After I give birth, my legs and hands swell up. It happens in the week after and seems to last for days. Each time it has happened, I worry, I call the doctor and I wonder if it's normal. My ankles are non existent and it hurts to step on my feet. My shoes don't fit. Then, suddenly, I start going pee constantly and wake up in the night drenched with sweat and after a few days I'm back to normal.
Well, this has happened emotionally for me recently. I think I've been in a kind of survival mode which has kept me emotionally in a holding pattern. I haven't been able to write. I haven't been taking pictures. I'm feeling buried. Then, suddenly, last week or so, I just felt a huge release. I was able to move beyond my decision to stop pumping. I started to clean our house. I have been going through our stuff and giving it away. I'm working in the yard. I've been playing the guitar. I'm realizing i can't do everything and that's okay. It's a great feeling.
Life with Lula is amazing. I don't think I can write about it without gushing. We are in love. I am so happy. When I pick her up after she's been sleeping and her little body stretches, when she's asleep on my chest, when she smiles at me in the middle of the night, I just swell up with happiness. She is a blessing. She's also a good sleeper. This is our first experience with a newborn sleeping well at night and I have to say, I really like it. Sometimes, if she eats late enough, she sleeps through the night. Most of the time she's just up once. Every now and again she wants to eat twice. It's so doable and has helped Willie and I immensely. Hank and Wyatt shower attention on her and are so happy to see her when she wakes up or when Wyatt gets home from school. They are such good big brothers.
No Go on Breastfeeding
We've had a few bumps along the way. I stopped pumping which was a very hard decision for me. I could not get Lula to breastfeed exclusively, which meant I had to keep pumping to keep my milk supply. I just thought I could get her to switch over from the bottle. I had done it with Hank and Wyatt. It just didnt 'work this time. I know there are people that have pumped for a year and I know that that would be best for her nutrition, but adding pumping into my days made it so I wasn't pumping enough and on the verge of mastitis constantly.
Finally after trying to get her to exclusively breastfeed one day by just trying to fly solo without supplementing with a bottle of breastmilk, we ended up in another situation where she was so hungry and would not nurse or take the bottle form me or Willie. It was so stressful. On that day, I ended up with double mastitis again because she could not latch well enough to drain my breast. This time instead of building up my milk supply again after being sick, I decided to wean from the pump. It has been a real loss for me, but I feel like i made the right choice. Breastfeeding is something I really love about being a mom. Pumping, not so much. It was really hard to let go of the chance of her breastfeeding exclusively and I've felt guilty about it. I've worried about what other people think. As I write that I can't believe I care, but I do. I'm afraid someone would think I chose to not breastfeed on purpose because I'm selfish. It's one more thing that keeps me out of the natural/earthy mom club (which I've always really wanted to be in). Issues, I know.
I found a great article about bottle nursing and it has helped a lot. All is not lost as far as the bonding and snuggling go. This article talks about making bottle feeding as much like breastfeeding as possible. I hold her close to me or snuggle up on the bed. We have a water warmer so her bottles are 98 degrees. I make sure it's quiet and I try to be present (not doing something else). I was remembering how much I loved nursing Hank on my bed and Wyatt would be there too snuggling up with Hank and hanging out. We had a similar experience recently when I was feeding Lula on the bed. We were snuggled up and Wyatt and Hank were there too cooing over her and talking with us. It was that great bonding feeling.
As a lot of you know Lula had a high fever and i brought her to the emergency room and they admitted her for three days. It ended up being a urinary tract infection (thank goodness) but with a 6 week old baby and a fever, the fear is meningitis. I'm so glad they were able to confirm the UTI because she didn't have to have a spinal tap. They did a nasal swab, a chest X-ray, blood test, etc. In the emergency room the nurse that took Lula's urine sample told me that she couldn't say for sure but it looked like she had a UTI. I'm so glad she said that since it helped keep my worries under control.
Our hospital stay was sleepless and an inconvenience but the fact that they knew what was wrong and they were treating it, made for an easier time. Wyatt's hospitalization after his birth has affected me forever. I can't go into a hospital without remembering and the smells and sounds bring back a lot of emotions. I was really glad Lula is healthy and is going to be fine. For the most part Willie and I just traded off letteing her sleep on our chests for three days while nurses and doctors came in and out. I missed the holding part after we got home.
