode for two days definitely doesn’t do anyone any good, especially poor Bdub, who has no say in the matter. I felt a lot of little kicks yesterday as if to tell me to knock it the heck off and just take a nap.

Well, sleep I did and my back and brain feel a hundred times better today! I am going to the baby shower for my best friend since 1st grade, and am so excited to see her and her family. Our children will be born only two months apart!

Anyway, focus on gratitude my friends, and if it all gets to be too much and your chest hurts so bad you feel like you will die, remember to just chill out and focus on your breath (focusing on the good does nothing for me in the midst of a panic attack, it is a time to think smaller). Today we begin anew.

 

buddhism · positive thinking · pregnancy · Spirituality · Zen

On Grace

I’ve never really considered myself to be a religious person. “Spiritual” certainly, whatever that means, but I haven’t ever really subscribed to any one doctrine of faith. I think religion is wonderful and faith is a beautiful thing to be sure, but no one religion has ever completely fit my beliefs completely. Let me preface the rest of this post by also mentioning that I am fairly well-rounded in the realm of religious study, as I spent my four years in college delving into every religious tradition I could – both mainstream and not so well-known (Jainism, anyone?). While four years of study isn’t nearly enough to make me an expert on religion in general, I think I have exposed myself to enough religious diversity to be able to confidently say that I am not one thing. I love all religions, and I think they are all beautiful and perfect at their core.

Now that I’ve established myself as a neutral party (and no I won’t discuss religion with you at a party, it makes me uncomfortable), I wanted to touch on my newly found openness to G-d or qi or loving energy during my second trimester of pregnancy. I was having my nightly phone call with my mom, and I was telling her just how happy I feel, and how blessed and just how…humbled I am with this whole experience.

I know this is the typical experience for the second trimester (I feel FANTASTIC and have so much energy!) but I also feel so much deeper. I feel like my whole body has been opened up to the universe; like my insides are too big to fit inside my physical self anymore (I’m not talking about that baby busting out of mom’s abdominal wall, either). It’s like the life and love inside of me is just so expansive and large, that it reaches out into the universe infinitely, touching every single thing ever… It reminds me of a Ted talk by Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroscientist who experienced a massive stroke, and was able to work her way back to speech and a healthy brain. She said that while certain parts of her brain slowly ceased functioning, she stopped being able to perceive where she ended, and the rest of the universe began. She described her body as no longer existing, and said she just became this limitless energy pouring out into everything.

THAT’S how I feel. Like becoming the carrier of this little human life has just split my body in two and allowed everything in, and simultaneously allows all my life energy to flow out into the world.

This is deep, I know. I had to write it down so I could remember feeling this way later, when I am wiping poo off the walls.

The negative side to this experience is that I also feel more exposed to negative energy. I have experienced more anxiety in these months than ever before too, I’m sure due to hormones, but also because my soul or heart or whatever is just out there for the world to imprint on. I feel very, very sensitive to hearing or seeing anything sad. I feel completely overstimulated by the news, and hearing about the attacks in Paris put me over the edge for a few days. My heart aches for every terrible thing that has happened or is happening, and I feel like a silly little white girl who just can’t even. But I really can’t, it hurts me on a very deep level right now.

But my sensitivity to the bad things brings me back to Grace. The Grace I feel like I am able to find in so many things every day now. Like meeting the exact right person at the right time. Or having everything seem to just start falling into place. To feel finally like you have everything you need  in each moment. To be able to find so very many things to be grateful for every single day, and to just feel that everything is going to be so much better than just okay.

I see that Grace, and I am overwhelmed by it.

 

baby · home improvement · pregnancy

More Home Improvements and Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving with Matt’s family this year was so much fun. Where last year I was the newbie – half the younger cousins had no idea who I was, and thus there wasn’t much conversation – this year, whether because they had seen my face a few more times or because I am now the sacred vessel for their cousin’s child, I had people asking me baby/pregnancy questions left and right! I am an introvert, yes, but I sure do like the attention. And of course pleasant conversation in general, but there’s just something about people staring at my belly that makes me proud. I actually really thought people touching my belly would be super uncomfortable, but if it’s someone I know, I really don’t mind at all. If know your name, friends, please rub away. Bdub likes the attention too.

Anyway, it was so much fun chatting with everyone this year, listening to stories about their kids and what it was like going back to work after their babies were born. If you had told me I would be so wrapped up in a conversation about breastfeeding a year ago, I would have thought you were crazy, but I am like a sponge when mothers talk about their experiences now. One small caveat to that, however, is when well-meaning people give TOO much advice. I.e. “you have to breastfeed until they are two! It’s the most important thing in the world!” “You can’t go back to work after they’re born, it will ruin their lives forever” “If they are not sleeping through the night by six weeks, you are a failed mother” etc. These examples are obviously exaggerated some, but you would be surprised. And this is completely a side note, I actually have not experienced unsolicited advice at all from my new side of the family – I am mostly referencing total strangers and perhaps one person in particular from my own extended family who is a great mother I’m sure, but definitely is like five years younger than me and needs to just be quiet.

And now on the home improvement front, we are moving southward and into the hallway! The ceiling had a monstrous crack in it before because someone had removed one of the beams that should have been framing the recessed lighting up there. We have since replaced some of the framing and are now freezing, as we have no ceiling right smack in the the middle of the house!

Once that drywall is in, we will finally start painting and I’m going to try and rehab the cute old 1950s doorbell up there with some sanding and some retro-colored Rustoleum.

We have also picked out living rooms colors, and it finally feels like things are really starting to come together. Matt has been seriously working his butt off to try and get this stuff done before little Bdub is born. I feel super useless not being able to do much to help, but I am assured that he is moving faster than he would with my help, so I will just continue to eat on the couch and watch.

Finally, an update on the belly: baby was rolling around like crazy in there almost all day yesterday! I woke up feeling it, and laid in bed an extra half hour just paying attention to my little in-utero swimmer. It seriously felt like that baby was kicking off me like you kick off the side of a pool – over and over and over. I have been feeling gentle little pokes here and there in the last few weeks, but the feeling is now unmistakably a person practicing their ninja life skills in there.

Now on to more long weekend productivity!