Sunday, February 26, 2012

On being a mom

We are 2 weeks in. A lifetime left to go.

Let me just say that I love this little bugger. He is insanely cute, a sweet sweet boy and have thanked God every day these past 2 weeks for him. Its fun to conjure up little dreams for who he will be.

Has it been challenging so far, of course. The hardest part is trying to figure out what the crying is all about. If its not being hungry, needing a diaper change or to be burped, its just that general fussiness time of day (which so far has changed daily). Bill, being the natural problem solver thinks that there has to be an answer, a way to get him to stop. I know that sometimes he just needs to cry through it, and so far have just held or walked him through it if no answer can be found. And he does then eventually sleep. Then I get to sleep.

I can actually deal with the crying just fine. Its more for me worrying that its keeping Bill up, especially with his return to work tomorrow. I want to make sure that he is able to do what he needs at work as well as at home and want to help him to succeed. Bill has been a great father and sharing the responsibilities. Maybe its a mom thing or just my own issue, but I just feel like it is my responsibility to be the first to get to him. But when Bill says "I've got him", I do not protest.

I will be going back to work in about 2 months. For me it will be part time, 2 days a week, and am really lucky to have a fantastic daycare option down the street. Its so hard to even conceive of that notion since everything is so minute by minute right now. Leaving him at all. Having all the supplies, including milk pumped enough ahead of time ready. But right now nothing seems as important as looking out for this little guy. Watching him grow, bonding, etc. However I know for me to be the best mom I can be, I need to allow myself to work in the world a little, both for our finances but for my own self-esteem, sanity, personal beliefs and to keep something on my resume. I am really lucky that my work schedule options are pretty flexible. Except Mondays. Also my bosses are extremely accommodating and understanding.

I've also enjoyed spreading out the visits for those who want to come and meet my little guy. I like showing him off, even if he's just sleeping the whole time. And I look forward to the ones we have scheduled.

This is going to be quite the adventure. A learning process one day, one hour at a time. Its a new wilderness I have never explored and, well, I kind of like adventures. I wish I had been braver earlier in life with adventures and travel (stupid finances!) , but there is nothing quite like this. Good Luck me and Good Luck Ben.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Light of My Life

Here are some official pics of my "Little Dude". The hospital had a photographer that catches you the day of or day after you give birth and in your weakness, talks you into getting/purchasing pictures. Ok, fine, I take responsibility for buying them.

But, you have to admit, he is pretty ridiculously cute. But I am not biased...

 ack, this one below is difficult for me to post. Who looks good after just giving birth?

the one below, I could just eat this one up

And no, you can't have him. He's mine

15 years

So I just realized that this year marks 15 years since I graduated high school.

Good old St. Charles, home of the "fighting Saints"

15 years? seriously?

That is now less than half of my life.

Not that I would be attending a reunion even if they were going to have one. Of the 700+ people I went to high school with, is there a single one I speak to with any regularity? no. and Facebook doesn't count. Neither does my cousin.

What freaks me out, and I'm sure will freak me out even more in the future, is that I still feel like I am 20. Or younger. And to be sure I am immature in many ways. Yet, when I look at my life, its so "adult". I now have a husband, a house, a kid, a masters degree, a career, etc.

I guess all that this really means for me is that life really is that short. What will I do with that time? In another 15 years Ben will be in high school. What kind of parent will I be to him in that time? What will my family look like? What other contributions will I have made to the small world around me, positive or negative? Will my job as a counselor expand, improve, move in a whole different direction? Will I be more self aware, self-assured, and less self-centered.

Man I think about myself 15 years ago and I just see a blank mind, floating, with no direction, but wanting something, unable to express what that something was. Will I say something similar in15 years?

I will however say that I have grown a tremendous amount in these past 15. I have accomplished a lot, made a lot of mistakes and lived some life. I'm no where near what I imagined, and that is a good thing. I have a good life. I would like to have the next 15 lived with less hesitation. More gumption. More brave.

It will travel fast, hopefully not too fast. But lets bring it on.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Purging a sad story

With all of the changes, lack of sleep and new adventures, I still can't stop thinking about something I heard at the hospital.

So this is my attempt to expunge it from my brain.

