Tag Archives: motherhood

BEING THE MAMA MEANS…

IMG_4635-Sacrificing your sleep (and your super comfortable pregnancy pillow) for cartoons on the couch at 1am with your fevery toddler
-Getting dressed and driving to Walgreens at 4am when Tylenol is just not doing the trick and you realize you’re all out of Advil
-Trying your hardest not to go off on the all too chipper cashier who’s taking her sweet time and making small talk because going to Walgreens at 4am is obviously your favorite thing to do
-Grabbing a Minions blind bag at the register in hopes that it will appease the sick, crying toddler you left in the bed with your husband who has to be at work in 2 hours
-Hearing your toddler quietly say “thank you” as you give him said medicine which puts him right to sleep, but not without clutching that plastic minion in his tiny hand.

18 MONTHS IS RAD

We’ve entered a new season in our house. Gone is my rolly polly little baby scooting across the floor. The days of endless backaches and rocking him to bed are few and far between. I’m no longer carrying around 5lbs of luggage every time we leave the house and there are no more middle of the night wake up calls or bags under my eyes (I’m particularly excited about this one!).

Instead we’re running and chasing and playing peekaboo around the corner. The giggle that erupts from the pit of his stomach and stops him in his tracks when I pop out and say “BOO!” gets me every time. He’s listening and showing me exactly what he wants and his tiny personality is beaming through, which also means there are times when he just doesn’t know how to communicate something and he’ll throw himself on the floor. As much as I hate to see him cry, it’s kind of hilarious how frustrated he’ll get if I give him strawberries instead of watermelon or when can’t find the exact toy he’s looking for. As my mom would say, “testing…testing…1 2 3”.

He is just so much fun these days and has me cracking up 95% of the time. We’re singing songs and clapping our hands and he’s generally just my little sidekick these days. I love waking up in the morning and kissing his sweet cheeks and planning out our days. The difference between 8 and 18 months is so drastic but it’s also so great. We’ve been sleeping through the night (thanks to co-sleeping), I get to do a solid 30 minutes of yoga most mornings and I’m even going to start doing some freelance work from home again. It really feels like we’re in such a good groove right now. There’s no other way I’d rather spend my days and going back to work in an office again seems like a death sentence.

Even though he feels like such a big boy these days, when he crawls in my lap and rests his head on my shoulder he’s zapped back to my teeny tiny baby in an instant. Or when he falls down and I’m the first person he runs to. I hate seeing his poor knees all scraped up but I love being the one to comfort him. And when my back is aching from a terrible teething please hold me all day day and I try to hand him off to Dad for just one minute and he shakes his head and says “no no no”, I kind of beam inside.

While I most definitely want to have another baby someday, this stage in life is so great that I can’t imagine interrupting it. My doctor recommended that I not wait and “complete the family as soon as possible” but pregnancy for me means some form of bed rest and there’s no way I’m missing out on 9 months of afternoon walks or trips to the park right now. It may sound petty and childish but I just really don’t want to feel excluded from anything. I love picking up Cooper and spinning him around the living room and I’m not ready to give that up. I will squeeze every ounce of baby out of him that I can.

This motherhood thing isn’t always easy and it’s definitely not glamorous, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the cosmos. Even if all my clothes are stained and my floor is covered in crumbs. IMG_9794 IMG_9792 IMG_9795 (1)

BIRTH STORY

It was a Saturday and I was 35 weeks pregnant and dragging Corey to Ikea for a rug for Cooper’s room because how could I possibly bring home a baby to a rugless room he wouldn’t even use. To me it made perfect sense and Corey gave up trying to keep me in bed. My feet ached the entire 20 minutes we were there and I had to stop and sit on a pile of boxes halfway though the store. But we made it out of there with the dang rug and I felt like I won.

I woke up in the middle of the night feeling wet but I blamed it on a swift kick to the bladder even thought I really didn’t think I peed myself but what did I know, so I just cleaned up and went back to bed. The next morning I was getting ready for work but promptly needed a bagel. STAT! We were in the car on the way to the Dunkin’ Donuts at the end of our street and I looked over at Corey and very casually asked, “You don’t think my water could’ve broken and me not know it, right?” and without missing a beat he said “No way! We’re going to 40 weeks!” Ok, then! So I ate my bagel and went to work.

