Detoxed - The Habits I Hope to Keep

05 May 2016

So I did it. I "detoxed." My last post had me thinking about it, and now it's done.

Ten days of no sugar, dairy, grains, legumes, alcohol, caffeine (!!).

Ten days of early rising and nightly epsom salt baths. I oil pulled and did honey masks and dry brushed my skin and kept a gratitude journal. I never skipped my vitamins and got a lot of extra fiber. I've wanted to do something like this for a long time. The only other time I tried a protocol like this I lasted for about 18 hours before I crumpled onto the couch and Jacob force-fed me some toast.

It started out with a two day caffeine headache. And the morning of day three I was completely shaky and nauseated until Jacob made me my very elaborate smoothie and I got my blood sugar back up.
He refused to make it again and said something about wanting to support this "experience" but not wanting to be my sherpa. Fair enough.

After the awful Day 3, I upped my starchy vegetable intake and did better. After I got over the initial headaches and general aches, I just felt kinda normal. I don't know what I expected: maybe to bolt out of bed in the mornings and do jumping jacks to the bathroom or something?

But I felt good about myself - I was proud of myself - and I liked that.

Anyhooo. Here are some of the practices from the ten days that I want to keep up.

Oil Pulling
I've oil pulled on and off throughout the years. My teeth tend to be sensitive, and they're noticeably less sensitive when I'm oil pulling. I've been doing intermittent oil-pulling for the past couple months, but on the detox I didn't miss a day. I would get up, get my spoonful of oil, and swish while I went about my morning routine. I just went to the dentist on Monday and wanna know something: NO CAVITIES. Every time I've gone do the dentist since having babies I've had between 2-4 new cavities. This time: none. I even had him double check the two teeth my last dentist said had cavities that I didn't have filled. Nada.

So maybe you're not a believer, in which case, please don't cramp my placebo.

Dry Skin Brushing
I love dry skin brushing. (I use this brush.) My skin feels so much softer when I'm doing it regularly. The naturophiles make a lot of claims about dry skin brushing - some even involving cellulite. I never believed this, but now that I've been doing it pretty regularly, I'm just gonna cross all my fingers and say...maybe?

Psyllium Husk
Psyllium husk is straight fiber. I purchased it in a powder form and for the whole ten days, I took an extra ~500mg throughout day mixed in water. It doesn't taste great, and downing a glass of gelatinous muck isn't fun, but...let's just say... on the southside it's great. I didn't have any complaints before, but now...I didn't know what I was missing.

Omega 3 Daily
My eyes have been dry in the morning for the last month or so, and my optometrist said Omega 3s. In the past I've only taken them while I'm pregnant, but the detox got me back on board, and it's already helping a lot. I take this one.

More Nuts and Seeds in my Smoothies
Traditionally, I only make smoothies in the summer and when I do they taste like milkshakes. I throw in some spinach and call it good even though it's a sugar bomb. During the detox I had a daily powerhouse of a smoothie with berries, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, flax, chia, hemp and avocado. We have a Vitamix which creamed everything right up, and I did find it carried me really well all morning.

Taking Baths the Right Way at the Right Time
I'm not really a bath person. I find them kind of a hassle. But I got into the nightly bath during the detox. Not the bath part so much, but the things that surrounded it.

1) I would draw the bath for myself first, swish the epsom salts around, add a little essential oil. Then I would go change into a robe, and waltz into the bathroom like someone else had drawn me a bath and I could just slip in. Decadence is in the detail.

2) After the bath, I would put fresh pjs on and crawl into bed. I'm the type that wears the tank top I've had on all day instead of pajamas, and I pretty much always seems to have spit up or drool on me, so this whole being clean and having clean clothes and crawling into clean sheets was really awesome.

Ditching my Phone at Night
I've been meaning to get off screens at night for such a long time, and now I'm finally in the swing of it. While I'll still watch TV with Jacob, I've tried not to to read on screens at night. I have no idea if this is helping me sleep because I still have a baby that wakes up a lot, but I know it helps my heart. I do better if I don't lull myself to sleep with online articles and instead open up my:

Gratitude Journal
I've started journaling. Good ole fashioned hand written journaling. Sometimes I'll write for awhile, but usually I'll just list a few things from the day that I am grateful for, then examination-of-conscience style, I'll jot down the things I wish I'd done better, and end with some positive self-talk as I remember what I did well. I'm pretty self-critical, so this last step is crucial for me.

There you have it, friends! Until next time!

