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(My Own) Reflections of Motherhood

My friend Amber MacArthur sent me this video about motherhood. It asks women this: If you could go back to right before you had your first child, what would you tell yourself? 

I found this inspiring so I thought I would share not only the video, but also my answers to the question. What would I have told myself about motherhood to ease my anticipation. Probably something like this:

  • Don't try to do this alone. Ask for help. You will need it. 
  • You won't really understand your baby gear until you start using it.
  • You are the right person for this job. You will know that when you see your baby. 
  • Being scared is part of the process. Realizing that it is not so scary is part of the joy. 
  • It will be beautiful. The whole process, from top to bottom, will be beautiful. 
  • You will be covered in bodily fluids more than you thought possible. You won't mind so much. 
  • You can't make everything in his world safe and happy but hopefully he will love you for trying. 
  • You will wake up in the middle of the night and poke him to make sure he is okay. 
  • You will love his daddy even more for the father that he will be.
  • You will understand and appreciate your own mother more than ever once you are a mother.
  • Email, shmemail. Work can wait. Stare at him. Just take the time to stare at him. 

Fellow mommies and daddies, what are your answers to this question? Please share in the comments section. 



Emergency Room Drama

"One of the most painful experiences is having to watch your wife watch your child get an IV," said my husband.

Tazzy had a low-grade fever for the past week. Her pediatrician didn't seem too concerned as she didn't really have any other symptoms. Two nights ago however, she vomited...not spit up but vomited everything in her belly. It was late and Josh and I decided to let her sleep it off. Unfortunately she was super fussy the following day and only napped for about a half an hour. We noticed an increase in the number of times she tensed up her entire body (arms thrown up over her head, fists tights, legs straight out and feet pointed out), combined with screams of pain. That night she vomited again and her temperature had risen. We packed her up and took her to the emergency room arriving around 11 p.m.

Part of me was relieved that we were taking her in because I felt like something was really wrong and we were about to find out exactly what. The other part of me was just plain scared shitless. 

Because her temperature had reached 100.6 the doctor on shift recommended several tests including blood work, a urine sample, an ultrasound and x-ray. I pushed back asking if there was anything else we could do but the doctor convinced me we should really look into all possibilities. It was awful to sit there and watch nurses poke at my baby girl who was already not feeling well. I can't imagine the stress this put on her little body. I overheard my husband talking on the phone say, "One of the most painful experiences is having to watch your wife watch your child get an IV." I cried a lot that night even though the nurses assured me Tazzy would be fine and that they had properly numbed the area where the needle would be inserted. So that she wouldn't pull on the IV they placed a sock over her hand.

I felt helpless that I couldn't make the pain go away for Tazzy. One of the worst parts for me is that the nurse asked that I not feed her until some initial tests were done. I'll never forget the way Tazzy looked at me with tears in her eyes... "Mommy, I don't feel well. Why aren't you feeding me...I don't understand." My eyes are tearing as I write this because it was terrible. All I wanted to do was make her feel better.

My husband was my rock (as usual). He stayed strong for the both of us.

After what seemed like hours of waiting the blood work, urine sample and x-ray came back fine. The ultrasound of her belly showed a mass of some sort. The first thought was that the mass was old milk that couldn't be digested called lactobezoar. A second ultrasound performed hours later showed that the mass had dissolved, which was great news!

The nursing staff were pretty awesome. The only complaint I have is that I was asked the same questions by more then five different nurses/pediatricians. It was so frustrating! I had much more important things to think about like tending to my baby. There has to be a more efficient way to collect and track patient data. That's a different story for a different day.

The following day we checked out of the hospital around 3:30 p.m. and headed home. The doctors think she has a little bug. Because she has acid reflux they suggested holding her upright for 30 minutes after each feeding and also holding her more upright while feeding. It's only been a day but I've already seen that this change is helping her. I'm so thankful that everything turned out to be okay.


When did you know you wanted him to be the father of your children?

