Breastfeeding Reaction

Thursday, March 29, 2007 10 Comments A+ a-

While breastfeeding on Sunday, I had the most surprising reaction I’ve ever received. Jon and I were planning to run errands after church on Sunday. (Translation: Jon wanted to spend his birthday money at Home Depot.) Since we live in a different town than where we attend church, there weren’t a whole lot of options to breastfeed Hudson. We decided on McDonald’s, where we could grab a quick lunch and Devyn could play while I fed Hudson.

We all trooped to the back of the restaurant and picked the very last booth. There was no one else around, with the exception of this woman in the booth next to ours. She originally had her back to us, so it was no big deal. As I got out the blanket and pulled Hudson from his carrier, the woman decided to switch sides in her booth and was now facing us. We were all situated; Hudson at my breast and a blanket covering us the entire time. Suddenly the woman looked up from her Sunday paper, saw that I was breastfeeding and gave me the most disgusted look I’ve ever received. She then shook her head and started mumbling under her breath. I watched as she took part of her Sunday paper, tucked it into her purse, and created a wall to where she didn’t have to be offended by my feeding my son. Both Jon and I were just amazed at her reaction.

During the whole year I breastfed Devyn and even these last six weeks of breastfeeding Hudson, I have never had a reaction such as that. Most people are very understanding; some moms will even exchange private smiles with me. While others, at the very least, will avert their eyes if they’re uncomfortable. But this woman was incredibly offended by my decision to breastfeed Hudson in public, so much so that I kept expecting her to walk over to our booth to say something. *Sigh* Oh well, what's a person to do with a hungry, crying baby? I just smiled, shared a look with Jon, and went about my business.

Has anyone else had something like this happen to them? How did you handle it?

Sun and Laughter

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 5 Comments A+ a-

These were taken after church on Sunday. It was a warm afternoon and Devyn, Aunt Courtney, and I played outside. We kicked balls around, played chase, and swung Devyn in circles. It does a mother's heart good to see my child so happy and care-free!

Pajama Day

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 2 Comments A+ a-

It's a pajama-kind of day. It's almost 11:30 in the morning and we've yet to change out of our pjs. The sky is dark with clouds and a mist is coating the air. The perfect day to stay indoors, cuddle up, and watch movies!

[Side Note: Yes, I'm aware that my son looks 6 months old in this picture, instead of six weeks, and it makes me so sad!! He's growing so fast!]

Birthday and So Much More

Saturday, March 24, 2007 10 Comments A+ a-

Monday is my husband’s birthday; it’ll be the tenth birthday that we’ve celebrated together. We don’t have any big plans, just dinner out, but it’ll be the first date we’ve had since Hudson’s birth. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to a night out without the kiddos.

I’m also reminded of a very special birthday that we celebrated six years ago; the day he asked for my hand in marriage, the same day I agreed to be his forever.

In the weeks leading up to his birthday, Jon made such a big deal that his birthday was coming up and because it was “his” day, we had to do whatever it was he wanted. I remember groaning inwardly because I knew that whatever the plans, they would somehow include fishing. And quite frankly, the thought of fishing in the middle of winter rarely enthralls me. Looking back, that should have been my first clue that something was amiss; Jon is rarely that adamant about plans on his birthday.

His birthday arrived and like I’d assumed, the original plan was to go fishing and then spend the rest of the day in the local mountain town, window shopping, grabbing a bite to eat, and then maybe take an old-fashioned picture. I thought nothing of the plans, they seemed relatively routine to me, even the old-fashioned picture. After all, we’d been getting those pictures taken since the very beginning of our relationship. However, I was saved, at the last minute, of having to go fishing when it started snowing.

Jon decided that before anything else, we were going to get the old-fashioned picture taken first. He parked the car and ran into the studio to make sure that it was open on a weekday, in the middle of winter. He came back out to get me and we went inside to decide on the costumes we were going to wear. When I suggested that we both be outlaws, he looked at me and asked if I’d rather wear a dress. When I reminded him that I’d always worn a dress in our other pictures, he shrugged and we changed into our clothes.

The photographer positioned us for the photo; with me on a chair and Jon standing behind me. She got behind the camera and started counting down to the upcoming flash. All of a sudden Jon interrupted her, “Wait… hold on a minute.” I looked over at him, trying to figure out what was wrong and noticed that Jon was on his knees and holding out a jewelry box. As I gaped at him, and as Jon asked me to be his wife, the photographer took the picture.