Thinking about Detoxing

11 April 2016

The two littlest are working their way through Roseola. Roman was a pretty high maintenance little invalid, but Lucy June is sweeter than sweet. She lies on the couch and every once in a while lets out a melodramatic sigh and says: "I'm shick." 

When Jake was a baby, he was so rarely sick. Now that we have three littles, it feels like someone always has something: a runny nose, a rash, a cut we're making sure doesn't get infected. Weirdly, this malady-train has taught me about living in the moment. I want my kids to be well. I try to keep them healthy, but ultimately I can't control whether or not they get sick, so I have to let go. I also can't wait for the moment when everyone is simultaneously OK to finally relax because that moment may never come. I have to learn how to hold a beautiful Sunday evening in one hand and a feverish toddler in the other. 
That said. All the little sickies have got me thinking about some kind of detox. 

I'll (roughly) follow Mark Hyman's 10 Day Detox which is a lot like the Whole 30, but only ten days and with lots of specifically detoxing foods. Hyman is the president of the Institute of Functional Medicine. I listened to a lecture of his about biological food addiction, and then I got his book from the library, and now I'm worried that I'm a little too dependent on high glycemic foods. His detox involves daily exercise and a powerhouse of a smoothie in the mornings and a lot of journaling and reflection and Epsom salt baths in the evening. It also discourages screens before bed. So it would have me commit to ten days of new routines that I might want to implement.

People swear by by low-glycemic protocols, and I want to see how mine does on one. I'm starting to have those lovely complaints like brain fog and dry eyes and puffiness and junk in my throat in the mornings. I'm starting to feel older. And instead I want to feel me some optimum wellness

I tend to turn my nose up at detoxes probably because I'm pretty bad at doing them. I'm really good at eating mostly healthfully: lots of veggies and salads and intentional this and that, but I'm terrible if I have to give up my coffee/cookie mornings and wine/chocolate evenings. Terrible. I can forgo the occasional kettle-cooked potato chip binge, ice cream, yogurt covered pretzels, strong margaritas, and big hamburgers, but if I mess with my coffee or my wine or their attendants, we're talking toddler levels of brain integration and mood management. Once I wrap my brain around that hurdle I'll be on my way.

So that's what I've been thinking about. Since yesterday anyway. I'm writing it here because - as Gretchen Rubin has convinced me - I'm one of those unfortunate people who needs external obligations to get stuff done. And since Jacob has zero desire to ever ever do anything like this with me, you, little blog, get the job.

 No commitments yet, though. Still just planning. [And Jacob's somewhere laughing.]

More JakeTalk

01 April 2016

Even though I posted some kiddo talk like five minutes ago, I just found these in my drafts, and had to share them before they got too dusty.

>> 1 <<
Jake: How old are you?
Me: 30
Jake: But Papa's 30 and he's a lot bigger than you.
Pauses
Jake: Is he 30 and a half?

>> 2 <<
While the kids were playing with their uncle who fell down lifeless on the couch for ten long seconds:
Jake: Oh shut, Lucy June. I think he's really dead.
>> 3 <<
After biting his cheek:
Jake: I accidentally ate myself.

>> 4 <<
Overheard from the other room:
Jake: OK, Lucy, this is gonna hurt a little bit.

>> 5 <<
Jake: It's deleeeeeeeeeecious.
Me: What's deleeecious?
Jake: Deleeeecious is so so happy it's Mary tickling Jesus in your heart.
(Hashtag catechesis)
>> 6 <<
After introducing him to his little brother, Roman John:
Jake: (disappointed)...oh...I thought we were going to name him El Tio.

>> 7 <<
Jake: The other day on Nana Suzie and Opie's porch, we heard a sound like a squeaky toy, so I went ta go see what it was. I said it was a snake, but Papa said snakes don't squeak. But it was a snake eating a frog whole. He was swallowing it. And there was another frog literally watching the scene while his brother got ate.

And that, my friends, is a true story. I can verify all of it except the family status of the frogs.
Pics from The Rock where Jacob took little Jake camping and fed him bacon, chocolate, and marshmallows for breakfast.

(Jake: But mostly just chocolate and marshmallows)

Linking up with Kelly for ole times sake.

Before and After: Our First Remodel

30 March 2016

Remember once upon a time when we bought a house with two of my brothers and remodeled it? Maybe you noticed that we moved out of it, and I never mentioned it on the blog again? A couple readers (literally two) have asked to see pictures of that effort. Here I go channeling my inner Joanna Gaines and making good. These are some of the original listing photos followed by our listing photos after the remodel.

