Maybe Now I'm Brilliant.......Maybe Not

First of all, thank you to all of you who sent some words of encouragement after the last post. I just wanted to put the truth of my experience out there. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone. Now for the point of the post.  I've learned so much over the last (roughly) 11 months. Just thought I would share some of my newly acquired wisdom.

1. It is possible to throw up so hard you bruise your face. Not a lesson I was thrilled to learn, but I guess somethings you learn the hard way.  I was on call and still in my first trimester. I got paged back to work on a Friday night.  I had only been asleep about an hour, but that was just enough to make my system think it was morning. Usually I could avoid vomiting in the morning by eating breakfast and taking a little extra time getting around.  Since I was anxious to go take care of the issue at work and get back in bed, I just popped up and headed out the door. Once at work, I started feeling a little nauseous. I thought I would just borrow a puke bag from The Children's Center and take it with me in case I needed it for the ride home. I got the bag and didn't even make it back to the pharmacy before I had to hit the bathroom.  I would have sworn that I was throwing up my toenails.  The next morning, I woke up with broken capillaries under my eyes - not quite black eyes, but close enough.

2. I can take more pain than I thought. If you have known me for a long time, you know that I am a total wimp when it comes to pain. When I was little I would scream bloody murder getting a splinter removed. Tanner warned me that I needed to expect the worst when it came to labor. He is so wise. He thought if I expected the absolute worst then surely the real thing wouldn't be so bad. He was right. Contractions hurt, but I'm glad I felt them. If it hadn't been for the vomiting that started coming with my contractions I probably would have waited a while longer before getting my epidural (which didn't hurt at all in my opinion).

3.  I don't mind being a dairy cow, but I don't just LOVE nursing. I know some women really enjoy breastfeeding their babies. They love the bond and the connection it brings. Maybe it's because we didn't get to even try for the first few days. I don't know.  One of my primary love languages (if you don't know what I'm talking about, google The 5 Love Languages - it will change the way you see all of your relationships) is physical touch. I love to hold hands, snuggle on the couch.....I still have very fond memories of laying on the couch with my head resting in my mom's lap while she gently stroked my face. Touch (by people I love, not creepy strangers) generally makes me feel calm and peaceful.  I guess this is why I thought I would love breastfeeding. Don't love, don't hate it. And I'm okay with that.

4. I have great genes. Not sure if I should thank my mom or my dad, but I survived my first pregnancy without getting a single stretch mark. I really like wearing a bikini (not that my body is ready to be seen in one) so I'm glad it will still be an option for the future. Maybe by summer I'll have my abs back (only 3 pounds left to lose)!

5. I have 2 blood types. Yep, that's right, I'm a freak of nature. When I got pregnant they tested my blood and it came back Rh negative. This meant I would need to get a shot of Rhogam in order to avoid possible complications in future pregnancies. I got one shot at the doctor's office and was told I would get another before leaving the hospital. Before giving the second shot, they tested my blood again. This time it came back Rh positive. My poor nurse - the lab called her and said that she must have mislabeled the blood sample. I knew she didn't because she asked me to double check that the label had my name on it before she put it on the vial.  She was freaking out trying to figure out what happened. They redrew the blood and reran everything just to be sure. Turns out I basically have Rh negative and positive blood. Apparently this is very rare and most often seen in people of Native American descent who live a specific region in Florida. So I got more Rhogam - better safe than sorry. Weird!

6.  Being a mom is really hard. I know you hear other moms say this all the time, but there is no way to wrap your mind around it until you experience it. However, I have also learned to function on much less sleep than I was used to. It's gotten a lot better since my angel of a mother came to stay the night with us a few weeks ago. Our nights (and days for that matter) had been pretty rough and it was really wearing on all of us. My doctor had called in some Reglan for me because I felt like my milk supply had decreased. I knew the side effects this could cause (drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and rarely uncontrollable muscle movements). Turns out I got the weird muscle thing - you should have seen me. I was exhausted, but so restless. My mom was taking care of Cooper (she got him sleeping in his own bed - woohoo!) so I would pump while she fed him a bottle. I couldn't even sit still to pump! I was marching in place holding the pump to my chest talking 90 miles an hour! It was insane! more Reglan for me.  Side note: Love you Mom - thanks for all you did/do for me. I'm starting to see just how incredible you are (although I've always thought you were pretty wonderful - except for that one time when I was 14!) You are AMAZING!

7.  My husband is even more amazing than I ever thought.  I've always put Tanner on a bit of a pedestal. He is a great guy, loving husband and I always thought he would be a wonderful father. He has proven me right over and over. He is so helpful, doing anything to make things easier for me. And he is ssssoooo sweet with Cooper! Man, he loves that kid! I just love watching how he gently calms and soothes him. Tanner, you keep me sane and that makes me happy. I love you!

8. I learned today that turning 28 is no big deal. Honestly, I was dreading it. I'm not really sure why. But here we are, 28, and I feel no different. Actually, I got a pretty good night's sleep and Cooper has been happy for the most part. So my first day of being 28 is kicking my last day at 27 in the butt! Yeah for 28!

I know that there are endless lessons for this new mom to learn. Hopefully I will be humble enough to learn them the first time around instead of making the same mistakes over and over.  Who are we kidding - bring on the mistakes and maybe God will give me wisdom to learn the lesson.


I've been struggling a lot lately. I have had to come to terms with the facts of my new life as a mom.  I prayed so many times that God would give us a child. And now, in all honesty, there are times I want to give him back. There are times when I miss the days when there were very few demands on me or my time. I love Cooper more than I ever thought possible, but things have not been as I expected since his arrival.

I still mourn the loss of the those first precious moments most moms get to spend snuggling with their llittle bundle. I never got a chance to have the "mom holding a swaddled lump with dad standing by the hospital bed" picture.  I didn't get to see my husband hold our brand new baby immediately after he was born. This may sound selfish and trivial, but these are the things I expected.  These were the moments I was looking forward to. But I have to realize that I am extraordinarily blessed. After all, my baby got to come home. My baby is perfectly healthy (if you don't count reflux and some serious gas).  My husband is here and helpful. But I still regret not having those experiences.

I also regret not enjoying my maternity leave. I have been so consumed with taking care of Cooper that I don't feel like I have stopped to just enjoy him. I have been more concerned with feedings than with getting to know my baby. More worried about spit up than smiles.  I pray that my negligence hasn't stunted the development of our relationship. I am grateful that he doesn't much of a memory yet - haha!

I guess this all boils down to expectations. Pregnancy, labor, delivery - all went as expected, maybe better!  I feel like everything after that has been someone else's life.  It was some other baby that was in the hospital for a week. Some other mommy who spends half her life crying on the phone to her mom. Some other wife who hands her child over to her husband at the end of a long day and says, "I need a break."  I know I probably had unrealistic expectations of what parenthood would be like. But this has been really hard.  Everyone tells you how difficult it is having a new baby.  But they all tell you it's so worth it. I'm here to say there are times I've had my doubts. Unmet expectations have almost been the death of me over this last few weeks. However, I feel like my expectations are becoming more realistic. I'm learning to enjoy Cooper and respect the person that he is. But it is still hard not to mourn the loss of the things I know I've missed.  I pray that I am not too stubborn to change or to see what God wants to teach me through these experiences.

My sister, Terra, shared this song with me a while ago (totally worth the 99 cents on iTunes by the way). I can't listen to it without bursting into tears. Just a reminder that what we've been through (and everything we will go through in the future) is all God's will for us and our family.   Take a moment to read through the lyrics to Laura Story's Blessings and thank God for the blessings in your life.  Especially those mercies is disguise.

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise