Friday, April 30, 2010

It's About Time

Preston and I when he was about 2 weeks old


It's about 10:30pm on a Friday night.

A friday night, which I would like to add, that I would have rather of had a husband here to spend time with instead of playing single mom all day, but instead he is off on a scouting adventure with a bunch of 11 year old cubscouts. (Thanks babe for fulfilling your church/community callings, but I won't lie that sometimes I wish you would be a little less diligent. So shoot me for saying that.)

I feel like a terrible mother as it is. I'm 6 months pregnant and finally getting to a point where I'm starting to feel it. Like really feel it. My back hurts, my belly hurts, I'm tired, and everything seems to take way too much effort.

And I still have 3 months left.

So I tend to not be as good of a mother as I know I should be. I let my toddler watch way too many episodes of Dora the Explorer, he doesn't get out to the park as much as he really should, I don't pick him up enough, we don't go on enough stroller rides, and heaven knows that his meals could be better planned out with care.

So it was with a sense of guilt but excitement that I put my child to bed at the early hour of 7:15pm tonight in the hopes that I would be able to lay down and get some strain off of my heaving belly.

It was no surprise to me that around 8:00pm he was not asleep, but crying in his crib. Little wimpers turned to crying, which turned to full-on sobs.

So after letting him cry it out for about 10 minutes, I finally decided that I needed to console him back to sleep and went into his room. I picked him up and painfully carried this 34 pound 22 month old over to the rocking chair and rocked him for a bit.

I knew that he really was quite upset when I realized he had his bottle in his mouth but it was empty, yet he was still sucking on it. He never does that. If it's empty, he usually chucks it. So I knew that he was in need of some soothing which is why he was using his bottle nipple as a pacifier.

So I sat him up and laid him upright towards me with his head on my shoulder. He snuggled right in. Oh how I love that, because he is so not a snuggly kid. So when he does snuggle me, I feel so good. I feel like I am doing him some good, protecting him and providing some comfort. Even though he was squishing his little in-utero brother who was kicking back profusely, I really enjoyed the snuggle time with Preston.

I wiped the tears away from his cheek and we snuggled for about 30 minutes while listening to my lullaby music. While sitting there nestled together, I listened to the music that I so lovingly created and composed...for him. Each song brought back a memory of the story behind it, and why I wrote it.

I also realized that it was just he and I tonight. No papa. No husband. And it made me snuggle him even tighter knowing that he was my only human touch all night and I wanted to get as much as possible.

Eventually he started wiggling, and then eventually sat back and looked at me. He pointed to my shirt and jibber-jabbered some toddlerish undecipherable sentence and then gave me a big grin. He got down off of my lap and reluctantly started going over to one of his toys. He knew that he wasn't supposed to be playing right now because it was bedtime, so every step he would take he would look back at me to see if he could get away with one...step...more.

I just let him.

And instead of him making a run for the door, he was a really good boy and played with various toys in his room. The lights were still out, and the room was lit by a nightlight, a noisemaker, and a cd player. We both whispered back and forth. "Fast car" he would say as he played with his Lightening McQueen racecar. "Big ball", as he bounced a ball across the room.

After about 10 minutes of him playing with his toys, our whispers turned into regular voices. I then realized that this boy was no where near tired enough to go to bed.

So I finally let him out of his room.

We went and popped popcorn and sat on the couch in our bedroom (Mommy and Daddy's bedroom) and watched a movie, while snuggling under a quilt. He would grab a handful of popcorn and stuff it in his mouth and look up at me with the most excited smile and say "Corn!". I would acknowledge "Yes you are eating popcorn!" as he would dive another handful in and grab some. I had my waterbottle next to me, and he would say "Water." and I would pass him the water, then he would pass it back.

He was so excited.

My spirits lifted to. I went from feeling sorry for myself that I was having to be a single mom, alone and pregnant with a toddler while feeling miserable...to remembering how much I loved this little boy of mine and I just needed to spend some time with him instead of trying to follow his schedule.

Stuffing our faces with popcorn and looking at each other with huge smiles and sharing a water bottle while movie-watching was one of those life moments where it seemed to be happening in slow motion. I knew that I would remember this little moment in years to come.

Finally, after we finished our bowl of popcorn and Preston started going for the kernals, I decided it was time to attempt bed again, considering it was now 9:45pm (2 hours passed his regular bedtime).

He was only too happy to take another bottle of milk, climb into my lap with his blankie, listen to more lullabies, and eventually get placed in his crib for the night.

And I haven't heard a single peep from him since.

I learned a valuable lesson tonight. Just like the Mormon advertisements say, "Family: It's about time". They are exactly right.

