No More Lemons, Please

Death_to_stock_photography_Wake_Up_5

To those of my readers who say that they love me and my blog because I am unafraid to be real, this one is for you. I am writing this through the tears of an exhausted, hormonal, self-conscious, anxious wreck of a person.

I have learned in my all-of-26 years that life ebbs and flows. This is nothing new. There are good days and bad days, and most of an average life is constructed of seasons where the good days outnumber the bad. “This is just a crappy day.” we say, hoping and praying and KNOWING that tomorrow will be better. But what do we do when the proverbial switch is flipped? When the bad days seem to swallow us? What do we do when everything should add up to happiness, but it just doesn’t?

I have been wrestling a lot lately with the concept of perception. I know in my heart that I don’t have it that bad. “All of my kids are healthy. I have a great husband. I have beautiful home. Our income is stable.” These are things I try really hard to tell myself when the going gets tough. Other women wake up not knowing whether or not their children will have food that day, or whether their husband/boyfriend/etc. will be kind or abusive that day. My heart aches for these women. I remind myself of them and pray for them when I become enamored by my own “sufferings.” But sometimes, I can’t talk myself out of the tears. Sometimes, life hands me a lot of lemons and the lemonade-makin’ machine is broken.

Today is one of those days. I’ve had it with the babies’ crying, with the loneliness, with the being needed, with the adulting, with the responsibility, with the expectations, with the spoon-feeding, with the diaper changing, with the keeping up of appearances (because even the most transparent of people still have to pretend sometimes), with the politeness that I don’t feel like mustering up, with being tired.

People say a lot of nice things about me. They tell me that I am a blessing. I smile and make some sarcastic or self-deprecating comment. They tell me that they don’t know how I do it. I say Neither do I. What I feel like doing sometimes is tearing up and honestly telling them “I don’t.”

This is such a hard season. Three babies under a year and a half is asinine and I am constantly torn apart by my desire to snuggle and hug and ENJOY and my desire to just be done with this phase. I’m over the crying babies, the not being able to do anything out of the house by myself, the nursing, if I’m being honest. And yet sometimes I never want them to grow up.

After I had Grady, I suffered from some postpartum anxiety and hormone balance issues (outside of the normal hormone problems). It was a rough 6 months for our marriage and for my sanity and I didn’t even know how to tell anyone about it. All I knew was that something wasn’t right. Surely this was not normal. The problems went away only because I got pregnant again. I spent the second half of this pregnancy terrified that I would become a basket case again. That I would crack under the pressure. That I am not enough. And some days, like today, I feel like that is true.

In a normal season, I would know that I would wake up tomorrow and feel better. That this is just a crappy, bad dream of a day, but I don’t know that lately. What if it’s not?

I’m learning to trust God and lean on him more, but I am a habitual “Do-it-myselfer.” I tell myself that God is busy with those other women I mentioned above. That my silly anxiety would be a selfish issue to bring up. God has been letting me fall on my face enough lately to draw me back to Him and to show me that my emotions and self-worth are important to Him, and that He is big enough for all of us, duh.

I say all of that with the caveat that I don’t at all intend for that to be the “message” for my post today. Sure, they are nice words, but when I say that I am learning and convincing and working, I mean that to the very fullest extent that I can convey. I don’t even feel good about writing those words because I would never want anyone to think that because I know those things, that I am smiling behind my computer and satisfied with the moral of this story and tying it with a neat little bow. The reason I wrote this today was mostly because I needed to. Sure, I hope that my bluntness and in-eloquent venting might resonate with someone else, but sometimes forcing myself to come out from behind the facade that others build for me because I am “so selfless and inspiring” is the therapy needed to get me through another day.

Love, Alex

Pfff Babies

crying

You know what type-A people LOOOOVE? Routines and structure, duh. You know what babies give zero effs about? Your routines and structure.

Ugh.

So after about 4 weeks of beating my head against the wall trying to implement Babywise………I’ve given up.

That’s right, you heard me. I threw the towel in and called it quits. I’m sure that it was much less dramatic of an experience than I am pretending it was. In my head, I arm-swiped the changing table and deleted my baby-tracker app, but in reality I just cried and wailed “I can’t do this anymooooooore.” IT WAS MONUMENTAL TO ME, OK?

For reals though. I so want Grady to fit into the perfect routine and sleep pattern and be super happy all of the time. What I didn’t plan for was when his stomach hurt so he didn’t sleep when he was “supposed to,” or when I am a new mom and just want to hold him all of the time and not feel guilty about it or like I am ruining him forever and ever.