I was in shock; for months I knew that this moment was coming but I was so sure that Jon would not be able to surprise me. I’d even gone as far as to place a bet with several people; I was truly convinced it wasn’t happening for another month. I was in such shock that I’m not even sure what words Jon used; I only remember asking Jon “Is this for real?” When he nodded yes, I giddily said yes and he placed the ring we’d picked out together on my finger.

I love that Jon proposed on his birthday, it makes for a wonderful memory on an already special day. On Monday, we get to celebrate his 26th year of life, and the sixth anniversary of the day that we agreed to be husband and wife.

He's Alive!

Thursday, March 22, 2007 9 Comments A+ a-

Hudson is now staying awake longer and is starting to interact with us more; we even been graced with a few precious smiles. Its so fun watching a little person emerge from the sleeping newborn.
I know I'm the biased mama, but isn't he beautiful?!

What a Man!

Thursday, March 22, 2007 7 Comments A+ a-

I actually have the words to TLC's song running through my mind right now. "What a man, what a man, what a mighty, mighty good man." (Ok, now I feel like such a dork!)

Anyway, do you want to know what I find sexy? A man who, after working hard all day, comes home, sits himself at the table with our 2-year-old daughter, and plays with play-doh. Now that's a real man!!

Such a Girl

Monday, March 19, 2007 7 Comments A+ a-

Jon and I are of the mindset that each of our children are individuals, and as such, will have different hobbies, interests, and extracurricular activities. We feel our job as parents is to encourage and support them in their endeavors. Obviously, until Devyn or Hudson can start expressing their interests to us, we’re doing our best to introduce them to different things. For instance, Devyn took swimming lessons in the fall and she’ll take them again this summer. Next fall, we’re planning dance lessons; we’re taking her skiing in the winter; and in the spring of 2008, we’ll introduce her to soccer. The list goes on and on… (Hudson is only four weeks old; therefore, we have no plans at this point.) At some point, we know Devyn will come to us and let us know what hobbies or interests she wants to continue pursuing.

In the meantime, it has been an absolute joy watching Devyn’s personality develop and change. (And I look forward to getting to know Hudson as intimately.) As well-intentioned as we are to expose our children to everything, I can’t help but think that the environment our children grow up in will play a part in how they turn out. Devyn is turning into such a girly-girl and I wonder, is that truly Devyn? Or does growing up around me and my three sisters play a part in it? Regardless, I love it and I’m getting such a kick watching it unfold. I especially LOVE the following two stories…

My sister, Courtney, started painting Devyn’s fingernails and toes a LONG time ago, much earlier than I preferred actually. In fact, I asked Courtney to keep the painting to Devyn’s toes, until recently.

Now Devyn and her aunt Courtney have a special date once a week. Devyn will hold out her hand to Aunt Courtney and point at her fingers. Aunt Courtney will laugh and tell her to go get the polish and Devyn runs into Aunt Courtney’s room, opens the correct drawer, and grabs the pink nail polish. Devyn then runs to Aunt Courtney and the two will spend the next 20 minutes painting Devyn’s nails. Once they’re done, the two will blow on Devyn’s nails and wave her hands in the air until they’re dry. I’m quite certain there is nothing more precious than watching a 2-year-old run up to Daddy to show off her pretty, pink nails.

And then early last week, Jon and I took the kiddos to Old Navy to shop for Devyn’s spring and summer wardrobe. [Side Note: Does anyone else have a problem with some of the clothes available for little girls? Since when do we want to dress our babies in mini-skirts and daisy dukes?! Ok, rant over.] Devyn and I were in the little girl section and Devyn had gotten out of the stroller and was wandering the clothes with me. After a while, she grabbed a shirt off the rack, ran up to me, and said, “Soooo cute!” She then proceeded to place the shirt in the stroller and did it again with a pair of pants. At one point, she switched from “Soooo cute!” to “Pretty!” On and on it went, as Devyn wandered from one rack to another. Needless to say, I was getting such a joy out of watching her that I neglected to realize how many things I needed to put back on the racks until Devyn had accumulated quite a pile.

The above photo was taken yesterday after church. She wore one of her new dresses, her favorite if the dancing and twirling are any indication. I’m loving my girly-girl…

L-O-N-G Birth Story

Thursday, March 15, 2007 8 Comments A+ a-

I was inspired by my friend, Amy’s, post regarding her son’s birth story and I’ve decided that it’s high time I get Hudson’s birth story written too. Amy, I hope it’s ok that I’ve borrowed your idea and am also posting it on my son’s one-month birthday. This is a long story; you may want to grab a cup of your beverage of choice before getting cozy.