Preston and I when he was about 2 months old

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Preston Post {4.28.2010}















Mommy's note: So the Rain Forest cafe was our "family date" 2 weekends ago. And then the other outing was last Saturday. I had a music workshop that I was teaching at most of the day, and so Will took Preston to downtown Bellevue where they were holding a "Sheep Sheering Saturday", complete with animals and tractor rides.

Preston has a thing about grass. He doesn't like to touch it with his hands. This video is kind of funny....he was sitting on the grass but tried to get up without touching it with his hands. As you can see...he had some difficulty.
P.S. I just have to say that I did not dress Preston last Saturday. His papa did. LOL I think those pants are for 18 month olds (he'll be 2 in June).

video

Friday, April 23, 2010

Creation.

I had a conference call earlier today with the writer/director and producer of the short film, "Minuet", that I have been asked to score the music for. It wasn't until today that I gave them the official "yes", after seeing the rough cut of the film this morning (even though we'd been in cahoots for a couple of months discussing everything).

I feel like a creator today. Creator of music, creator of life.

I have so many more deep, random, epiphanatic thoughts on this subject but I won't bore you.

But I will say this:

This morning I was emailing with a dear friend about music (she is a musician as well). I was telling her about how when I was in college studying the piano, that I spent a lot of grueling hours practicing to be as good as I was. I played some pretty stinkin' hard music that took a lot of effort and concentration to master. I competed and won. I performed as a soloist with ensembles and symphonies.

But none of that compares to the feeling I get as a composer. I get to create. And it is so far beyond the mind stretching and brain activity I went through as a mere pianist. Even though my music will never be as technically advanced as the Rachmanoniff 3rd Piano Concerto, it is far more challenging for my mind and body. I told her it was a lot like studying for the SAT but getting to enjoy ice cream at the same time. You feel like you are stretching your mind as far as it can go that it might possibly explode....but it's a good feeling as well.

I would say being a mom is like that too.

I was a single woman for 27 years, and then a wife for 3 years before we ever brought Preston into this world. Being a woman is beautiful, empowering, and unique unto itself...but to stretch my body's powers and capabilities to do what it was inherintly destined to do , even down to the inscription on my DNA....to bring life into the word, to create, is far more challenging and rewarding. Just like composing, it's like cramming for an SAT but getting ice cream at the same time. And just like how my compositions will never be as complex as Rachmaninoff, my days as a mother are much more simple than my days before being one. Yet, they are the most challenging and fulfilling by far.

Women are creators.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

How are Prayers Answered?

Today at church we had a lesson on prayer.



The questions that were brought up by the teacher were "What is prayer?", "How often should you pray?", and most importantly "How are prayers answered?"

We split into groups and each group was assigned different questions. My group was assigned "How are prayers answered?"

Several of the ladies in my group brought up different circumstances in their lives when they received answers to prayers, but also situations where maybe they didn't get an answer to a prayer.

Sometimes prayers are answered through other people. Sometimes you have amazing experiences where you pray for something and whoop there it is. (sorry I just had the 90's rap song come in my head as I typed that). But sometimes you don't get an answer and you just have to move forward and do what you hope is best, or do more searching on your while trying to have an increase in faith.

I didn't share my own experience with my group, but the entire time I couldn't help but think about my own personal trial that I have been going through these past several months, and how I have been in that exact situation where the answer has not been clear to me.

As you know, we are pregnant with baby #2 - due mid August. This pregnancy has sort of been a ticking timebomb for me as it get nearer and nearer to the due date, with the decisions that need to be made about the type of birth that needs to happen.


With our first, Preston, I ended up needing to have a csection after almost 24 hours of labor.

I really did not want to have a csection, nor had I planned for one. At all. But instead had done a ton of reading and preparation well ahead of time for all the aspects of a vaginal birth. I had burned cds of relaxing music to listen to while in labor and had my plan for how I was going to handle everything. I imagined pushing the baby out, Will being there to cut the cord, holding my baby skin to skin for the first time.

But I did absolutely no reading about csections. In fact, my friend Heather loaned me a book about csections, just in case I wanted to read it. I remember putting it aside thinking "I won't need that". Which of course, I ended up scouring and reading over the weeks after I had Preston and was grateful she had loaned it to me.

But of course, sometimes things just don't always happen like you plan them to.

I don't regret the csection because it is what brought Preston to us safely. Yes the recovery was not the funnest, but being that I didn't have any other birth experiences to compare it to, it was just what I dealt with and embraced it.

