My Life


Mason is something else, I tell you.  I can’t believe the difference between 2 years and 2 1/2 years.  These last six months have been wild with lots of changes, primarily with the introduction of Owen who was born a short 3 weeeks after Mason’s second birthday. 

I remember the emotions I had when I found out I was pregnant with Owen were mixed ones.  I was thrilled to be having another child for Mason to grow up with, but I was also scared and sad that Mason would have to share me with something else.  From the first time I laid eyes on Mason he has been my sunshine; how in the world was I going to manage to keep up that love and devotion with another baby, and how in the world could I love another child as much as I do Mason?

Over the course of the 9 month pregnancy, I made the most of every minute, fearing he would feel rejected when the new one arrived.  I contemplated not nursing Owen just to be able to have more time with Mason.  For Mason, the transition to big brotherhood wasn’t easy.  I remember when he came to visit me and Owen in the hospital, he didn’t really want to get to close and Josh had to put him on the bed with me.  I was certain this was going to be our reality for the next 18 years.  I felt rejected and conflicted. 

As the first month of Owen’s life sped by, Mason would pull on me for attention or to play right when Owen would need to eat, it would seem.  Half of my postpartum tears were guilt from not giving Mason all the time I once had for him.  However, it slowly started improving.  Owen started to show his personality through his smiles and kicks of excitement.  Mason picked up on that right away.  What seemed like an eternity for me emotionally was a flip-of-the-switch for Mason.

Now Mason and Owen are in love with one another.  No one can make Owen smile like Mason and Mason is extremely protective of his Owen.  I explain the joy I feel from seeing them play together, even though it is limited with Owen only being 5 months old today.  These two boys are perfect!

Mason is still my silly, smart, and adorable boy.  He is spontaneous and surprises me with his wit.  His imagination in full operation and I love playing Thomas the Train with him as we scoot our trains to the imaginary Steamworks under our dining room table.  Every flower he sees, dandelions and all, he goes over to smell them and tells them they are “So beautiful”!  Every puddle must be splashed, every rock is his pirate treasure, and every worm tickles his hands.  He continues to be my sunshine, it just so happens he shines on us all and I don’t mind sharing.

So, I am wearing a belt today, one that I owned and wore before I was pregnant.  Wearing a belt is something I haven’t done since I was 4 months pregnant.  This is monumental to me, because these prego pounds are especially sticky in my ass and tummy area.  I am certainly not the body I was before, not that it was spectacular, but they aren’t lying when they tell you your body changes after carrying a baby around for 40 weeks.  Needless to say, I am feeling pretty accomplished. 

This whole weight thing rents space in my head all the time.  I know quite a few recently pregnant gals who are working hard to lose that weight.  I can’t say I am not doing it either.  I step on the scale everyday just to reassure myself I am at least not going up.  I have loosely been following the weight watchers points system, but really just focusing on portion control.  Whole grains, lots of fiber and non-prepackaged food is not a problem with us most of the time.  Trader Joes is our friend.  Plus!  I have been exercising almost everyday running 3 days a week and walking the others.  The fear of re-injuring my back is always in the back of my mind as well; and that is terrifying.   I can actually jog three miles again.  I remember praying to God when I was flat on my back, crying in pain that I promise I won’t not exercise again.  I am grateful to be able to do that. 

Anyway, my shirt is tucked in, I have a belt on, and the journey continues.

This week’s challenge was pretty fantastic!  I love this little sleepy face I get to see each time I get Mason from his naps. 

Oh and here I am semi-modeling Lovelyn’s Let Love Grow t-shirt, which just happens to be my favorite right now…so soft and comfy!  Ignore the pj bottoms. 

And this one when he loves playing with his daddy!

Classic!

A year ago today I went from being pregnant to being a Momma.  I thought I had a bit of an idea into what a great adventure the motherhood thing would be, but I had no clue it could be this good.

Mason’s birth story is one I am sure many women experience in this country.  With all my hopes laid on a minimally invasive birth, I just wanted to push him out no matter what the pain, no epidural, no medicine, just me and the work to get him here.  It didn’t happen so much like that. 

