Lucas Wright, the beginning

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In an ideal (super mom) world, the birth of our baby boy would have lead to a steady stream of blog posts, starting with a fancy birth announcement (that all the websites told us to get ready before the birth of the baby), and ending oh I don’t know, sometime around his leaving for college.  Instead, our little bundle is on the verge of his half-birthday and this stupor mom hasn’t even mustered up a photo slideshow to post here.

I guess that whilst staring down maternity leave I had the delusion many FTM’s (translation for those not constantly surfing mommy forums: first time moms) probably have: “hello to you, all the time I’ve always wanted to achieve all the things I’ve always wanted to achieve.”  I mean, yeah, I knew there’d be this little human that would require a chunk of my time, but I hear they sleep all day, and “all day” is exactly how much time I need for all of those to-dos. Then of course reality (a baby bomb) hit and the to-do list remains untouched and this blog glaringly empty.

Little dude is now well beyond two tiny feet out of his 4th trimester, I am back to work (and he into daycare) and life tumbles on around us as we follow along.  So, away we go with my introspective retrospective.

Lucas is one-of-a-kind and amazing and a blessing and all of those things people say he’d be.  But, getting him here was the total pits.  All birth stories, great or small, quick or lengthy, pain-full or pain-free start with a plan gone to shit.  When baby T didn’t arrive on or around his due date of April 7, doc wanted to induce me and I was completely crestfallen.  But, I reluctantly went along with the plan and on induction-Eve, April 13th, Mike and I buzzed around the house cleaning up (last chance for chores before baby takes over!)  Just as I was firing up the vacuum, my water broke (or I peed my pants, it was a toss-up at first) and the clock started ticking on our little guy’s impending arrival.

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Bird’s eye view:  I was in labor for 2 days before Lucas Wright entered the world on April 15 at 9:09pm.

Gnats eye view:  Though my water broke, no other action really happened for me, so I ultimately was induced anyway.  When that didn’t progress me far enough, and with a rising fever affecting both me and baby boy, doc opted for C-Section and Lucas had his first birthday party a mere 20 minutes later.

Mike’s eye view (buyer beware): In our birthing classes we learned how labor would be a long, slow process, and that we should labor at home with music and a bath, while Mike rubbed my lower back and I sucked on popsicles.  Once at the hospital, we could expect long walks through the hallways or bouncing on a yoga ball to our calming music playlist.

In reality, I was strapped to a machine from the word “go” with both a fetal and a mama monitor, and as time went on I got even more tethers.  Walking the hall would’ve entailed a bucket under me and a gang of residents along side me to carry all my cables and monitors.  I never saw a yoga ball and the only time I sat on something outside of the hospital bed was when the nurse suggested I try the rocking chair – an uncomfortable failure that led to me standing over it (leaning over it, and also…totally over it).  I put off the epidural as long as possible, trying some alternative methods, but when I finally broke down (because, seriously, how long will this go on?) I still had to ring the drug dude back at some point because “oh hey, still feeling the pain here, folks.”  I don’t remember a single relaxing zen-like moment, and I got poked, prodded and violated so many different times in so many different ways, I left the hospital no longer squeamish about needles.  I would have welcomed a simple poke to the arm if they would just quit going elbow deep up my hoo-ha.

In the aforementioned birthing class, when we got the portion covering induction and C-Section, I doodled on my handouts…  Not interested in those!  Turns out this was the most realistic portion of the class (for me, and for like a third of women giving birth) and I should have been tuned-in, because two days into an induction I didn’t want, I had to have a C-Section I didn’t want.

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I’ve heard it a dozen times: “your healthy baby arrived safely into the world so what more could you ask?”  While well-meaning comments for sure, a hormonal post-surgery, post-trauma mama bristles at that nonchalant outlook.  If I had written this blog a few months ago (you know, when I started to write it), I would have had even more to say about how difficult it is to grieve the birth you wanted, about how it can feel like a real failure to spend 48 hours struggling for something your body just won’t cooperate with.  I felt strongly not just that my body had let me down, but that I had somehow failed.  I felt as if I were broken, unable to achieve what so many other women can and have.

On top of it, Lucas has eczema and a dairy/soy protein intolerance – both things I blamed most surely on his C-Section birth and the fact that he’d had to have antibiotics for his first few days on the planet because of the fever we both had.  I spent some time dwelling on that.  But, with more miles of time spread behind me and between me and our baby’s arrival, the feelings of failure and inadequacy have faded slightly.  I expect that there will be so many new ways to feel inadequate as Lucas grows and changes.

