A “Thank You” Letter to my Husband

Dear Hubby –

There are so many reasons why I love you and that list continues to grow every day.  I can’t imagine my life without you.  I love all the experiences that we’ve shared together and the life that we’ve created – especially our growing family.  I love the way that you love me and our daughter (daughter 2 will be arriving soon).  So with that being said, I want to Thank You.

Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for loving me even when I know I’m not being the nicest person.  When I’m tired and cranky, you are extra patient.  When pregnancy hormones are off the charts, you are understanding.  When my feet are swollen, you rub them.  When I just need to laugh so that I don’t cry, you’re my comic relief.  You offered to change dirty diapers when the smell was making me physically sick during the early parts of my pregnancy – and you still offer.  You give me time to just snuggle with our daughter while we watch her favorite cartoon while you hand wash her sippy cups.  You go above and beyond to spoil me and make sure I’m happy.  Thank You.

Thank you for loving our daughter.
You are the most amazing dad.  Our daughter adores you!  You are always there for whatever she needs.  You’ve fed her, changed her, bathed her, rocked her, etc…from day 1.  Watching you two play and laugh brings me so much joy.  She is a true daddy’s girl!  Thank You.

Thank you for making me a better person.
You make me strive to be a better person.  In every area that I struggle, you help me be stronger.  If there’s a situation that makes me nervous, you give me confidence.  Thank You.

Thank you for laughing with me.
I love laughing with you.  You laugh with me about things that to anyone else would not be funny – almost catching the kitchen on fire, our newborn daughter throwing up on you and then pooping on me, walking up our road to our house in the freezing cold because it was too icy for the car…  Our daughter already has an amazing sense of humor and enjoys laughing.  This is something that she can carry with her through life.  Thank You.

Thank you for experiencing life with me.
Thank you for being by my side for all of life’s adventures – both good and bad.  You were by my side for the hard times like losing grandparents and you were by my side for the great times too.  We graduated college.  We got jobs.  We got married!  We’ve traveled.  We bought a house.  We adopted a dog.  We had a baby (and soon another).  We survived having a newborn.  I don’t think I could have done any of those things with out you by my side.  Thank You.

So – although I don’t say it everyday, I hope you know how grateful I am for you and I appreciate everything that you do.  I love you with all my heart!

~ Your Wife

My In-laws

I don’t I will ever understand my in-laws.  My MIL (mother-in-law), was never really found of me when Hubby and I were dating.  I’m not 100% sure why, but I imagine she probably thought I was too controlling or held him back or wasn’t good enough…  I think the biggest reason is because she lost some control of her son.  She used to be able to tell him to jump and he’d ask how high, but when we started dating, he started making decisions that she could not control.  I’m not talking anything big or scandalous, I’m just talking basic things like hanging out with me all day instead of hanging out at the house with her.  Hubby and I didn’t always have the best relationship when we were dating, sometimes we would be on a “break” and then back together, but she added an additional layer of complexity.  She would try to convince him to move on or that I wasn’t right for him.  She never considered that I might make him happy.  So, because of that, me and my MIL have never been extremely close.  We’ve gotten closer after Hubby and I got engaged.  There was a “situation” here and there planning for the wedding and buying a house, but she’s really backed off a lot.  But, she is still sneaky and I don’t completely trust her.  She’ll still do things behind my back.  The most recent example of this happened over the weekend.

My in-laws came over to baby sit for us while Hubby and I ran some errands.  We were also checking out possible places to have Baby’s 1st birthday party.  We went back and forth on what we wanted to do for her birthday because we have a large family and our house can’t accommodate more than probably 16 people for a party.  So – we decided we would rent a hall so that we can invite about 30 of our closest family members and friends.  We discussed what our plans were with my in-laws and even tossed around the idea of have 2 separate parties at our house:  one for Hubby’s side and one for my side, but then thought it would be too much work and my in-laws agreed.  So – there was a lot of conversation going back and forth about the party.  The following day, my MIL called Hubby (which is out of the ordinary because he’s lucky if she even answers her phone when he tries to call).  Anyways, my MIL wanted to know if we could move the party up 2 weeks.  They are retiring at the end of September and moving to Florida.  (They already bought a house down there and have been staying w/ Hubby’s brother in the townhouse that my in-laws bought for him……)  So, instead of waiting until the end of October when we were planning on having the birthday party, they asked if we could have it 2 weeks earlier so that they wouldn’t have to wait up here or if they went to Florida, they wouldn’t have to come back up…because, you know, the dogs would be in Florida at that point and they wouldn’t trust anyone to watch the dogs and they don’t want to stay here that long because they wouldn’t’ have anything to do since they were retired.  She then offered to give us $500 (because that’s how much they would be saving on not having to buy 2 flights to come back).