The great news is that my post-pardum depression has not been a burden. I started on medication the night Lula was born and though it usually takes 6 weeks to take full affect, I felt like it started working faster. I've had a few moments of major crying and mostly related to breastfeeding drama, but it didn't last for too long. I have felt emotional, but myself. I am functioning well. I'm happy but not numb. the first month after her birth, I felt a general sadness sweep over me from time to time but it would lift and it wouldn't leave me hopeless. I have to say that I am really thankful for medication that is effective, affordable and void of side effects (except not being sad). If I lived in the old days, I would not have faired so well. Getting decent sleep and having Willie, who is a very involved father, and two great other kids has helped so much.
I gained 50 lbs and have lost 32. 18 to go and my trainer, Laurie, is working me hard, weighing me and checking up on what I eat. What and how much I eat will be the key to getting back in shape. I miss sweets but I'm enjoying eating healthy. Willie has been eating clean too which really helps. I'm enjoying getting back into vigorous exercise. It feels so good and I love having a group of people to work out with that I like and look forward to seeing.
Well that's a lot of writing when I should really be posting unheard of amounts of pictures of Lula. Here are a few. More to come. I'm just starting to pick up my cameras again.
Two weeks have passed and all my helpers are gone, so it's time to get back to normal life. I thought I'd start by posting about Lula and her birth.
The Final Stretch:
On Feb. 11th, we ate dinner and I felt kind of strange. I didn't eat much and decided to take a bath while the boys went to get valentines at the store. I was relaxing in the bath when I screamed because I was startled by a gush of water. My water had just broken. It was around 7pm.
I called Willie and they hadn't made it to the store yet. they turned around and came home. I immediately was filled with excitement and fear. Though I wasn't in labor yet, I knew what was coming but it was also finally time for what I had been waiting for. Some people think a fast birth sounds awesome. All I can say is that it will knock your socks off. To go from no contractions to ready to push a baby out in two hours is so intense. Since Hank's birth went so fast we wanted to get to the hospital as soon as possible. We had enough time to gather things together, for Willie to give me a blessing and to drop the boys off to spend the night at the Noble's house. We got to the hospital a little before 8pm. Mild contractions started on our way to the hospital.
Once we got into our room, Willie went to park the car and I took this picture. It was a strange moment. I didn't want to lie on the bed since they had everything laid out so nicely and no one was there to tell me what to do. I just stood there by the bed until the nurse came.
Once Willie got back, my labor started coming on really fast. I had decided in my last chance to try and have a good birth experience, I would get an epidural. I also told them that last time I got it too late (leaving me too medicated to help get Hank out in an emergency situation) so I asked for the expedited treatment. The doctor said he gave me enough to keep me comfortable for a few hrs. I still had full use of my legs which I needed since Ruth Ann (my midwife) had me try about every birthing position in the book, encouraging me to choose the one that hurt the worst so I could work with my contractions.
When Ruth Ann arrived, she turned off all the lights and brought her electric tea light candles and put them all around. She also put out some essential oils. Then we waited for what seemed like 5 minutes (probably more like an hr), and it was time to start pushing. It wasn't long after that that I started to feel pain in my hip and my tailbone. I worked so hard to get the baby out for a little over an hr. It was so much work. Praises be to my trainer that kept me strong because I needed it. The epidural wore off leaving me able to feel all my contractions to help me know how and when to push.
Finally, Willie caught Lucinda and put her on my stomach (my birth dream). There were no doctors needed. This was my first time getting a baby out without help and without complications. It was just two nurses, Ruth Ann and Willie. No forceps, no vacuum, no NICU, just us. It was dark and we could see all the lights of Grand Junction out the huge windows. It took us a while before we even weighed her. Willie cut the cord and held her while they fixed me up. Then it was over and we had our baby. It took 3.5 hrs total and it was so nice showing up to the hospital still composed. With Hank I should not have waited so long. I showed up at the hospital in transition and it was a crazy blur.
