A working mom

Dear Delilah,

I feel like my life is a wreck. The last 48 hours have nearly made me lose my mind. Your dad left yesterday morning for a work trip. Any military wife will tell you things fall apart once their husbands are away. I also started work yesterday & you went to daycare for your first time. I wish it was your last. I used to spend every waking moment with you, now you spend it with someone else. You used to wake up from your naps & smile so big when you opened your eyes & I was there. Has your smile faded with my presence? Do you miss my warmth while they’re feeding you? I miss yours.. As the day goes on my breasts become full of milk as my body screams to feed you. Someone else now has the privilege of raising you. Remember that once I did more than wake you up in the morning & put you to sleep at night. Once I was a daytime mommy too. I hope they hold you. I hope they love & cherish you. You’re only getting a fourth of the attention you used to receive. I promise you’ll always have my attention when you’re home. I was raised with a stay at home mother. I found comfort knowing she was always there. She was there when I scraped my knee or didn’t feel good. She was there for all life’s big things. Will I see you sit up for the first time? Will I see your first steps? In the blink of an eye I’ve become the busy mom. I used to spent half an hour with you every morning exchanging smiles & giggling. This morning as you cried for me I apologized for having to get ready, having to feed the dogs, pack lunch, & your diaper bag. After work I have to find time to bathe you & myself, feed us both dinner, wash dishes, wash our clothes.. I can’t breathe. Yesterday I held you as you slept. Out of nowhere you began crying & screaming in your sleep. I just held you so tightly against me and cried with you. What are your nightmares made of? I wish so badly that I could starve your fears. I hope you know that I love you more than life itself. I know you’ll soon forget spending everyday together but I’ll never forget. Thank you for loving me & thank you for giving me a new purpose for living. 

Does mother know best? 

Dear Delilah, 

I wish I had all the answers. I’m here to tell you a secret; moms don’t really know everything. Don’t worry, I always thought my mom knew it all too. I wish that I always knew how to fix the problem. I wish I knew how to console you when you cry. Everyone else can say “maybe she’s hungry” or “maybe she just needs her mom” but not me. I’m supposed to know what’s wrong because I’m your mother. I’ve been asked “What’s wrong with her?” or “Why is she crying?” Baby girl, I wish I knew.. Am I holding you wrong? Did I eat something that upset you? If you’re crying then maybe I’m not feeding you enough but if you’re spitting up a lot then maybe I’m feeding you too much. Once I’ve done all I can do, I feel helpless. What’s worse is that I know it will never change. There will always be things in your life that I can’t fix. There will always be questions I can’t answer & problems I don’t have the solution to. Just know that as you’re hurting, I am too. After you finally fall asleep after crying, I sit awake & cry too. I don’t know all the answers. I won’t always be able to help you, but I promise that I will always hold you through the pain. I love you through the smiles & I love you through the tears. If nothing else, I hope you remember that I tried & I will never stop trying to be the best, for you. 

Beginning to live

Dear Delilah,

Throughout your life you will develop fears; fight through them. Fears do nothing but hold you back & limit your experiences. 

I have a ridiculous fear that I don’t admit to people often because it sounds silly to even voice it but I think I’m ready to face it head on. 

I fear being a beginner.

Yes, I know it’s ridiculous. Everyone has to go through a beginner stage. I fear that stage. Looking back it’s disappointing the amount of experiences that I’ve missed out on simply because I didn’t want to look like a fool trying something new. 

All my friends in college played soccer. They would ask me to play but there’s no way I’d jump into a pick up game with collegiate soccer players when I’d never even kicked a soccer ball. 

I always wanted to play soccer..

I went to Colorado with a couple friends of mine a few years ago & the opportunity to snowboard came up. I figured they had both been before so I was going to sit out. (Yes, I was really going to skip snowboarding because I thought 2 of my best friends were more advanced.) As soon as I found out that they had never been, I decided to go because we were beginners together. I had a blast.

I don’t know where the fear came from. Perhaps it was from Jr. High when I trained for weeks for brig auditions & was the only one on my team that didn’t make it.. Some of the girls had been dancing their whole lives. Who was I to come in there with no experience & expect to make it? 

& cheer tryouts. I cheered one year for a little league football team but that couldn’t compare to the years of competition cheer the other girls had experienced. 

