Due Date

If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans.

I am a planner. Yep, I was that 8 year-old kid with the day planner in fourth grade. No Lisa Frank for this girl, I went straight for the working woman’s official black cover with contact list in the back. So, flash forward and the pregnant me has an official Word document with a list of Labor Plan A, B, and C eight weeks before the baby is due.

My husband and I like to consider ourselves responsible parents, and I was pregnant with our second child, so we felt like we knew what to expect. We had almost five weeks to go and had planned a special date night (dinner and a movie) for what we thought might be our last date for some time.

Then, things started to fall apart. The movie we planned on seeing was not being shown anymore, so now what? I felt the hormones starting to rage-how could our last date night be ruined? I’m too pregnant to do anything BUT sit and watch a movie. What now? Being true to my womanly instincts, I decided we would just go shopping for the baby. My poor husband had no choice but to say, ‘yes.’

We walked up and down every baby aisle in Target and bought what we still needed. We even went to Sam’s club and bought diapers! On the way home, we picked up a pizza to complete our romantic night out. Only God knew our baby was coming in four days.

Three days later: our daughter jumps off the couch and hurts her ankle. Not bad enough to drive to the hospital, but bad enough to be concerned. My husband and I debated whether or not he should even stay home with her. I was leaning towards, “No, she needs to tough it out-she’ll be fine.” But, he stayed home. Six hours later, he gets the phone call my water broke. Any other Wednesday he would have been an hour away at his job; only God knew he needed to stay home to be five minutes away from me that day.

Five weeks early-nothing prepares you for this.

It’s starting to sink in. My baby is not coming home with me. Our son is having trouble with his suck/swallow/breathe reflex-which is typical for premies. I hate hearing him be called that. Until this moment in time, a premie to me was just an adorably small size in children’s clothing. Our daughter is stuck at home with kind relatives because it is flu season, and she is not permitted entrance into the hospital. 11:00 PM the last night of our hospital stay, we whisper, “I love you’s,” through the plastic box and leave our two day-old son. Nothing prepares you for this.

Thirty miles later, we are greeted by our happy, but worried little girl who wants us to take off our hospital bracelets, so we don’t leave her again. She wakes up crying, saying, “I miss my brother!” I didn’t know it was possible for a three year-old to miss someone she’s never met. The next morning, we kiss her good-bye and tell her, ” I love you.” Nothing prepares you for this.

The back and forth days begin, and my heart breaks with each good-bye. How can I be two places at once? Only God could sustain an impatient, control-freak through 10 days torn between her son in the NICU and her daughter, at home.

Only God brought us home together after 10 days of heartache. Now, I appreciate and savor every sleepless night, every beautiful, strong, healthy cry, yes–even every dirty diaper. When you are stripped of all motherly duties the day your child is born, you treasure each moment you lost. God’s plan was much bigger than my plan, and only God can create such beauty from a mess.

Check out this book for more on Only God moments:
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Only God, by: Dwight Mason

Psalm 94:11 The Lord knows all human plans; He knows that they are futile.

My teacher peed her pants

Every mother has a labor story (or two, or three). We proudly wear them around like Girl Scout badges and jump at the opportunity to swap them with one another. In some mommy circles it is a full-out battle to see whose story is the best. Don’t worry; I’m not that mom. In fact, I think every story is deserving of honor-you gave birth to another human being, that alone is worthy of something! So, today is the actual due date of my five week early son, and i would like to seize this opportunity to share my, no, HIS labor story. Feel free to share yours, too.

Five weeks ago, preschool snack time (side note: I’m a preschool teacher), my water breaks all over the rainbow rug. With my first child, my water had to be broken after the epidural, so this flood-like sensation was brand new to me. I muttered to myself, “I’m peeing my pants…” wait, no, in a much more audible voice, I say to my classroom assistant, “I think my water just broke!” And, that it had.

I quickly scan the class-a room of 16, 3-5 year olds were munching Teddy Grahams and sucking down juice boxes, not a clue as to what was happening right in front of them. None seem too concerned by the sudden leak, none but one boy whose eyes met mine with a look of horror. This little boy speaks not one word of English, and because of this has become one of the most observant students i have ever taught. He relies totally on visual cues and routine, and he was certainly not going to miss this one visual cue that was about to drastically alter his snack time routine. His mouth hung open, straw frozen in time, his little mind probably racing with the thought, ‘my teacher peed her pants.’

In a matter of seconds, the children were escorted out of the room, and I was lying on the floor on the phone with the hospital. It is every teacher’s worst nightmare to have her water break at school, and I was living it. Thank goodness I teach preschool, and they were all very sympathetic to the fact that their teacher had just peed her pants.

Soon, a herd of black teacher shoes-you know the kind, department store special, comfort, not style-were gathered around nervously chattering about what should be done next. Someone hands me a penguin stuffed animal to use as a pillow…I am fighting shock and still pinching myself, “Is this really happening?”

12 hours later, I am holding my newborn son and a small penguin stuffed animal-a gift from his sister and a memento of his grand entrance.

