Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Letting Go of Guilt

 My husband and I have been talking about both of us going back to school, and I'm afraid I'm going to be a failure at school or a failure at being a mom. I feel like I'm not going to be a good mom if I don't spend a lot of time with my kids. I feel like I am a terrible mom for allowing anyone else to watch my kids while I get to do something else: go back to school. I feel like I'm being incredibly selfish even considering the idea. I loved the academics of high school and college. I've been dreaming of going back someday, but I thought it could never be a possibility.

I hear so many moms say things:

"I'd do anything to get to stay home with my kids."
"I wish I could have more kids."
"I'm so glad I get to home school my kids."
Dr. Sears and attachment parenting. Charlotte Mason and her ideas about schooling.
And I'm surrounded by stay-at-home moms with no plans to go back to work.

I feel guilty for not feeling the same way. I think maybe it's my pride-if God has called me to stay at home, then I should learn to be content.

I absolutely love and adore my children I love them so much my heart aches and I hold them close and I tell them that I love them often. Even recently I can remember being so happy at home.

But then my husband mentioned that I could be a nurse practitioner. I'm still not 100% confident in my ability to do well in all the classes. I think he has more confidence in me than I do.

And I heard stories about other moms going back to work-even becoming doctors!

Hope grows inside me daily. I have wonderful in-laws who offered to watch my kids as often as we need. I know my kids will be well-loved there. I know that I can pump to feed my baby, and I know that formula is an acceptable supplement if needed. I am not going to feel guilty for these choices.

I don't need to worry.

In the words of an admired friend:

"If God's given you a dream he's given you the grace to be a good steward of it... Our kids need more than caregivers, they need role models.... They need to see us channeling the energy of our life (and the light of God) into the world--- our babies need to always be and feel like our priority but they don't need to be our only thing--- I actually feel like the time we expend to cultivate our giftings and use them in the world energizes us in a way that makes us better parents! "

Friday, March 27, 2015

How my baby sleep trains me

I accidentally attachment parented my first because she needed to nurse all day, every day (or so it seemed). The transition to crib was tough for all of this.

This time I was going to wear my baby, bed-share, nurse on demand, the works.

And then I had my baby.

And he was nothing like my first. And I was nothing like the first time around.

This time, when I could feel myself struggling with my temper because my screaming baby wouldn't stop, I just put him down and took a break. Sometimes he would cry the whole time, but often he would fall asleep.

He's found his thumb. If I can't rock/bounce him to sleep, he usually can calm himself down within minutes.

This past week he's been falling asleep at fairly predictable times. And by 7:30 pm he's usually ready for sleep and stays asleep until around midnight.

Then I usually nurse him next to me and he sleeps next to me until morning.

But the past couple of nights he doesn't want to sleep next to me anymore. He nurses, and then he squirms and kicks and then I put him back in his rock n play and he goes right back into a deep sleep.

This morning he just needed to be burped and then slept in his own bed for another couple of hours. He's been napping beautifully and he's so happy for most of his awake time. He loves to smile and make baby noises.

He's only three months old, so I'm sure I'm in for all kinds of changes. But for now my baby is teaching me about letting him sleep.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

What if....extraordinary?

I'm listening to Andy Stanley preach tonight, and it's a good challenge:

What if you decided to be extraordinary in your roles in life? What if you asked yourself, "What would an extraordinary person do?"

If we are Christians, we believe that we matter, that everyone is created in God's image, and should be treated that way.

My heart is broken tonight. There's so much sadness in my tiny little world. Most of the time I can live in my little bubble and pretend everything is peachy.
But there's death, miscarriage, divorce, broken relationships, letters from prison. It hurts my heart to feel the hurt of others around me. To admit my own hurt instead of living in denial.

If we could see us the way He sees us. Would we do what is right in our own eyes? We say it's OK because nobody gets hurt-except somebody always gets hurt. People are valuable, they are not commodities, and they should never be treated as such.

What if I thought before each decision, "If I were extraordinary, how would I act? How would I treat the person (my kids, my spouse, my family, the cashier at the grocery store) if I really believed they are extraordinary?"

I would yell less.

I would hug my kids and my husband more.

I would say, "I love you" and show it as often as possible.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

How my baby was born just in time.

This is a story of God's perfect timing. He cares about the little things. He cares about my family and brought August to us at the perfect time. He even orchestrated the events of the day so that I could have the birth story for which I prayed. 

On December 31, 2014, Adara woke up at 2 am crying. This doesn't happen very often, but when I does I get her some milk, let her lay down next to me, and then bring her back to her bed when she is calmed down. This is what I did, but then she woke up again at 4am crying and this time she refused to go back to sleep. This never happens. Alex ended up taking her into the living room and watching TV with her so that I could get a few hours sleep. I then got up and sat with her so that Alex could sleep before he went into work. I got her some "coffee milk" and she fell asleep next to me.

Later that day I did my prenatal yoga, but I didn't clean as much as I sometimes do because I was already feeling pretty tired. I got a shower, Alex left for work, and Adara woke up early from her nap acting very tired and grumpy. I posted this photo and joked that August would come soon because of how ill-prepared I felt today. At this point I was not feeling great, and was even in the early stages of labor. I chalked it up to my lack of sleep and the Braxton Hicks I was feeling on a near-daily basis.
Again, Adara fell asleep in my arms. This rarely happens anymore, and I cherished these moments with her. I'm glad I did, because little did I know these were my last moments as a mom of one.


Meanwhile, my sister-in-law was keeping tabs on me. Apparently she thought the baby was coming soon, even though I was insistent that everything was normal.
While cuddling with Adara, I heard a fairly loud "pop" that was just like when my water broke with Adara-I quickly rushed to the bathroom to find absolutely NO leaking. I googled it, and apparently popping and crackling noises are common in the last trimester. Since it was so obvious when my water broke with Adara's pregnancy, I assumed it was just another weird pregnancy symptom.
I hadn't been very diligent about scheduling my last appointments. I just didn't feel like going in and getting checked-just to me told my baby may or may not be coming soon. I now wonder if I'd gone in that day if this story would have ended up differently.

That evening I spent some time cleaning up and trying to play with Adara. At some point in the evening I gave her a bath. She was splashing a lot and so instead of getting upset, I climbed into the tup with her-this caused instant relief from the pain I was experiencing, and Adara loved pouring water all over my giant belly. Adara was super cooperative the rest of the evening-she helped me wash the dishes, clean up her books, and put away her toys.

Unfortunately I spent at least half the evening in the bathroom because I felt like I had to go ALL THE TIME! Looking back, I should have known that it was labor, despite the fact that I hadn't had the "gush of water" that I had with my first delivery. I spent most of that time reminding myself to relax, and that even Braxton Hicks contractions help prepare my body to give birth. Adara watched "A Bugs Life" and then requested to watch "The Lady and the Tramp." Since it wasn't quite her bedtime-and because at this point I was in pain more often than not-I put the movie in for her and resumed my position at the toilet. As her bedtime drew near, I took her to brush her teeth, bending over the sink to relieve all this terrible back pain I was experiencing. I explained to her that I didn't feel well, so I couldn't sing to her for very long. She lay down with no complaints.

I then decided to lay down to see if this really was labor, or if these terrible Braxton Hicks would finally go away. I decided to clue my husband in on how I was feeling.



Right after I sent that last message I felt a huge gush of warm liquid and I jumped out of bed as fast as possible. I immediately started shaking (excitement, fear) and called Alex. I said, "Come get me now!" He replied, "Ok" and hung up. I accidentally FaceTimed my mom instead of calling, and announced to her (and anyone who could hear my mom's phone at the Musgrove house) that my water just broke. At this point I was feeling really terrible. I dropped my phone during a contraction, and just managed to send one more text message to Alex (at the bottom of the photo).

Alex made it home in record time. He ran to get Adara, and I tried to get clothes on that weren't soaked in amniotic fluid. I started to put on flip flops and Alex said, "You need to put on pants first!" Apparently my mind wasn't thinking all that clearly. He put Adara, her diaper bag, and our duffle bag into the car and we headed to the hospital. Alex explained that his mom is going to meet us there to save time. I told him that I called my mom, but that I forgot to call Callie. He told me not to worry about it.

I had several more contractions on the less-than-ten-minute drive to the hospital. Alex said, "Don't worry-you're good at this! I'm excited-we're having a baby!" I reminded myself to stay calm, and Adara echoed my self-soothing technique, saying, "It's OK Mommy! It's OK!" Having them both talk to me helped me relax despite my discomfort.

Alex parked right next to the emergency room to try to get me in as soon as possible. As God would have it, there was no one in the emergency room when we got there, so Alex carried Adara and walked me up to the fourth floor. We stopped through each of my contractions, and I commented that doctors always say it's good to walk to encourage labor, so it's good that I was walking to the women's floor.

We got to the fourth floor and Alex opened the door with his work badge. He quickly found a nurse and said something about how his wife is about to have a baby. She came over and asked if I could fill out a form. I said I could, explained that my birth plan is in the car, and started filling out the form. I got part way through and then had to stop because of another intense contraction. Alex finished filling out the paper for me, and the nurse directed us to a room. Alex brought Adara down to his mom, and the nurse handed me a hospital gown.

I then spent a good 10 minutes just in the bathroom getting through some contractions. Once I came out of the room my robe lasted about a minute before I took it off. I kneeled on the floor and put my arms on the side of the bed. I swayed a little to help get through the contractions, but I was fast loosing any sense of calm I had when I first entered the room.

I told the nurse I didn't want to do this all-natural anymore. She explained that an epidural required blood work and that it might take some time. I said okay and tried to breathe through my next contraction. Alex came up and I told them both to remind me why I was doing this all-natural again. Alex reminded me that I'm good at birthing a baby. I tried to remember that all-natrual makes the baby come quicker. 