I never auditioned for anything again.

Until I found theatre & choir that is. I never strayed from the stage, my comfort zone. 

If I let this fear control me then I will never experience new things in life. There are so many things that I dream of doing, things that I want to excel at but I know that I’ve got to push through the first stages. I have to get back up when I fall, & accept that I will fall. 

I’ve decided to make a list of things that I’d like to do in my lifetime.  

  • Learn to play an instrument
  • Practice yoga
  • Plant a garden
  • Go surfing
  • Workout
  • Make art, without words because that’s my comfort zone. (Paint, draw, make pottery)
  • Learn sign language
  • Take up photography
  • Play soccer
  • Cooking/baking
  • Archery
  • Aerial Silks 
  • Styling my hair

Here’s to letting go of an irrational fear & allowing myself to begin.

Delilah, I hope that you never let fear stand in the way of life. Live life to the fullest. Allow yourself to fall but never forget to pick yourself back up. I can’t wait to see the adventures you choose to take on. 

Childbirth is beautiful but there’s nothing pretty about it.

Dear Delilah,

I had a beautiful pregnancy; no morning sickness, no complications, few stretch marks, & average weight gain. But labor was Hell.

(My last belly pic) 

Towards the end of pregnancy many women want to induce their labor, I however was not one of them. I didn’t want to strip my membranes, insert primrose pills vaginally, stimulate my nipples, or eat dates. I wanted you to be ready. I wanted it to be the right time.

Now don’t get me wrong I did some walking & bounced on an exercise ball for a little while but that was more to get through the anxiety I was feeling. I was ready to be done lying in bed for hours every night over thinking every possible scenario.

The truth is, you can’t prepare yourself for childbirth. Trust me, I tried. I took the classes, read the articles, asked the doctors all the right questions but nothing can prepare you for your unique experience.

On your scheduled due date, April 1st, around 1pm I started having minor contractions. Your dad & I were in HEB so we continued to shop. After that we came home & I monitored my contractions for 12 hours before your Granny & Nana got here. Due to all my questioning I knew the doctors did not want to see me until my contractions were 3 minutes apart for 2 hours. Around 4am I was assessed & only dilated 4cm, this wasn’t enough to be admitted so they told me to come back in 2 hours.

We went to IHOP where I continued to have contractions every couple of minutes. The pain wasn’t unbearable but it was enough to keep me from being able to talk or move. At 6am, I was dilated to 6cm so they admitted me, after laboring for 17 hours.

Waitress: “Are you..?”

Me: “Yes. I’m in labor.”

They asked me my plans as far as pain meds & an epidural went, I told them I was winging it. I didn’t want to be set on one thing & let myself down. Once I was crying hysterically through every contraction, I broke & decided to get pain meds administered through my I.V. Within minutes I was knocked out. 

While I’m sure my body needed the break, the medication slowed down my contractions & laboring process. They woke me up with pitocin. This is just liquid pain that makes your body attempt to self destruct.

After 24 hours of laboring, I got an epidural. While most of that decision came from pain, they also promised to step in & get the ball rolling. They broke my water soon after that & I can honestly say the epidural allowed me a little while to breathe & remember what I was doing all of it for. I was able to look at the faces of the people I love around me & see that they were no longer having to cry through each contraction with me.

Then as you were decending, the pain was too low for the epidural to reach. We were in the home stretch. About 5pm, after 28 hours of laboring, it was finally time to push. Movies & Facebook videos can’t express the pain I felt. With your granny on one leg, your Nana on the other, & your dad taking care of me, I began to push. For about an hour I pushed & screamed. I needed an oxygen mask to breathe & they were using an ice pack & a wet towel to try to cool me down between pushing. I thought I was going to die, quite literally & I wanted to. At 5:57pm I heard everyone in the room scream as the midwife pulled you from my aching body. As they laid you on my chest I fell backwards, thinking any moment I would pass out from pain & exhaustion. But the pain subsided & the look in your dad’s eyes some how brought me back. I had done it. After 29 hours, it was over.

