Tuesday, September 18, 2012

And One More Makes Five...Girls That Is

Reese Olivia Scott was born at 5:55 pm on February 26, 2012.  She is what I call our “bonus baby.”  Jeff and I had decided, after having Ellanor, that our family was complete.  About two years ago though, we both started throwing out the idea of having another baby.  We would talk about it and then not… talk about it and then not.  But there came a time where we were talking about it more than not and that was it, we knew there was one more baby waiting to come to our home.

 We have been very fortunate not to have a difficult time making babies.  We only had to wait a couple of months before I found out I was pregnant.  We were so excited! I only had two months left of teaching and new I could get through the “rough” part of my pregnancy before school got out.  I was also looking forward to taking some time off from being a teacher and was delighted to stay home with Ellanor this last year before she started Kindergarten the following year.

As luck would have it, I ended up having a miscarriage a couple weeks before school got out. I never had one of these before and was completely devastated.  I knew that we were supposed to have a baby.  It was confirmed to me after how quickly we became pregnant that this was supposed to be. After the miscarriage, I began questioning whether this was really what Jeff and I should be doing.  For people that really know me, they know that I’m not one to really be emotional about things.  When I cry, it really means something.  Well, I did more crying in that week than I had probably ever had in my life.  At that point I didn’t know if it was worth it to try again because I knew I would be absolutely crushed if I was to have another miscarriage.  It weighed on me. Jeff was very supportive during this time.  I look back and as much as I was hurting, I know that Jeff was too.  He stayed very strong for me so that I could be the one to break down. I’m very thankful to him for that. He put no pressure whatsoever to start trying again and was very in tuned to my feelings. 

Jeff and Lisa at Robbie and Amanda's Wedding

As time went on, Jeff and I began talking about the possibility of trying again. I had just had a follow up appointment with by OB and she had said that we could start trying any time we wanted.  Again, I wasn’t so sure. I wasn’t able to make a decision one way or the other at that point. I decided that I would just go on living life.  I took on a part time job teaching math at Rincon Vista Middle School, yep the same school that I had just quit my sixth grade teaching position. I’m not sure to this day if I really wanted to do that, but it was a way to keep my mind busy. Little did I know that my life was going to change yet again.

 It was July 4th and we were having a busy morning getting ready for a family get-together. I had been feeling a little off for a few days and so I decided to take a pregnancy test, mostly to rule it out.  Remember, Jeff and I were still trying to figure out if getting pregnant was worth hopping on that emotional roller coaster again. I don’t think either one of us were ready for what that pregnancy test had to say. We were pregnant, again.

  The excitement that came along with finding out about our last pregnancy was just not there this time. I just sat there looking at these two lines in utter shock. I can’t even put into words how I felt.  Hundreds of different emotions hit me all at once. For the first trimester I just prayed that things would be fine.  There was no excitement; there was no talking with Jeff at night before we went to bed about how great it’s going to be to have another baby, just…nothing.  As the pregnancy progressed, I thanked God every day for being sick and feeling crappy. The crappier I felt, the more reassured I was that everything would be okay, and it was.

 It wasn’t until close to the end of my second trimester that I remember talking with Jeff and telling him that I was finally starting to get excited. Finally, I was letting go of the emotions that came along with my miscarriage and was allowing myself not to worry and to finally feel joy.  What a relief that was.

Hanging out on the couch was the story of my life towards the end.
It would be lovely to tell you that the rest of my pregnancy was a piece of cake, but I would be lying. With it came major headaches and back pain that I would never wish on anyone. My body was literally falling apart.  I knew for sure that this would be my last baby; my body just could not take the abuse of carrying another one.

 The last month of my pregnancy was the cherry on top, so-to-speak. At about thirty-six weeks I started contracting for hours on end. I ended up going to the hospital on two different occasions with false labor. I thought it was kinda funny as I was signing discharge papers, and still contracting mind you, that they said to come back if I was having contractions between 3-5 minutes. These contractions were irritating and strong enough to take my breath away, but just not strong enough to make anything happen.  At thirty-eight weeks, I went in yet again, and this time they kept me. It was finally time to have a baby.

Please let me stay!

I love being in labor, it’s my favorite day! Not because of the pain, and let me tell you, I’ve never been in so much pain in my life during this labor, but because at the end, I get to hold a sweet new baby.  It’s also the day that everything ends; it’s the day that I can start to forget how horrible the last nine months have been.  It’s just a lovely day. 

It's been almost 7 months since Reese has been a part of our family, and let me tell ya, I'm completely in love with that little girl.  She fits in perfectly and I can't imagine our family without her.  Love you sweet baby Reese!

Reese 4 months old

Friday, January 20, 2012

One More Trip Around the Table...The Power of the High/Low

When Jeff and I were first married we were watching a movie, I can't remember the name of it, but there was a part in the movie where the family was sitting around the dinner table and they each took a turn talking about what the best and the worst parts of their day were. I can remember turning to Jeff and saying, "When we have kids, I totally want to do that!"

Let's take a look back, shall we...
When I was growing up, my family hardly ever had a sit down meal.  We did have a very nice dining room table, but it was mostly used as a collect-all of stuff.  Every once in a while, the table would get cleaned off and we did sit down together and eat as a family.  With six kids, going every which way, sitting down all together was really almost impossible.  My friends would then talk about always having to be home at a certain time for dinner, and that was just foreign to me.  What was so important about dinner time? Looking back, I think my family really missed out on something special.

