Oh the things people say… like it or not

My daughter is almost 5 months old. She has a sweet disposition and is usually happy with a huge gummy grin to prove it. She is the first girl in a family of four boys and we think she is the cat’s pajamas, after all we are her parents.

When I am out and about doing daily errands or perhaps just out for a stroll we rarely escape a comment or two from a passerby, after all everyone loves a sweet new baby. Usually the comments are about her full head of hair, pretty blue eyes, or her big smile accompanied by two dimples that attract an outpouring of love and attention. But all too often I hear “my what a big girl,” or “she is so fat,” or “she doesn’t miss many meals does she?”

Lately I have allowed my sensitivity to get the better of me when people comment about her size. Even my own family and friends have been known to make an off colored remark that immediately has me defending her and myself for the fact that she is breast-fed and not on a schedule.

This is not my first go round at defending the way I choose to feed my children and I still don’t feel it necessary to get on a soap box and preach my opinions on breast milk vs. formula. I choose to breast feed not just because of the wonderful benefits it provides for my daughter, but because it comes naturally and easily to me. I am blessed and fortunate to have such a pleasant experience with all my children. I know there are stories out there that are quite the opposite, but this is my story.

It is my choice and my preference that is all.

I just wish I was given the same respect and not judged on my decision to do so.However sometimes I just want to scream when people ask me such questions or make such statements as… “How do you know if she is getting enough?” or “Don’t you think you are feeding her too much?” or “Don’t you think she needs ‘real’ food?”

Ugh!

My sweet little flower is a new baby. She may not totally understand the rude unsolicited comments that are coming her way at this point in time and I know all too soon that one day she will, however while she is small and still a bit delicate I ask that you refrain from commenting at all… if by chance you can’t say something nice. I don’t comment on your weight or if you’ve eaten enough today or if you eat ‘real’ food vs. junk food.

So perhaps if by chance you run into us while we are out and about and you want to add your two cents on her blue eyes, full head of hair, or the dimples in her cheeks when smiles at you, go ahead we love the attention. However, if it has to do with her size and she is in fact “pleasingly plump,” as we love to call her, we prefer you keep your comments to yourself and keep on walking.

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Wordless Wednesday-1st Edition

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How do you make it work?

Weekends go by way too fast around here.

By late Sunday afternoon I start to feel myself get a little anxious or perhaps I even feel a tad emotional because I know in a brief amount of time my husband will have to get up in the wee hours of the morning and head off to work. He commutes everyday a total of 4 hours and works very long days. In fact even as I type this he is still not home from work and it is just about 9 pm.

Just a handful of months ago this was not the case and our time together was not so scarce, but the company he was working for drastically cut his salary last March and after almost a year of trying to survive on such a cut with a new baby we realized he would have to look elsewhere. Except we had no idea it would involve an extensive commute and many more hours.

We are grateful he even has a job and I certainly don’t mean to sound as if I am complaining because I am fortunate to be able to stay at home with our daughter. It just seems like we haven’t been able to catch a break. It’s been a rough ride since we got together.

We briefly dated before we just knew we wanted to be together, moved in with one another, got engaged,  found out we were expecting, lost our baby, got pregnant again, while planning a wedding, got married, changed jobs, and all of this takes place while we are raising 4 boys, 2 of mine and 2 of his with other parents involved.

I am now home alone most of the time with our sweet baby girl and I LOVE it! Only lately its been getting harder since she is rolling around and is easily frustrated with all the things she wants to do, but can’t and on top of that she is teething.

A little over a week ago I discovered the world of blogging and I was immediately drawn in. Except only now it seems an impossible thing for me to maintain or even be apart of. How do I balance my need to have a creative outlet and care for my daughter?

I read other women’s blogs while I am constantly breastfeeding and I wonder where they find the time. I am exhausted. Staying up late like I am doing right now is not really an option if I want my little girl to have a pleasant mama.

So I put the question out there to anyone who has some advice on how I can keep my sanity and spend these precious moments with my daughter. How did you get started in blogging and when? How old were your children? How did you make it work for you?

Thanks in advance!

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Everything Happens For A Reason

When I found out I was expecting in July of 2010, I sent my husband a media text with a picture of the test stick shortly after the results appeared in the little window. He had just pulled out of the driveway and was on his way to work. Instead of replying to the text he drove directly back to our house. We met each other on the landing of our staircase where we stood in each others arms silent, still, barely breathing and then I could feel his chest beneath mine and knew he too was crying. We kissed and quietly celebrated with reserve. It would be hard not to, but we knew we wanted to wait before we told anyone. We would do it right this time and wait until the first trimester was over before we shared the news. As if keeping it a secret would alter the outcome this time.

