Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It is going to be ok.

I think motherhood has always been hard. As long as women have had babies it has come with challenges. I think some things never change, but I also think the modern mom has a whole new set of problems. It has been talked about before that with social media the way it is, comparing yourself to others, and seeing everyone as only having perfectly happy moments can be hard. For me, instagram is a happy place. I love seeing what people are doing, wearing, sharing, and connecting with people I otherwise wouldn't have. I do however, struggle at times with how trendy motherhood has become. Its cool to have a baby. And while this is awesome because it opens up a new world of support for moms, it complicates things as well. Because having a baby isn't as cool itself, but rocking the mom gig, loving it despite its challenges, and looking awesome while you do it, is cool. Writing about how motherhood is -hard and crazy and emotional and stressful and wonderful and amazing and messy and the best, most rewarding thing you have ever done- is cool. And that is hard sometimes. It is hard because when I don't feel that way, I feel like I am broken, or missing something.

After my first baby I was hit hard with postpartum depression. It took over a year to work through and I still see it as the darkest time of my life. I wasn't warned. I didn't anticipate it, and from the moment I met my little boy I felt like I was missing something. It wasn't bliss. I wasn't overcome with joy. And from there is only got so, so much worse. But I made it through and eventually felt back to myself.

Baby round two. The main reason I decided to go as natural as possible in delivery this time is that I felt like I needed the crazy adrenaline/endorphin rush people talk about after giving birth. It totally worked. I immediately felt so much joy, love, happiness, and connection with that baby.The happiness continued for weeks. I was so in love with my kids, with this baby, and with my experience I was having. I will forever be grateful for getting to experience those feelings.

Since then things have gotten hard again. So hard that we have thought that we might not have any more kids just because of what is does to me. I don't feel like sharing specifics but the level of craziness blows my mind at times. But unlike the first time around this time I am being more open about it, and getting the help I need. I know very few, if any, will even read this. But I share for one reason only, because if there is even one other person who reads this, feels the same way, and realizes they aren't alone and there's nothing "wrong" with them, then it was worth it to me. 

We all have to be our own kind of mom. It is a unique experience that really does change you forever. A hard phase doesn't define you. It is just a hard time. You have to find how YOU do things, what makes YOU happy as a mom, and what YOU need to do to be ok. For some it could be wearing heels to the park to make them feel better, or posting a selfie to get some validation from others, or throwing extravagant birthday parties because they love to do it, or having a Netflix hour for the kids for your sanity and serving cookies for breakfast to get a few extra minutes in bed... we are all different and all in this struggle together. Throw away the judgement not only of others but of YOURSELF. Do your best and forget the rest. We are all going to be ok. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

What a mighty mighty good man

Oh Ryan. I have a little gushing tribute planned for our anniversary, so I will keep this brief. But I loved getting to celebrate him on Father's Day cause folks, he is a good one. I strive for so many of his parenting qualities. He is so loving, patient, FUN, and great with our kids. He is Kyle's real bff, and seeing how Zoe can melt him basically melts me. Like wow. He always requests tacos al pastor whenever he gets the chance and I have gotten better at making them. He said yesterday's were the best so far. Woo! Thanks for taking such good care of us Ry!

Good vibrations

Saturday we had some fun at Summer Fest. Kyle had a blast on the *ghetto* rides, loved the drums in the parade, got to sit in the pilot's seat of a real helicopter (his life is complete) and then enjoyed the fireworks with friends quite a bit. It was one of those magical days spent with our little family where everything just feels amazing. Summer can do that to ya. 
But really, does life get sweeter than this?


So I have had fun thinking of alternatives to referring to Kyle and Zoe as "my kids". Makes me feel old or weird or something. Saying my littles as so so many do these days is just not me. My usual go to is My posse. But today I thought of KayZee. Ya know, like J-Zee sorta? Anyways. This is an update on my two friends Kyle and Zoe.

Kyle *2.5*

  • He is hilarious. The things he says... I need to be better at writing them down. I love it, but boy will he talk your ear off.
  • He got two molars completing his full set of teeth. Let's not forget he got his first two before 4 months, and had eight by 6 months. Chompers.
  • He loves listening to the radio and has to know the name of every artist. He can now identify Pink, Macklemore, Maroon 5, Imagine Dragons, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Tay Swift, and a few others correctly every time. 
  • He is a very early riser. Let's change that...
  • He loves to "work out" daily. 
  • He loves melon above all else. 
  • He loves friends and cousins, always prefers to be social.
  • He is obsessed with cars, trucks, tractors and airplanes.
  • He is a mini Ryan. He loves to know how everything works. The only way I got him excited about the splash pad was having Ryan explain to him how the pumps work to shoot the water. He will tell anyone who will listen about pumps and water pressure. He also loves Myth Busters, and other documentary style shows about how things work.
  • He is a huge fan of sun screen. Good thing...have you seen the boy?
  • He loves to dig in the dirt.
  • He loves to play baseball and soccer.
  • He is Mr. Independent. Loves picking out his clothes, putting on his own shoes, and insists on attempting pretty much everything "all by myself".
  • He can say prayers unassisted.
  • He is still half potty trained...really need to finish him off.
  • He is very sweet. Always asking how I feel, if I'm ok...things like that.
  • He loves to dance. The kid has moves. 
  • He also loves to sing. Twinkle Twinkle is his specialty.
  • He hates, HATES, above all else to bathe. That's a fun battle daily:)
  • He is a true pleasure to be around. Love him SO much.