We named her Lucinda after my great, great grandmother Mary Lucinda Cole. You can read about her here. Her middle name Mae is the middle name of my maternal grandmother. She is adorable. We are in love. Our only hurdle has been breastfeeding, which has happened with all my kids. I had mastitis and my milk supply took a huge dip and I'm now pumping and she's being fed with a bottle. The same thing happened with Wyatt and Hank so I'm hopeful I can get her back to nursing. I've had great support from the lactation nurses at the hospital.
She's been having two 4 hr stretches of sleep at night which is the hugest blessing ever. She's good natured and so warm and small and sweet. I had my mom here for a week and she totally saved us through the breastfeeding/not getting enough milk drama. She also stayed the night with me the second night in the hospital and it was great just hanging out and talking and depriving her of sleep. My dad and step mom came on Sunday and spent time entertaining the kids, letting me sleep and doing laundry. I'm so lucky to have the support of my parents. Now it's time to settle into a routine and enjoy having a baby around. We are so happy.
I made this little collage of my belly (and body fat) progression in hopes that I'm almost to the end. In reality, I'm pretty sure I'll have about two more pictures to add. I'm a month away from my due date.
The last week has been a turning point for me and I'm starting to feel really pregnant and uncomfortable. I'm walking strange. I started having some irregular contractions. I'm swelling. My hips are so painful during the night that I have to get up and walk around several times. I even considered not going to the gym today. I did end up going and my mood was much improved when I got home. I actually wanted to stay in bed all day but because my hips are so sore I knew it would be painful to stay in bed all day. Oh yeah, I have a job, a church calling, two kids and the messiest house known to man so I have some things to do.
I saw my midwife today and everything looks great. The only problem we had is that she said I was 34 weeks (going off my ultrasound) and by my conception date I'm 35 weeks, so I kind of wanted to fight her but she's really nice so I forgave her. My blood pressure was great so my swelling is just normal. I think my swelling has come on in my feet and legs because I've started working again after the longest holiday ever and sitting at a desk makes a pregnant lady's legs and feet swell.
My weight gain is depressing. I knew this would be an experiment and my sister-in-law who is queen of fitness and so tiny, also gains a bunch of weight no matter what, but I had to see if I could control it. I've only improved about 8lbs compared to this time with Hank. I guess that's still 8lbs but I'm wondering if it's worth it because of all the delicious treats I got to enjoy during Hank's pregnancy. I ate whatever I wanted. So I've gained 40lbs so far and probably have about 10 more to go but the weight gain in the end of Hank's pregnancy was a lot of fluid. I was really swollen. My healthy eating and working out has done a lot for me as far as being less depressed goes and I feel strong. I may be awkward but I still have my muscle tone and my heart is strong. With Hank and Wyatt, I felt like I was an old smoker lady. I was weak and frail and was always eying those motorized carts at the store. I also think it will help me jump back into getting back in shape. My main hurdles with post-pardum fitness will be not getting enough sleep and depression. Both of those can make it hard to really get back into a rigorous fitness program.
In the next few days we have the basement egress windows going in the basement room so we can make a place for the boys. After the windows go in, we'll need to do some work on the walls and get carpet. Then we can start working on the nursery. I have a feeling we are taking on a lot a little too close to when the baby is born, but I might actually be more help once the baby is on the outside. They sleep a lot when they are brand new.
Merry Christmas from the DeFords!
click twice to enlarge:
Before we do the individual breakdown, we have to get some major news out of the way. First, another baby DeFord will be arriving mid February. We are so excited. It's a girl and I can't wait to meet her and get to know her. I also can't wait to stop being pregnant. Second, Willie was made a partner at his law firm which means we are really settling down in Grand Junction. This is a great milestone in his profession and we are really happy about it.
Now, some news.
I started off the year with another Santa Fe Photographic Workshop and it was amazing. I had such a great teacher and loving and supportive classmates. It was beautiful snowy weather and I had a long drive to Santa Fe and back to think and listen to books. I felt so refreshed and inspired. This year we finally turned our garage into a photography studio which has so nice to have.
I feel like I've been pregnant most of this year but really, it's only been since May. It's a hard process physically and emotionally for me but worth it. I've been able to stick to a regular exercise program this whole pregnancy, but feel I myself starting to loosing steam.
