oh dear mother

I’ve posted before but having kids isn’t “hard”. Being a parent is hard.

Being a mom is hard.

You are thrust into this world of “I’m Supposed To Know Everything About Anything.”

I would call myself a novice planner. I like planning things and a lot of the time sometimes I hit bumps in the road that derail my plans subtly but I do plan. I didn’t have a birth plan, so to speak. Our plan was

  • get to hospital in time (read: E doesn’t want to deliver in the front seat of the vehicle)
  • try to go med free for as long as possible (as I am not Wonder Woman and I knew what I was about to attempt to accomplish)
  • and get the baby out in one piece

That’s it. I didn’t think I was asking too much. But after 39 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing during said 39 hours of labor, I felt defeated. I couldn’t take anymore and I wanted her out. Her heart rate was dropping, my epidural wasn’t working, I wasn’t dilating past 9.5cm (and contrary to popular belief, you canNOT push a baby out at 9.5cm. It really does need to be a full 10cm), and I was exhausted. I asked for a c-section and I felt terrible. I immediately felt guilty that I was cutting myself short of that moment when I push the baby out and I get to hear “It’s A Girl!”

Instead, I was wheeling out of the L&D room with my husband left standing there, asking WTF was going on. I kept saying “Someone get my husband. Where is my husband?” I got into the OR and all I remember was bright ass lights and the staff almost dropping me. Twice. I started shaking and crying uncontrollably. I had so many drugs running through me, I couldn’ t control myself. They strapped my arms down, which freaked me out even more.

It was only after I felt them cutting my abdomen that I yelled out “WHERE IS MY HUSBAND” and I felt a hand on my shoulder and his voice, saying “I’m right here”. I still couldn’t stop shaking and I was feeling every cut, push, and tug but knowing he was there made me feel a little better.

After both E and I yelling at the anesthesiologist that I needed something for the pain, I didn’t hear anything. I never heard the gender, I didn’t hear her cry, I didn’t see her, no one held her around the curtain to show me her little face.

Just blackness.

I woke up sometime later and I looked around at the recovery area, not knowing what time or day it was. I looked to my left and I saw my husband, slumped over in a chair, sleeping in the most uncomfortable looking position. I called his name and as he woke up, his first words were “She’s here and I saw her.” I passed back out.

I woke up later and I didn’t see my husband. I was worried but I saw that the nurses had given him a bed in the next recovery stall so he could get some sleep. They wheeled me back up to my room but still, no one had said anything about my daughter.

This was not the way I imagine my daughter coming into the world! I wanted her, I wanted to see her and tell her that I love her and tell her that I was sorry.

E later told me that she was in the NICU and that I could see her later. 12 hours later, I finally got to see my daughter.

I wish I had seen this blog post floating around when I had just given birth.

The first week home was a nightmare. The screaming.

Oh, the screaming.

I remember having to walk into the bathroom and just sit and cry for a minute because I felt like such a huge failure. I couldn’t figure out what the hell was wrong with my baby and why she hated me. It was a nightmare.

I have some awesome friends that talked me down from the ledge, assured me that Beanie did not hate me and gave some awesome advice.

And then there were THOSE people.

The ones that said “oh, this too shall pass” or “It gets better, I promise!”

Thanks but thinking “it gets better” wasn’t at the forethought of my mind.

Then one Ninja Mom messages me and says: I know that it seems like you’re getting your ass kicked right now. Getting your ass by a tiny human who doesn’t yet know how to be a human. It’s our jobs how to teach them to be a human. It’s not easy and it’s not pretty. I won’t say it gets better but some days are worth it more than others. It’s ok to put her down in a safe place, walk away for a min, even cry. When you regroup, come back and start over.

Another Ninja mom said: letting go of other people’s bullshit is what makes you supermon – not trying to do it all and having a nervous breakdown.

After reading these, I realized that pile of laundry can sit. Those dishes are still going to be there tomorrow. I let me guilt overwhelm me so much, I honestly thought “maybe I do have a touch of PPD? It can’t be this bad, right?”

Motherhood is not a fairytale. It’s a sorority of The Elite. Within this sorority, you have some of your best friends. Not because they hug you and tell you “this too shall pass” but because they give it to you straight and they will shake the shit out of you when necessary.

The only mother that has every had it all is Martha Stewart and she had a team doing it for her.

50 must-do rules for dads of daughters

This email has been circulating around for quite some time and I posted it to E’s facebook page a while ago but in transferring computers, I came across it again and to read it again, it put an even bigger smile on my face.

50 must-do rules for dads of daughters.

1. Love her mom.

2. Always be there

3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you.

