The Last Time: A Poem About Children Growing Up That Makes You Want 50 More

 

This poem is one of the best things that I’ve read about raising young children.  It not only made me go into the ugly cry face, I went in to ugly cry sounds.  It is called, The Last Time, author unknown.  Be prepared to grab your children and cry.  I was crying so hard that my four year old asked me why I was crying and then wanted me to read the poem. Then SHE cried because SHE didn’t want to grow up.  Haha….girls.  We are messes.  Enjoy and read at work with caution.

 

The-Last-Time-poem

 

Now go get pregnant to ease the pain and give your nose a good blowing.

Crazy Things Moms Do With Their First Baby

 

Bless our bones, we all have a first child experience.  We’ve all been the crazed overprotective mom doing something totally un-necessary with our first baby.  Hey, we were worried about them and didn’t know any better.  You know, like a mom spraying the air with Lysol after someone sneezed to prevent sneeze inhalation of the invisible particles via the wrinkly ball of baby in the corner.

This post was compiled of stories submitted to me and I enjoyed the diapers off of reading them.  Thanks to everyone who messaged me their stories and thanks to Dawn for the blog idea!  Send me ideas anytime you have something you would like to see me write about.  I’m on it.  Now enjoy the crazy…..

 

“I work with a girl that has an eight month old and a week or so ago she accidentally scratched the baby’s face with her fingernail and she felt so bad that she called both sets of the baby’s grandparents and asked them each to get her a new toy and she herself went out and bought her a new toy. So the little girl got THREE new toys all because her mom accidentally scratched her and it wasn’t even that bad of a scratch.”

 

“I made my husband get up with me in the middle of the night when I nursed.  You know, it was a special moment to share…4 times a night.”

 

“With my first, I refused to eat peanut butter for months in fear of accidentally touching her with it on my hands and triggering an anaphylactic reaction. With my second, I’m pretty sure I dropped peanut butter on her head on several occasions while nursing….”

 

“I use to ride everywhere in the backseat with my newborn while my husband drove and now, I’m not sure why.  Afraid the 5-point, rear-facing, safety harnessed car seat wouldn’t hold him?  Maybe.  Spontaneous combustion?  Always possible.”

 

“A friend of mine was so afraid her child would choke on any food that she used to cut puffs into fourths to feed him. She didn’t let him have Cheerios until he was nearly a year old.”

 

“I ironed my baby’s onesies.”

 

“I took my first baby to the doctor because they cried all night.  Diagnosis: newborn baby.”

 

“With my first baby I would sanitize all of her passies after company left just in case they breathed on them. Seriously.”

 

“I had so many gadgets for my first baby that I was like a CIA agent.  I had gadgets for my gadgets and I went in the hospital to give birth with enough paraphernalia that I was more prepared than the E.R.”

 

“We went to some extreme measures so my 1 year old firstborn could take a nap. We left Holiday World & my parents drove up from out of town and met us to take the baby so they could take him to nap while we rode rides! My parents drove to a hotel lobby and set up a pack n-play. I don’t know if he actually slept in the bed or just on a couch in the lobby. It was a nice, cool place! Why not?! And to get my parents off the hook…it was my idea! Not theirs. I had them come and suggested they drive to a park or the hotel lobby for the nap. It seems so odd to go to those measures now that I have 3 kids!”

 

“A friend of mine would make sure her baby’s ears were folded a certain way when you held him because she was afraid his ears would stick out if they were pressed the wrong way.”

 

“My cousin made his mother gargle with Listerine, put on a hospital gown, shoes and hat before holding his newborn daughter!”

 

PPD update

The million dollar question:  Do I have/am I getting postpartum depression this time?  Before having Salem, I got a lot of questions about how I felt going in to having number 2.  Some would call me brave, others would ask what are the odds I’ll have it again, and some would just ask me if I was scared or worried.  How would I do this time?  I was as interested in that answer as everyone else.  My first blog I posted talking about my PPD was one of my most read posts ever so I know some of you are wondering.

