Well, it’s a big day tomorrow. Our 10th wedding anniversary. I spent some time looking through old photos, reminiscing. It’s amazing how we’ve changed over the years. Not just physically, but emotionally, and spiritually. Such a long, strange journey.
I had this enormous blog post planned, sharing my marriage secrets, but it just doesn’t feel right. What works for us won’t work for everyone. But I’ll give you the short hand version. Chris and I dream together, we make goals. And together, we make them happen. Even if it’s just something silly, like tearing down the disgusting old chicken coop. I think it’s so important to make goals together. You learn to be each other’s anchor, how to support each other, and how to recognize the other is faltering. We become so focused on our personal goals that we forget to sit down and just dream, make plans, together. It’s also important to be completely honest. Yes, my husband tells me when my pants make my butt look big, and if what I cooked tastes like moldy garbage. I trust him like I trust no one else because he always tells me the truth. Even when it hurts my feelings.
That’s it. I won’t sermonize about marriage. Instead I shall lament the state of my garden.
It failed miserably. I got five cherry tomatoes, lettuce, radishes and broccoli. The rest of the tomatoes have been green since the beginning of July, the cucumbers are laughing at me and the green beans just died. Thirty six green bean plants and they’re all dead. Absolutely pathetic. This has been such a strange summer. We’re still on the fence if we’re going to build a greenhouse this fall or next. It just may have to be this fall. We planted a lot of veggies with the intention of preserving and freezing them. And we got nothing! Such a disappointment.
Nothing else too exciting going on around here. We aren’t even going to really celebrate our anniversary. Saturday we got ourselves a babysitter so we can go get a Juicy Lucy and a beer. Now for our 15th, we hope to go up to Lake of the Woods and fish for a week. Low key, that’s how we like it. Chris and Grace are at the archery range right now while I hold down the fort. Enchiladas and refried beans are cooking and Luke is napping. There’s a book softly calling to me and it’s about time I answer…..
I didn’t cry. I got teary putting him in his car seat, and when showing coworkers pictures. But I did not cry. I think I sobbed all the tears out last night. Luke did great at daycare, no problems with bottles. Yes that makes me mad. I wanted him to cry, to refuse bottles. MISS ME DAMMIT! I realize that’s irrational and I don’t care. As soon as I got him home, I nursed him. All was right in my world after that.
Pumping at work was…awkward. Sitting in the back of my mail truck while attached to a breast pump just wasn’t the way I wanted to spend my day. Plus it’s hot back there! But it’s better than formula. I have found that drinking a lot of water before starting, and leaning forward is really helpful. I’m sure with time the awkwardness will fade away.
So we made it through our first day drama free. There’s still the rest of the week for things to fall apart. Me in particular. It just doesn’t feel right, not being with my newborn. One day at a time, I know I’ll get through this. I’ll just have to squeeze Luke a little tighter. And refuse to share him with daddy!
Today is my last day of maternity leave. To say my heart is breaking is an understatement. My eyes and heart have been teary all day. I can’t imagine not spending every waking hour with my babies. Thanks to bed rest and laws that don’t support mothers, I am being forced back three weeks early. I am trying to trust in this struggle. I am trying to have faith that this is all part of God’s plan, there is a reason for all of this. Lord grant me strength.
Instead, let’s focus on the good. Grace passed her swim lessons! We’ll probably sign her up for another over the winter. But who knows? Grace has shown an interest in archery, and there’s a youth league we could sign her up for. I myself have been thinking over getting into bow hunting. Her interest finally gave me the push I needed to express my interest to Chris. He’s positively giddy. I don’t know if Grace’s interest will ever expand beyond archery and into bow hunting, but I want to support her varied interests in every way I can. So, I’ve been researching and test shooting bows. You can expect to find me decked out in camo and in a tree stand for the 2014 deer season.
My garden was left untouched for just over a week. It’s an untamed jungle and I’m afraid to step foot in it. The radishes have disappeared, but I did unbury the lettuce! It’s going to take a lot of work to get that jungle tamed, but I’m up for the challenge.
This is going to be a very emotional week. I know I’ll survive, I know that everything is going to be ok. But damn, it would be so nice to be a stay at home mom…
Things are starting to look up for my garden. Some of the tomato seeds have sprouted!
Isn’t it cute? There’s three more sprouts, still waiting on four. We’re growing 12 varieties because we are crazy. The broccoli is looking delicious.
Some of the cucumbers, pumpkins and one green bean have sprouted. I’m still angry the original plants died. We could’ve already been harvesting! But that’s ok, we’ll get over it. Oh, and I have lettuce sprouts, too!
Why are there so many weeds? 1. I’ve never grown lettuce before, so I don’t know what the sprouts look like. 2. We don’t use pesticides. All weeds are pulled by hand. My garden is massive, and it’s really hard to keep up with the pests. Especially now that I have a newborn. We are a real food family. We try our hardest to stay away from GMOs and chemicals. Plants absorb that crap, and then you eat it. Go read the bottles of fertilizers/pesticides. That’s what you’re eating!