Four months prior on March 4 , 2010, we had our first visit with our mid-wife. I was so excited to be using a birthing center and midwives because my sons were born in the hospital and this time I wanted a natural child-birth with a more intimate setting. I was almost 15 weeks pregnant and this was to be our first appointment since I was transferring from my previous doctor. While my husband and I waited for the mid-wife I visited the bathroom several times once to puke and twice to pee.

After the grueling task of filling out paperwork and getting my medical history all out-of-the-way we were ready to hear that precious sound once again. I had just heard the baby’s heart beat a week before at my regular gynecologist visit and was filled with anticipation because hearing that reassuring sound never gets old.

Our mid-wife laid me down on the exam table and pulled out a fetal doppler I looked at my husband who was wearing a pink shirt in honor of the occasion. We desperately wanted a girl and figured this shirt was all the luck we needed to make that happen. I looked at him and was lost in his crystal blue eyes and handsome smile. I am so in love with this man and now we were going to have a baby. How did I get so lucky coming from where I’ve been to now? I’m lost for a moment in my daydream.

When I snapped out of it I could see my husband mouthing the words repeatedly its okay its okay like a mantra.

I looked at the mid-wife who reassured me that babies hide all the time and this is normal for almost 15 weeks. I chuckled and sarcastically make a comment thinking to myself so our baby is playing hide-and-seek? I don’t recall coming across this in any section of any maternity book I’ve read. And just where in the hell do babies hide while in utero behind a vital organ like the bladder or colon? Is that even possible? Joking at inappropriate times has always been my coping mechanism. Although I was making light of the situation it was far from how I was truly feeling and when my eyes looked again to my husband I plastered a brave smile on my face. She scrambled to leave the room without ever making eye contact with me declaring that many of their dopplers are ‘tricky’ and says she will be back with another one.

When she returned she is not alone. She was with another mid-wife and in her hands are 3 more dopplers. My husband, who was then by my side, was still telling me to remain calm and that everything would turn out fine. I had long since tuned him out and realized I must have been holding my breath because I had a pounding headache and felt nauseated. All I wanted to do was escape the room which had seemed to grow 2 sizes smaller then when we first walked in. I snap at Florence Nightingale and told her I did not want her to try another doppler because after several failed attempts with the first 2 the room was still silent. I wanted to scream come out come out wherever you are, but remained in a fog.

Then the words ultrasound & don’t worry everything is going to be fine.

Disbelief washed over me as I tried to process all of what had just happened. I began the nervous talking thing I do and babbled while my husband drove to the imaging center. I rattled on & on about feeling movement and the strong fast heartbeat I had just heard the week before. Hell the week prior to this one I even posted the words lub-dub lub-dub in the status section of my facebook to declare the glorious news about our baby.

Entering that building for our ultrasound was like walking the green mile. I feverishly asked the tech a million questions all of which she kindly ignored because ‘she was not qualified to give me any medical information.’ As she scanned my abdomen I searched her eyes for the slightest bit of expression. Once she left the room I waited for my husband to return. For whatever asinine reason he was unable to be with me while they took the pictures.

Within a few moments the tech returned picked up the phone from the wall and handed it to me. I lifted it to my ear and squeaked out a hello as I heard a woman say my name. She began to speak very slowly and I felt as if someone had just punched me in the stomach and sucked all the air out of the room because I could no longer breathe. I dropped the receiver only to have my husband pick it up to get the news. The news I already knew, but didn’t allow to fill my ears.

Our baby wasn’t hiding anywhere. It was right there in my womb. Only it no longer had a heartbeat.

Although that little being did not come to be with us here on earth I do believe everything happens for a reason. Despite the statistics of miscarriages how often they can occur we knew it would take some time for us to heal.

We trust and believe we were not meant to know that child or who they would’ve become. It is because of this experience that we now have our sweet little flower, the newest addition to our family and we thank God everyday for the blessing that birthed her into life.

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From Where I’ve Been

If I started this blog a few years ago, you may not know I was the same person.

I have changed a lot over the past couple of years.

Some of it voluntary and some of it involuntary.

It hasn’t always been easy. Arriving where I am today is a blessing. I was a lost soul before. I was not myself and am not sure I really knew who “I” was.

I know years before I had an identity. It looked something like this:

Daughter. Wife. Mother. Friend. Artist. Entrepeneur. Nanny. Lover of all things chocolate.

It seems that all ended somewhere around December of 2001, which sparks a roller-coaster ride to craziville for a while.

After that a lot of my life becomes fuzzy. Remembering dates and events isn’t easy for me, sort of like amnesia if you will, but selective. I guess you could say it was a survival tactic. To this day I am not sure why I have such a hard time recounting memories of my life. Admittedly even if you ask me dates and such events that most people can and should be able to rattle off without thinking about it, I have difficulty.

Today my identity looks more like this:

Motherless. Divorcee. Mom. Survivor of DV. Friend. Lazy Artist. Newlywed. Step-Mom. New Mama. And on a journey to rediscover all things chocolate.

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