After I gave birth, I pretty much rested. But a few times, especially for phone calls, I left my room, walked around and went to the visitors area to make phone calls since that was the only place that got decent reception.

One time while in that family waiting area, I saw a lady who was just in tears and was being comforted by 2 nurses. My mind went straight to worst case scenario and my natural nosy curiosity listened in to what was going on.

While it was not "worst case scenario", it was certainly a bad scenario. The lady was the family member of someone who was at that moment giving birth. The person who was giving birth was crying, writhing, screaming and generally not enjoying labor. Which is completely normal. And that is not what was making this family member so upset.

What was making her upset was what the "baby daddy" was doing/saying. Apparently he was yelling at the mother-to-be, asking her why she was crying, accusing her of overreacting, telling her to calm down, etc and generally being a complete douschbag. The family member said that she can handle her crying due to labor, but not due to what he was doing/saying to her on what was supposed to be a monumental day in her life. Instead he chose to ruin it for her. (call it the hormones, but I am tearing up as I think about it/write this)

So many thoughts race through my mind. Like how can a doctor/nurse allow him to stay in the room? (pending the doctor was there when he was saying that, he isn't there the full billion hours you are actually laboring). Can they kick him out? Does baby daddy need to be in one of my DV perp groups? What the hell is wrong with that guy??

Also, it just makes me so thankful and proud of my husband. I told him the story and he was ready to kick some a$$. But also my husband was a total rock star during mine and I don't know how I would have handled it if he wasn't there. He did everything asked of him, never questioned my actions, thoughts, responses, decisions, just gently reminded me of some things that maybe I didn't remember (like lifting my head while pushing) and was just present and supportive.

I really don't know why I shared this other than to get it out. It makes me sad, but grateful at the same time.

lets keep that new mom and her baby in my and your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

what no one ever told me about childbirth

We are now home with baby Benjamin.

Overall, as far as labor and delivery goes, the process went well. He joined us at 12:42am Monday Feb 13th. I knew that it would be difficult and painful and uncomfortable. I expected that. However there were a few things that I did not expect and could not believe that no one ever told me!

Now before I go into them, I want to preface it by saying that we were induced, and had a regular delivery otherwise (induced because doctor was going out of town the next week and we wanted him there and it was worth having him there) Also that this little Ben is worth every horrible detail I am about to share:

1. What is meant by "checking your cervix". You know, to see how many centimeters you are dilated. Perhaps this was just an anatomical error on my part, but I guess I thought that they just looked, visually. No, the cervix is up there, and only a hand can check. Think pap smear with a fist. yikes!

2. Once "induced", there is no eating any food. I wish I would have eaten a huge breakfast beforehand! When we were induced, they pump oxytocin in via iv and contractions come, but are very minimal. We were pretty much bored waiting to dilate to 4cm. that took from 9am to 5pm with no food. So then water is broken (at 5pm for us). And you can't eat after that anyway, but with the pain you don't want to. Now, I don't know about you, but I am at my absolute worst when I am hungry, and even Bill was concerned, he knows how I am. So now not only would we eventually be exhausted, eventually in insane amounts of pain, frustrated, etc...but add crazy hungry to that mix. Bad bad and bad. Lesson: eat a big meal before induced.

3. Breaking your water: it doesn't hurt. Its the intensity of the contractions that immediately follow. Now many people told me that the pain intensifies when the water is broken. What I didn't know was the weird process of water coming out. it doesn't just all gush out at once. A lot does, but it continues to gush out with every contraction. So every time you are contracting, the pain increases, but it also feels like you are peeing yourself (and you are sitting in it), Gross. (and you can;t walk around after water is broken in the hospital otherwise you still gush/drip the bloody water all over the place).

4. Labor pains/contractions: I know that I expected labor to hurt. Bad. But nothing prepared me for just how excruciating it would be. I mean excruciating, and I consider myself pretty tough. I wanted to try it aux natural. Then they broke my water. And the pain started to become searing. Eventually I went to "take the edge off drug" which did absolutely nothing, to epidural. Why? Here is my description of full on labor pains: Imagine someone taking a machete, stabbing it into the top of your abdomen and slowly dragging it down to the bottom of your abdomen. This sensation happens about 2-3 times, ever 2 minutes or so.  And perhaps I could have handled it for another hour...maybe...if there was a guarantee that was how long it was going to last. But it could easily go on that way for another 8 hours or more. no thank you.