Well…..

Salem is 7 days old today so things could always change, however, I was already on a speedy downward spiral with Eden at this point.  So far, I’m doing worlds apart from last time.  I’m eating, sleeping, no panic attacks, no crying spells…

I have had some hours where I felt in degrees of how I did before.  The first time I had a wave of old feelings was actually in the hospital day 2.  I hit a wall of extreme exhaustion and sleep deprivation and that coupled with hormones is the death of me, my emotions, and logical thinking.  I started having that same sort of anxiety I felt with Eden and it turned into the second night in a row of insomnia due to that fact.  That was scary because just like when I had Eden, people would say, “You just need to sleep.”  I agree.  That’s true but if you are struggling with anxiety, you can’t sleep no matter how bad or desperately you try. I started my antidepressant after delivery and when I told my ob about my one bad night in the hospital, she added the Xanax which I haven’t taken…yet.

I’ve had one or two nights where I couldn’t sleep at home as well due to the exhaustion that breeds overwhelmed feelings.  However, I’ve been able to sleep wonderfully the past 3 nights with no drugs or anything needed, just good old fashioned sleep.

Since being home I’ve had two short lived waves of feelings that, like I said, last about an hour before I return to normal.  I’m not crying on the floor during those times.  I just tell Lance, “Ugh, I’m feeling depressed/anxious…”  and in time it will pass.  That NEVER happened before.  It was intense and  constantly getting worse and worse.  Still, many times a day I feel those feelings lurking in the background.  It’s very much a part of my make-up and always will be.  The feelings stay at bay and daily I monitor how I’m doing to keep them in check.  If I didn’t make different choices this time, I could have still gone down that road again to some extent.

I attribute my doing better this time to 4 factors:

1- I started antidepressants within hours of giving birth.

2- Salem is a very easy baby.  She cries very little and sleeps really well.  Major infant score!  Praise the Lord!

3- I’ve already gone through the life change of sleeplessness and shock of becoming a mom so this time, I knew what to do and what I didn’t want to do again.  Example:  waking a baby every 2-3 hours to eat.  I let her sleep and tell me when she is hungry and naturally, she establishes her own schedule.  All in all, I’m more in my skin and relaxed having done it before.

4- Not breastfeeding….exclusively.

Gasp, yes, contrary to my previous decision to only nurse day hours in the hospital and then quit when I got home, I have been nursing a little.  I’ve been doing a morning, early afternoon, and evening.  That means if she eats 8-10 times in 24 hours, I’m basically doing 3-4 of those feedings.  How and why in my right mind did I decide to change my mind?  Well, Salem latched on the first few minutes in the hospital and is a dream nurser.  There are no complicating factors with nursing this time because she does it with ease and it’s relatively pain free.  This is totally opposite of the experience I had before so I’m actually enjoying a basically effortless, easy breastfeeding experience.  I decided since it was going so smoothly that I felt comfortable to do some feedings.  I don’t nurse at night and only the few during day hours and SO FAR it’s going good.

There is one major component that I’m aware of in this equation:  the hormones required to produce milk.  No matter how smooth the breastfeeding is going, hormones of nursing can kill a PPD person.  With that said, when some people who were nervous for me to make this choice asked me how long I will nurse, this is my answer…

I don’t know.  I’m putting no pressure on myself with any expectation this entire postpartum time period.  Day by day I’ll see how I’m doing and if at point I start to waver or have longer or extended times of anxiety and depression, I will stop.  I am so thankful I’ve had/am having the chance to have a normal experience with this one but I will not put myself at risk for any choice.  That’s for sure.

One day at a time with everything is how I’m approaching this go round.  All in all I am doing a million times better but respect what it is and that it can change and if it does, I’ll change my choices to remain enjoying this time like I am now.