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Like every new parent before us, after a few nurse-aided nights in the hospital we were released to care for our new bundle on our own.  During those early weeks Lucas and I cried in tandem.  Since it was our first go at this whole baby thing, it is hard for me to say what was normal newborn stuff and what wasn’t, but we had some rough times.  Had I archived my Google search history, you’d see a long long list of baby-raising inquires resembling this:  “what to do when baby won’t sleep,”  “is green poo normal,” “feed baby one side or both sides?” “how long should 1 mo old nap,” “baby crying at breast,” “baby sleeping while eating,” “newborn won’t stop crying,” “can I give newborn gas drops,” “baby hates sleep,” “2 mo old routine?” “what is a normal amount of crying for an infant?” “baby always pees on me,” “butt rash won’t go away,” “when will c-section pain end,” “stabbing pains after c-section,”and on and on.  I read all the Google things, mostly in the middle of the night, mostly leading to conflicting advice, and most of which gave me nothing much but an illusion of a little bit of control during those blurry-eyed months.  I was a mama in pain, with a fussy baby, and out of control emotions of sadness, frustration, anger (mostly towards all of those well-meaning moms who lent me advice like “just put him in a swing!” which seriously, never f-ing worked) and resentment towards the hubs who (according to post-partum me) got to resume normal life while I mucked along.  It is not all adorable photo-ops.

Lucas and I were both insufferable.  But, we eventually climbed out of the dark cave we were in, and just as he got super cool (though always super cute), my maternity leave was up and we said goodbye to our little daily routine (“routine” used loosely), and Lucas is building a new routine (again, used so very loosely) at daycare.  We are living our new normal.  And as life marches on, I hope to retain snapshots of all those simple but precious moments.  The first night in the hospital, when I couldn’t get myself out of bed and couldn’t reach Mike to get his attention – wanting him to come check on our new bundle and make sure he was breathing.  The late night feedings, just me and him most times – feeling so exhausted yet not wanting to put him down.  The way he’d put his tiny hands in front of his face while he fed, or the smirks he makes when he is falling asleep.  First baths.  That he would get the hiccups often and for long bouts.  How after being swaddled all night, his perfect arms would unfurl into a stretch when unleashed.  Tiny outfits.  Walks with the stroller.  Day naps together.  The first coos, sighs and chatter- the sweetest noises an ear could hear.  That toothless smile.  Studying his face while he observes things around him, or a book in front of him, or his first look at a cartoon (Garfield), mouth agape.  Accidentally catching his first time rolling over on video and how it brought tears to my eyes for some crazy reason.  Our little escape artist, breaking out of his swaddle every night.  So many things I am already forgetting.  Watching Mike with him, and seeing my parents as grandparents.  Seeing how he’s changed us all.

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The most commonly asked question of this new mom is (besides, “how you sleeping?!”) is “Is it what you expected?”  So I’ve said it a million times over:  I never expected to love him so much.  Mike and I didn’t know if we even wanted kids for a while, and what if he arrived and we found out we really didn’t want kids?  Turns out that pendulum swings way to the other side, and we couldn’t possibly want him any more or love him any harder.  The biggest hidden secret of bringing a baby into the world, often unspoken by all mamas out there, is the ridiculously overwhelming instalove.  It is withheld probably only because it’s impossible to explain – this uberjoy brought on by a tiny human that you’ve known for only a few seconds, days, week and months.  I loved him from the second I saw his tiny purple body, and I will love to continue to re-see this world through his curious eyes.

So all of these words can really be boiled down to this simple fact: birthing was hard, and recovering was hard, and learning how to do this whole thing is hard…  but loving is easy.

A very belated welcome to this world, Lucas Wright Trosien!

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A Baby Shower

Back in January Mike and I had our baby shower, hosted by one of baby’s future grandmas – mom Cramer.  Thanks to her for putting it together and to everyone who could attend and help shower baby T.

Here are a few photos from that day – going on three months ago – as we now wait for the little one to arrive any day!

Baby Shower Photos

PS I wanted you to be able to view the photos right here on our site, but this blog and Flickr are both smarter than me and nothing is working anymore.  If you’ve visited our photo gallery you’ve found a big fat nothing in there, too.  What the…!?!   I can’t fix it right now, so please just click on through to Flickr and enjoy.

39 weeks + 4 days

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So, what’s there to say about being pregnant that hasn’t already been said?  I’ve read it all (or a lot of it), thanks to the internet, phone Apps, and a few good old fashioned books.  But, at a near-40 weeks, here’s a little commentary on my own experience.

Let’s just get down to business…  The worst of it:

  • From weeks 5, when the morning sickness hit, until week 17, when it mercifully moved along, I thought pregnancy was the worst thing to ever happen to me.  It lasted all day every day and was at its worst in the evenings.  I found out what it was like to throw up everything from pears (the worst) to PB&J (so gross) to Jimmy John’s.  Just kidding – Jimmy J’s was the only thing I didn’t throw up.  (Freaky fast and stomach-friendly, apparently!)  I tried everything the Google had to offer for curbing it:  Saltines, ginger, lots of small meals, Sprite, eating before getting out of bed, water, up the protein, lemon candies, Sea-bands, Unisom paired with Vitamin B6…  I tried them all and none of them did one damn thing.  Good freaking luck to any of you mamas out there trying to get some relief.  It doesn’t exist and your life is over until it’s not.  Oh, and you’re at your worst and looking not pregnant but fat, all while trying to hide it from everyone that you’re knocked up?  Good luck with that.
  • Cravings?  Not really.  But in the beginning I hated the smell of coffee and Mike’s deodorant.  And one time he burped and made me throw up.  Honestly, that first trimester is the devil.
  • Immune system shmimmune system.  I hardly have one anyway, but when I came down with a cold/sinus-crap at around 7 months I couldn’t kick it for 6 weeks.  Pregnant AND sick?  Oh joy!
  • Second Trimester is supposed to be a honeymoon, but I had middle back pain around 20-25 weeks and couldn’t find much relief outside of some lumbar support and massages from the hubs.  Oh, and PS maybe take some Tylenol, Cristin, but also maybe your child will come out with ADD and hypochondria and three arms.  And a tattoo.
  • But yeah yeah…  so what, everyone has aches and pains.  What’s the worst worst thing about pregnancy?  People.  First, you tell them you are pregnant and surprise THEY ALL ALREADY KNEW.  They each want to enlighten you with just which moment really screamed “with child” to them, whether it was your growing waistline (gee, thanks for noticing), the bag of Cheerios you carried around (maybe I just like Cheerios, ok?), the lack of coffee cup in your hand (people actually notice this?) or the fact that you turned down some booze (so, you’re saying I’m normally a lush…).  Then, pregnancy is just an endless influx of “advice.”  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate advice when it is actual advice.  As in, “Hey, you should check out this superspecial baby-care item that saved my life with my baby, and maybe you’d like it, too!”  I know nothing, so please do tell me all your secrets.  But, hard-pass on the advice that sounds a lot more like “Oh you just wait until THIS happens to you,” or a command like “Don’t ever buy that item, buy this item.”  Just because at week 30 you grew a beard doesn’t mean I am going to (totally didn’t) or though your labor lasted 47 hours doesn’t mean mine will (please God, no) and though you had a baby and thus never left the house again doesn’t mean I won’t.  GAK.  Oh, and the endless requests to reveal the name?  Don’t even get me started.
  • I’m sounding super complainy, so I won’t get into the inability to breathe, the fatigue and the heartburn.  Hardly noticed those.

The best:

  • The best thing about being pregnant?  The people.  Yeah, they’re maddening much of the time, but they’re also super supportive and interested in your well-being.  Never have I been asked so many times, “how you feeling?”  The girls at work sometimes snuck me breakfasts and asked me to choose lunch, because I am the pregnant one, afterall.  And, strangers actually smile at you occasionally.  It’s totally not a bad gig.  Friends and family have expressed such love and kindness, some from which I’d have never expected it.  And you know what?  Not one stranger has asked to touch my belly, so that phenomenon is a total myth in my world, but when they ask me how far along I am and follow up after my response with a “wow, you look great!”  THAT I can get behind.
  • Feeling the little guy move around in there has been surprisingly sweet and comforting.  He’s gentle, too, so I’ve never had to give his little foot a shove out of my ribcage.
  • And, honestly, there are a lot of pregnancy-induced ailments I didn’t get, so I’m most definitely grateful for that.
  • Lastly, this is where I say how the best thing of all is that it’s all worth it because in the end we’re rewarded with an angel baby unlike any other baby in the world, whom is the best thing that ever happened to me and makes my clock tick.  But I haven’t met him yet, so I’ll withhold any gushing until he at least has a name.  (No, he doesn’t have a name yet, people!!).

 

1 year and counting…

Well, we did it.  We made it through the first year of marriage.  One year ago, today, we had the most beautiful day with the gift of weather perfection, the gift of our families and friends, and the gift of each other.  If you’ve forgotten, revisit the day with us here, here and here….oh and here, and photos here, here, herehere, here, and here!!

Now, a few probing questions.  Are we no longer newlyweds?  Can we no longer splatter wedding photos all over Facebook?

I had best intentions to finish our wedding video by this, the 1-year mark.  But, I didn’t make it (maybe next year!) so instead I put together a short look back at some of our vows.  Thanks again to all of you there with us on that day.  To many more…

 

(music by Ryan Cramer and footage shot by Shane Tincu films)

 

da holidays

Happy new year to all!

I’ve been negligent in my posting, maybe because the Trosiens had a whirlwind November, December and January, filled with Holiday festivities, traveling, and nearly all of our favorite things.

Over Thanksgiving, we got an extra visit from my bro, Ryan, during which we crammed in a bunch of festivities, including a Turkey Trot 5k (in freezing cold temps!).

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December zipped by and Mike and I headed out to Florida for a week.  We started our trip with a chance to be kids again at Walt Disney World.  A brief pictorial –

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We visited all 4 Disney Parks and figure we’ve seen enough to last us a lifetime.  Next stop – the panhandle!  We rented a car and made the 7ish hour trek across the state to visit Mike’s family, where we spent several days hanging out, learning a new card game, driving around, relaxing, eating, and we even made a trip to Alabama to view a million-light light show.

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2013 wrapped up as we returned on Christmas Day and welcomed by bro again the day after, followed by more family Christmas festivities.

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And finally, we rung in the New Year by checking something off of Mike’s bucket list.  We froze our toes off at this year’s New Year’s Day Winter Classic – an outdoor NHL Hockey game.

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And that’s all, folks!  Notalotta fluff here – just wanted to check in and share a few moments with those of you out there following along. This page looks a little messy to me, but I am just gonna let it fly…. maybe a New Year’s resolution. More on that next time!