Let That $h!t Go

So much to do, so little time. That saying is so true and I know we all feel it. Summer has faded into Fall, despite what the temperature may feel like in your area. Here in Jacksonville it’s still hot as a mother (oh wait, I’m a mother! Ha, I am too kind!). Since my job revolves around looking forward and sharing new trends, it makes time go by way too fast. It’s October already and the Christmas scented candles are already selling like crazy! My daughter is about to be 16 months old and with every milestone I feel like she is getting closer and closer to having her own family. Ok, that may be a bit far off, but still time flies.

My goal every day and my prayer every night is that we live in the moment. Of course I pray for a bright and healthy future for us and our world, but the moments are so much more dear. I get caught up in what could be and what will be that I tend to forget about the present. I forget that my squirmy little girl’s tantrums are something to absolutely adore because she is living loud and feeling and learning and growing. I forget that my car breaking down gives me a chance to practice patience and not be all “woe is me.” It’s the universe giving me a lesson in basic math by problem solving and figuring out a work around for my life. I let my reflexive thoughts get the best of me when something doesn’t go the way I planned instead of being thoughtful and selfless. I forget that the future just might not be.

What I notice around me is that most other people do the same thing. The more social our network is, we see more people in our network suffering. Suffering from depression, health complications, grief, anxiety, being over worked, lonely, too busy or too social and putting important things aside, or even acting like none of this exists and pretending everything is perfection. I also notice that a lot of people just want to laugh to take away some of this suffering.

My husband says I’m addicted to my phone and he’s probably right. I play mindless games when I’m not motivated to read at night or get extra work done or blog like I am now. I check my email constantly. I scroll through Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn just to see what everyone’s up to and to make sure I’m not missing out – on what? What could I possibly be missing out on that’s not right here in front of me?

You want to know what would take away some of the suffering? Self care. Whether it be talking to a therapist or life coach or following your own advice that you often give to others. Maybe, going for a drive and stopping in somewhere you haven’t been for a cup of coffee. How about closing your eyes and breathing in and out deeply for just 5 minutes? Giving someone a compliment or even a hug – chances are you both need it. Take some time for yourself and give your time to others, most importantly your close friends and family. We are given a very brief time on this earth.

Its so hard to be thoughtful about each moment because our lives are happening and we are constantly being interrupted by one thing or another. It’s up to us to shut those interruptions out and not let them get in the way of what is important. Shut the door in interruption’s face and don’t feel bad about it. Interruption does have a way of pulling you towards it so make a conscious effort to go the other way and use your energy for the good of your life instead. We have so many things in our lives that we don’t need and they add zero value. It’s like Marie Kondo says in her book the life-changing magic of tidying up, “does it bring you joy?”

Apply that same thought to non- material things that surround you. Anything that doesn’t bring you joy, let that $h!t go.

Can you pick five things off of the top of your head that you know you would be better off letting go? I can think of more than that.

High Fives and Hello’s

Milestones. I call every single new thing my baby does a “milestone.” Most recently she says “Hi” and “uh-oh” all the time and loves to give high fives. I am so amazed by the smallest things and obviously I think shes the absolute smartest baby in the world!

Motherhood is so funny at times, especially when I’m having an out of body experience and watching myself react to all of the different ways she’s growing. Its wonderful and hilarious to see the things my husband and I will do just to get a smirk or a little laughter from our tiny human.

Now that she is nearing the 1 year mark I don’t even know what feelings the next milestones will invoke. I mean I know she’ll be walking and talking soon and creating great big huge milestones, but I have a feeling they won’t feel quite as big or important as the first giggle, the first time she rolled to her tummy, or the first time she signed for milk. Though, they will be much bigger and more important because she won’t be attached to me anymore. She just started to realize in the last few months that we are in fact, not physically attached. I don’t know if either of us can take it sometimes!

She’ll start walking and talking and the years will fly by and she’ll go on her very first date! She’ll get her drivers license and I know I’ll worry more then than I do now while she’s completely under my watchful wing. The milestones are what I look forward to, but they are also what I’m afraid of. I’m afraid as the milestones get easier for her and start happening closer together that they’ll just get that much harder for me.

Motherhood is one of the best things that ever happened to me and from the very beginning it’s been the toughest. I’ve never felt the need to protect, to love, to give to any human as much as I feel the need now. What’s funny is I feel the need to love and protect and give more to myself now too. I know my daughter needs a strong, healthy, giving, caring, and smart mother to look up to and I want to be exactly that. Since I’m afraid of all of the milestones she’ll experience while growing up, I must grow with her and create my own.

Working on myself and on my goals and creating a vision for the mother I want to be is becoming more of a priority than ever. Maybe my daughter will clap her hands and say “Go Mommy!” when she notices my achievements, haha!

What have been your favorite milestones while watching your child(ren) grow? Please leave a comment below!

Push it, push it real good.

I didn’t have the best pregnancy. It’s so interesting how pregnancies differ from woman to woman. My first trimester was filled with 24/7 morning sickness, I craved sweets, and often couldn’t find anything to eat that sounded good and seemed nutritious enough to feed my growing baby. From the very beginning my baby seemed to measure a little small from check up to check up. However, she remained healthy and there wasn’t anything that seemed out of the ordinary. Although, my pregnancy was considered “high-risk” because of my age (37), there wasn’t anything special I had to pay attention to. 

My second trimester was much better compared to the first, even though I had bouts of different symptoms. I started eating a little better, working out when I could and then before I knew it, those feel good sporadic moments ended and I entered my third trimester. 