I was there not even 15 minutes before I was calling the doctor’s office telling her that it was definitely not pee and it was best if she not ask me how I knew. With instructions to go straight to Labor and Delivery, I slapped a frantically scribbled sign on the front door to the bookstore and rushed home.

When I got there Corey was just casually walking around the house, the bags I packed the week before already by the door, combing his hair like it was any other day. I could hardly breathe the entire way home. I was sweating and just wanted to get to the hospital after the way my doctor sounded on the phone. We pulled up and I was instructed to wait in the car. This time I listened. Corey ran back out with a wheelchair that still had an oxygen container strapped to it, but I didn’t ask any questions. They got me in a bed and told me to wait. I’d been to the hospital 3 or 4 times during the pregnancy for spotting and because I’m just an all around crazy person, so I knew the drill. It could be a while.

The nurse came in and checked the monitors strapped to my belly. “I don’t see any reason why your water would be broken, but I guess we’ll see,” she said looking at my chart. I immediately felt self conscious like I had no idea what I was talking about because this was my first baby, but she grabbed a little test strip and “well whadda ya know. It looks like you are having a baby!”

Well whadda ya know! Hmph!

We broke out our phones and started making calls. “Yes, TODAY! I know!”

They wheeled me up to the room where I was going to give birth to our son and told us to wait. One thing I learned about pregnancy, you’re always waiting for somethingWait, wait, wait. So we did.

We got to the hospital at around 10am on Sunday and Cooper wasn’t born until 4:49am Monday morning and I started pushing at around 2am (?) so that means we had 16ish hours to kill.  Truthfully, I really have no idea what we did all day except that I had to use the bathroom every 5 minutes which meant Corey had to wheel my IV behind me and it was such a hassle. By the time I made it back in the bed and managed to get comfortable again without pinching any cords or pulling the monitors off my belly I had to pee again. It was a vicious cycle. We didn’t take any pictures and I wasn’t even nervous which really surprised me. Corey watched football and I putzed around on my phone. I looked back through my Facebook messages and found a few with my friend Stephanie telling her what was going on in the hospital (IV fluids, antibiotics, pitocin), but that’s about it. Corey’s parents stopped by and my mom was on standby (she slept in her clothes just in case!). I ate an apple pie from the McDonald’s down stairs.

So far I hadn’t felt more than just mild cramping. Nothing major until about 10pm. I know it was 10pm because Walking Dead just ended and we must have dozed off for a couple minutes because Talking Dead just started when I woke up to some serious pain. Enough to take my breath away. The real stuff. I gritted my teeth through a few contractions trying to gauge exactly how much pain I was in and if I should wake up Corey and page the nurse. The last thing I wanted was to press the call button and have them tell me I was only 3 or 4 centimeters dilated like I was two hours ago. But the contractions were really strong and my heavy breathing woke up Corey and the nurse was on her way. She came in with a bag of medicine to put in my IV because I was “probably not dilated enough for the epidural”.

I laid back so she could check everything out and I got a tiny bit worried when she scrunched her eyebrows and went in for a second feel. “Honey, you’re 8cm. Do you want that epidural?” I was in so much pain I couldn’t even speak. I just shook my head. Corey phoned the parentals and told them to get a move on and then not even 5 minutes later the lovely, beautiful, anesthesiologist came to make it all go away. Too bad the first thing she made go away was my husband. Hmph.

I thought I would be nervous about the epidural but when the nurse stood between my legs while the anesthesiologist drew on my back, I leaned into her breathing through a fierce contraction like she was family. It’s funny how quick your shame goes out the window when there’s contractions involved. I used to think how embarrassing, you’re just there with your legs open and all those people in the room, but when the time came I was all come on and get a good seat up front.