I welcome and, in fact, LOVE questions.  Feel free to ask me anything regarding any issue with this whole PPD thing.  No holds bar.  And if you are a Facebook reader, please post your comments here if you don’t mind, me ladies.   It makes my blog look so sad and lonely when people comment elsewhere.  Don’t give my blog postpartum.  It can’t take antidepressants ;0)

Zaaberry

You know how I feel about things…if I’m going to buy it, I’ve got to love it and it needs some character.  Unless it’s say, toilet paper, I want whatever I buy to have something fun about it.  So, when it came to buying clothes for the hospital for Salem, naturally, I wanted to find something that I thought was modern and unique in some way.  Apparently, I could find little to nothing that met this standard. I mean I looked every where on-line and in stores. I didn’t care if it was fancy.  I’m not a boutique style loving girl.  I just wanted something that I thought was different than polka dots and cheesy phrases scrolled across the chest of a pastel onesie.  Did anyone make a newborn sleeper like that anywhere in the world?  I was beginning to think not.

Then enters Etsy.  I had been looking at custom baby clothes on Etsy and had only found one seller with cute stuff but I couldn’t get what I wanted in newborn sizes.  Then, I stumbled upon Zaaberry, a seller and maker of custom baby clothes.  She made all my infant dreams come true!

She makes rompers, hats, kimono onesies, and even kids backpacks all in modern and cute fabrics that you can choose from OR if you don’t like a bunch of choices, you can just buy pre-made stuff.

Here is a link to her fabric options:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zaaberry/sets/72157629193846591/

Here are images of my custom pieces:

I ADORE this nesting doll fabric.  The colors are even better in person and are a true turquoise, fushia, and mustard.  This set is 18 dollars for both pieces.  Great deal, great set!

I know, this fabric just changed your life.  This is a handmade, custom romper with hat for 29.  LOVE it!

Zaaberry has extremely great customer service and she was super speedy.  When I recieved these items in the mail, I could not believe the craftsmanship.  I have never seen such quality and professional handmade items.  They look better than store bought.  They look high end from every stitch to her handmade tags sewn into the neck.

I can’t believe someone can take a yard of fabric and make these beautifully trimmed and crafted sets but just like Big Foot, they do exist!

Zaaberry made this custom order and had it shipped to my door in record speed and all 4 pieces cost me just shy of 50 bucks, shipping included.

A-DOR-A-BLE!

I highly recommend this seller to anyone who wants something custom and hand crafted whether it be for your own kids or for a “steal the show” baby shower gift.  She is a mother herself so order something from her soon if you are wanting something done in a short time before your baby belly blows or that shower rolls around.  Thanks to her, my baby came into the world naked but left the hospital in style!  I’m really glad it happened in that order too or it would’ve been awkward.

LOVE my order!  You will too. And if you go there, tell them I sent you. If you like rhyming like I just did then stop it right now because rhyming is cheesy.  You thought I was going to rhyme again, didn’t you?  Go buy something cool and redeem yourself.

The Other Side of Motherhood: An Ex-PostPartum Mom’s Journey from Xanax to Overjoyed

I was digging through the big tub of clothes that Eden wore her first few months, trying to see if there were any pieces I could give to someone from our church. Somewhere at the bottom, I thumbed through the onesies that Eden wore over and over her first few weeks here. When I first stumbled on them, my face got hot and I felt a sensation similar to suddenly running into someone who you haven’t seen in a while…someone that it’s really awkward to see. Does that make sense? That feeling of being flushed, nervous, and uncomfortable, feeling the emotions that lead the situation to be uncomfortable in the first place….

I remember when I first bought some of those clothes. I was ecstatic for the little white one with red and hot pink strawberries. I had her wear that a lot when people came to see her. I thought when I bought that outfit that my memories of those days with her in it would be incredibly different. Seeing those clothes now triggered almost a flashback response of panic. An overwhelming sense of, in fact, how overwhelmed I was. When I told my sister about the incident, she asked me if I gave those outfits away, almost certain that I would have. I didn’t though. They are literally hard for me to look at but they were some of her first outfits and she was precious in them. Even if I was falling apart and they remind me of that, they remind me of her too and she was and still is a blessing.

