Labor and giving birth were a trying experience to say the least. We had planned on a birthing class but everything got interrupted with Santa Rosa being on fire. This made it a challenge to write a birth plan let alone know what to put down. I would say I pretty much copied the example given to me. I wish the midwives would of talked to me more about it but somethings are just made for learning.
His birth had moments of magic. When my partner and I were alone dancing and swaying through my contractions. I could of stayed in that space for forever. I saw his tenderness and love for me in a whole new way.
What I learned through his birth was that I can always advocate more for myself . Scare tactics don't work for me and I could of used more encouragement during the process. Also, I've always known I was a modest person but I didn't realize how more people coming into the room without warning could affect my progress. Even though by the end I was so exhausted that I didn't care anymore who was looking at my lady parts. It was still important for somebody to acknowledge more people were entering the room.
I can tell you that it wasn't love at first sight for me. It was more like what the hell happened and who the hell are all these people. Then there was endless pressing on my stomach that was almost worse than giving birth that made it challenging to enjoy the moment. Also, it felt like there were incessant amounts of talking along with concern about the amount of blood I was losing. Looking back I undeniably was a champion doing all this without anything to dull the pain. It is another worldly experience. Giving birth gave me a new appreciation for women and how strong we all are.
I do remember sitting in the back of the car with him on the way home from the hospital after getting me all put together and feeling very intrigued by who this person is and how he will change my life. The love for him has grown more and more over time. It is such a marvelous process and I absolutely adore him.
Another favorite moment was coming home from the hospital early in the morning. All three of us got in bed. Our little man on his dad's chest and we all took a nap. It was hard to believe that this little being was ours to help guide and take care of.
There was some trying circumstances with needing to move shortly after he was born but that is in another post.
It has been a joy to watch this little human discover his world. Lights, fans, hands, toys, our dogs and the fascination it all brings. His world is so exciting. I get to see my world through the best eyes.
There are moments of absolute infatuation and times where all I really need is a break. There is also fear that I will make a mistake and ruin this little being. I want to protect him. I want him to know he is always loved and cared for. There are fears from my childhood that I don't want repeated, along with my insecurities and faults. I try and remind myself that I'm doing things different than my parents. I work hard on self-awareness even though I will never reach perfection.
It brings some grief too. Wishing my mom was apart of his life like his father's family. I can feel a ting of jealously when it feels like my mother-in-law sees herself as the only grandma because I still see my mom as his grandma too. She is here. I wish her physicality was here.
There is also some grief about the rest of my family not being as thrilled about him as I envisioned. I had the expectation that they would want to be apart of his life and adore him the way we do. That is not the case but when dysfunction runs rampant in your family there is no guarantees.
I've learned to run on less sleep than I've ever thought was possible and be patient more than I thought anybody could. Sometimes I even amaze myself but then there are times when it hard to contain the frustration boiling inside me. I can act like a child myself but at least I've learned more and more to ask for help, that even a minute of self-care is worth it and deep breathing is necessary.
I definitely feel lucky his soul choose us. I want to be a better person because of him. I want to try to teach him things I never received growing up. I want him to know he is loved no matter what his behaviors exhibit, to learn to take care of himself, to see other's words and behaviors as a reflection of what is going on inside them; not about him, to speak up, to always see the adventure even if there is lots of darkness around, to keep the joy and excitement alive and be true to himself. As I write these I know this is what I need to do for myself and model because being the example is the biggest challenge of motherhood.
Being a mom literally cracks you open. It can be frightening and make some of us retreat into to old habits or expand into new territory. This little person pulls at your heart strings and very often your pant leg. Sometimes there is no letting up and you are just hoping their eyes will close and their breathing will calm so you can stare at the television or your phone for a second. To have a moment of zoning out.
I have found it to take a while to get back to myself and rediscover me. It is easy to get lost in his world but for me to thrive I need to keep me alive. I know that someday he will be reaching for the stars and I need to keep reaching for mine. I know I am a way better mom when I take to my passions and get some self-care.
Working is a balancing act in of itself. Especially for me because I usually have multiple jobs. It is a balance with the range of emotions it brings. My emotions have run the gamete. Wishing I didn't have to go to work and also enjoying a little bit of me being me.
Some of the hardest moments are when I wish the world treated me differently or had more compassion for what moms do. Pumping at work, leaving your baby, trying to make sure you are fed, keeping the house running, taking care of the dogs, your brain not functioning at the same capacity, all while your hormones are attempting to balance themselves. It can be overwhelming. I guess the true root is finding the compassion for myself because truly no one can read my mind or know what all is going on with me.
I've made some hard decisions too with choosing to work less. It seems easy but it is challenging because my self worth is tied a lot to what I am doing in my career. My choice stems a lot from having death lurking through my late teenage years. Losing my mom young has brought the perspective of wanting to spend as much time with him while keeping my feet in my career world. My mom loved to shop and buy things but all I wanted was more time with her. There is also a small place in my brain that wonders how long I will be around. My hope is for a long time. Death does funny things to you but I am thankful it has raised my awareness of the preciousness of being a major part of this little guys life.
This last year has been a hurricane of emotions but I wouldn't change it. I stare at his little face in aware of who he is, who he'll become and that I get to be a big part of his life. This is the beauty of life. It is a sacred gift to bring a human being into this world. They remind you everyday of the wonder and miracles that are here in every moment.
Warm Balsamic Honey Kale Salad
This salad is a perfect reminder of life's journey that we are all on. We all travel rough terrain but like the sweetness of cranberries and honey there is lots of joy drizzled through out our days. Sometimes the joy comes in every bite or balanced throughout multiple bites. Savor the joy as much as the rough terrain because it all comes together to make a beautiful dish.
1 bunch of julienne purple kale
1 chopped shallot
1/2 cup of roughly chopped pecans*
1/2 cup of dried cranberries*
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1-2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
1-2 teaspoons of honey
salt to taste
1. Julienne the kale, chop the shallot and roughly chop the pecans.
2. Warm the olive oil over medium heat. Toss the shallot in the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes until they become soft. Add the kale. Cook for a 2-3 minutes till the kale is a softer.
3. Add the pecans and cranberries. Cook a few minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar. I added a dash, then taste it to see if I need more.
4. Then drizzle with honey. Sprinkle a little salt. Serve warm.
*There is a large amount of nuts and cranberries to kale ratio. I love the crunch and texture it gives the salad but you can always use less if you prefer.
Cheers to you my friends! I cherish the moments around my table with people I love. I hope this salad brings love and light to your table along with lots of smiles. There is something special about sharing a meal together. My little guy is starting to take an interest in what we are cooking and loves whatever we are eating. There is a true bond that is formed in the kitchen and I wish for you the same moments in your kitchen.