Even with the surgery, I still remember Preston's birth as a beautiful experience and have very fond memories of it. Yeah...sometimes I have felt a twinge of sorry-for-myself-attitude when I hear about successful and/or easy vaginal labors from other women. I really did want that experience. And when I hear their stories, I never feel as though I can quite understand or connect to them. I never went through that "right of passage". Or at least that us how I have sometimes felt.

Fast forward to the here and now, because I had a csection the first time, now that I am pregnant again, this next birth is not something that is just another casual birth. Well, not that any birth is ever casual. But I can't just wait for labor, head to the hospital, and have a baby.

There are all sorts of rules and complications involved now.

At my first OB appointment for this pregnancy, one of the first things my doctor said was "Well at least this time you won't have to labor at all, we'll just schedule you for the csection and you'll get to skip all the other stuff!"

That was the first time I realized that I was heading for another csection, due to already having had a previous one. And my initial reaction was, what? I don't want another csection!

But then, I started doing a lot of research and talking to other women and found out that it's possible to have a vaginal birth after a csection. So of course, that is what I wanted because who wants to have more surgery right?

Well, for the past 5 months I have been searching for a doctor who will do just that. But they are far and few between up here in this area. I can't tell you how many different doctor offices I have called up to ask if they do VBAC's (vaginal birth after cesarean) and I've received rude responses, almost treating me as if I were asking for some type of illegal procedure. As if it were some granola natural birthing option that I would have to find a hippee doctor for.

I have cried many exhausted and hurt tears after these hours and hours of calling around.

The truth is though, is I really haven't had any clue what was right for me. There are risks involved for me no matter what birthing option I choose. It's a little scary.

I know, women have csections every day, it's very common and you hear about it all the time. And chances are you know several women who have had one or more of them. My sister-in-law has had 4 csections.

But you probably never hear about the other sides of the story because all you hear about is the beautiful birth of the baby. You probably don't know about the risks involved, forget that it's actual major surgery and takes a lot of recovery time afterwards. It also leaves a lot of scar tissue which can make the number of children you were hoping to have a lot smaller.

There are also risks involved with trying to have a vaginal birth after a csection as well, which is why most doctors don't want to run the risk and encourage women to go straight for the csection the 2nd time around. Because of the scar on the uterus, and with going into labor/having contractions and it thinning out the lining...there is a possibility of a uterine rupture while in labor. Which, if happens, can be fatal for both mother and baby if gone undetected during labor and not corrected immediately (corrected, meaning, an emergency csection as fast as possible).

So as you can see, while I have been excited to be having another baby and adding to our family...I've been scared out of my pants about this!

How do you decide what is best for you when you don't know what the outcome will be either way? What if I tried to do a vbac and ended up in the same scenario that I did with Preston and would need a csection anyway? The thought of going through all that labor again in vain....ugh. Not to mention that laboring first and then having a csection is sometimes compared to running a marathon and then getting into a car accident. Recovery sucks. What if I have a uterine rupture?

How do I know that if I just went in and did a planned csection that there wouldn't be complications? Would it also mean that it would lessen the amount of children we could possibly have that were supposed to be in our family?

It's been like trying to choose between two evils. Not that having a baby is evil AT ALL, that is not what I am saying. It's just.either way I have this baby there are risks involved, more than a normal regular birthing experience. Which is the lesser risk? Which is the safer? Yet I won't know until I try? What if I choose wrong?

Over these past several months I have been praying for answers. This situation has not been like any other for me. Usually the things I have to pray about are a little more obvious in their answer. But this time...I have been left answerless.

I suppose it is because, on the one hand, I want Heavenly Father to simply tell me what to do. He can see what is down the road for me, right? He would know what would be the safe thing to do. But I know prayers are not often answered when you ask for a direct answer. You usually have to decide what you want to do first, and then ask God if it is the right thing.

I have often thought, well, since I am having such a hard time finding doctor who does vbac's in this area, it must mean that I am just meant to have a csection afterall. Maybe I am not emotionally strong enough to try for a vbac anyway? My doctor is convinced that if I tried to do a vbac (which she will not do, which is why I have been trying to find another dr to consult with), that I would have a 91% chance of needing a csection again anyway. She is of the strong opinion that it is because of the shape of my pelvis that Preston descended the way that he did and got stuck, and that because of that, any future babies I have will descend the exact same way.

So I do have those thoughts pounding in my head quite often which make me doubt doing anything but a csection.

I actually did finally find a doctor last week, and went in for a consultation with her just to get a 2nd opinion based on my medical records with Preston's birth. I thought, hey, maybe this will be great and she will be able to answer my questions and give me good information to help me make a better decision. Maybe it will be an answer to my prayers.