5. Post labor: No one mentioned what it feels like after labor. I was lucky and only had to push for about 30 minutes and Ben popped out. But for those 30 minutes you are pushing like you are passing a 7lb dump. those exact muscles. When was the last time you worked those muscles even close to that hard?  So the next few days it has that post really hard work out soreness and sitting is literally a pain in the butt.

6. Post labor part deaux: Peeing. Remembering back to how annoying it was to pee every 30 minutes and it only being about a teaspoon full each time, it seems funny. During induction you are pumped full of fluids via IV. That and I think there is a lack of muscle control paired with more fluids still draining...bathroom breaks consist of pitchers-full of fluid. literally. I did not know that my body could hold that much.

And now I hope that you have not just eaten lunch. And that this does not detract anyone from childbirth. It is merely the truths that I wish I would have known ahead of time. Mental preparation. Now you cannot say that no one told you.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Eve of Baby

Tomorrow morning at 9am, Bill and I will be at Condell Hospital, checking in, and making final preparations to bring Baby Burris into the world. I feel that we are as ready as we'll ever be, if anyone is ever really ready.

I have a few thoughts about this as we go into it. I fear they may be somewhat offensive to some people, but they are just my thoughts based on my experiences.

First of all, Bill has a co-worker that just had a baby about 6 months ago. And now almost every day for the past 2 weeks, this guy has come into his office asking him if he's ready and stating "you're life will never be the same." Bill says it almost sounds like a threat. And I can't tell you how many people have just made a similar statement in seriousness to the effect of ..."get ready, you're life will change forever."

Perhaps what confounds me is how people have stated this like it is brand new information. Well, of course its going to change forever. We are bringing a whole new person/life into the world. The focus of our attention will change. We will be doing something we have never done before in parenting and we have no idea what we are doing. It will cost money. We will be tired, worried, excited, overwhelmed, frustrated, in love, and God only knows what else. It will be difficult. Of course it will be difficult. Any change is difficult, especially one this big. And I am sure it will be so in ways that I will not expect.

However, people have been raising children for thousands of years. People choose to have more than one, even 4, 5 ,6  or even 8. It can't be impossible?

I also come from a place to where I never expect anything to be easy. Life is hard sometimes. Are there people who have never experienced difficulties?  We learn to deal with it the best that we can. I mean my life changed significantly with a lot of experiences I've had; from just getting married to working 2 jobs while going to school to taking care of a dying parent to burying her, to getting laid off/changing jobs, etc. None of those were easy. Nor did I expect any of them to be easy. Yet I also am a believer in things/life is what you make of it. What are you going to do with those difficulties?

And why do I even have to compare the experience of bringing a precious life into the world and raising it with death?

Back to life is what you make of it. Naive? maybe. But its been my experience. I do believe that we have the power and ability to get through things, good or bad, with how we choose to look at/approach it. Often times a steep learning curve. But always do-able.

So what do I think about having a child and raising it?  I know it will be difficult. I know that I will no longer be the center of my own universe. But I also believe that it will be incredible. It will teach me things about myself and the world that I do not yet know. It will challenge me in so many ways. It will bring a whole new purpose and direction to my life and will be the beginning of several generations. Its pretty exciting and a huge responsibility.

Of course it is.

Who thought it would be any different?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I would just like to say, that I like my life.

There are so many beautiful and wonderful things that I am thankful for that I never would have believed would be a part of where I am right now.

1. Married to such a blessed man. Seriously, love him more every day and every day he surprises me with how he loves.
2. About to meet the sweet baby we have been entrusted with.
3. Live in an adorably suburbany/rural-ish town that I love.
4. I have a lot of positive and encouraging people around me
5. My work is fulfilling, I have bosses/coworkers who challenge me in a positive and productive way and get to do it as well as parent.
6. good health
7. family
8. so many more things to learn and experience and do. Perhaps one day I'll blog about this list.
9. am at a place where I am not waiting for the other shoe to drop. F-I-N-A-L-L-Y