During the third trimester you start going into check ups weekly with your doctor just to make sure the baby is healthy and growing as she should be. It was at one of these appointments that the doctor raised her eyebrows and noticed that the measurements were smaller than they should be, especially this late in the game. We scheduled a follow up appointment for a sonogram the next week so they could get a more accurate picture. Following that next appointment it was determined that the baby was much smaller than she should be at this stage so I was sent to the high risk doctor. At first they though it was just her belly that seemed small, but the high risk doctor found that she was small in every aspect.

After my visit to the high risk doctor, we decided that it would be better to be induced a couple of weeks early. My pregnancy was considered an IUGR pregnancy (Intrauterine Growth Restriction)…. Basically my placenta wasn’t feeding her enough nutrients in order for her to grow at the rate she needed to. I was originally due on June 20th and we scheduled an induction for June 8th. From what I understand, IUGR can cause major complications, but since it occurred later in my pregnancy there wasn’t as much risk as long as we induced a little early. At 38 weeks, I was still full term. 

On June 7th I went into my schedule appointment and I hadn’t dilated at all at this point. Swollen from head to toe and as uncomfortable as a penguin in the desert, I was more than ready to have this baby. My husband and I checked into the maternity ward around 3:00 p.m. and got settled in for what would be a very long night. As soon as I was given the cervidil to help with dilation I started having more contractions. I always had the worst cramping growing up during my cycle, and this felt like the the worst of those cramps time and time again. Around midnight they gave me some medication to dull the pain so I could try to get some sleep. Getting sleep is hard when someone comes in every 30 minutes to an hour to check on you or get some piece of paperwork signed. 

After what seemed like such a long night I was excited that morning had come because I was anxious and ready. Being so uncomfortable, I was just ready for the next step. My doctor came in around 8 and gave me the lowdown. The nurse had previously checked my cervix and informed us that it didn’t seem like I had dilated at all. The doctor confirmed that I was half a centimeter to 1 centimeter, if that. She said that she’d try to see if there was a chance she could break my water but made sure that I knew it was a slight chance, given where my body was at in the process. She and the nurse both told us that it was highly likely that I would have to have a c-section the next day if the circumstances didn’t improve. 

Low and behold, it hurt like crazy (LIKE CRAZY), but she broke my water! I had told the nurse earlier that morning that I thought my water might have broken when I was in the shower. I guess I had no idea what that flood would feel like!! It was like a warm rush of liquid that seemed never ending at the time. 

The Doctor told me that she’d be back to check on me after her rounds. Her last appointment in her office next to the hospital was at 2:00 p.m. She said I probably wouldn’t go into labor until the evening and possibly the next day. Little did she know, baby girl wanted to arrive a bit more quickly. 

An hour later I had already gotten my epidural and was dilated to 4 centimeters. The nurse had asked when I wanted my epidural and I told her that I wanted it is soon as I could get it. As soon as my water had broken I was already having very painful contractions (and I thought the night before was bad, who knew?). My husband helped me through that process and once the epidural was in place I felt much better.

The next time she checked in on me nothing had changed. My mom got there and we gave her the updates and told her we’d be playing the waiting game for quite a while. The nurse turned me onto my right side to see if that would help move things around a bit.

The next thing I know, I’m talking to my mom and husband and I have a very painful contraction. Gripping the sides of the bed and crying, I just know that I’ve opened up a little. The nurse comes in and I tell her so, so she checks to see how much I’ve dilated at this point. Her head is coming out!!

Deep breaths.

The nurse calls the doctor on her radio to let her know this is happening and happening now and the doctor says she just had to finish up one quick appointment. Then the nurse reiterated that this was something that couldn’t wait. She really meant that the baby was coming NOW.

My nurse seriously took charge and started running the show. If the doctor wasn’t going to be on time, then we were going to have the baby without her. I never trusted anyone more than my nurse and am so grateful that she was the one in the room with us. All of a sudden there was a team of people in the room.

My mom and husband were both on my right side holding my hand and I was uncontrollably shaking and crying. My bodies reaction to the pain and circumstances was more than I could have imagined. 

The nurse instructed me on breathing and pushing in intervals and the baby slowly started making its way. My doctor flew in just in time to take over and my baby was delivered in the next several minutes. She told my mom and husband not to worry, and that my reaction was just hormones. 

The umbilical cord was wrapped around the her foot so had to be cut loose and she was immediately taken by the nurses. While I was getting stitched up they were working on the baby. I didn’t know what was going on, but my husband kept staring in her direction watching it all. I looked up at him and it didn’t seem like all was ok. I’ll never forget seeing the image of her when she was delivered. So dark and tiny and still. She was born at 11:05am.

With so much going on it was hard to focus and understand anything, but I remember being a little worried. More so because the look on his face, trying not to worry but knowing that he was. My mom there, telling me everything was fine and that I did such a good job. After what seemed like forever, we heard the most beautiful cry I’ve ever heard in my life and I started crying. It turns out that she wasn’t breathing and they had to unclog her little throat. 

We weren’t able to hold her and I wasn’t able to see her closely for about an hour. She measured in at 4 pounds, 14 ounces so could not keep her body temperature up. When she was finally warm enough, they wrapped her up and put two stocking hats on to keep her head warm and finally handed her to me. 

What a feeling. 

Shortly after, my Dad, Sister, Mother and Father In-law arrived.

Cosette Isabela had her eyes wide open, taking everything in and all of a sudden was our little girl who stole our whole hearts in such a short amount of time.

I hope this is an experience I’ll never forget. It was the hardest experience I’ve ever had, and also the best. 

It showed me how strong I am and it was also something that brought me and my husband even closer. I was so lucky that my mom was there too. I feel like I couldn’t have done it without them.