Friday, July 25, 2014

Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust! A Baby Story

My Baby Story.

In my world, I learn lessons in the most peculiar ways, at the most interesting times and from just about anyone.  Even a teeny tiny little baby.

This story starts, as most do, at the beginning.  There I was: four kids under 5 (go ahead, read that line again), a husband in grad school, and in the middle of busy season.  That's when I realized the nausea combined with extreme hunger in the middle of the night was not just inconvenient, it was a sign.  I was pregnant.  

Awesome.  One year prior, I would have given anything to be pregnant.  Anything.  At this point, however, the only words that ran through my mind were this:

(frantically, at a full scream... shrill, even)

Panicked, I thought of all of the reasons this was impossible.  I counted out the months and came to a due date that was completely inconceivable.  It landed our baby right in the middle of my brother's wedding, smack dab in the mess of my husbands last few weeks of grad school, and other horrifically unreasonable circumstances that I hadn't even thought of yet.

So, Why?

Fast forward a few months, second quarter of grad school, still knee-deep in toddler mayhem.  My husband took a 3-month internship in San Francisco.  SAN FRANCISCO.  Yeah, why not?  So, my 6-month pregnant self was now expected to take care of our crazy crew and be hopelessly pregnant BY MYSELF 5 days a week.  All that ran through my mind was:

(I know, I'm pathetic)

As the time approached for this sweet baby boy to be born, I tangled in constant arguments civil disagreements with my OB about the upcoming arrival.  He thought I should put my baby-having on hold while he went on vacation, most likely sentencing me to a C-section.  What did I think?

(I know, I know, people do it all the time- but, keep in mind, I had 4 other children to care for as my husband was knee-deep in homework and research, we had to move, oh, and I was in a crazy adoption battle- long recovery was not something I could foresee working out for me)

As I've mentioned before, I am an avid Grey's Anatomy watcher... AKA DR McCauley.  When the world turns it's back on me, I head to my MD roots and hit the internet.  (all medical professionals can stop cringing now, it all works out in the end).  My search field read: self-induce naturally.  
Pineapple, check
walking, check
sitting cross-legged and circling, check (hard to explain but totally works)
spicy food, check

Nothing.  All of my medical research was getting me nowhere.  In my complete desperation I tried the last thing on the list: castor oil.  If you've never added this stuff to your Jamba Juice, you're missing out.  On having a baby, that is!  I went from desperate to in labor in a matter of HOURS.  Yes, I went from complaining about not having a baby to HOLDING my baby in less than 24 hours.  When I put my mind to something, well, watch out! 

Contractions, pacing my bathroom, rushing to the hospital, epidural, blah blah blah.

So, there I was, ready to have a baby 5am.  

Still ready at 10am.

Yep, they promised me it would be today at 3pm.

Keeping in mind that not all births are the same, I ignored it as we sailed passed 13 hours, which had been my longest labor thus far.  5pm.

Surely there's a baby in there somewhere, right?  7pm.

Then, my world came to a stop.  Pain shot into my back and pretty much every part of my body.  If you missed the small print, I HAD an epidural.  Pain was not allowed, or so I thought.  As I begged for some pain meds, an explanation, ANYTHING really, the nurse informed me that my baby had situated himself in such a position that he BLOCKED the epidural.  Are you kidding me?!  I turned to my husband, and squealed:


Well, if you've seen my recent posts, I'm sure you've noticed the handsome little boy I gave birth to.  24 hours of labor, excruciating back labor at the end, but there he was at 8:30pm.
    I hate being wrong.  Hate it.  But, in this moment, I was 100% wrong.  Not only could I do it, but I wasn't half bad.  I managed to calm myself so completely between pushes that I would almost fall asleep and was so efficient at pushing that I got him out in HALF the time of my last son.  (my competitive side was thrilled)

Then, my son came out.  And every ounce of pain left my body as I laid eyes on him.

i CAN do this.

As the pain washed away, so did my fears.  

Three full days without the chaos of my life gave me time to reflect on the last nine months.  This wasn't the only situation I had been wrong about.  I had lost faith.  In myself.  I had lost trust in the plan.  There is no magical pixie dust that makes life easy or trials go away.  Sometimes we struggle through.  One day at a time.  But we do get through.  As I searched those last months, I saw strength.  I saw endurance.  I saw someone who kept going and made things happen.  

It's funny how much I worried about having a fifth child.  I worried that he would interrupt our little family, I worried that I didn't have room for him- in our home or in my heart.  

I could not have been more wrong.  Kenton wasn't a mistake, he wasn't the extra piece to an already finished puzzle.  Kenton is the glue that pieced us all together.  

As we have spent the last couple of months ooh-ing and ahh-ing over his every flinch, I have realized how more in love we are.  As a whole, our family has been brought together by this tiny little man.  