4. Savor every moment you have together.

5. Pray for her.

6. Buy her a glove and teach her to throw a baseball.

7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely.

8. Go ahead. Buy her those pearls.

9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.

10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time.

11. There will come a day when she asks for a puppy. Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”

12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money.

13. Make pancakes in the shape of her age for breakfast on her birthday.

14. Buy her a pair of Chucks as soon as she starts walking. She won’t always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.

15. Dance with her.

16. Take her fishing.

17. Learn to say no.

18. Tell her she’s beautiful.

19. Teach her to change a flat.

20. Take her camping.

21. Let her hold the wheel.

22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.

23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.

24. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.

25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic.

26. It is in her nature to make music. It’s up to you to introduce her to the joy of socks on a wooden floor.

27. If there’s a splash park near your home, take her there often.

28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late.

29. If her mom enrolls her in swim lessons, make sure you get in the pool too.

30. Never miss her birthday.

31. Teach her to roller skate.

32. Let her roll around in the grass.

33. Take her swimsuit shopping. Don’t be afraid to veto some of her choices, but resist the urge to buy her full-body beach pajamas.

34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.

35. She’ll probably want to crawl in bed with you after a nightmare. This is a good thing.

36. Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father’s hand. Never forget this.

37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.

38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.

39. Holding her upside down by the legs while she giggles and screams uncontrollably is great for your biceps.

40. She might ask you to buy her a pony on her birthday. Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one though.

41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.

42. Let her know she can always come home.

43. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day.

44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday.

45. Learn to trust her.

46. When in doubt, trust your heart.

47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life.

48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.

49. The dating day is coming soon. There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be.

50. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.

As I look at the fact that her first birthday is looming, I read these 50 items and think this is a survival guide of sorts for E. This little girl looks at him and her face glows. She couldn’t give two shits if there is ice cream or ponies or even mama around, when her daddy is there, her world continues to spin. I don’t think I’ve been replaced in E’s life but I have some serious competition 🙂

Sherry Steak Marinade

E and I wanted a quiet night since we had been running around like crazies for the last week so we grilled and watched movies.

An acquaintance of mine turned me onto this recipe, which I believe was her own that she just threw together. (I double it)

4T of Sherry

4T of Soy Sauce (Low Sodium works)

2T of white sugar

2T of Honey

1 clove of Garlic (because of my love affair with garlic, I use about a heaping tablespoon)

Mix together and pour over steak, marinade for 2-24 hours

Grill as you would any other steak but be careful because the flame will burn the sugar and honey of this mixture.

The best part – only 39 cals per tablespoon of marinade 🙂

A Natural Mom

A woman who posts on the same message board as I do posted a question regarding a statement that was made.

“Are you a natural mom?”

There were a variety of answers to this post. It was definitely mixed across the board.

Mine: not only no but HELL NO.

Anyone that knew me pre-Beanie would agree.

I was always of the mind set that children should be seen and not heard. I didn’t want to mess with them, I didn’t want to be around them, I didn’t want anything to do with kids. They weren’t “my thing”. And I was ok with that.

8 years ago, I sat in a doctors office while he told me that “the chance of my conceiving naturally were 10-15%” and if I made it that far, my chances of carrying to term were 2-5%. Not great odds.

This very conversation threw me deeper into a spiral of “not giving a shit” about reproduction. I had convinced myself that it was completely ok that I wouldn’t have a child. I tried not to let it bother me. As a result, I adopted the mind set of “children can be fun as long as I can give them back.” And that’s how I operated for the past 8 years.

Over the past decade or so, I encountered women that were literally the epitome of a Natural Mom. These women need to have children in their lives because, regardless of what they were doing with their lives, they ultimately were put on earth to be a mother.

I was not one of those people. At all.

Enter E.

He wanted children. He wanted children who would be running around, playing sports, entertaining, making a house a home. I was very upfront in my thoughts. I didn’t think I would ever get married again and I definitely didn’t see myself having children. At this point in my life I have been through so much that I didn’t see myself as a mother. I saw myself as someone who was thrown into my work, traveling, and living my life. E was ok with this plan on the surface but deep down, I could tell he wanted the family life.

He came to make me want children.

With my past, I wasn’t positive I could give him that wish. And that killed me.

Fast forward 11 months into our relationship — we were having a baby. We knew there was a risk with us “not being careful” but with a 10-15% chance, why would we bother “being careful?”

LOL

Think again.

I always say that E chose me. He chose to take me on with all of my issues and believe me, I’m action packed with issues.

Beanie so obviously chose me.