Ok, I’m off my soap box. This has been a great week so far. I’ve been waging war on the weeds, G started her swim lessons, and she made some new friends. I creamed Grace in UNO yesterday. She still secretly thinks I cheated. No, I did not. For the past two nights, Luke has slept for five straight hours. Heaven. If you’re wondering, those five hours feel like heaven. I’m still exhausted, just not as much as usual.
I’m hoping to take a much needed nap soon. I will probably be dreaming of all the delicious meals I’ll soon be making with veggies I grew myself…
Last night, I finally remembered to put a spare outfit in the diaper bag. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We sat in the main worship area in church today instead of the crying room. Luke did great at first, but started to fuss a bit. Chris decided to walk him around to calm him. So I’m sitting there, and the minutes are passing, no sign of Chris. I kept looking over at the doors whenever someone came into the worship area. I swear at least 10 minutes passed, and I was starting to worry. Finally, I looked at the windows in the doors and there was my husband. A look of sheer, horrified panic on his face mouthing, “Help me! Help me!” Luke had violently exploded his diaper. Ah, newborns! Ya gotta love ’em!
We spent the rest of the day out in the yard. Chris finished building me little walking paths while I tried to contain the weeds. I’m fighting a losing battle, but at least the weeds won’t overtake the veggies this year.
We had a cold snap that killed most of my plants. I had to replant seeds, which really stinks. A few have sprouted, but I’m still anxiously awaiting most of them. Working in the garden is proving to be a great workout for me. I’m not struggling to move around as much anymore. I can do a steady two mile walk and a full yoga sequence. Not in the same day! But I’m trying to build up to that. Getting up and down from the floor is my biggest challenge. It’s amazing how much strength and stamina I lost from bed rest. This was a hard pregnancy, it will be quite some time before my body fully recovers. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a marathon, not a race.
Other than that, we are all still adjusting wonderfully with our new addition. Gracie loves her little brother. That little chunker is hard not to love. She is really looking forward to when we start introducing bottles, but that’ll be awhile yet. For now she is just enjoying holding him and going on our nightly walks together. We try to carve out a game or movie night once a week. Our life is simple but lovely. We are truly blessed.
Guess who baked muffins today? I did! And it was hectic. Little man started fussing the moment I started measuring ingredients. Into the bouncer with a pacifier he went. For the next 20 minutes or so I was running back and forth between him and the batter. I also got bread dough started. This is far and away my favorite blueberry muffin recipe. It’s light and fluffy and wonderfully lemony. The only change I make is to sprinkle a heavy layer of cinnamon and sugar on top. There’s always a fight for the last one.
Little man is such a sweet baby. He loves, loves, loves being snuggled. He’s a pretty decent sleeper, and he’s finally starting to get nursing down. Luke started off nursing for 40-60 minutes every hour and a half! Can you believe that?! Now we’re down to 20-30 minutes every 2-3 hours. Much better. He’s put on quite a bit of weight this last week. Little man is still wearing newborn sized clothing, but I don’t think that’ll last much longer!
As for me, every day is a little bit better. My feet are still a little swollen, but I can walk around with minimal discomfort! I’ve started doing a post-natal yoga sequence in the mornings. No surprise, it’s pretty painful! It’ll be quite a long time before I’ve fully recovered from this pregnancy. I have to keep reminding myself about that. I have been on bed rest and restrictions of some sort since December. My muscles and my stamina are long gone. I won’t get them back overnight. One step at a time, I will win this battle.
Other than that, life is pretty quiet around here. Grace is excited for summer. She’s going to be taking swim lessons and growing a flower fort. We are getting the garden ready this weekend. Can’t wait for fresh veggies! If you’ll excuse me, those muffins are calling my name…
Wednesday May 15th, I got the call. Preeclampsia, get thee to the hospital. They started the inducing meds at 10 pm and I gave birth on May 16th at 11:08 am with only 10 minutes of pushing. Being induced is highly unpleasant. I went from relaxed to screaming, “I NEED TO PUSH!!!” in about five minutes. The pain was so much more intense, I completely panicked. Sadly, I was on the verge of hyperventilating and threw up during labor.
It was so worth it. Lucas is absolutely perfect. 7 lbs 2 oz with a full head of hair. We had to stay the full two days due to my preeclampsia. My blood pressure was high, and they struggled to get it under control. I will be on medication for the next month. But the swelling is finally going down.
The doctor says it will take at least two weeks before its completely gone. Most of my pain and discomfort is gone. My skin is incredibly sensitive, but that’s not really a surprise. I was so dang swollen!
We are all settling in nicely. Grace loves holding her little brother, and he loves being held. I sleep better now than when I was pregnant. Chris is so overjoyed, I’m afraid he’ll burst. He is such an amazing father. I feel so blessed to have this beautiful family. So lucky. I’m actually pretty sad this will be our last child. I would love two more. But I know I could never go through another pregnancy like this. So I will be content with what I have. My little family is complete. And everyone is happy. What more could I really ask for?