I think what is so disorienting about that time is that I don’t know what feelings came from what. I can’t separate what was just normal new mom feelings and what was the postpartum. I guess in talking with other moms who didn’t go down the road I did, I know many things that are standard: anxiety, crying, sleep deprivation, and the sense of living in a fog. I just wonder sometimes when I look back, if I didn’t have PPD would I have felt many of the same things?

I’ll be totally honest with you. With a lot of guilt for a lot of months, I didn’t feel like ‘it was all worth it’. You hear moms all of the time say, “It was hard but I’d do it all over again.” Or some other passionate expression of their over powering love for their children. I loved Eden. I did. But with a lot of shame inside, I felt the truth of it all, at least initially, was that I didn’t feel like those moms. I didn’t feel like ‘I’d do it all over again’ or that ‘it was all worth it’. In those months, it probably made me feel even more depressed to know that I felt that way “but shouldn’t have”. At least according to the book of what a mom is supposed to be like from the get-go.

It was bizarre. I wanted Eden. I wanted to be her mom. I just wanted someone else to care for her and let me have her back when it was time to cuddle. I guess what I was saying is that I wanted to be Eden’s grandmother. I chuckle saying that because I think this is the first time I’m realizing what I was really desiring. I felt that way because I didn’t have the strength to cope with the shock of becoming an instant 24/7 caregiver overnight. I wanted her. I loved her because she was mine but I didn’t feel like I was tough enough to take care of her. Thankfully, that changed. And actually changed fairly quickly but when you feel like I did, time crawled. Sometimes it all but stood still.

In the beginning, it’s weird because you’ve always dreamed of the moment when the doctor hands you you’re baby and says, “Here she is, mom!”. And trust me, that moment was every ounce of what I had imagined and then some. BUT, I always watched A Baby Story on TLC and I remembered how every mom was like, “It’s instant love. Love like I’ve never felt.” Etc.

I had instant love for her, no doubt, but it was a different instant love. The kind of love that you have for someone because you have responsibility for them. Love because you labored for them and sacrificed for them. Love because they are beautiful. Love because it’s your family and you made them with your husband. There was a lot of that kind of love. What I didn’t feel though is love like I had known love. I know people always say that ‘it’s a love like they’ve never experienced’ but put that fluff to the side because that’s not what I’m talking about. Love before my child was always because of a relationship. Because I knew someone and built a relationship with them full of knowing them intimately and full of memories that made me love them. I was expecting that kind of love with Eden right away. But wait….I didn’t know her! She is a little face that’s reminiscent of family but she was a stranger. I didn’t know why she cried. She didn’t smile at me. She screamed and cried at me mostly. I couldn’t really interact with her at least in a reciprocated sense because, hey, she was only 5 minutes old.

So while I loved Eden, I didn’t know her. While I loved her, there wasn’t a bond…yet. There was a maternal bond but not bonding like I previously knew it. I think I felt troubled by that but the more I talk to other moms both PPD and non-PPD moms, I hear many singing the same tune. I don’t feel like anyone ever talks about it though. I know it really is that great for some women but it can’t be for all. We moms are supposed to be these all loving and perfectly maternal beings that pop a baby out with tears in their eyes with their baby in one hand and a tray of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies in the other hand. We are the superheros of life. Literal life. Not much room left for looking at your baby with an ownership love and connection one minute and then looking across the living room the next minute thinking, “Who is that strange baby laying on the couch? Call the police! Someone left their baby at my house!!!” No one ever says that on a Baby Story. TLC should’ve had me on there. It would’ve been their most memorable episode. You could’ve been a star, TLC.

I’m telling you, both a Baby Story and Bringing Home Baby are as toxic to your expectations as Cinderella and Prince Charming to little girls learning about what to expect with a man.  No one even cries on that show except for the babies.  Give me a break.

