On Expecting & Creativity

waterfall

There’s something about pregnancy that draws me back into the space of this blog.

Maybe it’s fueled by hormonal unrest or maybe by the hope that tiny fragments of today will be held still for me to look back on, sometime in the future.

I’m 30 weeks pregnant with baby number 3, and couldn’t be more overwhelmed with gratitude that I get to grow, birth and raise another little soul.

On these past days, I can’t help but swell with the possibilities a creative and mighty God has woven into every being, day, and life.

____________________________________________

Inspirations fueling this pregnancy.

1. Big Magic.  Every beating, heaving body, needs to exhale life into this world.  Let that life be as creative and varied as a totally free, totally unique being can be.

2. Moving the body.

3. Essentialism.  Pairing down life to the things that are most essential.  Getting rid of things I don’t need, responsibilities that make it hard to breathe freely, and investing in the babies that are getting older, the passions I’ve been suppressing, and the precious, imperfect people God has placed into my life.

4. Giving myself permission.  To fail, to succeed, to go down a path that leads to a place I know nothing about.

Baby in the Belly!

18 wks, baby 218 weeks pregnant!

the first trimester: sick, sick, tired, sick, tired.  thunder was kind to me and entertained himself while I rested.  we ordered in a lot.  and my love helped so much with dishes, laundry, and entertaining the boy.  so grateful to have some energy back with this trimester!

second trimester:  feeling great!  i’ve been feeling this little one move for some time now.  i can’t wait till my boy and hubby can feel it too!

also: it’s a girl!  we’re so thrilled and i can’t stop online shopping!

the hardest thing about this pregnancy is believing God’s blessed us with ANOTHER child.  i feel like having one is just too much of a blessing to start off with.  that God will grow my heart to love another human being as much as i love the amazing munchkin i already have running around my home, shrieking in joy.  wow.

mama links:

– drinkable folic acid.

– love these mommy shorts.

differences between first and second time moms.

– found these two links here:

article about parenting. “She told me to remember that the more people a child has who truly loves him or her, the happier that child will be. So I work hard to maintain and expand their circles of love.”

and, a heart-wrenching essay/interview with a mother who had a stillborn birth.  this reminds me of how fragile human life is.  and what a blessing each day is.  makes me want to kiss my boy and hug my husband.  and rely more on my Lord who is constant and will guide me through whatever life brings.

New Motherhood.

Am I still considered a new mom?

This post is a great look at new motherhood.  Some people have loads of help in the beginning, but even with help, I think you can never really know the intensity that awaits.

Thunder was colicky the complete first 3 months of his life, and we lived pretty much isolated from our family, so we definitely had our share of hurdles.  But, I look back through the eyes of the mother of fun-loving toddler, not a weary first-timer.

This is the article referred to in the above post.  My favorite part is when she articulates what she wants to say to young mother’s once she’s finished parenting.

“It’s helluva hard, isn’t it? You’re a good mom, I can tell. And I like your kids, especially that one peeing in the corner. She’s my favorite. Carry on, warrior. Six hours till bedtime.”

I love that she calls the mother a warrior.  Because really, all mothers are warriors.

My sister-in-law gave birth to her second boy on Monday.  And “warrior” is the best word to describe her.  In an apartment in a third world country, assisted by her husband, and a nurse and doctor that had never attended a natural birth, her son was born.  She is a brave, strong mama.  And we should all see that bravery and strength within us.  A gift from God to all mother’s.  We have what it takes.

It’s been a while.

Hello Friends!

Are you still out there?  How have you been?  It’s been a LONG time since I stopped by.  SO much has happened these last few months, but mostly I’ve finally got the hang of motherhood (to a toddler).  It’s always changing and I’m always learning, but I’m trusting myself more.

Our little tyke is definitely a daddy’s boy.  When hubby comes home from work, Thunder SPRINTS up to him, arms wide and face in total grinning bliss.  There’s a sweetness to their relationship that makes me melt for my husband in a whole new way.  He’s such a fun and loving papa.

Notes on the Thunder in my heart:

– He’s 14 months old and absolutely delicious.  I love every inch of this little man.  The big eyes, the curly blond craziness on his head, the TOES, the belly.  Every bit.