Before
After

Backyard Before
Backyard After

 Living Before

Living After

Bedroom Before
Bedroom After
Guest Bath Before
This is actually the after pics of the Master Bath...but you get the idea:
Kitchen Before
Kitchen After

Sigh. That felt good

We are elbow deep in our second remodel project right now, and it hasn't gone as smoothly and we're learning a lot. Like I've spent the last month learning how to solo parent at my folk's place while Jacob redoes the sewer line. I've been a real sport about it.

Happy Wednesday! Hope you enjoyed the pics!

Follow the Little Rhodes

28 March 2016

In another attempt to break my blogging silence: we'll go with the old fashioned what the 4 year old and 2 year old have been dishing out lately.

>><<
At dinner when Jacob leaned in to tell little Jake something:

Jake: Dad, you're throwing beer smell in my face.

>><<
After Jake overheard me saying something would be a "life saver," he agreed:

Jake: Yeah...Such a light saber. 
>><<
Lucy June, say Everybody.

"Eddybuddy"

>><<
Lucy June, say Everybody.

"All de buddies"

>><<
Jake: Mom, what's R2D2 + C3PO?

>><<
The sewer line backed up, and Jacob said he was going to check the clean out. Jake hopped off his stool and ran to his room. He came back with a mask and snorkel.

>><<
Lucy June, what's your bday?

"Octumble twenty seconds"

>><<
Lucy June, what's your bday?

"October two toesies"

>><<
After I told him that a certain health food fed the "good guys in his body":

Jake: Mom! There's nothing in my body except blood and snot!

>><<
While sitting in the overflow room at Mass on Easter Sunday, Jake turned to me and whispered: "Mama, I love watching this TV show at Mass."
>><<
After we finished eating at a restaurant, I packed up the diaper bag, fished out my keys, slung the bag over my shoulder, hiked up my 25 pound six-month-old, and started the long walk to the car. Lucy June pounded both fists in the air and started yelling: 

"Go Mama Go! Go Mama Go!"
>><<
Overheard while Jake was playing in the bathtub:

Jake: Better settle in for the winter. You're not dead till you're warm and dead.

>><<
Lucy June, say Popsicle
"Popsi-tickle"

>><<
Lucy June, say Amen
"I'm a man"

A Third Baby's First Week of Life

03 March 2016

My, if it hasn't been a few months of totally unexplained if entirely explainable absence.

Three kids.

Three kids has me whooped. I'm pretty sure our fourth kid will be an accident.

We're gonna dive right in with a catch up post just in case little Romie ever wanders through the archives and asks if he had an infancy.

You did, Romes, a really jolly one.

Roman is remarkably good-natured. As I'm lugging all 22 pounds of him from room to room while I chastise a four year old and potty-train a two year old (her choice not mine), sometimes I remember to look into his face. He looks at me so adoringly. It kinda floors me. I do my best to stop and love those moments, but I'm not very good at it.

Ok. Here we go. Roman's first week of life.

When his brother and sister came to visit him in the hospital the first time, I was holding him in my lap, and when he heard their voices, he craned his head back and forth and his eyes searched the entire room. Meanwhile they were beelining for him: Lucy June couldn't contain her glee when she first saw him. It was magical.

Magical.
I'd never seen one of my newborns respond to voices so obviously.

He came just a little bit early - earlier than all the other kids. I had scheduled a loan closing on Tuesday, but he was born on Monday. Jacob went to the appointment and while he was signing a million documents I was watching all three kids by myself in the hospital room. With some help from Winnie the Pooh and Netflix Too, it went remarkably well. It was stressful though. I held my breath and waited for everything to devolve for the entire two hours.

Roman's early life has had many of those moments. Darker moments. Moments where his stubborn mother doesn't seek out the help she needs and puts too much on her plate until her stress and anxiety start to leak out all over her house and into her relationships.

I couldn't skip the closing even though I'd had a baby, so I was scheduled to sign my name a million times on Wednesday right before we planned to take two day old Roman to have his bilirubin checked. So I would go sift through papers for twenty minutes and then we'd take the baby to the pediatrician. I was not excited about this, but it would be OK. We could do it. It would be fine.

Then Lucy June fell off the top bunk. Right onto her head. My was it horrible. It started swelling immediately, and we were just a few minutes from leaving for the closing/pediatrician outing, so we figured we'd muscle through the closing and then get some eyes on the little girl's head at the doctor's office.

