All posts filed under: Parenthood

adventures in parenting

Crash-course Introduction to the Uncertainty of Parenthood

Ten years ago today my first son Eric, was born.  That day was a crash-course introduction to faith, hope, and love despite uncertainty.  Anxiety, worry, and obsessive compulsive disorder run deep in my gene pool. It wasn’t long after Eric’s early arrival that I realized my mountain of OCD behaviors provided me a false sense of security. They also sucked valuable time and energy away from being present, honest, and available to the people most important to me. Ever since accepting that no amount of hand-washing or towel folding was going to protect me from all the might go wrong, I have faced the daily challenge of taking care of all those scary feelings involved in parenting.  The challenge is more than worth it because on the other side of those scary feelings I have found joy and strength beyond measure, and I want more of that for me and my family. In 2006, Labor Day took on new meaning for me. I was twenty-six weeks into what seemed to be an uncomfortable pregnancy when I …

Head Lice and a Boston Marathon Finish

When doubt set it in that I might not have the wear-with-all to run the Boston Marathon last April, one man removed all doubt. He said “Do not run the Boston Marathon. Your marriage, your kids, and all you do are too much in need right now to take this on.” Those were all the reasons I needed to at least try and run this thing. I needed a break, not from running but from working so hard to try an keep the circus of my life – sick kids, sick me, dying grandmother, struggling marriage, insecure family members, loud-mouth family members, desk job – in control. I needed this marathon to set in stone what I always knew. I have no control over any of those things. I can however, control myself and this self needed to check out for a week and surround myself with people who run. All it took was one more well-meaning family member to say “Don’t run”! Are you kidding me? That is all I want to do right now. …

A Story of Supply and Demand

There is no doubt that breastfeeding is the best nourishment for your baby. My own son, now a healthy and happy boy, was born at twenty-six weeks and two days. It was frightening, but at the moment I delivered my body created the perfect food for him tailored by nature specifically to his one pound and fourteen ounce body. As he was whisked off to the NICU the doctor entered my room with a small little tube that could hold only 3 milliliters. He stressed the importance of my ability to capture the first drops of milk, colostrum that would be made available to my son as soon as possible. I am forever grateful for the lactation consultant that spent time with me teaching me to self-express these tiny drops of “pure gold” that would help him to develop his premature digestive system. This was my gift to him and the only way I could put my nurturing instincts to good use. It was then that I truly understood the importance of giving my body …

The Girl Who Runs

She is confused. She is distrusting and unclear herself about what will be enough. In her confusion and obsession to “fix” this and get on with living a full and meaningful life, she begins to question everything. She becomes afraid. Afraid she can’t trust her own instincts. Afraid of greater loss. Not only is she afraid of losing love, but she is  also afraid she is losing herself to the overwhelm and chaos.The resentment and anger are slowly suffocating her. She begins to feel she is sacrificing happiness with her children during  their youth. Her own ambitions for in love, acceptance, and health are suffering. She TAKES responsibility for herself and her process to heal. She longs for the subject of her pain to do the same.She hits the wall. She is weak  and drained physically and emotionally by everyone and everything around her. She says stop. Stop the confusion.  She slows down. She begins to see she needs rest. She needs space. She can’t keep pushing herself and being pushed for attention and love …

You Gotta Have Guts

“Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road?” Because he didn’t have any GUTS!” My five year-old tells me this joke often. He puts emphasis on the word ” GUUUTSSS” in way that sticks so perfectly and sweetly in my mind when I am running. You have got to have GUUUTSSS to obtain many of the rewards life has to offer. Whether it is passing someone on the trail, attempting something like the fastest known time on the Appalachian Trail , deciding to start family……you have got to have guts. How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh I could never do that.” when you know very-well they could if they decided they could. Mustering the guts to take a the chance and try that thing you have always wanted to do can lead you to some unexpected and wonderful places. The Bridger Ridge Run has been around since my Aunt Kathy dragged me through my first 5 k. It wasn’t until approaching forty-years old that I developed the guts to run it. After making it …

Periods, Running, and a Household of Boys

For years I have fought with the natural cycle of my body. My period would arrive and I would be like, “Ugggh one more thing to manage around everything else I am doing.” Now instead of resisting and fighting with my body’s natural cycle and the inconveniences it brings to running, mothering, and working…… I work with it. Once a month my cycle acts like a siphon of much needed energy for my brain and muscles. It stresses my nerves, patience and hijacks my sense of humor (ask my husband about that one!). During this regular scheduled monthly occurrence I am afraid to be around anyone for fear that I have been possessed by someone unrecognizable to the outside world who will wreak havoc on my skills and relationships. Then, one day the light bulb came on. I don’t know if it was when I was trying to manage stuff  in the bathroom with my little boys busting in and out, or if it was talking with my amazing coach that enlightened me to to stop fighting …

My Real Baby’s Birthday

When Noah was born and growing from infant to toddler I always thought of him as my “real baby”. To me this meant he was my real and first experience at full-term pregnancy and birth.  Of course, Eric was not full-term (26 weeks of real preemie) and was full-on adorable. But, what I never understood until after experiencing a full-term birth was how truly foreign the experience of a preemie mom is to those whose first child is full-term. It took my second time around and thirty-eight weeks of gestation to a real baby to understand why many people seemed so confused about my precautions and nervousness with Eric. Prior to bringing your preemie baby home you are told to not let anyone else hold him if you don’t have to, or at the very least, make sure the person to hold him has all their shots, no fever, no cold sores, no runny nose, no germ-festing-toddlers in their own homes, and maybe even just ask people to where a face mask just in case. And …

Hope, Peace, Joy, & Love

We went to church last Sunday. We actually made it past the children’s sermon this time despite the boys outward disagreement of who got to play with Action Chugger during the service. You see, usually when we go to church it goes like this: we arrive late to miss announcements. No need to waste Eric and Noah’s young boy short attention span on announcements. We sit down shuffling who sits where, try to sing a hymn, and then they go up to the alter for the children’s sermon. They LOVE the children’t sermon. Today Noah got to place the sheep in the nativity scene and Eric got to bring Joseph along his journey across the room. After the children’s sermon, the children are invited to a play room with Birdie. Noah and Eric have outgrown the play room and want nothing to do with it. I am lucky to get through the readings let alone the sermon before these boys need to move their active bodies. So I usually feel satisfied with the lesson they …

Eric"s eyes open

On Monday, Eric decided it was time to take a look around. His eyes have opened and he seems to notice our movements next to the incubator. It is hard to tell what color they are but they are dark — either dark blue or brown. We visited him again last night and they have switched him back to the CPAP which is a bigger breathing device that provides positive pressure of air in his lungs. They did this because he was having too many “episodes” of breathing apnea. Sometimes a preemie “forgets” to breathe. When this happens the alarms go off and the nurse gently massages him until he breathes again. This was happening too often so they had to switch the breathing apparatus. He also got some blood from the Blood Bank yesterday because a preemie doesn’t make new blood quickly and they take several blood samples each day. So he was a little low and received 12 ml of blood. They say it will help reduce the apnea because he’ll have more …