Thursday, June 26, 2014

Her Welcome Day

I birthed her.

It's still a little crazy to me and her welcome story rarely gets told.  But I remember it well.

I didn't get the luxury of being "there" when my eldest was born.  I was induced and given a pain relief drug that had me sleeping until pushing, then right back to sleep following her birth.  I awoke 4 hours later in the post par-tum room overhearing my husband sternly request the presence of our new baby... long story and one for another day.

Today, it's about this girl.

As some of you may remember, my journey with her in my belly wasn't a pleasant one.  Her little belly dwelling life made mine quite intolerable.  With her active belly dwelling lifestyle I just knew she would make an early appearance and I watched on instagram as mother after mother friend I had, gave birth to their little ones and I just waited on mine.

It was 1 am in the morning when I woke to a pain I really don't care to ever experience again.  This was it and I was scared out of my mind.

I had many hospital runs during my pregnancy but something was different about this time, and despite the records of my progress at a bare minimum, they chose to keep me a little longer just to check before they send me home- and that's when she decided to play with us a little.

She would speed up the process then slow down.  Then speed up.  Then slow down.  Eventually I caved and begged for an epidural then later, while peacefully watching my contraction monitor, I giggled at the yelps coming from the room adjacent to mine from the mama who chose against the epidural.  I felt wonderful.

When it was time to push, I panicked and doubled checked that my epidural wouldn't run out and I was reassured by the lesson on how to push the (world's best) button that would keep that sweet juice flowing.

After a few minutes of pushing, I felt a pain that I questioned I should feel.  I felt like I was going to be ripped in two and begged to stop pushing.  I wanted to give up.

An hour later and I witnessed my second born be whisked from her belly dwelling and into my arms.  It was the most magical moment I had ever felt in my life.  I felt so connected with her and her with me.  I felt more apart of her now that she was in my arms than I ever did while I carried her in my womb.

As I was getting readjusted, they discovered that the tube connecting my epidural to my back had been "accidentally" removed (probably from my husband aiding in my pushing) and I went epidural free during delivery.  And an hour after delivery I was up and ready to walk.  I felt great.

By the time they moved me to my post-partum room, I had already stood and gone to the bathroom on my own, but before I could be transferred officially to post-partum, they wanted one more escorted bathroom break.  So I made my way to the bathroom where as soon as I sat down I leaned forward to my nurse, told her I felt light headed and everything went dark.

The rest is what I've been told by Jon and the nurses:

The nurse leaned her head out the bathroom door and yelled into her walkie talkie some kind of code something or other and within seconds a team of nurses rushed to my aid.  I was placed in a wheelchair and rushed back to my bedside.

Jon was holding our newborn and unable to process what was going on.  He said he knew he was about to lose his wife, but felt a sense of peace.

I came to to the nasty smell they waved under my nose and the sound of my name over and over again.  "Wake up Jennifer, Wake up!"  I faintly remember being lifted onto my bed where they had to remove anything that could get in their way.  I saw faces leaning over me in panic as multiple nurses grabbed my hands, some piercing me with new needles that would track my vitals.  Eventually my midwife arrived and she began to help remove all the blood that had stored and clotted inside of me.  I screamed and thrashed in pain as the nurses held me down and they talked calmly to me in hopes to ease the situation.  Everything went black again.

I awoke a few hours later to a calm and quiet room.

He was walking around my bed holding our new baby without a fear in the world.  I asked what had happened and learned all about my adventure that hours prior.  He told me how I was prepared to lose me that day and thinking he was watching his wife die.  He'll still tell you that he felt "ok" in that moment- unsure of why- but he did.

I ended up on 24 hour watch and had to stay an additional 24 hours before being cleared to go home.

I spent the next few weeks cuddled up on my little nest I made on our living room couch soaking up the moments with my little bundle.

She's now an 8 month old bundle of spunk and personality.  She's my little mama's girl and I wouldn't have it any other way.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014


These precious two.

I absolutely love the sister relationship they have.  Joleen lights up whenever Jossie enters a room, and Jossie is learning each day how to care and nurture her sister into a growing little girl.  I love seeing their bond, and I love seeing their little quarrels.  It's my favorite thing.

Jossie has started asking for more siblings, and she has a heart like ours.  She keeps asking me for a brother or a sister who's parent's "didn't want them".  Although we are working on teaching her that there are children who's parents maybe wanted them, but couldn't keep them, for now, she's set on having a brother (in particular) who's out there alone.

So we're working on that, but as we do, I'm treasuring (and struggling) with being mom to just these two and these are the kinds of of things I want to remember.  I want to hold to.  These are my two little loves.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Simple Days

I love that I get to be home with my girls right now.  I love it.  Our days aren't fancy.  They don't come in pretty packages or fancy ribbons.  They come in muddy toes, spit up, poopy diapers and dramatic tantrums, deep belly laughs, cuddles, singing at the top of our lungs, and house projects put on hold so I can do another rendition of "a sailor went to sea, sea, sea..." so she can perfect her clapping rhythm.

Someone once asked if Josselyn is just as perfect in person as she is in photos... well, that question is a bit tricky... but let me tell you... Josselyn grew up in front of my camera and I, as a photographer, grew up with her.  We learned each other.  I know her rhythm and she knows my beat.  So how I capture Josselyn is definitely a reflection of who she is... but... she is far from just an icon of beauty in a photo.  She is heart.  She is spunk.  She is compassion.  She is dainty.  She is adventurous.  She is silly.  She is smart.  She wears pretty dresses around the garden one day and mismatching clothes to go to the grocery store another.  She is perfect.  She is imperfect.

Our lives can't fully be understood by a series of facebook posts or a string of instagram images.  They are simple.  They are beautiful.  And there is far more to our family than what I could ever portray on social media.

And in that same retrospect, I can't shape us to be like anyone else's social media image either.  I can't pretend to be the soft white cleanliness of some that seem so dreamy and put together.  It's just not who WE are.

Simple days are what our family is called to.  And it's these simple days that my heart will cherish for the rest of my life.