Craft Conspiring

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Invasive Procedures

The last few nights have been a series of tossing and turning, checking the baby monitor, and dreaming about cuddly puppet eye explosions; seeing my very, very missed diving coach; and invasive procedures involving small cameras and puncture holes in my abdomen.  All of these dreams are impossible, other than the small cameras making puncture holes in my abdomen.  That's happening in two days.

At moments over the last year I have felt like the poster child for post-birth complications.  During tossing and turning I have often debated whether post-natal is the real term.  Anyway.  After a long birth, somewhat destroyed pelvic floor, excessive bleeding, a retained placenta, a botched D and C that left a perforation in my uterus, mastitis times two, thrush, and now Ashermans Syndrome with endometriosis complications, well, I am making myself real tired.  I recently completed a growth chart for our Em's second Christmas and wrote "It is a grand adventure," at the top.  I wanted to include, "with my uterus," but figured that would ruin the thing for future-Squish, who, by the way, is the coolest person in all the world.  Not kidding.

In a metacognition sense I thought writing about these feelings would help me find calm, but now I've devolved into writing about writing and my foot is anxiously moving on our breakfast bar stool.  I am so thankful that Squish is healthy, and for the health of our family and our friends.  I am so thankful for our home that I deck for the Christmas season in a continuous process of moving one thing here or there, then going outside wrapped in a blanket to check the look.  I am thankful for love: from my husband, friends, our baby, our family, our neighbors.  I am thankful for the gifts of the season, the advent of waiting and expecting, the peace of snow falling, hot meals, and all the excesses we enjoy.  I remain grateful.

So in two days I will do my best to keep that perspective despite the continuing impending floundering of my uterus and news that it no longer works.

We are enough.  We have enough.  I am enough.

Blessings to you, this holiday season.  Stay warm and hope-filled.

xo jo

Thursday, December 1, 2016


My coffee has little bubbles popping at its top after being reheated in the cafe's microwave.  I've been here for three hours completing final projects for my current class while ordering prints of pictures of our Em from my phone when the cafe's internet acts up.  A year ago today I thought, "I'll meet my baby this month."  Today, I think, "This will be my baby's second December."  It's the last week of her first days of the year, but not the last week for anything else.  There are so many firsts still to come: walking, talking {coherently}, making jokes, stating her opinions in actions rather than grunts, hair bows, and countless adventures with and without her daddy and I by her side.  I have been evaluating my feelings over the past two months leading up to this one year milestone, mainly anticipating the heartache I will feel for the loss of her first year, mainly anticipating said heartache because of the countless people who have warned me that I will feel x, y, and z when she turns one.  But our Em makes me feel something different than these expectations.  Our Em makes me feel alive.

Our Em.  She's still called and for the foreseeable future will remain, our Squish.  She started moving quickly overnight, pulling down the washcloths from our kitchen cabinets, sticking her hands in the dog's water, hiding behind the backdoor curtains, wrinkling her nose at the Christmas lights on the tree in her room and the big one in the living room, pulling up and bouncing in her crib, or really, anything with which she can use to stand.  She dares her world by letting go of things with one hand and tentatively taking a step with one of her perfect, sometimes one-sock-on-one-off, feet.  For now, that's as far as she gets, and for now, she'll grunt through life when she wants something or doesn't want something, will cry when she's tired or doesn't want a diaper change, will listen and watch intently, and will smile at everything in her world she deems worthy, which lucky for us, really is nearly everything.

I've stopped myself from saying, "I can't wait for her to (fill in the blank)..." because I want to stay in each moment, even the tough ones when my hips hurt and her cries are tearless and it's the third trip to her bedroom at 3 a.m.  Even those moments are short and priceless and lately end with her resting her perfect head on my or her daddy's shoulder because she just wants a snuggle and to be rocked before falling back to sleep.  Fine, I'll snuggle you, Squish...if you only knew I'd do it all day every day if you'd let me.  Staying in the moment seems to make each new thing she does that much more remarkable.  She grabbed an ornament off the tree the other day, for example, then yesterday found it in her toy basket and crawled over to the tree to put it back on.  She's a genius, I tell you what.

And so, I feel alive because I get to hang out with this little, perfect, wonderful, evolving being, and she gets to teach me about what it's like to grow from the very beginning, onwards.  Humans truly are remarkable.  I've said that it's deceptive when people remind me of how quickly time goes because what is really true is that so much happens in such a short amount of time for our babies.  What is remarkable though, is to realize I am also growing and evolving so very much at the same time.