After three weeks of dealing with false labor, staying dilated at 4cm, being 50% effaced, and at zero station, my due date passed without so much as a boo from Mr. Hudson. I was SO ready to be done with this pregnancy. Hudson had dropped so low, it seriously felt like he was going to fall out at any moment.

Dr. Susie scheduled an ultrasound to verify that Hudson was measuring on time, part of the hospital’s protocol before scheduling an induction. At the ultrasound on Wednesday morning, Hudson’s was measuring at 41 weeks and the technician estimated his weight at eight and a half pounds. Needless to say, this mother was panicked at the thought of such a large baby and was certain that a c-section was in her near future. I finally called Dr. Susie that afternoon and asked her for a plan; I’m a woman who likes having a plan! We both agreed to a scheduled induction on Saturday, a week after my due date. I was finally relieved, knowing there was an end in sight.

Wednesday night was one of the worst nights of my life; I couldn’t DO anything to get comfortable and beyond that, I was in pain!! My joints were crying for relief; my hips were misaligned; and I couldn’t sleep, even while sitting up. I remember crying out to God, begging for mercy! On Thursday morning, my mom sent out an email to family and friends explaining the situation (8 ½ pound baby boy and mama at her wit’s end) and asked for prayers. God heard their prayers and mine…

Around 1:15 in the afternoon, I put Devyn in bed with me and we settled down for a nap. The first contraction woke me about 2:00; I rolled over and went back to sleep. The next pain came approximately 10 minutes later, with another contraction coming 10 minutes after that. For some reason, I got up and called the doctor’s office, telling them I needed to come in for a labor check. I couldn’t explain it; these pains just felt different and I knew I needed to be checked.

Mom drove me to the office, while my sister, Allison, stayed with Devyn. Upon being checked, I was now 4 ½ cm dilated and 75% effaced, the on-call doctor, Dr. Beth, said it was my choice, I could either go home and wait or head to the hospital to be monitored. While the Dr. Beth called Dr. Susie to get her opinion, I sat in the room with tears rolling down my cheeks. Mom asked if I was crying because of the pain or if I was afraid of being sent home; I answered “both”. The on-call doctor returned, saw my tear-splotched shirt, and gave me a big hug. Upon Dr. Susie’s advice, the hospital had been called and they were expecting me. Dr. Beth said she was almost positive I was in active labor, that they can usually tell just by looking at the patient’s face. I tried putting on a brave smile and got in the car with Mom to check in at the hospital.

The 20-minute drive to the hospital was spent in a flurry of calls. One was to Jon’s foreman to let him know that he needed to get Jon down off the mountain and to the hospital ASAP; I’ve never heard such a panicked male voice in my life. Another call to my sisters to give them a heads-up about the latest developments; to make plans to get Devyn to my aunt’s house; and get my sisters to the hospital. During this drive I proceeded to have another three contractions but again, there was no pattern or regular rhythm to the contractions. In the back of my mind, I was sure that I was going to be sent home again.

We checked in at the hospital around 4:00pm and the nurses went through the usual protocol. They got me hooked up to the monitors, they took my vitals signs, asked what level my pain was at on a scale from 1 to 10, and started jotting their notes. Jon arrived in all his driving-gear glory, never had I been so happy to see him. The contractions were definitely getting worse; I’ve never felt such pain in my life. But of course, I couldn’t get an epidural… the nurses didn’t know if I was staying yet. After being checked again, now at 5 ½ cm dilated and 90% effaced, the nurses left to confer with Dr. Susie. I looked at Jon with tears in my eyes, the pain getting worse with each contraction. He leaned over, kissed my cheek, and asked if he could do anything for me. I slowly nodded no, just grasped his hand as each contraction started. He offered his iPod, the same iPod that plays the worship music that got me through so many tough pregnancy moments, and listening to the words of the worship music definitely helped me get through each contraction.

