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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Saturated

I was thinking the other day about when I might be ready to get pregnant again--I know, it's so early still, but just to daydream a little about timing and seasons. It felt a little rushed last time, gearing up to get pregnant again when Roscoe wasn't even a year old yet. The burden of carrying another baby so soon after giving birth to my first was evident early on in the pregnancy and overall felt a lot more demanding.

Since Merritt's birth I've been aching to experience birth at home. Aching. It is a nagging feeling, like something I need to do again in order to know that I am still capable of it. Within hours after Roscoe's birth I also gushed about wanting to do it [give birth] again, but for different reasons.

Now, with two little souls to oversee, I have struggles that make a third seem all but absurd.

When Andy is home he does a majority of the physical parenting of Roscoe, which relieves me in many ways, but Merritt is solely my responsibility day and night. Met cries when he's held by anyone else, and will not under any circumstance sleep independently. He sleeps in the sling, and if he's not sleeping he's nursing. If there happens to be a 10 or 15 minute lull during the day when he is awake and content to hang out by himself I take the opportunity to do something with Roscoe, or for myself, which leaves me feeling guilty about lack of stimulation--I rarely pull out any toys, or books for him. Tummy time? Nope. I do feel that probably one of the most important things for Merritt right now is to be held, but I remember the kinds of activities that Roscoe and I did together at three months and hope that Merritt isn't missing out on something important or necessary. And then I remember Met's gestational age of 6 weeks and I throw up my hands. I don't know what he needs right now.

My only chance for relief is the two hours between Roscoe's bedtime and our bedtime, and typically Merritt decides to eat during that time. My nights are spent lying on my side with Merritt latched or close to it, and in the mornings I am so stiff that it hurts to get out of bed. For the past 5 or 6 days I have not been free from Merritt for more than a few minutes at a time. Yesterday afternoon I just felt angry, and claustrophobic that the ring sling had been wrapped around my body for almost 9 hours, less a few nursing sessions mixed in.

Then there's Roscoe who seems to have rolled right into the terrible twos as his birthday approached. I feel guilty that I can't provide him with the attention that he deserves because my arms and my body are otherwise occupied with his little brother. My patience is a lot thinner these days too. Roscoe's persistent demands and limit-testing ways challenge me every day to be a better mother, and require constant adaption to keep up with him.

The rules that governed my life before kids, or that have worked for me in the past, don't necessarily apply to parenting or the general chaos of being a parent. I thought that the trauma of first parenthood had facilitated my ability to adapt my expectations to meet the constant state of change that children bring, and to accept that I cannot control everything all of the time. I guess I'm still learning and have room to grow in this area because lately I've felt more like I've been surrendering, not accepting, which leaves me feeling resentful.

Maybe the expectations I have for myself are set too high--I have a habit of this in other areas of my life. Parenting with love, and respect, and intention, came naturally with one child but doesn't come as easily with two. I know there is no such thing as a perfect parent. I recently read an important quote that I've been reflecting on all week:

It's not that you're not going to blow it, it's what you do with it afterwards.

Once I think I have a handle on two, maybe then I'll know it's time for number three. Right now I'm pretty sure that my hands are full.

5 comments :

  1. Oh mama. Life sounds really challenging right now. But I think the fact that Merritt is the gestational age of only 5 tiny weeks is really important. You know how they (don't ask me who "they" is) say it gets a little easier at 6 weeks, then again at 3 months, then 6 months, a year, etc? I wonder if things will calm as Merritt moves out of the newborn stage/"4th trimester". There are so many challenges with a premie, but one that I never really thought about before you started blogging about your experience was the fact that you have both the third AND fourth trimester with your baby on the outside, which means constant attention and endless nurturing.

    I feel like I'm rambling, but hang in there and do what you need to do to get some calm and sense of balance whenever you can!

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  2. I don't really know what to say but even though you are feeling overwhelmed, you still sound very strong in your post and I know you will get through these trying days! I remember the newborn stage (and Allie wasn't even a premie) where some of the days/nights just seemed endless and I didn't know how I'd make it through. You are doing your very best just remember that! Hang in there, sending good wishes!

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  3. Thank you for sharing this slice of real parenthood. It sounds like you are doing a great job. I would suggest handing your husband the sling and baby for just one hour this week and going for a walk all by yourself or driving around in the car blasting crappy pop music. Even if the baby cries for some or most of the hour, your happiness and patience are worth more (hope that doesn't sound heartless...it's just what I had to do, too!).

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  4. Thanks you guys!

    Yes, it's felt like a marathon in some ways. It feels like we've been in the early newborn phase for three months now.

    Great suggestion to pass the sling to my husband. Funny how logical and simple a solution it sounded when I read it. I will definitely give that a try this week, maybe more than once!!

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  5. I know it sounds crazy, but I've thought about when I may want to get pregnant again too. I've found the transition to two kids manageable (thanks to Adelle's easy going demeanor) and even think I could handle a third....BUT it's the idea of actually being pregnant again that has me TERRIFIED! I feel like my body would be like "You've got to be f-ing kidding me, lady. I can't handle this again!"
    I don't know if it was just a totally different pregnancy than my first or if it was because my pregnancies were so close together (although, I feel like it's pretty common to have kids that are around 18 months apart) but in any case, it was a ROUGH 9 months and I am just so far from being ready to do that again.
    And, like you said about Merritt, I totally feel the guilt about a lack of stimulation for Adelle because I'm so busy with her sister. I don't even want to think about how much of a challenge it would be to make sure she gets the attention she needs if I were pregnant again or had another baby.
    You really have had a marathon of the newborn period. Since he is really more like a 6 week old, I wouldn't feel too guilty about the lack of stimulation. Like you said, they really do benefit most of just being held at that point. He will let you know when he needs more stimulation.
    Try not to be too hard on yourself (easier said than done, I know) :)

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