I saw this cute article on lil sugar the other day asking when pregos or moms knew they wanted their baby’s daddy to be…well their baby’s daddy. That got me to thinking – when I did first realize Tom would make a great father (or at least I think he will be.)

I guess I knew when I first met him that he was an incredible guy. Super sweet, funny, kind, caring, handsome – all those qualities and more wrapped up in one being. He was also 26 and loved to partay – so there was little thought about having kids at that point. Heck, we weren’t even thinking about marriage!

I knew he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with well before I even thought about how either of us would be with kids. What I do remember though is the first time Tom came home with me to meet my sister’s triplets. He was such a natural with them -- wasn't intimated a bit! He even gave all three of them a bath at the same time and didn’t even flinch! I think he may have even changed his first diaper. I knew then for sure that he would make an incredible father (not as if I ever doubted it, but I guess I hadn’t really thought about it either.)  

I’ve seen these qualities grow alongside my burgeoning belly and know in my heart of hearts that my daughter is already one lucky lil girl to have such an awesome dad. And, I’m one lucky wife and mom-to-be!



Is it still vacation?

We just returned from our first weekend getaway as a little family—just me Shaun and Nic.   Shaun has accepted a new job, so we took a week to “unplug” before he starts.  Several years ago, we spent a great few days in a secluded little beach house in Mendocino and we were looking for the same vibe for this trip.  So, we rented a darling little cabin with sweeping views in Gualala, about an hour south of Mendocino.

I had visions of quiet afternoons reading and admiring the view, snuggling in bed with my boys and enjoying the fact that there was no cell reception or Internet.   But we hadn’t traveled with Nic before without a gaggle of family babysitters, so I didn’t know if my expectations were unrealistic.

So, were they?  Is it still vacation when you have an infant to take care of?  The short answer is yes, but it wasn’t quite as restful or carefree as a pre-baby getaway. 

I did get some time to read in the afternoon sun, but I had to shake a toy while I was doing it.

 I got about 15 minutes of an afternoon nap, until I had to deal with a blowout that was the repercussion of this.

 We definitely did some in-bed snuggling, but it was mostly because we were so exhausted after Nic woke up every 2 hours because his Pack n Play was right next to our bed and he wanted to play.


We swapped fine dining for homemade heirloom tomato salad, a drop-dead view and a ridiculously cute dinner partner.


Despite slightly less relaxation than I had hoped for, we did get what I wanted most—a  few days to just be together.  No fantasy baseball, no Twitter.  I wouldn’t swap these quality moments with my boys for a nap of any length (and for me, that’s really something).    


Six Months Maternity Leave

Sounds awesome right? In theory yes! I'm enjoying taking care of Tazzy and not working, which is why I was so confused earlier this week when I was offered a PR consulting gig working with someone I so enjoyed working with in the past. Instead of immediately responding with something like, "I'd love to but can't really take on any PR projects right now because I have my hands full with my new baby," I responded something like, "Sounds wonderful...Let me think about how/if I can make this work and I'll get back to you." What?!@#$ Am I crazy? Yes, maybe a bit but I won't go there.

How could I consider consulting when I have my hands full? I've thought about it and part of it is because I know and respect the person I'd be working with; another part is that I truly love PR (and the company I'd be consulting for sounds fabulous); and I another part is that I'd feel like I was getting part of myself back. Motherhood has consumed my life. This isn't a bad thing... actually it's an amazing thing! It's just different. It's a little hard going from PR professional talking strategy, tactics and working with the media every day to full time Mommy feeding, burping and changing diapers all day. When I was presented this PR consulting opportunity of course I wanted to make it work. I wanted to be able to do both! The thing is when I commit to something I give 125 percent and nothing less.

It took me a couple days to come to the realization that I'd be nuts to commit to taking on work right now. So today sadly, I declined the offer. Although hard, I know I made the right decision. For the next few months I'm going to focus 125 percent of my energy on taking care of my darling little girl and being the best Mom I can be. There will always be work but Tazzy will only be a baby once. Just last week she started smiling and "cooing." Nothing beats that :)