When I hunt through the pictures from the last year, I do not want to go back.  I yearn to remember all of it, but not to go back.  I love the being Em is now, the one she will become, and all the little (baby) steps in between.  It is the coolest thing in my life that she is my baby.  She is my favorite first.  On this anniversary of one whole year passing, I rehearse the many children books now committed to memory, and specifically remember this verse: "Fox socks box knox, fox in socks, knox on box, fox in socks on knocks on box."  Just kidding, Squish, "You are my darling, my angel, my star.  My love will find you wherever you are."  And for now, you're probably in your little crib, wiggling your perfect heiny in the air until you find the perfect, comfortable spot and drift off to afternoon nap dreamland.

Thank you for being the miracle you are.  We cherish your every breath, little nugget.  To all the rest. Happy First Birthday, you, remarkable baby, you.

Your Mama

Monday, August 15, 2016

I Couldn't Remember the Name of This Blog.

I've written over the last eight months, which feels like one hundred years, even though I don't know what one hundred years feels like, I am pretty sure it feels like this - and these months have been...momentous.  We had a kid, for the love.

I've written over the last eight months, mainly on the Notes feature of my iPhone while rocking in the gloriously smooth glider in the babe's room, praying that she's falling asleep in my blanketed arms, or peeking through her crib rails to see if her eyes are closed; while walking around on each monthiversary, making sure I don't forget a moment of the moments, trying to avoid furniture-obstacles and staircase hazards.  I've written while using the restroom; while breastfeeding; while laying in bed knowing I should be sleeping, but wanting to remember it all.  I've let autocorrect have its way with my fumbling fingers, often declaring I would come back and edit said Notes during the next nap time; but I haven't.  And the entries get printed and lovingly pasted into the monthly plug-and-play scrapbook so that I, like so many mothers, won't forget the millions of changes, milestones, and I CAN'T BELIEVE SHE DID THAT moments that occur daily.  I've written while crying out of happiness and exhaustion and desperation because I know that all of this is ending and all of this is beginning at the same time.  It is miraculous, unique, humbling, humbling, humbling, joyous, exasperating, and really, supercalifrajilisticexpealidocious, if I'm sticking with honesty.  I have never been so mad and so in love with my husband, or my body for that matter, nor have I ever been so insanely and blindly in love with another being.

Her name is Emerson Mayuree.  She is ours.  We call her Squishy.  She is everything.  She is little and so big all at once.  She laughs.  She cries.  She talks.  I don't know what she's talking about.  She jumps like a baby Olympian.  She looks wonderful in her baby dress-up that I (and the Husband, auntie, and grandmas) play with her.  She feels wonderful in her footed jammies, or after her bath, or when I pick her up from her crib after her nap, or rock her, or cuddle her even though she's turning away because she's so smart and wants to see everything in the world.  She moves her mouth to make new sounds and watches intently while we make new sounds to her.  She cries when I leave the room and audibly sighs when I return.  She makes me feel like a superhero and a wrecked, crazed mess all at once.  I do not think I knew the capacity of my heart until her; but she's taught me.  She's taught me all about life without knowing she's a teacher.  I can't fathom life without her.  She takes up a space that we didn't know needed filling.  She takes up that whole space and expands the rest of our existence to a living-fully feeling.  She is an Einstein of babyhood and a genius of loving.  She still poops her pants.

Tomorrow she starts daycare and I really don't know what to do to subside the anxiety, guilt, and tears, so I return to many of the blogs I read pre-baby and realize that maybe if I write here, for a different purpose, I will understand.  She's only attending a couple days a week while I finish never-ending grad school, but really, I feel like I could learn everything from her, so shouldn't I stay home.  There's no question mark there because that remains open-ended, minus my school-debt, so really, it's pretty finite, but I'm not ready for that yet.

So alas, I sigh, dread, hope, and smile because she fills me with warmth, and, after all, the sign in our kitchen says, "Not to spoil the ending for you, but everything is going to be ok."  And that little, wise sign is right.  Everything is ok, beautiful, and miraculous.  We finally had a kid.  The kid to end all kids, if you ask us.  Tonight, like so many other nights, the Husband and I voted.  And, again, it was unanimous: she's the best kid in the whole world.

We are so lucky.