I went into my post date appointment, Mason’s due date was Oct 5, and I was praying the entire way there I was progressing and at least a tad bit dilated and effaced.  No joy, I was locked up tighter than a preacher’s daughter.  They performed an ultrasound on me to discover “there’s a big baby in there!”  I could have told them that, he had been kicking me in the lungs the last 2 months.  He wallowed all around in my belly, much like he does now.  I am not complaining, I love the fact he loves to be around me.  My OB/GYN asked me to come into her office so she can talk me through “having a big baby”.  The ultrasound measured him around 9 lbs 1 oz.  I thought, “eh, it can be done!” 

I went into Dr. Pirkle’s office and she looked at me with this look that told me this conversation is not going to go the way I want it to.  She started in saying she was giving me the American Association of Obstetrics recommendations – casearean….because of shoulder dystocia.  Really!  I didn’t even pay attention in the childbirth class when they talked about that.  I assumed I could push the guy out, there would be pain, but I could take it!.  I cried, a lot, and she was great talking me down from the thoughts I have failed!  I went over every egg I ate for breakfast, SO YUMMY.  Either way, this was pretty much the decision, I didn’t want him to get stuck and have his back and shoulders screwed up!  We scheduled the casearean for Saturday the 10th of Oct for his birthdate.  She finished up by saying “Head over to the hospital for a non-stress just to make sure all is ok”.  

I cried all the way to the car on the phone with Josh…”I have to have a caesarean!”  He said the phrase I absolutely hated at the time “Either way, it will be a healthy baby.”  I thought what a cop-out.  I told him he didn’t need to come to the hospital, they were just doing a non-stress test and after that I would be going to work.   He said “I will be at the hospital in about 20 minutes.”  I tried to talk him out of it, but it just wasn’t working.  Thank goodness he didn’t listen to me. 

I checked into the labor and delivery ward and they hooked me up to belts.  I was a have a few contractions, but nothing that would make me think this baby is coming out.  With the contractions Mason’s heart rate would fluctuate.  The nurses would reassure me that this was “No Big Deal!”  Josh arrived and we watched a bit of tv while the tape with his heart rate poured out.  Dr. Wentworth, another doc from the practice, came in and looked at the tape and said “Ok, so we are going to have a baby today!  I don’t feel comfortable with you going home with the heart rate fluctuations and the contractions”.  I am sure I turned white as a ghost and I saw Josh turn green. 

We were preparing for around a 5pm birth and it was about 2:30 at this point.  Josh ran down to the cafeteria and grabbed a salad.  While he was down there, the nurses came in and said ok let’s go!  I texted Josh saying “it is time to go NOW!”  He rushed up, we both hit the restroom before we went into the OR and we were off.  Josh was walking behind me getting instructions, while I was getting some as well.  They walked me into the OR and I looked behind me and Josh was gone, apparently putting on scrubs and getting ready for surgery.  I got on the table and received my epidural, which I think may have been part of the cause  of my ruptured disc, and I couldn’t feel a dang thing!  By the way, I got into the OR at 3:42 pm.   They prepped me, explained all that was going to happen and then Josh came in.  He sat by my head and I was terrified.  Dr. Wentworth came in, they counted every single instrument; there were a lot of many things, I remember thinking.  At 4:04 pm they made the incision and at 4:08 Mason was born – 8 lbs 15 oz, 21.5 inches long.  I remember thinking WOW he is BIG and he looks like my brother Will. 

I am pretty sure I have described what an awesome feeling poured over me, but it is worth re-telling.  It was like magic, like falling in love times infinity.  At 4:42 they wheeled me out of the OR and all the nurses were laughing because it “Only took and hour” and “Dr. Wentworth is the one you want doing this!” I didn’t care at all, I had my baby boy and he was perfect.  Chubby Cheeks, dark eyes and already so loveable.  Josh and I were a bowl full of mush.  I still am everytime I see him.  That was truly the best day of my life. 

And today, I can’t believe that was an entire year ago.  A lot has happened in just 365 days, but the most important part is watching our little man growing before our eyes.  It’s the best trip of a lifetime!

Happy Birthday Honey, I love you Baby Bear!

Let them eat cake!

I was on my way to work this morning and I saw clouds that look like Mountains.  Have you ever experienced that?  For a split second I was back home in Central Virginia with the changing leaves, apple butter and clean air.  Then I realize, nope here in the Tidewater, which at times has its moments of beauty, particularly when the sun is rising or setting over the ocean or James River.  I love driving over a bridge during that time.   This time is a great escape from the daily stressors. 