Sadly, the entire appointment ended up being a complete waste of time, I didn't learn anything new (not because she agreed with my OB, but because she didn't even look at my medical records and instead gave me her opinion based on the general stastics, not having anything to do with my own personal situation), and I'm still back at square one.

I still don't know what to do.

I have 4 months left until my due date. It feels like enough time to figure things out...and yet I've already spent 5 and 1/2 months searching for answers and have come up empty.

Friends have told me "Who cares what you choose, the important thing is that the baby gets here safely."

Well yes that is entirely true. In the end, the important thing is that the baby is safe and unharmed. But...I would like to hope that I would end up safe and unharmed as well. I mean that would suck to deliver a healthy baby and then have a mother who was incapable of caring for him because of complications. And also trying to consider my longterm health, which is affected by this decision.

Ugh. It's just been a lot to think about and pray about. I guess it would be safe to say that this has been a big deal to me, and definitely a situation where I think Heavenly Father is expecting me to do my research and strengthen my faith before I get an answer.

Research? Check. Done LOTS of that.

Faith? Well...maybe there is something there I can work on.

So I guess for now, maybe my prayers about what to do aren't being answered. But one prayer that I can have answered is to ask Him to help me to have faith. Faith in my body, faith in God, faith that things will work out, and faith that, eventually, my prayers will be answered.

P.S. And asking your husband for his advice and opinion is really no help. I asked Will what he would do if he was in my shoes and having the baby. He said "I would do the csection". I asked him why and his answer was "Because there is NO WAY I would want to push a baby out my woo-hoo."

All funny-ness aside though, Will has been very supportive and loving through this decision making process. He has taken time off of work to come to some of my doctor appointments, and also the recent consultation with the other doctor. He wants what is best for me, and I think he also wishes that he just knew what the right answer is.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Will's 100 Mile Race Video

I have slacketh off no more.

Here is Will's official race blog post. Video below, it's about 10 minutes but it pretty much sums up the whole weekend.




If you don't want to watch the video, then here are a few snapshots...

Preston asleep in the car as we were zooming to and fro race watching and the campground.

Preston running after Papa.


Preston and I waiting for Will at the start/finish

The town of Port Gamble, WA (where the race was)

Uncle James pushing Gwenevere and Preston in the swing.

Preston and Papa.

Our friends Mike and Briana

Gwenevere, Elizabeth, and I

Preston checking out the tent

James making apple cobbler...yummmm.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

100 Miles Success

I need to blog about Will's race, but even since we've gotten home it's been run here, do that, clean this, go here.

So I haven't had time. Yet.

But I did want to let you know that he FINISHED!!! He did awesome. He ran it in 28 hours, 49 minutes. Out of 50 racers, only 10 finished the 100 miles and he was one of them. Most of the others dropped out. Talk about endurance!

For those on Facebook, I posted a 10 min video that I put together of Will's race. Check it out there. Or hopefully by the end of the week I'll have it posted here, if you can wait.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Will's First 100 Miler


For those who already think my husband is crazy, think again! He's even more crazy.

This coming weekend, he will be running his first 100 mile race.

Yeah, that was two zero's. 100 miles.

The longest official race he has run at this point is 56 miles, which took him about 12 hours to complete. However, on his own he has run around Mt. Rainier (96 miles) in 40+ hours, which to date would be his longest trek without stopping. (He actually held the record for the fastest unsupported time on that trail, before another runner finally beat his time).

There are only a handful of 100 mile races that happen throughout the country each year. It is the mecca of racing for ultra-marathoners.

Running in a 100 mile race has been a goal of Will's for the past 2 years. Two years ago I thought he was absolutely nutso when he mentioned it. But now that I've acclimated into being an ultra's wife, supporting him, watching him train and get totally excited about these sorts of trail races - I totally get that 100 miles is only a stretch more than a 50 miler. Sort of.

So for anyone who would like to support him and cheer him on, or just come hang out with Preston and I, it's going to be in a really beautiful location - Port Gamble, which is over on the Olympic Peninsula. He starts running at 8 a.m. this Saturday morning and we expect him to finish sometime in the early afternoon on Sunday. We're camping Friday and Saturday. Let us know! We'd love to have a cheerleading section!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter

We got to spend Easter + General Conference Weekend with Will's younger sister, Elizabeth, and her husband James and little darling Gwenevere.


I must have been a deprived child or something, because I had never dyed eggs in my life until this Easter. So it was my first time along with Preston's and Gwenevere's.

Putting stickers on the eggs. The stickers were footballs, soccerballs, and baseballs of course.

One little girl LOVED to play the piano.



Hope you had a very happy Easter!