In a non-TLC reality, I remember getting a letter from a mom who said, “It’s okay if you aren’t crazy about Mrs. E right now.” Funny, I hadn’t said I wasn’t. Again, I was but in that grandmother sort of way. I was crazy but a little crazy in the wrong the direction. I felt a bond and constant maternal desire to care for her and hold her to me but that drive mixed with anxiety and sleep deprivation was a lethal cocktail exploding in a mess of tears, panic attacks, and not knowing if it all felt worth it. It was nice to hear a normal mother of two on the other side of motherhood telling me that I was allowed to not be dancing around the crib singing praises of infants and my new parenting lifestyle.

Fast forward to a few months after that letter.

I remember when she laughed at me for the first time when she was 15 weeks old. I was holding her over my head while Lance took a picture and she giggled and my heart swelled ten times. There was healing to me in that laughter. I had been out of the fog for a while and enjoying motherhood but even after the weeks of her smiling at me, there was something extra about that laugh that really humanized her to me. I didn’t realize how much I craved that from her until she looked at me and laughed. I was desperate to hear it again because it was thrilling and THAT is what made the bond start to take off. Yes, smiling was such a reward but to have this little girl with a sense of humor that responded to things that really are only funny to a baby….it was amazing.

I can now say it was really all worth it.  The crying.  The laughing.  The screaming baths.  The pills.  The breastpumping sessions for 1/2 an ounce.  The doctors visits.  The pajamas I wore for 2 days with baby poop on them.   

I feel fearful to say I’d do it all over because just the thought of living through that experience again makes my heart beat rapidly as I type it. Still, I guess I would because I really look forward to another baby down the road and this time, I’ll have a toddler, too. Now I’m really getting cocky!

Ultimately,  what I would relive doesn’t matter because God doesn’t measure our love for our children or our devotion to them by what awful things we are willing to endure for them at our expense. Although I would endure a great many and awful things, I  no longer feel guilty that I’m not the first one to raise my hand and say, “I’ll do PPD again because I love my kid thhhhhhaaaaatttt much!”  Beat that mother’s of the world!!!!  (insert eye roll)

I love Eden. I truly, truly love her. I love her now in both ways: Because she’s mine and made of me and Lance AND because I know her. I know what makes her laugh and I’m one of the few people who can. I know which blanket she wants and what to do with her Zebra to make her smile. I know when I hear a certain sigh that she’s asleep in her car seat. I don’t even have to look.

When I see her trying to sleep in the car and the sun is shining on her squinted shut-eyes, I know I love her when I switch lanes to move the shade across her face.

I know I love her when I look for a tooth every day for weeks and then I find one and my cheeks hurt with a big smile and then my heart sort of breaks because she’s getting bigger. I know I love her because every day that passes, is one I wish I could have back. And those aren’t things that happen right when they hand you your precious wrinkly newborn and lay her on your chest. Some love is instant and some, takes time.

I may never know what it’s like to bring home a baby and experience as the “normal” version of me. I might always ask which of the things I experienced would I still have felt if I hadn’t had postpartum. But I suppose I’m no less the mother and a mother I wanted to be no matter how I got there. Maybe next time I’ll call TLC and see if they want to do an 8-episode series on me called “Crazy In Love”. Pun Intended. Now THAT’S a reality show!

One of my favorite quotes is, “There are two roads in life. One is hard, and one is easy and the only reward of the easy road was that it was simple.”

I may have unwillingly taken the country back roads on a rickety old moped wearing ripped sweats pants and a cracked helmet following an incorrect map from goggle maps but, hey, I got there!  And the reward at the end was multiplied. I worked for the love that now is the clichéd love of my life………..all daddies aside.

Traumatic strawberry onesies and all, I’m so glad I made it. There is nothing…nothing as sweet as motherhood.  And in true TLC fashion, I’ve never lived or loved like this.

The laugh.

Starcation

Today I What About Bob-ed myself and wrote myself a prescription for a vacation…a Vacation From My Problems! Genius!