Jacob dropped me off at the closing, while he drove around the block a few times with the kiddos. Lucy was unhappy, but lucid with a lump. I shuffled into a swanky office and sat down in a leather chair at a conference table and signed and signed. I felt like such a body - a fragile body in a room designed for pantsuits. Then there was a knock on the door. It was Jacob carrying Lucy June, and both of them were covered in vomit.

So we expedited the pediatrician visit. We piled in the car. The newborn was crying, everything reeked of vomit, I was hyperventilating.

At the pediatrician's office I tried to settle the baby down and feed him in the newborn area. The triage nurse who was checking on our probably-concussed daughter came over to ask if a suspicious triangle-shaped indentation on Lucy June's forehead was normal. Through tears I shook my head that I couldn't tell. Had she fallen on a lego? She did have a widow's peak. Maybe that was it? The triage nurse patted my shoulder, told me we would probably need to have some imaging done on her, and left me to my tears and my newborn.

Things quickly got better. By the time we saw the doctor, Lucy June was playing with toys and sporting her black eye like a clumsy champion and was pretty much her normal self. He told us to go home and call if she vomited some more.
Jacob had a huge job starting the next day that he couldn't reschedule. So my mom descended on our house like an angel of mercy and took care of everything. My friends picked up Jake for playdates. Lucy June and her shiner hung out with my mom. I nursed my baby and my very bruised postpartum tailbone.

Then it was Sunday - Jacob's day off - and the toilet backed up into the bathtub, so Jacob got to spend the day digging a hole in the backyard to reveal a broken sewer line.
And that officially rounded out the baby's first week of life.

I don't write these things to complain or to elicit a rush of combox sympathy. I write them because I'll probably want to remember them.

Some of it is funny. Some not so funny. I want to write it down. I need me some catharsis or something.

Or probably should remember them. There's more craziness to add to this. This was just week one.

Life is exhausting right now.
But I'm learning how to settle into good moments.
Also, these are all pics from back in September. Roman now looks like this:
Perpetually flanked by siblings.

And like this when sausaged into a size newborn baptismal gown.
Working Caption: Husband leaves room for the Holy Spirit at Baptism

The Ro Man's Birth Story (Part All of It)

29 September 2015

I usually write birth stories in installments. But for this one, I didn't. Which means it's LONG. Be warned. I don't have the mental energy to make it any shorter.

It was Saturday morning. I was 39 weeks along, and I started having contractions. My BH contractions had been strong and getting stronger for weeks, but this particular Saturday morning they started to feel a little different, a little more REAL. But they weren't regular: they would stop altogether for hours at a time.

Both of my previous labors had started in the morning, and from the first faintest contraction I pretty much knew it was real, and then went on to have a baby by supper time. Not this time. This time I had no idea what to think.

I hadn't really expected this baby to come before his due date, and I still didn't think he would, but I decided to fish some onesies from the unpacked boxes and toss them in the washer just in case.

Some of my Houston cronies had organized a pedicure date, so I went to get my toes done and wondered if a little ankle massaging would send me over the edge. It didn't. The contractions just kept on going nowhere for the entire day. I fell asleep that night wondering if they would pick up, but the sun greeted me and my still pregnant belly seven hours later.

All day Sunday I had spotty contractions. We went to Mass. 2 contractions. We got donuts afterwards. 1 contraction. We got some soccer gear for Jake and picked up a Craigslist find. 2 contractions. I got home and took a little nap. 0 contractions. Went to a birthday party. 3 contractions. By this point I was gearing up for a week of this kind of thing.

My brother and his girlfriend were coming over for dinner, and as we made dinner that night the contractions started to get a little stronger, so Jacob made me lie down. And no surprise: they stopped almost completely. I got up to have dinner and had a couple more contractions during the meal. They were stronger, but I could still sit and talk through them with relative ease. Jacob and I had enough sense to put my brother on call in case I actually went into labor that night.

We went to bed at 9:30, and I fully expected to wake up the next morning still pregnant. These fizzly every fifteen minute contractions just didn't have me convinced that I was truly in labor. I fell asleep and fifteen minutes later woke up with a contraction - it's rather jarring to have a contraction while half asleep with drool all over your face. A few minutes after the contraction I convinced myself I was not in labor, and a few minutes after that I fell asleep again, and a few minutes after that I was lurched awake by another contraction. This repeated itself about six times before I couldn't get back to sleep and thought maybe I should call my midwife.