I was able to take three commercial photography jobs this year that brought me to New York twice and to Arizona. It was thrilling and exhausting. It was nice working several times for the same client since my jitters wore off a bit. The night before my first job with this client, I was on the verge of throwing up because I was so nervous.
I am a counselor in our ward Relief Society presidency and it's been a great experience for me to serve. I find a lot of meaning in my life by being active and involved in our church.
Besides the big news of making partner at his firm, Willie has had another year full of books and music and church service. He's been a counselor in our bishopric since January and has enjoyed serving the people in our ward and seeing the sacrifices they make to serve.
Lowlands (his electric band) is still going strong and he loves every moment of it.
During the summer Willie summited Mt. Wetterhorn with some friends to celebrate his friend's 40th birthday. He's just gearing up to train for another Moab half marathon. I wish I could join him but I don't see myself becoming half marathon ready one month after having a baby.
Willie is still so beloved by the boys. I love how they squeal with joy when he gets home and right now they are over the moon that he is home all the time for Christmas vacation.
Wyatt is such an angel. He has the sweetest disposition. He moved schools this year to a charter school right by our house. It's been an easy transition for him and he's doing great. He gets more art and more music education than his other school and he also has a 4 day school week. He was also baptized and became a boy scout this year.
Wyatt has been excelling at the guitar. He takes weekly guitar lessons but also picks it up to practice just for fun. He is just about to pass me up in guitar knowledge (which doesn't take much) and we are so happy to see him enjoying the guitar and improving at such a young age. I feel like we might have another Willie in the making.
When I asked Wyatt what he likes to do, he said he likes to read in bed at night and play with our neighbors Liam and Ezra.
Hank is so much fun. He's in costume most of the time and loves working at his desk and playing around (running around the house making play noises while imagining an elaborate scenario). He is in his second year of pre-school and really enjoys it. Hank has a real interest in drums and got a drum set for Christmas. It's going to be so cute and so noisy. The boys will be moving into the basement in preparation for the baby and that's where the drums will stay.
Hank is so affectionate. He is always wanting to snuggle and hold hands. I just love it. He also loves to help out with cooking in the kitchen. When I asked him what he likes to do, he said he likes to watch TV.
We've had a great year and feel so blessed and happy. It's crazy to think we are going back into the baby stage in our life. Now if the kids get up too early for us, they leave us sleeping and get their own food and watch TV. We'll be back to diapers and sleepless nights but it seems a small sacrifice to bring another person like Hank and Wyatt into our family. We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year full of meaning and gratitude.
It's official, I'm totally pregnant. My body is right on track for putting a huge belly right out in front of me. I've started to get the "you must be due any day" comments. Third time around, I'm totally used to it and don't mind. I'm also starting to slow down. I knew it would happen. I wake up on top of the world, ready to do anything and everything and that lasts until about 4pm when I slowly start to shut down right before dinner (not helpful for our meals) and end up doing very little the rest of the night.
I'm still working out but it's getting a lot easier. My weights are lighter and I don't have to do a lot of the hard things my workout mates do that include jumping or a really high heartrate. We also have a great time talking constantly about labor and previous pregnancies and weight gain, etc. It's like a big slumber party while lifting weights. I work out with 5 other women and one of them is due around the same time as me. My elliptical has worked out great at home. My trainer has me working out 6 days a week, three times weight training and three 50 minute cardio sessions. I'm not sure it's helping with my weight gain much (I'm at 25 lbs) but it's really helped lift my moods and increase my energy and keep me strong.
When I went to my midwife yesterday she said that my due date had been moved to Feb. 19th after my ultrasound. I told her that I couldn't accept that and that I'm going to keep my original due date of Feb. 15th. I can't wrap my mind around those extra couple of days. She's okay with that. I really like my midwife. She is so chilled out. After everything I went though with Wyatt's birth, I just needed someone who is relaxed and an anchor to my tendencies to worry.
All and all things are great. The baby is growing fine and has a strong heartbeat and is wiggling all around. Feb. still feels so far away. We've been casually talking about names but nothing firm yet. Hank is just tall enough to get hit by my belly a lot. Poor dear. He's also had some minor head injuries from hitting my cameras that hang on the same level as his head.