At that point Alex said I stopped making much sense. He said I just kept saying "I can't do this anymore." My main nurse checked me and said I was at a 7. Another nurse came in and said "When you finish a contraction let me know, so that I can put your help lock in." I told her that I was NOT done with the contraction. The nurse tried to strap a monitor around me, and told me that she needed me to get on the bed because she couldn't get a very good heartbeat and they were worried. I told her that I could NOT get up on the bed. She checked me again and said that I was at a 9 (this was maybe 5 minutes after checking me the first time). Shortly after that, I felt an incredible urge to push, and announced that I was peeing all over the floor. Somehow after that the nurses got me on the bed and called the doctor on-call. I was still on all fours on the bed, and the nurses and doctor told me that the baby would come quicker if I could get on my back. I told them that I could NOT get on my back. One nurse calmly came beside me and I wrapped my arms around her and she and the other nurses moved me around. I bear-hugged this nurse and pushed a few more times. I felt like my body was doing something that I had no control over-I just had to do what my body was telling me to do. I yelled to put the bed up so that I wouldn't be flat on my back, and the doctor and nurses calmly explained that they were already doing so. I had my eyes closed almost this entire time, but opened them to see a room full of 3 or 4 nurses and the doctor getting ready to catch the baby. I put my hands on my legs and pushed. I heard a nurse say to breathe, relax, and push one more time. I did, and out he came! 
The doctor asked Alex if he wanted to cut the cord, and he said no. The doctor then said, "Well, then, does Mama want to cut the cord." So I said, "Sure," and cut where she told me, my placenta still inside me. She told me to push one more time to deliver my placenta, and I did no problem. I asked to see it, since I didn't get to see mine last time. The doctor showed me where the baby was in the sack, and where the placenta part was. She checked me and said I had no tearing, only a few abrasions!

I immediately felt that endorphin rush. The nurses weighted August, and then let me hold him. Soon after someone offered me a hospital gown so that I would be covered. Within moments of August being skin to skin, he latched on and began breastfeeding. Alex snapped a couple photos and sent them to family. I felt amazing, relieved, and shocked that my baby was already here.

My mom and Callie arrived shortly after August's arrival. They have been a huge source of help and encouragement. Here's the first news on facebook. 



And here I am with my precious baby! The rest of the hospital stay went great! I did take Motrin because the pitocin and breastfeeding made my uterus contract. This is good, but also painful! I could walk around after giving birth! This was the kind of recovery I'd heard about with a natural birth, and I'm so thankful that everything happened just as it did. I'll leave you all with a few photos from the hospital.










Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Naming our Baby Boy

We've known the name for months now, but I hesitated posting it all over the internet. We've shared it with family, friends, and in our Christmas card. I've decided to blog about it to commemorate picking his name, and the meaning behind it.

Augustus Galen. We are calling him August. "Augustus" means "great" and "Galen" means "calm". We thought "great calm" was a perfect name for our second child. We love the history behind the name "Augustus," and I think it is aptly paired with his "Galen". We found his middle name by looking for "G" names online, so that baby August and his sister Adara could have the same initials.

"Great Calm" is also how I feel about this pregnancy. It hasn't always been this way, and I'm sure there will be bouts of anxiety and over-excitement in the future, but right now I feel perfectly at peace. I know he will come when he is ready, I feel adequately prepared for his arrival. I know that I am surrounded by people who love and support us, and I know that Adara is over-the-moon excited to meet "baby August".

God has prepared us for this second bundle of joy. He continually shows us how he provides for us abundantly more than we deserve. This season of Advent-waiting-has never seemed more true for me this year.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving parts one and two

Such a fun, family-filled day:) I'm snuggling with Adara, so this post is mostly photos:
Part one at my house
Part two at my grandparents' house
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!












Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving eve: Moving up and out

Well, nesting has started for sure! I've wanted to move the changing table out of Adara's room so we can use it in our room for our newborn (Adara isn't potty trained yet, but she's easy to change without a table). I finally cleaned up and organized her room and took out a set of plastic drawers and the changing table. Her room looks so much bigger!

We have a really big master bedroom, so finding a place to put the changing table was no problem. I also am using some of Adara's drawers for baby boy stuff. Adara doesn't need it right now, and I don't have to buy new drawers. I'm sure our infant won't care that his boy clothes are in pink drawers.


I also adjusted Adara's carseat. Thanks to my infant CPR and carseat safety class, I now know that a forward facing carseat needs straps at or above the toddler's shoulders. Doing so meant taking out the booster's insert-another reminder of how fast Adara is growing! ps-I adjusted the headrest back after taking this photo. Adara's quote: "I'm SO safe!" She will be now that I know her carseat is fit for her.


I'm so thankful I was able to get some baby-related tasks accomplished! I can now focus on other things-like making sure I'm prepared for Thanksgiving tomorrow!