I called in around 11pm, and as warm and maternal as the midwife image is, I could hear over the phone that she was not very excited about her middle of the night patient. I told her that I'd been having contractions for two days and while they were still fifteen minutes apart they were getting stronger and my last labor had escalated rather quickly and I just really really wanted this baby to be born where we'd planned for it to be born: in a hospital and not in Jacob's work truck or the hospital lobby or something. She gave me a very inviting: "Well, it's your third baby, so if you think you're in labor then you should probably come in. How far apart are your contractions again?" "15 minutes" Silence "Well...it's your call." Second guessing second guessing second guessing. RESOLVE "I think I should come in."

So we called my brother and packed up the hospital bag, and by 11:30 we were on our way to the hospital.

I'd never been in labor at night; I'd never wanted to be in labor at night. But the traffic-free, one-contraction drive to the hospital was nice. Jacob and I chatted and I fretted about not really being in labor and making my midwife come in in the middle of the night just to turn me away. The contractions still weren't picking up at all, and I was nervous they would peter out altogether. We self-parked and took the elevator up to the main floor of the hospital. The woman at the welcome desk smiled big and asked us if we were coming in for an induction. At this I almost turned around and went right back down the elevator: one harmless question had convinced me I wasn't in labor. But onward we trudged to triage, and soon I was in a gown waiting for my midwife who showed up about 1 contraction or ~10 minutes later.

Verdict: 4cm, 90% effaced. "Well you're definitely staying."

And so it was. We were actually about to have a baby. These noncommittal contractions seemed to be doing something.  We were here in plenty of time to settle in before labor got too intense. I was very pleased.

And then the poking began. The veins in my left arm weren't cooperating, so they switched to my right. There was a billing issue that I had to sort out. Medical history questions, an interview with anesthesia, and a slow ride up to labor and delivery where I was able to sit on a ball while lucky Strep B me got a round of penicillin and an IV bag until PLEASE GOD CAN I JUST GET IN THE TUB ALREADY.

I've had all three babies in hospitals, but with the first two I was pretty hazy by the time I arrived - Lucy June was practically born in the hallway - so this was the first time I was very aware of just how many annoying little things had to happen before I could just hunker down and labor. FINALLY all the pokes and questions were done, and the midwife had guessed correctly that Jacob and I just wanted to be left alone, and the OB nurse was drawing me a bath, and things were looking up.

Contractions sped up a little during all the checking-in part and were around 45 seconds long and five minutes apart. They were getting more intense, but Jacob was helping me get through them, and things still felt pretty chill.

I'm gonna get a little sidetracked now, but hang in there and I promise I'll get back to the riveting birth story soon or you can just scroll down and pick it up (spoiler: a baby comes out of a mother's bottom area - that's the version Jakeboy heard anyway).

During my first labor, Jacob was not very helpful. Early labor was all nerves and making last minute preparations. I wanted to manage my own contractions while they were still easy with the hope that when they got more intense Mr. Husband Childbirth Coach would swoop in with some sweet relief, but this was stupid. You see, by the time the contractions became more intense there was no teaching people how to help me. I was a mad mess of "STOP TOUCHING ME WHY AREN'T YOU TOUCHING ME!?!?!?"

This blog isn't really into advice giving, but if you're hoping to go natty and you're envisioning some kind of laboring-wife-loving-husband dance through the waves of childbirth, then consider trying this: have your husband help you through contractions in early labor, when they're still easy. Tell him what helps and doesn't help. By the time labor heats up, he'll have a good idea what to do. In my second labor, I had Jacob help me through contractions from the get go. When the contractions were easy, I had the patience to vocalize what was and wasn't helpful. By the time my contractions were intense and rationality was flying out the window, Jacob had kinda figured out how to help and could keep on being helpful. Like super helpful.

In this last labor, Jacob would put a lot of pressure on my lower back and kind of push my hips together, and it made my contractions very manageable. Sometimes his hands would slip a little and I would become a banchie woman and curse at him in my head until he'd repositioned his grip and marital harmony would be restored once again.

By the time the antibiotic was done and the tub was ready, my contractions were still a solid five minutes apart but they were strong and would peak two or three times before fully letting go. The nurse said the bath was ready, so I shuffled to the tub after a contraction, but the contraction wasn't done yet. It was a doozie. And while the nurse tried to cool the bathwater off a little, I stood next to the tub and lifted my belly up with my hands to get a little relief as the contraction peaked two more times.

Finally: the tub.

It was deep, and it was beautiful. I sank into that thing and went contraction-free for a solid twelve minutes. Twelve minutes of watery bliss, my thoughts were a litany of love for everything and everyone in the world.

