In my naive, only-child ways, I truly believed adjusting to life as a family of four would be easy. B and I have kept a tiny human alive for the last two years and seven months who has become more and more independent. People far less equipped than us have done the same. And the same less equipped people managed to add additional tiny humans to their families. B and I should have had this in the bag.
But here’s the thing. Your independent, creative, funny toddler may start to resemble the Honest Toddler. Suddenly there are temper tantrums coming out of a child that previously kept good listening ears on all day. He’ll only want to eat when the baby is eating and the rest of the time can be found orchestrating a hunger strike with a level of enthusiasm that makes you wonder if Child Protective Services will be appearing at your house soon. When he eventually caves on his hunger strikes, he’ll refuse to eat anything but strawberries (which isn’t helpful because you don’t have any in the house).
Navigating sibling relationships is such a strange journey for me. This is the closest I’ve ever been to siblings before. Even though W is only two weeks old, there is a dynamic relationship forming between him and T. It is fascinating to watch and such a heavy responsibility when I think of all the ways that my behavior will influence that relationship.
If there is one thing I want for my boys, I want them to be close in adulthood. I want them to feel like they always have each other. I want them to be the best man in the other’s wedding. I want them to always have a sense of family because of the other. I don’t want them to feel alone like I frequently do.
On May 20th, at 9:29 in the evening, Brian and I joyfully welcomed our second child, Wynn William. We are so grateful for a healthy boy, a safe delivery and the blessing of becoming a family of 4.
Wynn weighed in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces and 20 inches long. I was in labor for less than 9 hours and pushed for less than a half hour.
While I’m still a bit tender today, my birth experience with Wynn was absolutely incredible and I can honestly say it was everything I ever dreamed of.
I’m waiting. Five days away from my due date with Baby Number 2 and I am waiting.
I am contracting. I am dilated to 3 centimeters. My body is doing everything it is supposed to do but still I wait.
I am ready to have this little boy. I am ready to see his face. I am ready to hold him in my arms. I am ready for this family to become a family of four.
I am tired of waiting in this time of transition.
I went to a baby shower this afternoon for a girl I had grown up with at church. I am a few years older than she is so at times I felt like there was some confusion from other people about why I was there but there was always a closeness between the two of us.
Part of what makes a baby shower weird is the number of women who around my mother’s age and older who like to make comments about how “they didn’t have that when I had a baby and my baby turned out fine”. Which may or may not be true, depending on who you ask but that is another topic for another time. What makes it weird is that these are basic safety items. Or items that they wished they had when they were young mom’s but didn’t have available.
The other part that makes the shower weird is how it prompts women to ask those of child bearing age when they are going to have a baby, have another baby or stop having babies. If you have a boy, you are asked if you want a girl. If you have a girl, you are asked if you want a boy. You’ll be asked how many babies you want and questioned about your work status. I always love the question “So you’re a full time mom?” because it implies that for the 40 hours a week that I’m at my employer’s place of business, I stop being a mother. As if it is a switch that I can flip for 8+ hours a day.
For the most part, I’m able to remind myself that these questions come from a kind place. People aren’t asking these questions to make me feel uncomfortable or put me on the spot. They are asking these questions to form a bond, to feel a human connection. They are trying to take an interest in my life. And for that, I am grateful.
Every once in a while, a moment happens that blows my mind. Someone asked me today if I was pregnant as they touched the part of my belly that I’m not quite sure will ever go away even though I’ve been working hard at the gym to lose it. When I smiled and said that I hoped she didn’t know something I didn’t know, she asked if I had plans to get pregnant soon. Apparently, when you pass thirty, time is ticking.
It made me wonder if my uterus if falling down on the job. I had thought we were okay on time. T is only 20 months, full of energy and at a point where he can feel like a full time job. An adorable full time job but much like a job in retail, you don’t get the chance to get off your feet.
The worst part if knowing that I’ll probably forget all of this in 30 to 40 years and still ask these awkward questions.
So my mom threw her back out. Like call the doctor, beg for muscle relaxers, hide at home threw her back out. Which is problematic for me because my mom watches Baby T during the day so I can work.
Of course yesterday we had friends offer to watch T for us but that’s when we still thought my mom would be okay for this morning so I turned them down and then woke up to the realization that it might be too late to call and ask for help. Because they have a little girl who does not sleep through the night with the same level of skill as T and they were probably exhausted.
So we went to the office because I had two or three things that I just had to get done. And then we went to the supermarket. Mainly because I have this idea that Stay at Home Mommy has the time/energy/sanity to bake and I refuse to pay $45 to order lactation cookies online. We get home. We have a nurse and a cuddle. I put T down for a nap.
And nothing. The boy won’t sleep. He’ll cry. He’ll wrestle sleep sheep (who is playing whale noises at the moment). He’ll make desperate sounds I refer to as “Raptor Noises”. But he won’t sleep. Apparently, my baby boy will take epic naps at his grandmother’s house for three hours every morning but if I just want him to sleep for an hour and a half so I can make lactation cookies, that is way too much to ask.
