Monday, January 12, 2015
III. Back to Reality
I turn on the shower and grab my toothbrush. As I step out of my socks I get a smudge of toothpaste and start scrubbing. I pull items of clothing over the plastic now jutting out of my mouth as steam fills the bathroom. I go over the grocery list in my head as I test the water with my hand: "Eggs, Ketchup, Granola Bars, Something for lunch … "
I hear a small cry from the other room.
I stop everything - listening. The sound of spraying water drones on.
Has she noticed I'm missing, or just being fussy for her dad? I wonder how much longer I have before she full-out screams. Should I bother washing my hair or just go for a quick wipe-down?
This is the reality of the new normal. Each task becomes an extreme multi-task.
When you're pregnant, you hear helpful women say things like "Just sleep when she sleeps."
But when she sleeps, it's 10:30 in the morning and you just ate breakfast and the sun is pouring in through the windows.
Oh, there does comes a time when she conveniently is asleep and you are tired, but if you don't start a load of laundry she'll be wearing a pillowcase in the morning because she spit on up or pooped on every other item of clothing she has.
The best thing I ever did (besides marrying my husband and having our daughter) was decided to freeze a bunch of crock pot meals in the weeks leading up to her birth.
The idea of cooking a meal that doesn't involve a crock pot or microwave seems insurmountable … even 2 months on.
I get into a pattern of folding my bedding on the couch every morning and unfolding it every night. When I do lay down in the bed it feels foreign and stiff, like a hotel mattress.
I lose the crisp edges of my life and it starts to pill and soften like an old sweater.
I fall asleep every night to the white noise machine's heart beating pattern — lub dub, lub dub, lub dub.
Interested in crock pot freezer meals? Here's the main website I used ... I recommend the beef burritos!
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
II. It gets better
Giving birth was the easy part.
As we struggled to strap our daughter into the car seat for the first time, I started feeling creeping twinges of panic.
Why are the nurses just letting us walk out the door with her? Shouldn't at least one of them be coming with us to supervise?
I climbed into the backseat and didn't take my eyes off her.
Everyone who has ever been a parent offers the same bit of advice to first-timers: three little words that seem to encompass every anxiety you are experiencing.
"It gets better."
I couldn't sleep for the first 3 or 4 days. It was all a crazy hormone-induced frenzy of clumsy diaper changes, shocking postpartum bleeding, and trying to maintain my previous level of house cleanliness (impossible, I soon realized.)
Luckily my mother was there to assure me that my crying spells were perfectly normal and to do constant loads of laundry.
As my milk came in, my husband was wide-eyed with delight at my newly engorged boobs. But he seemed to lose interest the first time I showed him how they now leaked milk and required pads.
Night after night I sat awake with my spine curved painfully over her. She cooed and she cried, and I was covered in spit up. Covered in milk. Covered in tears.
|Feeding schedule and the 4 a.m. look.|
It gets better.
I kept thinking of the scene in the movie "Zero Dark Thirty" where they use sleep deprivation as a method of torture.
I watch Richard yawn (after getting 6 hours of sleep) and feel uncalled-for anger and jealousy. I yawned even bigger to make it clear who wins this contest.
I found myself Googling "How long lack of sleep insane?"
Even at four in the morning, covered in all manner of bodily fluids, I still gazed down at her little face and felt joy. It was a tired form of joy -- but still, joy.
It gets better.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
I put on mascara before leaving for the hospital.
It was a scheduled induction, so I had time to prepare.
My thought was, "There will be lots of picture taking, so I want to look somewhat presentable."
I skipped my usual regimen of concealer, powder, blush, eyeliner and lip gloss because, hey, I was giving birth after all.
By the time the nurses were on the third IV attempt, that mascara had been smeared all over my face with tears. I should have known better.
Labor was scary and painful - there's no other way to describe it. But it was over.
There were complications at the end and her cord was wrapped around her neck, so I didn't get to hold her right away. I remember leaning back in the bed …exhausted… but not able to look away from the squirming, screaming red baby on the examination table.
She was perfect.
Looking back 4 weeks on, putting on that mascara at 6:30 a.m. was my last act of my old life. Every other action in my previous 32 years has been entirely my own, for my own benefit.
Since that moment she arrived and was placed in my arms, I forgot myself.
Every selfish thought, every worry, every jealousy or feeling of inadequacy took a backseat: I was transformed. The violent, physical act of her leaving my body was a rebirth for myself -- I was no longer just a woman, I became a mother.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Well, this poor blog has been so neglected this year ... but I've made an exception to my pregnancy laziness and HAD to post some pictures from the recent photo shoot with PPS.
I'm calling it "A walk in autumn woods" .... with gorgeous photos by Pretty Petal Studio and crowns by Whichgoose.
Thanks to model Kate and assistant extraordinaire Lalania!
Sunday, May 4, 2014
My husband brought home these flowers for me from work the other night --- what a guy, right? But as they started to wilt in the vase, I thought I should make a flower crown because, that's what I do!
It's really a simple process, and it can be done with any sort of flowers (even from the grocery store.) In fact, this is the exact process I used for my wedding last year. I stopped by the Safeway on the way to setting up the venue and picked up a nice-looking bouquet.
Here's the shot of that one:
Here's what you need:
Here are the flowers cut down to a more manageable size:
I added a bit of ribbon to the ends of my wire with a hot glue gun. This step makes it adjustable and easier to put on ... but you can definitely make a full-sized circle.
Slightly pull the floral tape to "activate" it's stickiness.
Begin wrapping it around the wire for a bit of base coat:
Pick up your flower stems and place them against the wire. Simply wrap the tape around each stem as you go:
Add in varying flowers and leaves ... you can play around here and get lots of different looks:
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!! And remember ... Fresh flower crowns are gorgeous, but will begin to look a bit droopy within hours. You can keep your finished crown in a refrigerator to keep it a bit fresher for longer.