Zoe *one month*
  • Doesn't have many tricks yet, but is perfectly cute enough to make up for it.
  • Loves to eat! She eats more now than Kyle at like 4 months. No lie.
  • She is a champ at sleeping in her bed at night, but likes to be held all day. Thank goodness its not the other way around.
  • She rarely cries. 
  • She hates her arms swaddled but loved her legs wrapped nice and tight.
  • Goes right to sleep any time I attempt tummy time.
  • She is out of the newborn size, though 0-3 are still a bit big.
  • She can often be found scowling. Its funny.
  • Gives us little smiles, though I doubt they are intentional.
  • Hasn't lost any hair...time will tell.
  • She is getting fat rolls and several chins. Nothing makes me happier!
  • She loves the sun. Loves to bask.
  • Obsessed with her. Seriously.

Sweet Summer

Even with a new baby around we have already been able to enjoy so many fun summer activities. Best so far?

  • City Creek and Temple Square. Kyle dug up some flowers, Zoe snoozed, and we had a great time. 
  • Swimming for the kids and I. We went to the Scera pool one day. Loved it! It took Kyle about 30 minutes to feel like getting in the water but once he did he had a fabulous time! We got him a shave ice after of course.
  • Playing with friends and cousins. Kyle loves his cousins so much. It was awesome living close to so many of them. I love watching him play and have fun with other kids. Sometimes I feel bad he is so lonely here all day with me.
  • Visiting the temple. "Mom I need my wallet so I can go in the temple and get married please." -Kyle
  • Evening baseball. We play with just one base. Kyle LOVES it.
  • Picnics. We eat outside a lot. And love it.
  • Crafternoon with friends. We made great stuff and Kyle and Emmett loved destroying the house (and sometimes each other) while we did it. Tie dying is ALWAYS a good idea.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Lucky Lucky Lucky

I just want to get some of my recent feelings written down. I have mentioned before how scared I was to have another baby because of the postpartum depression issues I had with Kyle. It was seriously such a dark time for me. And even after I bounced back and snapped out of it, I still didn't REALLY believe people when they said they just loved motherhood, were obsessed with their baby, had never been happier...things like that in regards to their newborn and their life right after a baby. Don't get me wrong, I have always loved Kyle. But I could not relate to those feelings. I just figured I wasn't a baby person. I prefer my kids a little older. I thought this until the very second I saw Zoe.

That overwhelming happiness and love hit instantly. She is about four weeks old now. Sure I have had a few emotional meltdowns and struggled to adjust a bit. But overall I feel joy and gratitude. She is so perfect. So special. When I see pregnant people I want to hug them and tell them they are about to experience the most amazing experience of their lives. It is such a miracle. I can't even begin to explain the feelings. We have known Zo was coming to our family for a while now, before she was actually on her way. The first time I saw her it was like seeing a face I already knew, but had been missing.

I don't love Zoe more than Kyle. Not at all. Having this experience with Zoe has helped me understand a new dimension of motherhood I didn't know before. I feel forever changed. I wouldn't wish what happened to me after Kyle on anyone, but being able to see the difference this time around has been a huge learning experience for me.

It sounds cliche but I don't know what I did to deserve such greatness in my home. Ryan is the best thing that ever happened to me. Kyle is the biggest light and so special. Everyday as I talk and play with him I am blown away by how remarkable he is. When he gives me a kiss and says I love you... I just can't think of anything better. Zoe is already a little piece of perfect. They all deserve better than what I have to offer, but I will spend my whole forever trying to be worthy of their love. I can honestly say, sincerely, I have never been happier. I feel so complete. Above all I am overwhelmed with gratitude for these three choice people in my life.

Monday, May 27, 2013

What's in a name

I like names to have meaning. Kyle is named after my brother who passed away and Ryan's dad. I love it.

Ryan and I have loved the name Zoe for years so it was a no brainier. Her middle name was also an obvious choice. Kate is after Ryan's little sister. We had personal reasons for choosing Kate which I won't share here, but I wanted to explain a bit of the meaning in Zoe's name. 

