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It was a little over a year ago that we found out we were expecting. I remember looking at the pregnancy test, which was the millionth one I had taken, and staring at the two dashes that told me there was a baby growing inside me. Up until that point taking a pregnancy test always started out with this outrageous hope it would tell me some good news but it would always end with pure disappointment. Being pregnant was a dream I thought would never be reality.

 From being the size of a blueberry to a mini watermelon, the baby grew inside of me and I got to experience the ups and downs of growing a life. For someone who hates attention on her, I surprisingly loved every glance and turn of the head I received. I didn’t care if someone wanted to touch my belly or tell me how huge I looked. I loved every extra sample I got from costco (thanks baby!) and every cute maternity photo I got to take. It was bliss. Sure, the morning sickness wasn’t fun. I never thought I’d throw up on a plane, or yell at my husband to pull over in the middle of the road so I could expel the grape juice that had been so wonderful 30 minutes prior. I never expected I would hate meat or get to the point where I couldn’t see my toes. I certainly didn’t expect how hard it would be to slow down or let other people help me. What? move when you’re 9 months pregnant? Who would DO that!? Feeling the baby move inside me was UNreal and now I can hardly even remember it. The day we found out the baby’s gender felt like Christmas morning and learning it was a boy put us in shock. Walking out of the doctor’s office that day, my husband and I probably looked like we had seen a ghost. We planned for a girl, expected a girl, and knew her name. I remember seeing the ultrasound when the technician switched to the ‘gender reveal’ part and saying to her, “Is that a…is THAT A?!?!” And even though we didn’t expect it to be a boy we knew immediately what his name would be and we loved him for being a him. And everyone got to hear about how “my mother was right- AGAIN” (she told me she had a dream it was a boy and bought boy type things for him when I was only 10 weeks along). I took in every moment and took every chance I had to do what I had seen on pinterest. From a gender reveal party to that particular belly shot- I reveled in every moment.
We lived in our new house for a week when my water broke. The day before I had seen my midwife and she told me I was +2 which meant the baby was IN the birth canal. I called and texted my family telling them it could be any day now, even though I was only 38 weeks. That night my husband and I were just getting around to setting up the nursery and we hung up the baby’s clothes, assembled the crib (which we only JUST received a few days prior), and set up the changing table. I went to the bathroom and saw blood and my stomach dropped to the floor. Could this be it?! My husband and I joked that night that he shouldn’t even go into work the next day and he made me promise to call him the minute anything happened and I made him promise that when he received that call, he would drive SAFELY home (anyone else see that Grey’s Anatomy episode?!)
All this feels like forever ago and like yesterday all at once. Every day I get to see my boy grow and figure out this world just a little more. I look at him and I can not believe I am living my dream, and how blessed we are to have him in our lives. SO much has changed because this little bundle of joy was dropped in our laps- straight from heaven. I look at pictures and I can’t believe I was ever pregnant- it still feels like a dream.
The other day my dad sent me a text and said, “Every time I pass Eli’s picture on the fridge I rub his nose”. And it is a moment like that when I am even more grateful for this phase of life we are in. When I get to see how sweet my parents are with their grandson, and I feel like I am almost looking into the past 27 years ago when they were holding me in their arms and taking in the sweet moments of their parenthood.
 itsaboy2 gender reveal party
558474_521972704541847_1268800431_nthe day we decided to by our house  and us after Eli was born
famour new little family
dad and me my dad and me
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When I tell people that I’m a “mostly stay-at-home mom” and “I only work weekends because that’s when my husband is home but I would like to stop doing that when possible” they say, “good for you” and “being a mom is the most important job in the world”. And while I agree that the way a parent raises a child is the most important thing for the child and for the future generation, something inside me boils when I hear words like that. (I am not even going to go into how condescending that sounds or how that is so degrading to everyone else who has a job.) I don’t know if anyone stops and thinks about how hard it is for a mother to go back to work. Even a woman who loves her career has to be courageous to leave her child in another’s hands. And for a breastfeeding mother like me? Now we are talking about the sacrifice a woman makes in order to continue to breastfeed her child. What about the single mother? It is almost as if people go out of their way to applaud the “traditional” stay-at-home mom. We’re women, not puppies.

Someone recently said to me that she believed all women were meant to stay at home to raise her children and that it was the best thing for the family. Well, that’s all good and dandy but what about providing food, shelter and other basic needs that happen to cost a lot of money? What about putting money in savings for your child’s future? The decision to go back to work is a heavy one. Deciding to leave your little one/s so that you can provide for them in a different way is just as important as the decision to stay at home with them. Sometimes there really isn’t a choice in the matter. I’m not saying that one way is better than the other; I am simply saying let’s commend the mothers who choose to do what she believes is BEST for her family. Let’s commend all mothers who make sacrifices in order for her children to be happy, healthy and successful individuals.

Has anyone ever said that to you and if so how did it make you feel?

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