Finally, around 5:30pm, the nurses and Dr. Susie agreed that I was in active labor and would be staying. I almost started crying at the news; I knew I wouldn’t be leaving without my newborn son in my arms. The next couple of hours seemed to fly by; everything seemed to happen in such a rush. Forms were filled out, my sisters arrived, I was given antibiotics because I had tested positive on the Strep B test, etc. but through it all, I made it very clear that I wanted the epidural as soon as possible. Of course, nothing is as easy or fast as the medical shows on TV, there would be no epidural until my blood work came back from the lab. They gave me some other pain medication that the nurses swore would take the edge off the contractions; I don’t want to call them liars but it really didn’t help… at all.

Dr. Susie arrived around 6:00pm and smiled into my face, “I guess this baby just needed to be threatened with an induction, huh?!” I laughed, unable to believe that this time had finally arrived. The epidural-giving-doctor finally arrived around the same time and I gladly bared my back for the pain relief. Jon, the doctors, and the nurses were joking about the movie ‘Cars’ and our son’s name but I barely paid attention; I just wanted the pain to stop. Just before I was given the epidural, I was checked again and was 8cm dilated and 100% effaced. I was progressing a little too fast for Dr. Susie’s liking, she really wanted the antibiotics in my system for four hours before Hudson made his arrival. Dr. Susie was hoping that the epidural would slow things down a bit. She told me to relax, try to rest, and even get some sleep, if possible.

Mom, my sisters, and even my dad returned to the room and we were able to spend about 20 minutes talking. What a difference with the epidural!! I could still feel the pressure of the contractions but there was NO pain associated with them at all. My dad finally left at 7:00pm, to wait in the waiting room and to watch ‘Survivor’. Jon called his dad, told him he may want to hurry to the hospital and if he didn’t mind, would he please pick up a sub sandwich for Jon? Jon, after all, was starving. Within approximately 20 minutes, my body started shaking and I felt such intense pressure, I knew that I was fully dilated! Dr. Susie checked me again, laughed, and said, “Here we go”. She assembled the nursing staff, remembering it only took me 20 minutes to push Devyn into the world. She got dressed into her scrubs and then broke my bulging bag of water.

I had Jon by my head, while Mom held my left leg and a nurse holding my right. My three sisters were standing behind the doctor and nurses; anxious smiles across their faces. I pushed the first time, listening to the cheers of the doctor and nurses. I smiled at Jon; he rubbed his thumb across my cheek. I pushed the second time, and could feel Hudson’s head crowning. And then we waited… and waited… and waited for another contraction. During that five-minute wait (it felt so much longer than five minutes, let me tell you), I was able to reach down and touch the hair of my baby boy; I was able to lock eyes with my sisters who were in such awe, they had tears in their eyes; and I was able to get encouragement from Jon and my mom. Finally the long-awaited contraction arrived and Hudson came into this world after only three pushes and five hours of labor.

He was absolutely perfect; a strong little boy, with powerful lungs. They placed him on my chest and handed me the scissors to cut the umbilical cord. Jon had cut Devyn’s umbilical cord and I wanted to cut the cord for my son; it was purely for symbolic reasons. My mom and sisters were all crying openly and Jon and I were in shock that our son was finally here. They kept Hudson on me far longer than they ever let Devyn, probably because he was in much better shape than Devyn was. Within half an hour, my mom and sisters had left, giving Jon and I the privacy that we wanted to bond with our son. After the long wait, Hudson Jonathan was finally here!

Now a month later, he already weighs over nine pounds and is growing like a weed! He has a much darker complexion than Devyn and we *think* he looks more like my side of the family but it’s probably still too early to tell. I’m a bit sad because I realized yesterday that Hudson is growing and changing far faster than Devyn ever did. He doesn’t even look like a newborn anymore, but I’m also just trying to enjoy each moment, without living with regrets or fearing the future. And I can honestly say, every pain, every uncomfortable moment, was worth it!!

Three Reasons

Monday, March 12, 2007 8 Comments A+ a-

There are three reasons that I know I'm blessed...
The latest love of my life; he has found his way into my heart and I can't stop staring at this beautiful babe.

She burst into my life and turned it upside down; I'm constantly amazed at her gentle, loving spirit.

He walked into my life over 10 years ago; there isn't a day that goes by I don't marvel at his goodness. There's just something about watching your husband love on the children you created together.

*Sigh* My heart and my soul are overflowing and happy! Thanks be to God for these undeserved blessings...

Family Visit

Sunday, March 11, 2007 2 Comments A+ a-

My cousin, Jared, and his girlfriend, Sarah, came to visit from another state during their spring break. It was a wonderful visit and we really enjoyed seeing them. During their trip, we were able to get together with some of my dad's family for dinner. A lot of the family members met Hudson for the first time; I especially enjoyed showing him off to my grandma Rose...