Anyways, the epidural was like falling into the softest, fresh out of the dryer, quilt and taking the world’s longest nap. I was rejuvenated. My legs weighed 500 pounds each, but I was feeling mighty fine! By this time our parents were there and they were all complaining that it was “the most boring labor ever” because I was not the insane crazy lady they all expected me to be. I just wasn’t in any more pain. I was and then it was gone. No problem!

When it was time to start the action and things weren’t happening and the doctor said “ok, let’s turn off that epidural so you can feel when to push” yeah, that was different. Wowzers! I don’t even know how to put it into words. I pushed for over 2 hours but after it as over it felt like 5 minutes. At one point the doctor asked if I wanted to reach down and feel his head. No, thank you. A few pushes later she grabbed my hand and I felt his head alright. It’s not that I didn’t want to touch my baby, I just definitely did not want to think about what was going on down there, if you know what I mean.

The room was filled with people, my mom, Corey and his mom, my doctor, two nurses, and the NICU team (maybe 3 or 4 people). It was a full house and like I said, no shame. I did make everyone happy and get out 2 F bombs though. And before I knew it my mom was yelling “look down!” and I had to try and sit up and look over my still pregnant looking belly. He didn’t cry out like we were hoping, but instead just made a few grunts and looked around with the biggest eyes I ever saw. He was beautiful. And he had huge feet.

They wrapped him up and put him in my arms for a brief 30 seconds and off he went. I already knew he’d need to go down to the NICU because I was only 35 weeks (cut off for babies going straight to the regular nursery is 35w1d and we were 1 day short). It was definitely not the delivery I expected but in that moment I wasn’t the least bit sad. It was still full of tears and joy and so much love. I knew he was being well taken care of and I breathed a sign of relief that I did it. Another thing I wasn’t expecting was the 3 week stay we had in front of us.

At first, I’ll admit, I felt robbed. I wanted to be like everyone else and be able to sit in the hospital bed with my baby all wrapped up in the outfits I packed for him while our family and friends stopped by to catch a glimpse, and I didn’t get to do that. Instead I was wheeled up to an empty room and got up in the middle of the night, not to feed or change him, but to pump out a measly ounce of colostrum and walk it slowly down to the NICU on the 2nd floor. But looking back on it, we were incredibly lucky because he was perfectly healthy, just small, and we’d be home in no time. When it was happening those 3 weeks dragged on and I was convinced they just wanted to keep him forever, but now I know that 3 weeks is nothing. And just because my experience is different from a few other people doesn’t mean it wasn’t special and great and the absolute best day of my life. It was just that – different. Ask me at the time and I would have done anything to change it, but now I realize the whole situation made me a better mom. I savored every late night wake up call, feeding and diaper change because I felt so privileged to be able to do it and knew what it felt like not to. And to top it off, I got a 3 week intensive crash course in infant care from the best of the best. By the time we made it home I felt like a pro. It’s all about how you look at it.

One thing I’ve quickly learned about Cooper – he does things on his own time. He was conceived within the 1st month of stopping the pill, born at 35 weeks, and still isn’t walking at 15 months. That boy has his own agenda and we are rolling with it.

We love you baby boy. To the moon and back.

IMG_3782Cooper - Newborn

IMG_3803IMG_3828IMG_3831IMG_3887IMG_3860IMG_3894IMG_3905IMG_3916Cooper_announcement

COOPER AT 15 MONTHS

Mama & Cooper - 15 months

Even though the days are long and sometimes I say I’m going to the bathroom and just sort of hide in there for 10 minutes scrolling though my Instagram feed, 15 months is the most fun I’ve had so far.

It’s like things are starting to *click*. He repeats words, can sign a few things (light, all done, more, food), knows where some of his body parts are and when I say “where’s the ball?” he actually goes and finds the ball! It’s crazy. This little human is emerging in the place where my little baby used to be. Some days I look at him and can see him as a 5 year old under those cubby cheeks and crazy hair and then the other day he let me rock him to sleep in the baby position (you know, across the arms like a tiny newborn). He hasn’t let me do that since he was 6 months old. It was one of those days where I rocked him in the living room longer than I needed to, but I just wanted to lock away that exact moment for safe keeping.