Katie (I've always called her Kate) is one of the most selfless, caring, sincere, amazing people I have ever known. Ryan and her have always been close, and I totally lucked out when I gained her as a sister. If Zoe grows up to be exactly like her I will be so happy. 

Yesterday Jeff and Kate were able to come meet Zoe. I love this pic of Zo with the amazing girl she's named after. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kyle meets Zoe

Kyle came to meet Zoe the day after she was born. He really liked her for about five minutes, and then realized the buttons on my bed made it go up and down...and suddenly nothing was cooler than that. Here are some pictures from his visit.

A Story

This is a birth story. Read it if you like them, skip it if you don't! It is gonna be LONG.

Let's start on Sunday, just for fun. My dear sister had arrived the day before, meaning we were in full HAVE THIS BABY mode, since her trip had to be a short one. We did quite a bit of walking...I was having contractions but nothing extremely regular or exciting.

Monday morning I had a doctor's appointment, also...it was my due date! I went in having high hopes but also tried to prepare myself for "no progress". I had been at a 1.5 for weeks, but they kept saying her head was just too high. Well, we got the same story at this appointment. No progress, and my doctor said he wasn't really wanting to induce since things didn't look super favorable. I really didn't want to be induced, but I was also really sad that it looked like Michelle would miss the birth. My doctor sensed my depression and said he at least wanted me to go in for a non stress test since it was my due date, just to make sure things looked good since I had reported her movement was way down in the last few days.

So Michelle and I dropped our boys off at my moms and headed to the hospital for the test. I went through all of this with Kyle, so I wasn't really expecting anything but to be hooked up to an ultrasound, monitored, and told everything is fine and keep waiting. We got to the hospital and I got hooked up and the tech immediately said "woah, have you been in a lot of pain and extremely uncomfortable?"....(Um YES! I had been so much bigger and in so much more pain than I remembered with Kyle even though I went 41 weeks with him. By 38 weeks this time I was just dying, but I assumed it was just because it was my second and that I probably just didn't remember how hard the end was). Anyways..She then explained I had more than twice the maximum normal amount of fluid. They told me normal is anywhere from 5-20, and I was measuring over 40. This also explained why the baby couldn't get her head down lower. She said no one would have noticed this on me because I didn't have extreme swelling or diabetes, which are the main indicators. She said they wanted to monitor me a little longer and then left.

Michelle and I still didn't think much of this and continued to discuss our People magazine. Then the tech came back and said they needed her to move more, so they used this little thing to make her move. Then she left again. Then after a few minutes she came back and said completely calmly, "Well I showed this to the doctor and he doesn't like how her heart is looking, and there is just too much fluid so we are sending you up to be delivered..." Ummmm what!? I was so shocked. I asked if I could go home and get some things and she said nope, head to the fifth floor they are expecting you. I started to panic a little, maybe a lot. Ryan was at work with no car, I had none of my stuff, I hadn't said bye to Kyle, my baby wasn't doing super great, and I was being induced which I SO did not want. Luckily Michelle kept me calm, called Ryan and told him to get here pronto, and we we headed up.

Once Ryan got there Michelle headed home with a list of things to get. I guess this is why you pack a hospital bag in advance? They gave me a dose or cytotec and we waited. Three hours passed, another dose. Then things got going. Contractions started suddenly and painfully. I had been hoping to go natural, but being induced was so not part of my plan I wasn't sure what would happen. A few hours later I was still at a 1.5. I was starting to feel a little defeated. They decided to start pitocin. Contractions were getting intense. I moved from the bed to the ball and that helped. Michelle and Ryan were a great team to help me. An hour later I was finally at a 4. Some progress!

They really wanted to break my water because her head was still floating high, but it was a risky situation. With as much fluid as I had, there was a huge risk when it broke the cord would come out blocking off the baby's supply. When this happens it is basically impossible to get the baby to safety in time. (SO if my water had broken on its own chance of her being ok would have been basically zero). Their first attempt to break it didn't work. And so we kept waiting. Contractions were hard but I got in the zone and was able to handle them.

It was now 10:00pm. I had been in labor for ten hours, and I was at a 5. I was getting tired, and feeling overwhelmed at the thought this would go on ten more hours or so many more. They then decided to try and break my water again, this time it worked. Wow. As the nurse put it, "we thought you had a small swimming pool in there, turns out it was a large lake!". No one there could believe the amount of fluid. They had to clean the floor twice, everything was soaked. TMI? Trust me I am sparing you some of the details. Anyways the minute my water was broken the contractions jumped to a pain I had never experienced and they were long and right on top of each other. I started to weigh my options. I had wanted to go naturally, but I also was defeated at the thought of endless hours more of this. I was shaking and cold from being soaked still, I was so out of it... I told Michelle I wanted the epidural. With no hesitation she told the nurse and they said lets check you just to make sure you aren't about there, I wasn't. So they ordered the epidural. From here on out is a total blur to me, but Ryan and Michelle have helped fill in the blanks.