I’m certain she called Hubby to discuss instead of talking about it while they were visiting because she knows I would have spoke up about it and Hubby would not.  However, Hubby is extremely upset about this.  He (and I) see it as them not being able to wait to leave (which not only includes the area but family) and that the dogs are more important than their first grandchild’s first birthday.  It would be too much of an inconvenience for them.  And then to try and smooth things over, they throw money at us.  I’m sorry, but no amount of money is going to change the fact that they are being hurtful.  I am used to it, but Hubby is extremely upset about it.  They take advantage of him all the time.  He will never say no to them and they take advantage of it.  My heart breaks for him.

So – now we’re going to be hosting 2 separate parties at our house.  1 party, 2 weeks early, for my in-laws and Hubby’s side of the family, and then another party, the weekend of Baby’s birthday for my side and our close friends (which Hubby refers to as “the people who really care and want to be there”).  So to make sure my in-laws aren’t inconvenienced at all, we will be inconvenience and will have twice as much work to do to prepare for 2 separate parties.

It’s so hard for me to not say something to my MIL.  Growing up, I was never shy about speaking my mind and pushing back on my parents…I was a good kid, never got in any trouble and did good in school, but – if I didn’t agree with something, my parents knew it.  I just don’t understand the concept of just not talking about it so to not stir up any conflict or disagreement.  Hubby has definitely grown closer to my parents over the years and is definitely much closer to my parents than his own and that’s only going to continue to grow and his relationship with his parents will continue to dissipate per their doing.  I’m happy he’s close with my family, but it makes me sad that he’s losing his relationship with his parents who we will rarely see them once they’re officially moved to Florida permanently.

So, long story short: if anyone has any good birthday party ideas, let me know! – since I’ll be hosting 2 parties.

10 months

A lot can happen in 10 months:  smiles, giggles, teeth, crawling…  I am certain that there is no baby as smart as mine or as gorgeous as mine.  My baby has the biggest, funniest, sweetest personality.  She has the most amazing blue eyes and an unnatural full head of hair – that makes her that much more adorable.  She already knows that Hubby (now Daddy) is a softy.  I don’t think she fully understands the power of having Hubby wrapped around her finger, but its only a matter of time.  Its unbelievable how much a baby changes your life.  I mean, everyone always tells you that it will, but I only really thought about things like the responsibilities, finances, family… but completely didn’t understand the emotional change.  I now understand the phrase “melts your heart”.  That is what my baby does to me constantly…melts my heart.  It’s almost like a pain but in a good way…  It feels SO good that its on the verge of pain.  I realize that doesn’t sound pleasant and its because until you have a child there’s no way to understand and/or explain this feeling.  I’m sitting here (at work) looking at her recent 9 month pictures and I miss her.  Daycare never gets easier, so don’t ever believe the lies that people try to tell you.

So, now what?  We have the most amazing miracle.  Do we dare to try for another baby?  How will baby #2 possibly compare to the perfection of our angel?  Because that’s what she is – she’s our angel.  I see so much of my grandmother (her namesake).  How can baby #2 compete?  Is it possible to have perfection twice…or three times… or ever four times (eek)?  With all the worries I have about having another baby, I’m sure I want one.  I want to experience this miracle again.  It’ll be different, but I think I’ll be more comfortable because in some ways, I’ll know what to expect or have a better understanding of what’s happening and of the miracle that it is.  I can’t wait to see our family expand and to see Hubby with another baby while probably having tea parties with our baby now.  Having a baby has made me faller deeper in love with Hubby.  I’ve always loved him (pretty much from the moment that I first saw him), but it’s a deeper love.  Watching him play with her and seeing her smile and laugh at him is amazing.