Yes, I'm writing about politics. I have to. It's on my mind and I organize thoughts by writing. I feel like if I can get a few thoughts down I can send it off into the world wide web and I can move on.
This election has been better than others and harder than others for me. First, not having cable TV has been a huge improvement. I think I've mentioned this before, but TV news is the worst. It's sensational. It's about making money. It's about keeping people emotional so they'll watch often. It's repetitive. It's negative. Last election I declared that I was giving up politics. I didn't actually give up thinking about and learning about politics. I just stopped watching TV news and having political conversations with people who are overly emotional about politics. It's been a great four years. I've had friends express concern about me cutting myself off from the world. I have no regrets. It's so worth it. I would never go back. I listen to NPR when I'm getting dressed or sometimes working in the kitchen. A 15 minute update gets me the overview of the days news and Willie and I usually talk further about anything interesting that night. I sometimes check in on CNN.com and scan for interesting headlines and if something really catches my attention, I read more about it on other news sites or blogs.
This election I've also looked to Nate Silver, my favorite non-emotional statistician, for predictions made from the polls. I love this guy. His nerdiness has paid off in a major way. He precisely predicted the outcome of last election and this one with his poll number crunching.
As far as politics is concerned, where I live and being a Mormon makes me a bit of an outsider. Grand Junction is exceptionally conservative but in general I would say a lot of Mormons are too. I solidified my political ideas at BYU. Yes, I became a liberal at the Lord's university. I was surrounded by friends and professors that were wonderful people that saw things like me. I even married one of those darn liberals. It just wasn't an issue. Since then I've found myself being thought of as siding with the bad guys. It's such a strange feeling since my goal in life is to try and do good.
Here are a few examples. My own father sat me down once to express his concern that I had strayed from the "right" way of being conservative and he was worried about my dedication to our church. I received an email from an old mission friend (that I love) when she saw a clue on facebook that I was an Obama supporter. It was full of political rage and anger (directed at Obama, not me). I have been cornered by church members at book clubs (yes more than one), on runs, on hikes, at parties, and even in the church building to "talk" politics. What they want to know is why and how I'm on the wrong side. If I try to explain my views, all I get are talking points shot back at me. Most of these conversations are well intentioned, I'm sure, but there is always fear and anger riding just below the surface which makes it near impossible to have a level headed conversation. It's not how I want to be spending my recreational time.
I feel like I can understand and see where a conservative is coming from, if we are talking about actual issues, not made up fear tactics (like death panels or Obama being a muslim). I even can acknowledge strong points in republican candidates. I can even relate with some of their issues and support them. I also totally understand being disappointed if you candidate doesn't win. The problem I find is that some people live in an alternate reality that is only based on binaries (black/white, us/them, republican/democrat, righteous/wicked, good/bad, save the constitution/it's the end of the world) and there is no way they can relate to what I'm saying. There is no white on their black side of politics for me to fit in to. Side note: binaries like good/evil are tools to understand the world and can be helpful when making decisions or evaluating the fruits of something, but they can be taken too far.
So this race made it even worse because Romney was a Mormon. Now, Romney is a brother in the gospel to me. I've had frustrations with him and been disappointed in him, but all is forgiven. I know he must be heart broken after having worked so hard. I hope he can put his feet up and go on a mission or be a mission president and have some wonderful experiences. Still, I don't subscribe to the idea that he was saving the world from the utter destruction of evil Obama. Romney and Obama are both amazing, non-evil, accomplished men. But the binaries got even stronger with members of the church this election. This wasn't just a normal election, this was the Lord's election. Like Heavenly Father is all into trickle down economics and extending the Bush tax cuts. So here I fall on the side of the devil. On election night I couldn't look at facebook and I'm not sure when it will be safe to go back. Seeing comments from friends was making it hard not to have bad feelings. I saw so much anger towards Obama and his supporters, cries that the end is near, true fear and worry for our country and blame for anything that's ever gone wrong being placed on Obama.