From this point on there were SO many people in the delivery room. I think at least 10 or 12. The epidural came and definitely took the edge off, but it was light enough I still felt quite a bit of pain, which I liked. Then all of a sudden I felt like if I didn't push right this second I was going to die. Literally. This surprised me because so little time had gone by. They checked me and sure enough, I was ready. I had gone from a 5 to a ten in an hour. I was so out of it the rest of this I don't remember. From my memory I was just trying to stay conscious and get this baby out. I was exhausted.

When it was time to push I guess she was showing major signs of distress. Her heart rate was dropping fast. One doctor recommended a c section but my main doctor said by the time they got me into that it would take as long as if I could just push her out on my own fast. I had no idea anyone was worried about anything. Ryan's face looked intense...but given the situation I thought it was normal. Michelle and the nurse just kept telling me I was doing a good job. I pushed two times, then I heard the doctor say we have to cut her (third degree eek). I pushed again and they said we need forceps and someone literally left the room running to get them. I pushed again and she was out. She was blue and didn't cry right away, Ryan was crying which is super crazy for him. Meanwhile I still had no clue there was ever a problem. She let out a little cry, they took her away, and she started doing well.

I looked at her from across the room and just saw Kyle. She looked exactly like Kyle. I felt so overwhelmed with joy and so much relief it was over. I don't regret anything about the experience. Maybe had I known I would progress so fast I wouldn't have gotten the epidural, but at the same time it was so light I still felt as much as I wanted to, and I was able to walk right after. I'm so glad I went so long without one too, because the labor journey was really awesome for me this time, unlike Kyle. It was just that, a journey, an experience in which I was an active participant. It was truly an amazing experience.

So officially Zoe Kate was born at 11:47 pm on May 20, her due date. She was 6 lbs 2 oz and 19.5 inches long. She is perfection.

We feel really blessed in how everything happened. Had we not gone in for that test, she might not have made it. She was showing so many signs of distress, the placenta was showing signs of being old, and the blood in the cord was close to being too acidic to sustain her (which is why she was blue and had a plummeting heart rate during delivery). She needed to come out exactly when she did, and with all the fluid I never would have gone into labor on my own until it was too late. It was a crazy day and I never dreamed it would happen how it did, but I am so grateful for every part of it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The End

For months I have been battling this sad feeling of Kyle not being my only one anymore. I am so excited and grateful to have a little girl join our family, but it is hard for me to accept things will never again be the same. It is the end of an era for us. Ryan, Julie, Kyle. We make a rather fantastic team if you ask me. I love us. I love nothing more, NOTHING, then hanging out with Ryan and Kyle. I know I will love this baby girl too and all that, but I think for today, I will just let myself dwell on this phase, and feel sad it is ending.

Kyle is a dream. I know everyone says that about their own children and now I know why. He brings me laughter, love, and amazement on a daily basis. Having a toddler is an opportunity to see the world in a whole new way. Airplanes going by, or construction on the side of the road are suddenly huge events to be celebrated and discussed. Things that would otherwise go unnoticed and suddenly meaningful parts of the day. And the conversations we have? Quality I am telling you. You can't be in a hurry when you have a toddler. And I have learned, if you let your life slow down with theirs, something wonderful happens. You talk about different bugs on the way to the car, you take time to say hello to every duck in the park, you take 20 minutes to put on flip flops because they want to try it themselves, you take three times as long to make dinner because they are helping, the list goes on forever...and it is sort of magical. Now sometimes things just need to be done, but the days I run on Kyle time? They are such great days. I learn so much living through Kyle's eyes. I just love the curiosity and discovery that is happening constantly (though I admit to losing it occasionally with all the what's that? what happened?)

Kyle has been a great sidekick for the last two and a half years. He has taught me so much, and we have come a long ways. He is so special. I can't even comprehend how much more he will teach me and the things we will go through together but I hope he can always understand how loved he is. He is a special boy. We had a bit of a rough start. I struggled a lot becoming a mom and of course still have daily battles to face, but I am so grateful for the relationship we have now. He is my buddy, my best friend, my Kyle. He is the coolest person I know.

So yes I am ready to add to our party, I know she will be super cool too. But wow am I grateful for the years we have spent as a party of three. I hope this girl knows how lucky she is getting someone like Kyle as her older brother. Seriously. Team Lundy forever!