Since the middle of August, the command where I work has been hanging in the balance of Washington bureaucrats’ chopping block.  I cannot say the thought of Joint Forces Command downsizing never crossed my mind.  The effort in Washington is to save BILLIONS of defense budgets’ spending, which would kick back into other parts of the economy.  The concept makes fiscal sense.  However, being on the side of a potential job loss, the stressors are there staring you in the face one of them being the mortgage payment.   There is a constant buzz about which organizations within the command will survive and which ones are destined to be erased.  I typically feel confident where I work is important and will be retained somewhere….Though when I actually face the music, it isn’t a great feeling to be working in an environment of speculation. 

First, knowing if they do save the office where I work, they could leave it here where I live have a house, husband, child and step-son, all of which I love; or they could send the work to a bunch of different locations.  My dear colleagues and I know these are all realistic possibilities.  There is daily wringing of hands, which comes in waves, and no one is immune to the feeling.  The phone calls from spouses asking to dust off resumes and launch them on the myriad of job search sites.  The confidence of my job is important being struck down with well their job may be more important than mine.  It is not a fun place to be right now. 

This is the first time I can actually say I feel like an adult.  Being an adult is not as easy as we dream of when we are sweet innocent children dreaming of being astronauts, ballerinas or teachers.  Right now, I would be happy just to know what to do after January. 

Keeping all of that in mind, being this guy’s Momma is the best job ever and that won’t ever change.    

Well, this picture isn’t from my kitchen but it sure is the best thing going in any kitchen. 

He is a handful though!  I have to divert him from crawling in the dishwasher with wooden spoons and pots that make lots of noise.  I know when that noise stops I should be looking for the little man. 

He just gets better and better everyday. 

In addition to all this kitchen time, do you notice the teeth in the boy’s mouth?  Well he has officially been cut off and my pumping operations ceased as of last week.  At times I am feeling a bit blue over being done, but going to bed and waking up without needing to pump sure is a time saver.  He is eating full meals that are not puree or chunky mash.  He loves everything I put in front of him.  The roasted brussel sprouts I had no idea how he would take that, but he ate it right up!

We are already planning his first birthday party, which is hard to believe.  Time flies when you are having fun!

No not that club….

So yesterday I traveled to Germany…and you may remember I am still nursing Mason.  Well that was something to try to figure out.  I had a pretty good feeling that at some point I would be pumping in the bathroom either at the airport or in the plane.  Hit that one on the head.  I wasn’t too disturbed by it because I am not saving any of this milk *GAH*, so he wouldn’t be drinking potty milk, yuck!

While waiting for our flight to Germany, I checked out the bathroom at the airport and there were NO electric sockets, phooey.  I have a battery pack to use but I didn’t want to waste them.  I decided I nursed Mason in the airport back in February, so I should be able to pump.  I had my nursing cover so no one would see what was up underneath .  So I did!  I went to the back of a gate that wasn’t being used and got my pump on.  Of course after I set everything up and was pumping along, a freaking herd of people decided to come over and see all the art on the walls.  I sat there and kept going on.  That was that and I got the job done.

On the flight I was more nervous, what the hell am I going to do?  It was so dark at the time when I need to pump I almost just did it at my seat.  It wasn’t like they could kick me off the plane.  I asked my flight attendant and she said I had to go to the bathroom….so I did!

It wasn’t all that bad, other than having to sit on the toilet for 25 minutes.  I did put the lid down, could you image??  I planned it so I only needed to pump once on the plane.  I am happy about that. 

We arrived safely in Germany and I made it to our quarters and found they had 110 volt plugs in our rooms.  GLORY!!!!  So I pumped twice using the 110 and thought I was free and clear from using my battery pack.  WRONG!  After the second pumping session, the plug won’t work!!!!  Curses!  I don’t know if the pump plug burned out or what, all I know is it won’t work.  Luckily the pump works with the battery pack.  I would be in the hurt locker if I burned out the pump, Mastitis anyone?

Enough with the boob and pump talk, I survived the trip and first night.  If there is a will there is a way!  17 more days!

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