Enter our children...
As Kailee and Evyn got to be in school, I thought back to that movie that Jeff and I watched years before.  I can remember telling Jeff  that we really need to do something like that with our girls.  (Jeff had a bit of a different upbringing than me as it came to dinner time.  They would usually sit down together as a family for dinner, and with eight kids, I'm sure that wasn't easy. I don't know if they really spent that time getting to know one another better, but it was what they tried to do. Having a sit down dinner has always been something that Jeff knew was important.)  Since that day we instituted the High/Lows at dinner time.  We would go around the table and each one of us would share the best thing and the worst thing that happened that day.  Powerful! It's so simple, but I think that our family has had more in depth conversations around the dinner table then anywhere else.  My girls have learned to talk and listen to one another, they have been problem solvers, they have been able to give advice to one another, they have been able to say that they already know what one of their sister's highs or lows are, they have been able to giggle and sympathize, and they have been able to see that mom an dad have problems that they are working on too. The best thing for me, especially as my girls are getting older, is that we can talk openly together as a family. 

I absolutely love that my girls are so willing to talk about their day.  I love that they look forward to sharing their life with Jeff and I. Jeff and I don't even have to bring up high/lows, it's one of the first things they want to do after the prayer has been said.  It almost becomes a bit of a fight to go first. :) I truly believe that children want to share their life, even teenagers.  My girls know that their thoughts and feelings matter and I'm so thankful that they are willing to share their lives so openly with me.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

One More Thought on Why Breast is Best...And Then Sometimes You Just Need to Feed Your Baby!

I was 21 when I had my first baby, Kailee.  She is now 13 years old; where has the time gone?  I often look at her baby pictures or watch her home videos and find myself not so much focusing on her, but on me.  I will find myself yelling at the "21 year old me" saying things like, "What do you think you are doing?" or "Are you crazy? Get that baby covered up!" or "Oh, I'm so sorry Kailee, I really had no clue."  I'm sure I could go on with plenty more negative things that go through my head about myself as I watch those videos, but I'll stop there.  It's kinda sad.  But what I have realized more, now than ever, is that everyone must go through the same kind of thing. If you didn't, could you please at least lie and say you did?

When I was pregnant with Kailee, I always new that I would be a breast feeding mom.  Everyone I talked to and all the parenting books I read told me that this was the thing to do, and if I didn't do it, then something was wrong with me.  Breast is Best. I was intent on not deviating whatsoever from this plan.  No baby of mine would ever get a bottle, because that would just make me a bad mom, and that was not something that I would ever be called.  I was going to be a great mom...

...And then, my blood pressure got the best of me and we had to deliver Kailee three weeks early.  She was fine, I would be fine; I was just excited to start my journey of being a mother. She was absolutely perfect, cone shaped head included (after I learned that her head wouldn't always be that way :0). But soon there was a bit of a problem, my plan was not working.  All Kailee wanted to do was sleep.  What parent isn't happy about that?  This one, that's who! She wouldn't stay awake long enough to eat. I had to do everything to try and keep her awake and really, nursing for her was a lot of work and she was just not having it. So I'm feeling like a failure at this moment in time. Lots and lots of tears. The nurses would even come in and supplement my almost nonexistent nursing with feeding Kailee a medicine cup of formula, not a bottle, teaspoons at a time. I thought this was a bit weird, but the nurses were like, oh a bottle would be too easy for her and it might make nursing even that much harder.  I bought into that, why, because I had no clue.  So I let my sweet baby lose weight because I had to live up to this notion of what I thought a good mom looks like.  Here's the deal, a good mom doesn't let her baby go hungry.

I didn't give up though, and within a couple of weeks Kailee and I figured it all out and she became, to this day, my chubbiest baby of all.  Rolls and rolls!  After a while, I even had Jeff give her a bottle. He loved being able to feed her too. Sad that I wasn't willing to let him be a part of that sooner.  Lesson learned.

When Evyn came along, two weeks early, my views had changed just a bit.  There was no way that I would put her through what Kailee went through.  She would not be hungry. Lucky for me, the nursing thing took off right away. But I was very willing to let her stay in the nursery will a bottle of formula so I could get some rest.  That's not being a horrible mom, that's being a smart mom. 

My sweet little baby Reese will be here in a couple of months, and again I'm looking forward to being able to nurse her.  It really is one of my favorite things about having a baby.  Breast is best, I truly believe that, but I have come a long way to know that it is not the only way, and it definitely doesn't make me a bad mom when I choose to give my baby a bottle. We have too much on our plates as women to feel bad about something like that.

Friday, January 6, 2012

And One More

I have wanted to start a blog for a while now, but wasn't sure exactly how I wanted to go about doing one.  Mostly I see blogs as journals and I am hoping that this will turn into something like that, but maybe a bit different.  I have a hard time just writing about day to day things. I've never been good at that.  It's hard to see the purpose in writing down everyday life stuff.  That's boring to me and I would think that it must also be boring for others to read it too. 
So I had to find a purpose in starting this blog, and then it hit me. Lately, I have been reflecting on how much I have changed as a mother and a wife over the years.  Especially with this baby on the way, I've been realizing how much different having a new baby will be this time around. I'm older, and would like to think, a bit wiser.  So I have decided that I will write this blog with the purpose of recording the LESSONS I've learned over the years  from being a mother and wife as well as the LESSONS I continue to learn. I hope to reflect on the past and how experiences have influenced the mother and wife I am today. I look forward to observing the small day to day lessons my children teach me.
 I've been reading a book, 5 Spiritual Solutions for Everyday Parenting Challenges, and I've been amazed at how well it spells out the purpose of being a parent.  I love that I don't have to do it alone, that my Heavenly Father knows my children better that I do, they are His children first, and He has known them a long time.  He is just waiting for me to ask Him for help, and I know that He will.  His solutions really trump anything I'll ever read in a parenting book or magazine.  I'm thankful for that knowledge.
I'm looking forward to a wonderful new year and am excited to be beginning it with a another sweet spirit from my Heavenly Father.