I don't think hate and anger is the Lord's way, ever. Politics is not excluded from this. We are all Gods children (even poor people that take advantage of the government, even illegal immigrants, even gay people, even Rush Limbah). Negativity only damages. We have greater things in common. To quote my wise friend Abby, "I really don't think God is worried about our flawed, man-made political systems. I think He probably wants us to stop bickering and take care of each other already."
We've had a busy past month, and I'm kind of behind on blogging and since my true desire is to make a blog book every year, there are some things I can't leave out. Wyatt's baptism was such a great experience.
Wyatt was so excited to get baptized. It meant so much to him to have my parents drive out for the event. I was so glad they could come and support Wyatt. When I spoke at his baptism I told him some of the memories I had from my baptism. I remembered that my Grandpa and Grandma were there and my grandma brought me a butterfinger. In one of the pictures I had chocolate on my mouth which is a common theme in a lot of my pictures even today. My Grandma also whispered to me that the ring she was wearing would be mine someday. I worse the ring to the baptism in her honor.
It was hard for me to speak at the baptism without crying. I'm normally emotional, plus I'm pregnant, plus I was underslept form a work deadline. I seriously felt like sobbing and had a hard time controlling my crying. I just felt so happy and so much love for Wyatt. He has such a tender heart and he is so kind and obedient and innocent. He just came that way. It's not something Willie and I can take any credit for.
What I told him in my talk is that I was young when I got baptized and I don't remember a whole lot from it, but the benefits have affected me positively my whole life. He is starting on a journey as a follower of Christ. Baptism is the gate and the path is narrow and not everyone finds it. The gift of the Holy Ghost will help keep him on that path and because of that he'll be happy.
We sure love Wyatt.
The trip itself was tiring but fine. I was extra homesick for Willie and the boys. I think my hard first trimester brought us really close together and I hadn't been gone since. The hard part was turning around the images in one week. I thought I had two weeks but they begged for sooner and I thought I should just go for it and get them done and over with. That ended up putting my deadline right around Wyatt and Hank's birthday parties, and Wyatt's baptism. There were not enough hours in the day and I was up several nights in a row until 1 or 2 am. It was a major crunch. I also had bronchitis right before my trip which drained me of my energy. Willie gave me a blessing the night before my trip and encouraged me to go to the doctor. I met with the doctor hours before I left and he prescribed me two medications. I just kept thinking, "The doctor probably can't do anything for me. It will pass." As soon as I started taking medicine I improved quickly, like the next day I was much improved. It's just what I needed.
p.s. My facebook detox period was great. I mostly learned that I'm not missing much on facebook and checking in every now and again is still enough to be connected. The recent election heat up has also encouraged me to keep my distance even more. I do think there can be moderation with facebook and I'm dedicated to pull it off.
Can there be moderation with Facebook? I'm on a mission to find out. During my morning sickness I think I experienced a total Facebook overdose. Lying bed almost all day with my phone brought me to a new level of facebook checking. I read almost every linked article and commented on almost every unimportant subject and got upset about every injustice. This, in combination with a visit I had with our friend Abby, brought on my Facebook crisis.
When Abby arrived for a visit, I showed her where she would be sleeping, I proceeded to give her the wireless password. She laughed and said she didn't have a computer with her. She also didn't have a smart phone. I was floored. I couldn't understand her way of life. It was so Amish. This made me think a lot about my dependence on technology. Am I overboard? Am I missing out on real life connections?
As Willie and I were talking about it a few nights ago, he said, maybe you should just delete your Facebook account. I have to admit when other friends delete their accounts, I always think it's a little extreme. I try not to be extreme, but this could possibly be a case where moderation is too hard to pull off. We will see.
I listened to this great NPR interview about social media dependence once and some researchers found that there is actually a chemical released in the brain each time you get a notification from facebook. Even though the notification may be someone requesting you to play a game with them, just the chance that it might be a positive comment from a friend sends a chemical to your brain. So we check often, we post often to try and get the positive response. And in the case of photographers, we base our value on the amount of feedback we receive regarding our images.