– He’s wonderfully affectionate.  He’ll stop what he’s doing midway to come give me or his papa some kisses and hugs.  He loves hugs and bumpy lap rides and kisses followed by applause.

– He is wildly curious.  He can spend ours investigating new corners of our home, or rereading book after book, upside down, right side up, with a page ripped out.

– He babbles, and swears we can understand.  He’ll spew out a string of somethings and then wait for a response.  Often hubby and I will meet eyes and just laugh.

–  Our little guys is persistent, loud, everywhere and so full of life and joy.

I recently read this.  It had loads of useful tips on how to be intentional with your toddler.  It also had a list of “negative” characteristics that actually reveal something positive about your babe, once they’ve learned how to channel it right.

Here are the ones that match Thunder:

Bossy : A Leader
Defiant : Brave
Hyper: Passionate
Stubborn : Tenacious
Whiny : Outspoken

We named him Thunder because we wanted him to be brave and passionate to live a life for Christ, and it’s exciting to see how God’s already crafted him as a young boy to live to be that man.

P.S.  Have you seen these dreamy pictures of mama’s and their babes?

 

 

Resting after Labor.

nigeria_2734_600x450Though some go right back to work, many rest firstimage source.

It’s a rare thing in our country to come by a paid maternity leave.  And for those who do get it, how many of those women really get to rest and enjoy their baby?

I definitely want to check out this book called, The Immigrant Advantage.  It’s all about how to care for a new mother.  When I was pregnant for the first time, I never realized the care that I would be needing after my babe was born.  We focus so much on the labor, we forget about what comes next.  There’s definitely a learning curve, and having nurturing women around is important.

After you give birth (which is totally natural, and though support and encouragement are appreciated could be done left completely alone…your body KNOWS how to get the baby out and will), you’re exhausted!  Learning to breastfeed doesn’t always happen naturally; caring for your baby doesn’t always come naturally either.  Not to mention doing that all while feeding yourself, bathing yourself, and getting rest.  (If I hadn’t had my mother around to take care of me after Thunder was born, Thunder would’ve definitely missed out on some loving).

Let’s bring back this mothering of the mother!

p.s. Extended interview with the author of The Immigrant Advantage.

p.p. s. Have you ever heard of postpartum confinement centers?

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!

How was your day of looooove?!

Starting 7 days before Valentine’s day, bull had arranged a nice treat for me.  He wrote riddles, and hid love notes all around our home (and neighborhood).  Every day I received a call from one of our friends.  They recited the riddle and hung up as soon as they finished.  (I love seeing which people are completely obedient to the requests of my wacky hubby, and which take matters into their own hands..lol)  But anywho, I’ve loved finding these love notes.

I am very blessed to have a husband like Joshua.  He’s a good man who loves the Lord, and he’s the most fun person I’ve ever known!

Watching him as a father these past months has made me fall even deeper in love with him.

Reflections on Labor

Disclaimer: To any man who dares read the following, please know it contains detailed “woman-stuff”.

– At one point during labor I distinctly remember feeling completely unattached from Thunder.  I didn’t think of him as my baby, or a baby for that matter, but this thing inside of me that I wanted out at all costs.

– While pushing Thunder out one of the midwives asked if I wanted to feel Thunder’s head.  I remember feeling angry at that woman, thinking her insane to assume I could move even the slightest inch from the position I had found myself in.  (I was on all fours, head resting on Joshua’s chest.)

– I was completely conscious of the possibility of tearing during the pushing phase.  I felt so in control of how I was pushing Thunder out.  A little, then I’d pull back if I felt it burn too much.  It was awesome to feel that control and so in-touch with my body.

– After Thunder was born, and the elation of meeting my sweet sweet boy subsided (only a touch), I remember feeling such RELIEF labor was over.  Over and over I remember feeling that relief..for weeks afterward.

–  When Thunder was born and someone mentioned the time, I was so surprised that it was morning.  (I had started active labor at about 12am, and Thunder was born 3 minutes before 8am.)  Time goes by wicked fast during labor.

–  Labor is like a vortex.  You get sucked in and just ride each wave till it’s time to push.  (Pushing absolutely rocks, mostly because you get what feels like decades of time between contractions.)

Bull and I have been doing a lot of talking and praying about when we want to enlarge our family.  We shall see!

p.s. Good things for parents to remember.

p.p.s. Grounding post about simplicity.