Beanie has saved me from more than she will ever know. I can’t imagine my life without her. She is this 20lb lump of awesome. She giggles and smiles and lights up a room in only a way that she can. While I can’t explain, nor do I ever hope to have to explain, to Beanie why I considered her to have saved me, she will never know that there was ever a doubt in my mind about me having a child.

Does this mean I’m a natural mother? Nope. Does this mean that I will be the mother she wants? Probably not. Does this mean I will try my hardest to be the mother she needs?

I will die trying.

Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them. – unknown

Buttery Alfredo Sauce

Now that we have an actual real life house (that isn’t the size of a postage stamp), I’m excited to cook. E is a Meat-And-Potatoes Man but he will branch out and eat what I make. Since he’s been back to the gym and I’ve been still trying to lose this baby weight, I try to make things that are healthier/lower carb/higher protein. I love alfredo sauce but the nearest Olive.Garden is 90 mins away. (Everything is 90 freakin mins away…) so I found a recipe via allrecipes.com and decided to give it a whirl

I cut the recipe in half to accommodate E and I. I’m a huge fan of cheese. The stinkier the better, in my opinion. Fontina has the feet smell but tastes fantastic. And garlic. Garlic makes the world better. E laughs at me and jokes that I’m worried I’ll get attacked by vampires so I eat so much garlic. I totally don’t believe in that crap but hey, at least I’m covered 😉

So after throwing everything in the pot, I ended up with sauce.

The only issue I had was it didn’t thicken the way I would have liked it to. I’m wondering if I didn’t add enough flour but either way, it was delicious. I poached from chicken (two chicken breasts, some low sodium chicken broth, 15 mins on each side starting with top breast up), and then served with spaghetti noodles. I attempted cups in the oven with the noodles, chicken, and sauce but sadly it didn’t happen. I’ll have to try again.

Either way — 2 thumbs up from E and I. At only 297 cals for 1/2 of one serving (I made it to serve 4), I’ll take it!

Movin’ On Up…

To the North Side.

Seriously, we moved. To Maine. For Real.

I know what you’re thinking — Who the f*ck moved to Maine? Is Maine in Canada? Are you required to have a dual citizenship?

All questions that we’ve been asking.

We moved to Maine for work. The CG made us do it. (It was either here, Michigan, or NorCal).

Maine is NOT in Canada. No kidding but our small boats have U.S.A. on the sterns.

You are not required to have a citizenship of Canada to live in Maine. We aren’t THAT far north.

So yea. We’re “Mainiacs” now. Life here is very different from Maryland.

The people here are friendly. They will actually stop and talk to you as you walk by. If you trip and fall, they will help you up. Down in Maryland, you may have someone stop but they’re only stopping to see if you dropped anything valuable. So they can take it while you’re trying to get back up.

Driving up here is super different then down there. Down in MD, it’s all:

And they’re serious about it. I, myself, am very guilty of this. If I’m slowing down to let you in front of me, that means I’m in a good mood. Don’t get me wrong, one person is not going to hinder me getting to my destination any faster but it’s the principle.

And then there are the pedestrians. Pedestrians are supposed to have the right-of-way. I hate wanders. I hate tourists. I hate those people that don’t realize that their feet have left sidewalk and now they hinder my abilty to turn my vehicle off one street and on to another, thus creating a traffic jam.

With that said:

Ok, show of hands. Who doesn’t love a good ecard? These things – they have one for everything!

So yea, we moved. I’ve been at my new unit for a month now, E is job hunting, and Beanie is in day care. That gives me heart burn. She is still the happiest baby EVER. Seriously, we get comments all.the.time about what a happy baby she is and how cute she is and how she is the Ger.ber.Baby.

But day care = death.

I’m exaggerating, obviously. But kids are filthy creatures. The only thing kids like to share at this age is germs. I’ve seen one kid LICK another kid. Who does that?! I’ll tell you, dirty kids do that. Beanie lucked out and made it through her first 4 days there. And then comes Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease. Let me tell you how dirty I felt having to explain to my command that my kid has this “disease”. Fortunately they all have kids and they’ve been through it but ew. She recovers for a week and then she goes back. Only to get conjunctivitis. WTF is in the water there?? So she’s out of another day. She just finished her 3rd week there so I’m wondering what illness will plague our house next.

But through all of this, she has been so happy. And she’s getting cuter by the day.

You’ll notice that we’ve moved blogs too. I was using blog.ger but I wasn’t digging the new interface so we came over to wordpress. I went ahead and bought the domain name since it was easier. We still have the Shutter.fly site but it became awkward to post on so we came back to a blog.

Here’s hoping this idea lasts longer 😉

rachelkern152

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