I finally started into a contraction, and I didn't move. I didn't expect it to be too strong, and I was feeling so zen, I figured I would channel my best Ina Mae and just float right on through it. But it was intense. LOVE. More intense. MORE LOVE. But then my eyes popped open and the love bubble burst abruptly because: PRESSURE.

The contraction let go, and I sunk back into the tub in disbelief.

Pressure?

Really?

Probably not really.

On one hand I didn't even want to hope that we were almost at the end, and on the other I had only JUST gotten into the tub and I was not ready to get out. So I didn't mention it to anyone and settled back into my bath. After a nice watery ten minutes of no contractions I had positively convinced myself that no, that hadn't been pressure.

As the next contraction came along, I pulled myself to sitting in the tub and grabbed the interior rail so Jacob could put some pressure on my lower back. It was long and big and at the peak: more pressure. After the contraction I managed to convince myself again that it wasn't REAL pressure. After two more contractions like that I started to get a little...vocal...and had to admit to the inquiring husband that maybe?? I was feeling?? some pressure?? At which point he stood up, called the nurse, turned to me and ordered me out of the tub immediately.

He handed me a big towel and the nurse instructed me to dry off really well. So while I was dutifully drying off (??? because God forbid some residual tub water get on the bed where we're about to push out a baby???) and fussing with the hospital gown, I started into the MotherContraction.

I basically crawled across the room and onto the bed, the nurse checked me and her eyes widened. She told me I had a tiny bit of cervix and my bag of water was bulging, and then she said something else, but I could hardly understand her because she was frantically trying to get a hold of my midwife. My contractions weren't letting go and I was holding onto the bedrail and all of a sudden my midwife was there and checking me and the contraction let go. She asked if I wanted her to break my water. I said no. Then she said, "Well, you can push if you want."

I can't really describe my reaction to this. I liked how calm she was, but at some point I wanted my baby-catcher to do a little cheerleading, perhaps a resounding "you're complete" or maybe a "let's do this!" but she wasn't giving me that. So I said: "I'm feeling a lot of pressure." And she said "Uhuh" And I said: "So I'm gonna push." And she said: "OK."

And then I did.

That contraction saw the biggest push of my life, complete with the guttural female warrior repertoire. I'd convinced myself that the baby was pretty much out, but at the end of it the midwife chimed in: "He's crowning."

And I thought "CROWNING?!?" My first baby had "crowned" for something like twenty minutes while my second had been out in two pushes, so I was pretty sure I'd graduated out of this "crowning" business, and I was blaming everyone in the room that the baby wasn't out yet. If that push hadn't gotten the baby out, it certainly wasn't my fault.

The next contraction kicked in and after another huge push, the baby's head was out. My contraction let go, and I stopped pushing, and my midwife made her first definitive statement of the evening: "Katie, you've got to get this baby out." So I pushed and pushed, and another contraction kicked in, and the baby was out.

And there he was squirmy and swollen. A boy! One of his ears was folded down. He was very upset. And he was big.

And I was beat. I was meeting my son, and my foggy brain was searching for some kind of euphoria, but I was mostly just aware of how tired I was.

It was three o'clock in the morning. I was hungry. I hadn't eaten anything since six. I was begrudgingly enduring all the post-birth prodding. The baby was wailing, and I wasn't very successfully trying to get him to nurse. My midwife was talking to the nurse about how she'd been asleep and that's why she'd barely made it. Jacob was telling me how proud he was. I was grateful to be done, but I was totally exhausted.

I looked down at this new little stranger and thought: I'm sure I'll love you tomorrow.

And I did, one meal, a few hours of sleep, and 1800 milligrams of ibuprofen later. 
Now my baby and my pedicure are three weeks old. The baby - at a solid 11 pounds - is aging a lot better than the pedicure. Jacob is working a lot, but I'm getting a ton of help from friends and family. And, boy, do I need it. I honestly don't know how we'd function without it because we're barely functioning with it. I feel so humbled and grateful, and I'm really trying to dwell in those emotions because the alternatives (exhaustion, anxiety, sheer terror) are never very far away.

My mother once told me that three kids really killed any illusion she had that she could "handle it." And, mom, if I was under any illusion that I could handle it before, consider me enlightened. And on that note I'm off to buy this because it's on sale today and because YES.
And if you're still there and by some impossibility want to read MORE?!?!

Jake's Birth Story

and

Lucy June's Birth Story

Knock yourself out.
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