He is our pixie dust.

Sometimes we go through life not even realizing something is missing.  That's how I was 11 months ago.  There was a little man waiting to come to me, and I didn't even know then just how much I needed him, how much I already loved him.

I'm sure you can see why coming back from maternity leave has been slow for me.  I am absolutely in love, again!  

Well, here we are, at the end of my story.  A story of birth, and triumph, and, of course, love.

What do you think?  Has life ever seemed overwhelming to you?  How do you get through?

Thank you for stopping by!  


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I Hope They Call Me on a Mission...

Every few months, I get the opportunity to do a shoot that I feel is really special.

This shoot, was one of those.

Young men and women, around the ages of 18-25, spend years preparing themselves to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Once prepared and ready, they submit their papers to church headquarters, where the leaders of the church assign them a specific mission.  Some are overseas, some are stateside, some are service missions in their own county.  But all require a sacrifice of a significant amount of time and dedication- 18 months to 2 years, to be exact.

This young man is no exception.  He submitted his papers and was called to serve in the Bahia Blanca Argentina mission.  He reported to the MTC (mission training center) to begin learning the language and prepare himself for a life of service for 2 full years.

He is also number 2 in the line-up of my lovely Mother of 40 Somethin' from yesterday.  His older brother is also out serving a mission.

Without further ado, here is Elder Kleinman:

Best of luck, Elder Kleinman!!  

So, what did you think?!  Could you give up 2 years of your life to help others?  Especially at 18??  I am always so amazed by these young people!!  

Thank you for stopping by!!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Motherhood and Maternity, at 40 somethin'

Motherhood and Maternity
40 somethin'

So far, you've seen me post about pregnancy in her 20's, expecting the first child and pregnancy in her 30's, expecting her 5th child.

Now, is time for pregnancy in her 40's.

Expecting lucky number 9, her last child.

The mother at 40 somethin' is graceful and sure.
She has not only been here before, but has seen every stage of childhood.

From bringing home 8 boys before, to sending 2 on their way in the world,
She knows every pain, struggle and triumph motherhood holds.

The panic of motherhood has been replaced by a calm awareness,
Not because she has conquered the task, but because she has faith that her best is enough.

She knows being a mom is hard and demanding, she's tired and frustrated at times,
But she finds no other place in the world she would rather be.

With age comes experience,
With age comes peace.

Here's to a wonderful mother, expecting her first girl after 8 wonderful boys!!

Isn't she beautiful!???

What are your thoughts?  How did you feel at different ages of pregnancy?  Were you one who LOVED being pregnant, or did you find yourself yearning for the 9 months to come to an end?

Thank you for stopping by!  Stay tuned tomorrow for a follow-up on this mom as I reveal a session I did with one of her oldest sons as he prepared to leave on a two-year mission!

Have a wonderful evening!!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Motherhood and Maternity, at 30 somethin'

Welcome to my second installment of Motherhood and Maternity...

30 Somethin'

Pregnant and 30, not on her first, but not on her last,
This mother has been here before!

She spends her days chasing small children, 
Wishing for the youth of her twenties, but grateful for the experience time has brought her.

While she has a long road to go, and many lessons to learn,
She is happy right where she's at- cherishing the opportunity to bare another child.

The things she took for granted in her twenties seem far more important to her now.
Her life is calming and she can see that these precious days will be but fleeting moments.

Well, I won't ask you to applaud this mother- because, well, it's me! :)

But, here are the pictures from my maternity session- a mother of 30 somethin' expecting her 5th child:

Well, what do you think?  What was pregnancy like for you in your 20's, or 30's?  

Thank you for stopping by and be sure to catch my final installment of Motherhood and Maternity: at 40 somethin'!  :)

Until then, have a lovely week!!!


Friday, March 21, 2014

Motherhood and Maternity, at 20 somethin'

Motherhood and Maternity, at 20 somethin'!

There comes a time in a woman's life that the all the walls come down.  Boundaries between age, height, beauty, status- they all come crumbling down.  We find ourselves on even ground.

For me, that time was found in motherhood.

All of a sudden my girl friends were not merely the girls I knew from high school or college, the girls my own age, or the girls I worked with.

No, I now found myself in the company of a much different group: mothers.

My new friends varied in age, size, social status and every other difference you could think of, but we all held one thing in common: we were moms.

For this shoot, I wanted to embrace that idea of the bond of motherhood.

First up, I have the lovely NEW mom, the mom of her 20's.

She is beautiful and full of life, ready for whatever comes her way.  She knows she has no idea what to expect, but tries her best to be prepared at any rate.  

This beautiful mama is expecting her first child, a lovely baby girl!

Please, join with me in congratulating this maternal beauty!

Stay tuned next week for the Motherhood and Maternity at 30 somethin' and 40 somethin'!

For now, have a wonderful weekend!!