I wish someone would have told my terrified pregnant self not to fear the inevitable. Did I poop? Yes, I pooped with every push. I could smell it & I’m sure it was a sight to see. But I was pushing harder than I ever knew I could & I can’t blame my body for emptying out. Did I tear? Yes, I had a second degree vaginal tear. But my body birthed a whole human & I can’t blame it needing a little more space. Did I say things I didn’t mean? Yes, & I choked your dad once.. I’m sore & swollen. Using the bathroom looks like a murder scene (& the smell of blood is crippling), it hurts to sit up, or walk. But I’m healing. This pain is all going to subside & you know what? I look into your little eyes & I see how much I mean to you. One day I’m sure I’ll just be your lame mom, but right now I’m your life source. I’m your warmth & comfort. Your favorite voice & your safe place. Thank you sweet girl for making the pain melt away & bringing so much beauty & light into mine & your daddy’s lives.  

Delilah Rain

7lbs 12 oz

21.5 inches long. 

Finding your father

Dear Delilah,

Every story of love is different, but here’s ours. 

Your dad & I went to school together but I was a good kid & he was.. not. lol Sometimes I wish I had known sooner that he was the one. The truth is, I don’t think it would’ve changed anything. We were too different & we weren’t yet the people that God intended us to be when we crossed paths. 

After my first real relationship in high school, I’d kind of given up on finding anything beautiful. The truth is I had never witnessed a healthy relationship so I had no idea what I was looking for. After graduation I started compiling a list of character traits I would demand in a significant other. This kept me from settling for every cute guy I saw. 

He needed to:

  • Love God
  • Love people
  • Communicate
  • Make me laugh
  • Respect his mama
  • Be intelligent

There were more but there’s a few. 

New Years 2015 I ran into your dad at a party that we both kind of got roped into going to. I know you’re probably thinking “Y’all were each others New Years kiss & spent the night together under the stars.” Not at all. Your dad cheesily asked me to “stay & cuddle” after having a different NYE kiss. lol It sounds terrible I know, but he had no way of knowing he was talking to his future wife. 

Although I obviously denied his cuddling proposal, I felt the strangest sense of connection to him. It was the weirdest thing but I knew I couldn’t let that be the end of it, whatever “it” was. 

In the most humble way, guys always made the first move with me so I had no idea what to do so I thought “Facebook.. Duh”. Well we were already Facebook friends. I absolutely could not message him. What in the world would I say? So I deleted him off Facebook & sent him a friend request. Silly, I know. BUT guess who woke up to a message from your father? Got him, hook, line, & sinker. 

By this time he was already heading back to New York where the Army had him stationed so we talked all day & all night while he drove. We talked about our dreams, our fears, our families, our pasts, & our futures. We talked about things we had never told anyone & somehow we knew that we could trust each other. We did this for days. 

What you’ve got to understand Delilah is that through pain you learn to build up walls & I had so many walls up. It terrified me how easily your dad got in. He didn’t slowly break down the walls, he walked straight through them. 

Growing up with a lot of best friends, I always told them everything. But how do you admit to anyone that you think you’re falling in love with someone after a week? It sounds absolutely absurd. 

On day 12 your dad tried to push me away. That took me by surprise because if you knew me as a teenager you would know that I’m the queen of pushing people away. After making it clear that I wasn’t going anywhere your dad broke down & told me that he loved me & he was terrified that these emotions were consuming him. 

Love is scary Delilah. It’s the strongest force we know as human beings & it’s hard to fight it.

So we gave in. Two broken, heart breakers, who feared love & commitment. & it was the best decision we ever made. 

We started officially dating on Feb. 8. We were apart for the first 5 months before finally seeing each other. I can’t explain the way it felt to watch his eyes light up when he talked about things he was passionate about or see his smile. I could finally reach out & touch him, hold his hand, or play with his hair. 

The next time I saw your dad after that, we got engaged & then married the next day. July 17, 2015. I know, we broke all the rules. No big ceremony, no pampering, or bachelorette party. Married after only 6 months of dating but we knew. I can’t explain it but our marriage is the happiest & healthiest marriage I’ve ever seen. We’re partners in all aspects of life. We encourage, comfort, & love each other. We communicate & make one another strive to be the best version of ourselves every single day. I love him Delilah, & I know you will too. 

I’ll write a separate blog to talk about a few of our adventures. Stay tuned.