Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy (Early) Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Great Expectations

So I'm finding out that life with two kids is definitely full.

Full of laughs...full of love...and full of laundry!

But you won't find me complaining (most of the time, anyway) because I couldn't be more thankful. A few nights ago, when both our kiddos were sleeping soundly, I looked over at Chris and said, "These are the sweetest days. The ones we will look back on when our kids have long since flown the nest and we are old and gray. We'll sit on the porch and rock as we reflect on the memories of what we are living right this very moment."

He smiled and agreed with me. And then promised to remind me of that on the days when the kids are whining and fussing for no good reason.

Point taken.

Thankfully, the seond time around I'm able to fully enjoy this season of motherhood.

When pregnant with Park, I often daydreamed of tenderly tucking my sweet baby in for the night, while singing softly as he or she magically drifted off into peaceful dreams.

After all, that is exactly how it happens in the commercials. One quick flip of that little Ocean Wonder light show and "Junior" is snoring before you can even say Fisher Price.

Maybe if we had named Park "Junior" things would have turned out differently.

In all seriousness, I had longed my whole life for motherhood. But although I had spent a lifetime imagining what it would be like, the reality of my first months of mothering did not line up with my expectations.

After a very difficult delivery, I found myself suffering a series of major health problems in the ensuing months. Couple that with Park’s respiratory issues, inability to sleep more than an hour at a time, a husband in the throws of a new job, and my coping mechanism became non existent.

Initially, I had no idea I was suffering from Postpartum Depression. Having never had a baby before, I mistakenly assumed this was what every new mom felt. When my midwife had covered Postpartum Depression during my pregnancy visits, I didn’t pay much attention since I “knew” this could never happen to me. And from what I could recall, if I truly had this type of depression I would be crying all the time and feeling very unattached to my baby.

Actually, the opposite was true in my situation. I was overly attentive to every little detail of my son. I felt no one was capable of meeting his needs other than me and obsessed over the smallest decisions, such as how to dress Park…would he be too hot? …too cold? I started feeling trapped, suffering from irrational fears of something happening to my family. I began to have anxiety attacks and found it impossible to sleep, even on the rare occasion that my baby actually was. All of these things were so out of character for me, yet I still thought it was just growing pains of becoming a new mom.

Postpartum Depression is real. It is not something you can talk, think, exercise, or pray your way out of, although all these things are valuable in the recovery process. It is a medical condition that needs treatment and there is nothing shameful about seeking help to feel like your old self again.

Unfortunately, it is also something not often discussed. After I began to share my story, I was amazed at the number of women in my life that had suffered a similar journey.

If you are experiencing Postpartum Depression, you are not alone. Do not suffer silently. Join the many women who have had the courage to speak up, demanding the help they so desperately needed.

For me, experiencing motherhood the second time around has been completely different. I had no idea just how much Postpartum Depression had robbed from me until having Presli. Being able to fully enjoy our new baby is a priceless gift and it breaks my heart that I missed out on so much of that with Park. And even though I've never discussed it publicly before, having Presli affirmed in me the need to share my experience with anyone who will listen. I pray God uses me to encourage other women and to prevent anyone else from missing the signs of needing help.

And as for my expectaions the second time around, I'd be lying if I didn't say we contemplated naming Presli "Junior". However, we opted to just buy her the Ocean Wonder light show instead.

Let's just say it was money well spent:)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy One Month, Baby Girl!


You are one loved little girl! Here is a glimpse into your life at a month....

Your Eating Schedule:
During the day you eat about every 3 hours, and usually only because I wake you up. You are a great nurser, but if you don't want to eat, no one could possibly convince you otherwise. You are very fast and efficient, nursing no more than 10 minutes on each side.

Your Sleeping Schedule:
You sleep very well! (That is a HUGE praise, considering we prayed that over you in the womb after having your "up all day and all night" brother:) You typically fall asleep easily on your own with your pacifier and take 5-6 naps that last usually last between 1- 2 hours each. At night, you mostly go to sleep around 8:30 and I wake you to feed again before I go to bed around 10:30 or 11. You wake to eat between 3:30 and 4 and sleep again until waking for the day about 7:30. We are completely amazed by this!!!

Your Likes:
You LOVE your pacifier (and your brother loves to give it to you!), to swing, the car, the sling, to be swaddled, to sit on my lap, to hold hands, and to nuzzle your face against mine.

Your Dislikes:
Cold wet wipes during diaper changes and having your fingernails cut

Things That Make Me Laugh:
The way you love to stretch, the manly grunting you do when irritated, how you love your hands glued to your face when sleeping (just like Park!), how you tickle my side as you nurse, how your eyes bug out and you get the "o" face when ready to fall asleep, how calm and still you are (this one makes me laugh because I'm not used to this), the way Park says,"It's OK, Baby Girl. Super Bubby is here!", as he rushes to your side at the first sign of you fussing.

We adore you, Presli. You are a perfect addition to our family. Everything about you was worth the wait and we are treasuring every minute with you.