He prefers to sleep on his boppy with my nipple in his mouth. I call it sleep nursing. He’ll sleep as long as he can drool out breast milk but the second that nipple is put away, he’s awake and he’s angry and I have failed as a parent (in his perception, fortunately, not mine).
I read somewhere that babies save their worst behaviors for their mothers and I wonder if T is testing that already. I suppose if he truly knows my love is unconditional, he can unleash the crazy that he might not want to share with the rest of the world.
Its a good thing I love his face.
On October 20th, Brian and I welcomed Tristan Thomas Morgan into the world after 31.5 hours of labor. He was 8 pounds, 10 ounces and 22 inches of awesome. He looks just like B but with my proportions (seriously, this boy has ridiculously long fingers for someone who can’t even use fingers yet).
Needless to say, I am completely in love with this beautiful creature.
Your days are numbered. I don’t mean this as a threat but as a reality check. You are quickly disappearing and I wonder how much longer I’ll be seeing you.
I didn’t think you would disappear so quickly. After all, you have always seemed oddly cavernous. At times, impossibly deep. As a teenager, I thought you severely impaired my ability to look as awesome as I could in a bikini. But still, you are disappearing and I thought we had a little more time.
I have to remind myself that behind your quickly disappearing space is a tiny human that is one part Dorie, one part Brian and all parts love. And that tiny human also does not have a belly button which makes me feel slightly better about my own lack.
So Bellybutton, I look forward to seeing you again soon. But not too soon. Try to be missing until October
Remember in elementary school, probably somewhere around the 4th grade, when girls started getting pulled aside for “The Talk”? Puberty was rapidly approaching so there was this urgent need to prepare girls for the changes that were about to happen to their bodies. Of course we don’t tell these girls the reality of those changes. Instead we tell them that some wonderful changes are about to happen to their bodies and they might feel dramatic but its how they will become women, blah, blah, blah…
Please note we leave out the reality of bleeding from your vagina once a month until The Change happens (tampons are expensive). We also leave out the judgment that women will pass on other women based on the changes that happen to their bodies but that’s another story for another time.
This story is about how everyone lied to me about puberty. Four and a half years after I got The Talk, I finally got my period. Six years after that, I finally had enough breasts that I could buy a bra that fit but it was really just for show since I didn’t need it. The only thing that came in when it was supposed to: Hips. Like those are useful on a young woman with no other curves what so ever.
So after the disappointment that was puberty, I didn’t really believe the hype about pregnancy. Yes, I know, there is nothing more dramatic than a baby growing inside of a person but I was told in puberty changes were coming any day and none of the changes showed up until years had passed.
I had to buy maternity pants at 6 weeks. And by week 10, I went up two full cup sizes. I haven’t been able to see both feet at the same time while standing for about a month now. And I haven’t managed shoe laces in three weeks. FYI, I’m 22 weeks pregnant.
I keep hearing its going to get worse. I finally believe them.
B and I are really excited to share the news that we are expecting our first child in October. We’re super excited. I can’t wait to meet our Baby and see what Baby will be like. This baby is very wanted and very planned.
It’s a crazy experience so far. I’m 22 weeks and amazed at all of the changes to my body. Its like puberty, but hyper speed changes.
Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you
My career and my blogging/writing have no intersection whatsoever. I work in
Pharmaceuticals where there seems to be this sometimes spoken but usually unspoken
rule: social media is a dangerous beast you should avoid. As a result, I spend a lot of time
wondering how hazardous it is to my career for me to tweet, facebook or blog.
For a long time, I avoided all of it. I took something I loved, blogging, and put it on the
shelf in my mind where I did not touch it. I stop journaling. I stopped tweeting. I stopped
responding to comments. All I did was lurk.
The biggest problem with lurking is that it made my ideas smaller. I started to doubt my
opinions and I started to doubt my ability to convey my ideas and insights effectively.
I would read a post and think “wow, this guy is an uneducated jack ass” or “that’s
interesting but I wonder what happens when X, Y and Z also apply” but I would never say a
After a while, I started to notice this trickle down into other areas of my life. My ideas
became smaller. Instead of writing 1000 words a day, I started struggling to write Haiku on
post-it notes or I would think about how I wanted to blog but I didn’t know what I wanted to
say anymore. I changed how I interacted with my friends and family. It was until recently
when my mother made some comment about how much “sweeter” I’ve become over
the last two years that I realized that something was wrong with the direction that I was
growing. (Side note: I can’t think of a single person who knows me well who could refer
to me as “sweet”. I don’t even think my husband could. “Feisty” is usually the descriptive
term assigned to me which is good because “feisty” is interesting and “sweet” stays
home to do the dishes while her husband has an affair. “Aggressive” or “dominant” tend
to be the terms assigned to me when the person describing me isn’t feeling very nice.)
In some arguments, I could eliminate my career. I could find another career or change
industries but I could also face the same challenges with any of those changes. And then
there is the whole aspect that I like what I do for a living and I’m excited to see where it
The question I should really be addressing is how to find the place where my career and
writing do not negatively impact each other. I’ve long believed that there is room for both
in my life but I’ve been challenged to find the place where these two pieces can meet. And
really, the question I’m faced with yet again is how do I find balance between all of the
pieces of my life?