Well, I gotta run…  time to go pick up my baby from daycare!!!

My baby; my addiction

So, I’ve come to the conclusion that when you have a baby it turns into an addiction.  For instance right now I’m suffering from withdrawal.  I’ve had my fix of my baby for not only the last 12 weeks but also the 9 months prior to her birthday.  The last 12 weeks have been extremely intense.  You definitely go through stages where you feel like your “tripping” – granted it’s from a lack of sleep which also causes blood-shot eyes, but still.  You become dependent on having this drug.  When you’re high on it, things like getting pooped on is funny.  And then all of a sudden, its time to go back to work and its “cold turkey”.  It’s been about 10 hours since I’ve seen her – it was during an early morning feeding.  Hubby is home with her today so I didn’t see her again before I left because she was still sleeping.  So, I’m finding myself going through withdrawal.  I’m counting down the hours/minutes until I can go home and get my fix.  All of a sudden the pictures aren’t sufficient.  I would do anything to be able to just leave right now.  I’ve never had any type of addiction – I’ve never even smoked, but I feel like I can finally relate.  Although I keep telling myself that I’m fine and she’s fine, I can’t lose this feeling of needing to see her and hold her.  I miss her!

I’m a mom!

It’s been awhile since I last posted and a lot has happened!  I had a BEAUTIFUL baby girl!  The delivery was rather dramatic.  It turns out that epidurals don’t always work.  I had 2 separate ones and neither worked.  I asked the Dr. what we were going to do about the pain and her response:  Did you take any natural child-birth classes?  I don’t think there are words to even try to explain the terror that came across me.  Granted, women (including my mom) have babies without any drugs but I was approaching 6 cm. and didn’t want to be one of those women.  I had only 2 things on my “birth plan”:  Get to the hospital and get an epidural – so I guess 50% wasn’t bad…  And then it got more dramatic/scary.  My baby’s heart rate was being erratic and dropped so much that the Dr. yelled out that “We’re taking her!” and with that, several nurses came running in and was unplugging everything and they rushed me to an operating room where there was probably at least 10 people ready to do an emergency c-section which they completely knocked me out since the epidurals weren’t working.  Within 15 minutes they had her out.  She was perfectly fine with no problems and they took her to Hubby while I went to recovery.  I finally was able to meet my baby girl about 3 hours later!

And now about my beautiful baby girl.  8 lbs. 2 oz. and 21 inches of perfection.  She truly looks like a little baby doll…with hair.  Lots of hair!  Her hair was probably about an inch and a half long at birth!  (I should have measured it – that would have been an interesting thing to know.)  When people first see her, their first comment is always about her hair after they gasp.

I want to be honest about something…  starting about week 2 I definitely was struggling.  I suppose you could say I had a case of the Baby Blues.  I went into a state of panic and anxiety.  I kept thinking that maybe we made a mistake in having a baby.  We were definitely trying to get pregnant, but maybe we shouldn’t have.  Things for me and Hubby were perfect – why change something that was already amazing.  And then I felt guilty for feeling that way… why wasn’t I head over heels for my baby?  I was wanting an “undo”.  My friend who had her baby about 3 weeks earlier was always talking about how in love she was with her baby.  I couldn’t understand why I was missing that feeling.  I was having some troubles nursing too.  Apparently I have flat nipples – who knew?  So that created a lot of stress on top of everything else.  By about week 4 or 5 I had given up on nursing directly and resorted to just pumping and bottle feeding.  I slowly worked through the emotions that I was so embarrassed of having in the first place.  And then one morning she smiled.  Not a little gas smile – I’m talking the type of huge smile where you can see her little gums.  And then it happened.  I was head over heels in love.  I would say something as simple as “Hey baby girl” and she smiled again.  There’s been days since that have been extremely hard where I can’t wait for Hubby to get home to take her for a while – particularly the week after she got her immunization shots! – but now I get it.  I get why people want to have more babies.  I get why parents are so protective of their babies and I also get why it is so hard to take drop your baby off at day care. 