To start my facebook detox, my first step was to take Facebook off my phone. That took care of the mindless checking when I have a few down minutes at the doctors office or waiting in the car or resting on my bed. That was an easy transition and I'm happy to admit I've actually picked up a book instead of my phone while on my bed. I then got all set up on Instagram so I still had a way to share and communicate with a few friends. Then i decided to check Facebook once in the morning and once in the evening on my computer. So far, I haven't been able to strictly keep to that schedule, but I've been close.
I'm mostly finding that I feel a little lonely. I think this could be really good for me. Maybe I'll send out an email or call up a friend or actually go see one face to face. This could also be bad for Willie since I might bug him at work more to talk to me. No matter what beefs I have with Facebook, I do find community there, but is it enough? Is it just pacifying a deeper need for real conversation and friendships? When Abby was here we spent the whole time talking about everything. We talked about politics, religion, and every issue you can think of. It was so great having a face to face conversation with an intelligent person. It really filled my cup. I may need more of that.
2. Knowing where to find an old friend if I need them.
3. Seeing images from the lives of people I care about.
4. Learning about big news items fast
1. Wasting time.
2. Negativity. No matter how hard I try, I can't protect myself from people's negativity (politics, gripping, venting, complaining, etc).
3. I dont' really write anymore (like on this blog) because I can just make a quick status update about the way I feel.
Wish me luck on my detox. I'm hoping for moderation so that I can keep my pros and eliminate most of my cons.
I'm back, baby. I'm through the worst of morning sickness and I feel back to myself. I am so, so thankful. There's nothing like being sick to make you appreciate being healthy. To celebrate, how about a blog post that's not just about me and how I'm feeling.
Amy and her family came to visit and it was so fun. Since i wasn't up for a trip to Utah they drove down to see us. That was really nice of them. Another great surprise is that my dad and Jewel came out for the day (driving a total of 7 hrs in one day).
We had fun just talking and relaxing. The kids had a great time playing. I still wasn't feeling great so I took a few pictures out of obligation for preserving the memory but wasn't really into it. Now I'm glad I made myself take pictures because I'm so happy to have them.
Wyatt and Hank were interested in fibroids (non cancerous tumors) after my first ultrasound so we looked at some pictures of them on the internet. Pretty gross. It inspired Hank to make some fibroid art. So cute!
This last month has been hard for me. I really forgot how hard morning sickness can be. Part of my approach with this baby has been to focus on the eventual child that will join our family and try not to think about the hard parts of getting the child here. That turned out to be a great method because if I had remembered how hard this is, I would not have been so willing.
I started my morning sickness off with a bang by having the stomach flu. It was so intense I was really scared that I was in for a rough ride. Hank got it a few days later and though I was sad for him I was really happy it was a virus for me. Once the flu passed the morning sickness set in like my other pregnancies. I didn't want to eat anything. All food is disgusting. Smells are the worst, including the smell of my own clothes. My stomach is constantly upset and I'm afraid I'm going to throw up somewhere inappropriate. After loosing several lbs and feeling pretty hopeless, my midwife put me on some anti-neausea medication and I am so, so thankful. It has majorly improved my ability to function. It hasn't made me all better but I don't throw up and I have found some foods that I can eat.
What's been the hardest is that I feel really depressed. I never felt this way with Hank or Wyatt but it has come on really strong. In the morning I wake up feeling bummed out that it's the start of another day. I have barley touched my cameras. I don't want to play music. My house is messy. I'm spending a lot of time lying in bed watching netflix on my phone. Last Sunday I had no control over my emotions. I could not stop sobbing at church. It was embarrassing.
I'm also really drained by the heat. Heat has always been my nemesis, but this is bad. We went on a hike last week and it was cloudy and cool while we hiked deep into a canyon. Then the sun came out it was probably 90 degrees as we hiked out. I was going to die. I felt like fainting, and was going to throw up. it was like I was from some victorian novel. The whole thing is so strange.
Besides the morning sickness and depression, I've been able to keep going to the gym with some minor adjustments to my workouts. My weight training has stayed about the same expect I dropped down in weights a little to preserve my energy during my workouts. I cant' run because the movement makes me more nauseous, but I've been doing about 45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical. My trainer is gone for a month teaching a football clinic and I found myself being so glad he was leaving so I could slack off. He left me with a plan to do, which I will, but I can rest more and stop if I don't feel up to it. We have had a bit of a hard time finding a good working medium.