Again, if this isn't working, you can click here for the photos. I'll get this figured out eventually...

Keepin' It Real

Thursday, March 08, 2007 7 Comments A+ a-

Phone calls, text messages, and emails have gone unanswered for weeks now. I want so badly to reach out and return family and friends well-wishes but I know they want to gush about my newborn and/or motherhood and I’m just not there yet.

When I had baby blues after having Devyn, I would cry at the drop of a hat. Jon often recounts the infamous story of walking in the house to find me sobbing in front of the TV, where moments earlier I had been fine. I know during that time I was mourning the loss of coupledom; knowing that Jon and I were no longer a twosome, the end of an era. Combine that with the inexperience of a new mother and you have a basket case on your hands. Within two weeks, the baby blues subsided and my joy in motherhood blossomed.

Here I am, entering my fourth week as a mother of two, and the baby blues have yet to dissipate. I’m not breaking into sobs, or even tears for that matter. These blues have left me feeling completely inadequate as a mother. All my confidence in my mothering skills has flown out the window and as I told Amy earlier this week, I feel like I’ve lost my mommy “mojo”. Three weeks and one day ago, I knew exactly what I was doing; I knew every one of Devyn’s cries and what they meant; if a temper-tantrum was being thrown, I knew exactly how to handle it; if Devyn was being extra fussy, I could pinpoint the exact reason why. At this point, I keep reaching blindly for the brake or an exit door, anything to help me make sense of the chaos.

There are moments of reprieve, however, in the form of my husband, family, a special moment, or the simple feeling that I’m not alone. A conversation with my friend, Sarah, forced me to recognize that I need to offer myself grace; that as a new mommy of two, I can’t expect perfection. On Wednesday, my parents took Devyn with them during a five-hour drive through the mountains, leaving me home alone with Hudson. I took the time to memorize my son’s face; to cuddle with his small, pliant body; to connect with him. I was/am so thankful that I got that time alone with him and it turned out to be a wonderful experience for Devyn too. It had been three long weeks without seeing her spirited, independent streak and I was only too thankful to see it return.

In all honesty, the baby blues haven’t left yet but I’m wavering between good and bad moments. There are the moments when I wish I could get into my car, roll down the windows, and take off on a long, winding interstate into the unknown. But then there are other moments when I feel so incredibly blessed that I’m humbled into tears of gratitude. I know I’ll get through this, just as I got through it the first time, but for the time being, I’m just trying to keep it real.

No one said motherhood was easy and when a loss of hormones has been added to the mix, you sometimes end up with this… So, for those of you waiting to hear from me, I promise it'll be soon. I just need a little extra time to gather my bearings and try to find my mommy "mojo" again.

My Sleeping Babes

Sunday, March 04, 2007 17 Comments A+ a-

Every so often, but not nearly often enough, there are moments in my life when I’m brought to my knees in awe and disbelief that I’ve been given such precious gifts. Tonight was such a moment…

Jon was lying on the couch with Hudson sleeping on his chest, while Devyn and I were sitting together on the other end of the couch. Without a word, Devyn crawled from my lap, across the couch, and lay on the other side of Jon’s chest, facing her baby brother. Softly, slowly, and in rhythmic motion, she started caressing Hudson’s face, his neck, and his hair; all while watching his face adoringly. Within moments, her eyes began to close and she fell asleep while embracing Hudson. Needless to say, I was moved to tears.

The new photo that I’ll treasure the rest of my life.

1st Haircut

Saturday, March 03, 2007 9 Comments A+ a-

Yesterday Jon and I took Devyn in for her very first haircut. Devyn was blessed with these gorgeous, natural curls and my biggest fear was that they would be lost upon the first cut. (I know this is incredibly vain, but I can’t seem to help myself.) Anyway, I’ve noticed how straggly her hair was starting to look and her hair was starting to lose that curl, so I swallowed my pride and admitted it was time…

We took her to Cool Cuts 4 Kids, where they get to choose a movie to watch (she chose Cars, of course!) and sit in these fun seats during the cut. They even include a lock of the child’s hair and a picture of the first cut (see above). They only took an inch off, but it seems to have made all the difference in the world. Her curls are as bouncy as ever and it looks healthier too. I think I survived… Whew!