The Biggest Loser: Post-Partum

It just so happens that the timing of both of my children’s births fell immediately before seasons of The Biggest Loser aired. This created my favorite guilty pleasure, watching two hours of The BL every week. What’s so guilty about that, you may wonder. Well, if I’m being completely honest, watching the show is only half of it. I cannot watch the show without eating. Not carrot sticks and Jennie-O turkey, I eat JUNK. Carmel apple cheesecake, double-stuffed Oreo’s dipped in chocolate, ice cream brownie sundaes-yep, junk food at its finest. I don’t know what possesses me to do this. Maybe it’s a way of supporting the contestants through sympathy eating. Maybe it’s secretly my plan to make it onto the show I love so much. Whatever the reason, it’s delicious entertainment. So…

Hey, NBC, listen up! I’ve got a pitch for you, a surefire way to make ratings skyrocket: The Biggest Loser: Post-Partum. It would be inspiring, it would be life-changing, it would be…hormonal! (which we all know leads to great television). How many times have you heard it? How many times have you said it? “I’m still trying to lose my baby weight!” Let’s stop blaming our babies and take control of our health (with the help of Bob, Jillian, and Dolvett).
Every mom is holding onto at least one pair of pre-baby jeans and maybe perhaps an entire pre-baby closet (guilty) that she hopes to someday fit back into. While waiting for someday to arrive, there are a few options:

1-keep wearing maternity clothes and hope no one notices the elastic band around your jeans
2-squeeze yourself back into pre-baby clothes, ignoring the pain and ignoring the unsightly bulges and gaping fabric
3-go shopping for new clothes in a size you do not want to be, with money you do not have, with an infant who does not want to be shopping with you

Pick your poison.

While waiting for Bob Harper to call, I have been googling post-partum workouts. They really don’t exist. Either the workout is so easy my grandma could do it or so intense I give up before starting. Yet, in all of my searching, I finally found a workout that is working for me. If you’re interested, check it out:

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/health/lose-baby-weight/workouts/post-pregnancy-exercises/?page=10

For added fun I complete the exercises in an upstairs/downstairs circuit, alternating doing one exercise upstairs, the next downstairs to burn a few more calories.

On a final note, I would like to wrap up this post with my first,
“You might be an insomnamomma if…”
While watching the Biggest Loser you admire Bob Harper’s leather burp cloths and fail to notice they are not burp cloths at all, but rather a hip/modern style of patchwork. You also fail to notice why thinking they are burp cloths might seem strange…

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*Try googling Bob Harper’s weird leather shirt and see for yourself!
**Image courtesy of fiercefatties.com

Just how many button down shirts does a nursing mom need?

I love nursing camis. I LOVE them! But, I am not a fan of the solo cami-even at home on maternity leave, with only a toddler and newborn to see; I feel so exposed (and quite cold sometimes!). Therefore, the need for a button down shirt arises and, alas, I can only find four of them in my closet (one of which is from my high school days and will barely button at all). For two weeks, I made it work, and then things started to get sloppy: zipper hoodies, loose fitting tee shirts, the contemplation of the all-day robe. None could replace the button down. Zipper hoodies were dangerous to that precious newborn skin. Loose fitting tees require the lift and tuck method, which causes armpit cramping (yes, it’s a real thing), and the all-day robe is a slippery slope leading to a life of less showers and excess junk food intake. So, insomnamommas, after much late night, half-delirious contemplation, I have a solution: the nursing momma mullet: (see pic) it’s business on the top and party on the bottom. A great way to solve your nursing wardrobe dilemmas. If you’re like me, you will discover you actually do own several button down shirts-the ones you wear to work! Remember work? That place you used to go and do stuff? Now, I know the tops won’t exactly coordinate with your comfy sweatpants, but hey it’s all about functionality. You are welcome. 🙂

The nursing momma mullet

The nursing momma mullet

The late night diaper change

It’s inevitable-diapers that need changed every two hours when you’re awake still need changed every two hours when you’re asleep. It is during these zombie-state changes that my little angel morphs into the Incredible Hulk. The screaming, the almost inhuman strength, the turning green-I mean red with rage-so insomnamommas, how do you so it? I have tried the slow and gentle humming and quietly unbuttoning of the onesie. I have tried to move as fast as possible-the get in, get out shock and awe approach. Neither has proven successful, but I am just curious as to what works for you:

How do you conquer the late night diaper change?
(polls)

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Thanks, good luck, and Godspeed!

Once in a lifetime

As a mom I have found there are several once in a lifetime moments:
The day you first hear your child’s heartbeat
The day you bring your baby home from the hospital
The day your child takes his first steps
Tonight, I experienced another once in a lifetime mom moment:
The day your foot gets peed on by both of your children within the hour
Yes-foot, singular, the SAME one. How did they do it? How did my three year-old (potty-trained) daughter and one month-old son have the precision, the timing, the pure skill to pee directly onto my left foot? Let’s just say I really hope this is a once in a lifetime moment and not foreshadowing of sock-soaked days to come.