His personality is really showing through and if it’s any indication of what he’s going to be like when he gets older, than I’m in for it. He’s starting to play little games with me – like I’ll take his paci and put it in my mouth and usually he thinks it’s hilarious trying to get it from me, but now instead of just putting it back in his mouth he’ll take it and throw it across the room and start cracking up. Or when I’m picking up his magnets for the 574 time in one day he’ll crawl over so fast and dump the box back out on the floor with the biggest smile on his face. I just love it.

Right now I’m getting a kick out of asking Cooper if he wants a snack and he shakes his head yes or no, and when I ask if he wants more banana he signs more. After all these months of one sided conversations he’s actually joining in! I mean we still have the days where he has no idea what he wants and he’s just pointing and grunting and getting so mad because I’m just as confused as he is, and those are hard. But being able to see his mind working is the best.

For all you brand new mom’s out there still in the haze of exhaustion AKA the first 3 months, there is a light at the end of that tunnel. It gets better! It really does.

And in true Mom fashion I’m totally convinced my kid’s a genius. I’ve been mentally making this list for a while and am finally writing it down so that one day I can go back and brag (again) when he’s older. Without further ado, here is a comprehensive list of all the words Cooper has said in his 15 months of existence in no particular order:

  1. mama
  2. dada
  3. bubba (my mom’s dog, but now all dogs are bubba)
  4. kitty
  5. mine
  6. me
  7. cheese
  8. shoes
  9. thank you
  10. please
  11. duck
  12. pretty
  13. ball
  14. hello
  15. hi
  16. banana
  17. yes
  18. no 
  19. go
  20. book
  21. hotdog
  22. yummy
  23. baby

I know, I’m just as impressed as you are, and if you’re not impressed keep that nonsense to yourself.

And because I can, here’s a video of Cooper laughing to bring it home:

16 WEEK UPDATE

16 Weeks

After a long day of work and making dinner, we decided to run outside and snap a few pictures since I was feeling extra bumpalicious. And when I saw the pictures on the computer I totally started freaking out.

“Where did that come from?!”

“Is it really that big already?!”

“But it wasn’t there last week!”

I am convinced this bump just showed up and then doubled overnight. While I absolutely love it and find myself rubbing my big Buddha belly all day long, I did not expect to pack away all my pants and cute dresses (thanks to going up 2 cup sizes already!) this soon. It is officially time to break out the stretchy pants!

And I apologize if my glowing white legs are hurting your eyes. I am yearning for my Jergens tanning lotion, but until December I’ve decided to embrace the paste! 

I really can’t believe that I’ll be 17 weeks on Monday and starting my 5th month already. Time is flyingggggg by. When I mentioned this to Corey he just looked at me and said “yeah, time flies when you’re in a coma”. It’s true, I have been sleeping so much you’d think I was reliving my high school summer vacations. It’s gotten better lately, even though just yesterday I was caught cat napping on the couch after dinner, but for the first three months I was literally in bed by 7pm at the latest. I never even felt the tired coming on but then BAM! I was out cold.

During one of our earlier doctor visits Corey even asked the doctor, “When is she going to stop being so tired?!” I tried to explain to him that the word tired doesn’t even cut it. Drowning in a sea of exhaustion is more like it. Making a baby is a hard work!

Current Cravings:

Bean burritos!
Ice cream (mint chocolate chip, pleaseeeeee)
Gallons of water
Salt & vinegar chips

And here a few pictures from the last couple of weeks:

13 weeks ultrasound

13 weeks  – the first ultrasound that looked like more than just a tiny spec. Would you look at those little bones! My heart might just explode out of my chest!

14 week bump

14 weeks – just a teeny tiny I-ate-too-many-donuts bump. 

15 week bump

15 weeks – turning into less of a food baby, and more of a real baby bump!

16 week bump 16 weeks – Woahhh mama!

I go back to the doctor on Monday and we will (hopefully!) find out whether it’s a boy of a girl! I am counting down the days and if the baby doesn’t cooperate I am going to be so completely and utterly crushed! so fingers crossed.

I am team girl and Corey is team boy (naturally). What do you think?

boy-or-girl