I had some bleeding early on so we had an ultrasound where we were able to see the babies's hearbeat. Hank and Wyatt and Willie were with me and there have been a lot of anatomy questions from the boys ever since. They are very curious. They are so cute. Having that ultrasound helped me feel more at ease. With my first pregnancy I didnt' know until 11 weeks that the baby had died and for some reason the placenta will still growing in my uterus. It was so sad. Just seeing that there was a baby and a heartbeat made me feel like I'm doing something worthwhile. I know it's not a guarantee but at least we are on the right track. In my ultrasound they found a fibroid in my uterus (a non cancerous tumor) and I'll be meeting with a specialist in a few weeks to figure out what that means. The doctor and midwife acted like it happens and though it can negatively affect a pregnancy, there are also a lot of women that carry a baby to term with a fibroid.
They boys have been angels. I'm so thankful they have neighbor friends. They play most of the day and come lay by me on the bed and snuggle with me. They pray for me and the baby. They are excited. Hank comes in first thing in the morning to share my cup of cereal I eat before I get out of bed. Willie's been great about making dinner and running to the store to replenish whatever food I am currently eating. Right now it's peaches and bagels and sesame chicken from a local Chinese restaurant (the first meat I've been able to eat in weeks). My diet is really poor which no doubt is affecting my depression. I'm hoping for a great second trimeter. With my other pregnancies I can camp and hike during my second trimeter and really feel great.
I just had a poem published in a BYU studies journal. It was a fun surprise to get an email from them today.
Girls camp was great this year. This image is one that I took at dusk of Ragged Mountain. After 4 years of photographing the same place, I realized that most of my imagery was very literal. I wondered what an image would look like that felt like a memory. This is what I came up with. I feel like if I had a small print of this with a lot of white space around it, that every now and again, I'd walk by and get the feeling of ragged mountain. We'll see how it prints. I also took several rolls of film, but as we all know, it will be weeks before I see my scans. If you are interested in other pictures you can view my digital ones here.
Part of what made this trip different for me is that I knew it might be my last. I was pretty sure I was pregnant on the trip, but had not had a positive pregnancy test so I had a little bit of doubt. I was happy for the hike because I was blowing through all our money on negative pregnancy tests. Once I started on the trail with my backpack on, I was so out of breath. I felt out of shape, which I'm not, so I knew something was up. The day after I got home I finally got a positive pregnancy test. I guess you could say this is an announcement of sorts, but I feel like no one really reads my blog and I'm happy to share the info with any of my friends. I find it old school to wait until 12 weeks to announce a pregnancy, but I see the wisdom in it, especially after miscarrying my first pregnancy. Still it's just not me. I think I wouldn't want to make a facebook announcement or anything because that means if there was a miscarriage, that would entail another awkward facebook announcement
Anyway, back to the hike. Knowing that I hopefully wouldn't be back next year because I'd have a new baby, made me savor the whole experience more. Like usual I was so impressed with the girls. They are really smart and they want to do good with their lives. They have plans for college. They talk about helping other people. They braid each other's hair. They are respectful and funny and emotional. I love the leaders too. Betsy is so great. We don't get to spend much time together during the year, but I love spending so much time with her. She's really funny and we are good friends. This year Megan came also and it was so great having her along. I loved getting to know her.
As leaders, we stayed up even later than the girls talking. Part of that is that I seem to have some kind of camping insomnia and can never sleep and want to talk. We stayed up late laughing and talking about fun things like budgeting, health insurance, our families, how we met our husbands and of course, sharing our birth stories.
We also had along some great priesthood (mormon talk for men leaders) leaders that I loved talking with. They all carry guns, which I find comforting and creepy at the same time. I've had several offers to help address my gun fear issues. These are great men and all of us leaders have a strong love of the outdoors in common. The girls not so much. It's funny to me that a good portion of the girls don't want to be out backpacking. I love it.
I was emotional on this trip and at one point we were praying together as leaders back at camp and i was overcome with a feeling of gratitude and couldn't help but cry. It's been a great experience for me.