Friday, February 3, 2012

Maternity Photos

The maternity photos are in.
Instead of adding them all to my Facebook page (which I will with many), I thought I'd put many of them on here. Easier to scroll through. These are just some of my favorites. If you like them, check out the photographers at

The whole maternity photo thing is funny. I think pregnancy and life is something to be celebrated, and so should be captured in pictures. I'm not into the whole month by month thing. Growing physically larger was a struggle for me, but am happy with the photos and to have the memory of being pregnant, which overall has been a pleasant experience for me. Although I am ready to meet this kid!

just the belly:

 thats my front window:
 this one was a facebook preview, kitty kept on getting in the way of the shoot. so she made it into at least one picture. She's so adorably naughty:
 recognize these from the shower? which will it be?
 The double chin going on is not my favorite, but I love our interaction. pretty classic.

now this, i believe is classic.

Belly shots are weird for me. But I allowed some to be taken. This one was cute I thought:
 aw, I like this guy:
 So, although it was chilly, I was insistent on some outdoor shots cause I just love the outdoors. How perfect that we had a fresh snowfall.
 duh, green and gold...this kid is going to be raised right.

 and this is just cool:

There were lots more, but it already took my stupid slow computer like an hour to upload these. If you want to see more, let me know. But now its time to take some pic of the kid!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


When it comes to words, I am a bit superstitious. While I may think a great many thing, I choose carefully what I put out there. I believe words have a lot of power. Here are a few examples:

When I was about 9 or 10, my sister and I were in the backseat of our jeep Wagoneer when mom decided to take it for a spin at the local gas station carwash. One of those ones that drags your car through. So we are playing around in the back, watching the sprayers and giant scrubbers go. I'm watching the ones come up from behind the car that are supposed to separate and go and brush around your car. I jokingly say something to the effect of "oh no, watch those are going to run into the car." Sure enough, those "scrubbers" did not separate and ran into the back of the car, shattering the back window and sending water and soap flying in. I also remember the attendant feeling so bad he gave my sister and i free popcorn and soda.

uh oh.

Another instance. In high school. a friend of mine and I had a saying that if we didn't like something, we'd say it "should get hit by a bus". If we hated a particular math assignment "math should get hit by a bus" or a tv show "family ties should get hit by a bus". One day a teacher really made us mad. Probably just told us to stop talking in class or something reasonable like that. We literally said, "mrs. so and so should get hit by a bus." Lo and behold, Mrs. so and so got hit by a bus.
No joke.

Beth then would not allow me to say anything negative when we boarded the plane together 2 years ago for Spokane, even though i wanted to tell her about this horrifying show I saw the night before about the worst plane crash in aviation history. "do not put it out there into the universe"

Last example. I always have thought having kids was a good thing. Bill and I had been unofficially trying for a spell and just thought it would happen. Although I would never admit it to anyone that I actually "wanted" that. Then it wasn't and I was getting frustrated. It wasn't until I was actually verbally able to say that I wanted to get pregnant out loud, that it actually happened.

Now I am not saying that I literally believe that there is a cause and effect reaction to what I say and what happens. (Although my sister Beth may argue that). What I am saying is that I believe that our words have a tremendous amount of power. I mean, look at what a simple compliment can do for someone's day or how a slight can send it in the other direction. Thats a lot of power.

Words come from what is in our head. I do not believe that we ever say anything that we do not mean. Even in a moment of anger, its what we mean in that moment. Sometimes we hold back what we mean. But if it comes from my mouth, its what I mean. You too.

I also remember a ym training I went to where we talked about goal setting. How we are more likely to accomplish something we write down we have in our heads. We are then 10 times more likely to accomplish that goal if we share with with another person/say it out loud.
My brain already tends to think a lot of negative things. It is almost on autopilot to think "worst case scenario." Perhaps so that it is prepared for worst case scenario. But I will not say that worst case scenario, because I do not want to "put it out into the universe". I want positive vibes and messages out there. Because that is what I want coming back to me and the people I care about.

Therefore I want to say things like, "my child will make a positive difference in the world." "You/I can get this accomplished", "this is not the end of the world", "it will turn out ok", "you are smart", etc, etc etc.

Is it a bit superstitious. Yes. But I think there is a lot of truth to it.

"Be careful what you say. saying things bring them into being."