So 2 days ago I had to drop off my baby girl at daycare.  I barely slept several nights prior because I was dreading it.  I wanted to stay home with her instead of taking her to daycare.  I don’t like the possibility of her being more comfortable with strangers instead of me.  But – I have to go back to work.  Hubby and I discussed this before I got pregnant and we both decided that I would go back to work…and then re-discussed the days leading up to the worst morning of my life.  But, it was time.  I called my mom on the drive to daycare and I was doing ok.  Almost got choked up once or twice but I was ok.  Once I got there I took my baby in.  The lady that was in the infant room was very cold about the whole thing.  I have this very bad image of her in my mind now.  This larger harsh/cold lady with a raspy deep voice that took my baby.  (dramatized, I’m sure – but that’s how I see her now)  I felt like she wasn’t holding my baby the right way.  She seemed like she was holding my baby like a little girl would hold a baby doll under one arm – instead of cradling her nicely in her arms.  But, I wasn’t about to try to correct her.  So I hurried out of there before I said anything or worse, cried.  But – as soon as I shut my car door, I started to bawl.  I called my mom and couldn’t even say hello.  I just cried.  That was the worst feeling I’ve ever felt! 

I was only going to work for the morning and at noon, I practically ran to my car and in my screaming “I’m coming, Baby!!”.  When I picked her up, she was fine.  Swinging and content.  But – I scooped her up so quick and was out the door and heading home.  Once home, I couldn’t get her out of the car sear quick enough so that I could just hold her and snuggle up on the couch.  – which I’ve discovered is the best feeling ever!

Being sensitive to friends going through bad times

So – my OB/Gyn BFF if officially going through a divorce after 3 years.  They have a 9 month old baby.  They had a really nice house but recently sold it – and ended up owing on it.  Her soon to be ex-husband is “proud” of  his decision to get divorced because he thinks that it’s a very mature decision…which just hurts my friend even more because she’s not as on board with it, although they’re telling everyone that it’s a mutual decision.  And although I know that she can be difficult and as Hubby states, an “Ice Queen”, her husband has a way of belittling her and making her feel like this horrible person.  He rarely helps her with the baby – even though sometimes I think that’s her preference.  Just all around things are bad with them right now… well – actually, they’ve been bad for a long time.  They were going to couples counseling before their wedding! 

But – now, I have a hard time talking to her about anything going on in my life.  My Hubby is amazing.  He spoils me (more than I care to admit).  🙂  And Hubby is always ready to help me with anything and everything, especially now that I’m about 6 months pregnant.  I don’t have a doubt in my mind that he’s going to be an amazing father too.  Hubby worries about me talking to my friend too much right now because he doesn’t want me getting sucked in to her drama…but I reassure him that the opposite is happening.  Talking to her is making me appreciate him even more and reminds me how lucky we are. 

My friend recently told me that she was at a picnic with friends of theirs who all are married with kids.  They were all talking about taking vacations and going to Disney which upset her because she knows that she’ll never be doing that as a family with her son and husband.  So, really anything and everything is upsetting to her currently which again makes it hard for me to talk to her about anything. 

I feel extremely bad for her and my heart breaks for her when she’s crying over the phone to me about her life, but there’s not much I can talk to her about in fear of just upsetting her more.

Split stomach muscles

So – a few nights ago, I went to sit up in our recliner and I noticed that my stomach muscles looked weird.  There’s a large vertical bulg going down my stomach.  I didn’t think much of it – I just assumed it was a normal change now that I’m 23 weeks pregnant.  I did a little research online and it looks like I have a condition called diastasis recti.  It’s apparently fairly common, but doesn’t necessarily go back on its own during postpartum.  There’s some exercises that you can do to try and get them back together.  Long term health issues include lower back pain, which I already suffer from due to severe scoliosis. 

I knew that having a baby would change my body forever, but I don’t think I fully considered how much of my body would be altered and in what ways.