I have this little creature that lives in my house and sometimes she gets real fussy and I feel like a private investigator figuring it out. Last night she was screaming like she was getting a root canal but then enters “The Boob” and EVENTUALLY…..she calmed down and went to bed at about 11:30 which is her new self-imposed bedtime. Who does she think she is? A teenager? No, that can’t be right because then she’d sleep till 2 pm and that’s not happening.

So today I was in the house and she was still a wee bit fussy so I wrote myself said prescription to go on a vacation from my problems. Locale: car seat. Destination: Starbucks.

Exotic.

A picture paints a thousand words but I’m too tired or prideful or something to take a photo of myself so let me give you the visual low down. Just on myself, of course, because my baby is always cute.

I am wearing on my head, an array of unbrushed hair pulled half up into a lumpy pony tail with a bobby pin holding on to dear life to the bangs I cut myself with kitchen shears a few nights ago. No time for haircuts.

My face features only remnants of make-up left from last nights shower that didn’t get the washing it deserves. Further down you will find a few chin pimples dying a slow and miserable death thanks to Proactiv. They should die sometime this week and come back promptly in the following days.

My finernails have white french tips made up of Desitin stuck gently yet firmly under the edges.

Back-up, we forgot my mouth. My lips are chapped and around the mouth area there is some sort of dried white substance and these are my three good guesses:

1-toothpaste
2-the potato soup I slurped down while holding a baby

or

3- the most shameful….drool from some bout of sleeping I’ve had over the past 10 hours.

My pride wants to believe it’s option one but my heart can’t tell a lie. I did wipe this off before pulling into the Starbucks. I do have some standards.

And, lastly, to top it off. I wore Havianna flip flops that were chocolate-brown with baby blue and white high water Victoria Secret pj pants with a kids t-shirt with a food pyramid on it that has junk food in the pyramid and the bottom of the shirt says “NOT”!

Some people wear nice dresses for vacation but I wear spit-up and a smile.  At least this trip was all-inclusive.  Gift card playaaaaaaaassssss!

I have so many gift cards that if a burglar took my wallet he would throw out the credit/debit cards and keep the gift cards.  I have like 200 dollars worth of goodie cards in my wallet.  One of them is to JC Pennys so that would probably be the one the burglar took if forced to choose his favorite.  He could get some really nice pillow shams there.  And, yes, I said HE assuming all robbers are men.  I profiled this robber as a man even the face of going to JC Pennys for shams.

Yesterday I used a plethora of gift cards and purchased a cornucopia of goods.  In my 35 days being a mom, only a week or less of that interacting with the outside world with a sane mind, I have found myself liking things that I never did before.  I find myself wanting to be pampered by simple things more.  Now don’t get carried away and buy me a diamond heart shape pendant from Kays.  Every kiss doesn’t begin with Kays no matter what they tell you.  If you buy me one of those things, every swift punch to the throat will begin with Kays.  What I’m talking about is  buying a shirt that makes me feel cute.  A nice, piping hot shower.  Even true blue pampering things like maybe a massage or a facial.  I never cared about that stuff before but now I just want a BREAK!  I want to go to Pier One and buy an overpriced bowl of some fake crap that looks cute on a table because I love to decorate and it makes me feel like ME.  Right now you’d think I’d like to decorate with diapers and baby turds but come on people!

I called Lance aka Daddy and told him about our vacation and how I’m enjoying doing little things for myself like buying 350 dollar drinks at Starbucks.  I told him our baby was fussy.  Fuzzy?  No, fussy but she is fuzzy too which is irresistable.  He thought he would be cute when he called to check in on us while we were out and ask when I answered if he could talk to Eden.  I told him she was grounded.  When she gets older I will tell her that she was grounded today.

I think I will go write myself another prescription now.  A prescription for snoozing.  Eden is still asleep from our trip so I might as well be.  Baby steps to the hallway.  Baby steps to the bed.  Baby steps under the covers….this is working….

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

(That was another What About Bob reference.  If you didn’t know that, I’m afraid we can’t talk anymore.)

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