I felt like such a failure as a mom because I was following all of the rules and it still wasn’t working. As if human babies follow a formula. I was stressing him out too. Since I became a quitter, he has slept better and become a much happier baby.

I think Babywise is great in some ways, and I plan on keeping a good bunch of it in mind. Everyone told me to take it with a grain of salt, but as I am a anal-retentive crazy person, I of course went full-force until I burnt myself out. I was so stressed and upset because he wasn’t logically doing what he was supposed to (I know right?!), that I feel like I missed out on some of the sweet moments along the way.

I am so guilty of this in so many ways. I get so set on trying to cram that square peg into whatever structured hole it’s “supposed” to go in that I miss the cues that it isn’t working, or that perhaps God has provided a better way.

I’ve decided that I am just going to do whatever I feel like doing in regards to Grady, and he will just have to be along for the ride. Now if I could just learn to be along for the ride for my Parent.

So You’re Probably Wondering…

Remember that one time when I posted about how my emotions and feelings were going haywire and I wasn’t sure why? And how I took a pregnancy test and it was negative and I was all “THEN WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH ME?!?”

Well… It turns out my body was like “Psych! You actually are PREGNANT!”

Two for good measure :).

Two for good measure :).

 

As you’ve probably noticed, I kind of fell off the face of the earth when it comes to blogging. A better person than I could have handled it much more professionally, but as we stayed tight-lipped and quiet about the pregnancy, I felt like it was hard to find things to say about anything else. This is kind of a big deal, you know? I mean…just a tad… in my world anyway. I have always intended the purpose of this blog to be to share things I learn about God and life in general as I journey through my own, and this is what was going on in my life, so I didn’t know how to talk about stuff without discussing IT.

But now that we posted this pretty awesome (if I do say so myself) announcement yesterday, I can spew all of the things and all of the thoughts from all of the days I haven’t been blogging! Woo hoo!

Shout out to our good friends Arden and Matt Baltzell for the use of their adorable nursery for who is sure to be their adorable daughter Cambrie coming in July!

 

As of yesterday, I am 11 weeks along. Why did we post a little early, you ask? Well, because we had a bit of a scare last week. I genuinely feel like God was teaching me trust in and thankfulness to Him through all of this. I had been dealing with a lot of fear of miscarriage and other things that go wrong in pregnancies, so I was praying through some of that and asking that God would give me a peace about the life of our baby either way. RIGHT FREAKING AFTER THAT, I went to the bathroom to..you know..take a pee, and I found some blood which scared me to death. I handled things calmly, and by that I mean called Bryan, my mom, and the doctor’s office whilst freaking the eff out with tears pouring down my face.

Somewhere between calling the doctor, waiting for a nurse to call me back, and rushing to the clinic to make sure everything was ok, I did calm down a bit. And if you know me at all, you’d know that this is in no way shape or form because of me. I don’t do “calm” very well. I do “panic and get crap donevery, very well.

I prayed A TON for this baby on that day. I prayed that God would help me put my money where my mouth was and actually trust Him with the life of my child. I prayed that He would leave the baby with us, here on earth, but that I could be ok with it if not. And mostly I prayed that s/he was ok and healthy and wonderful and ALIVE.

Mad props to Parkhill clinic for being on the ball. The nurse told me at first that the earliest appointment they had available was later that afternoon, then for some reason…could be because she could tell that this mama-to-be would not do well that day unless I could get in sooner…who knows… she told me to just come and they would fit me in wherever they could.

I am among the women who are terrified to have male doctors all up in my junk, and guess who my doctor was? A dude. But y’all? I loved him. He was wonderful and reassuring and I wouldn’t have had it another way. He made sure we knew quickly that our baby was perfectly fine and healthy.

Check out those puffy eyes. So sexy.

Check out those puffy eyes. So sexy.

Wait, what was that? Behind us? OH RIGHT it’s the first photo of our precious child! (#LilFitt for the hashtag savvy crew.)

Hand and foot in there, y'all. HAND AND FOOT.

Hand and foot in there, y’all. HAND AND FOOT.

 

Alright so… Some FAQs:

1. Were we trying? No. We had planned on trying in a few months though, so it’s not as giant of a surprise as some other couples.

2. How am I feeling? Like a pile of crap. I was thrilled and glowy for like a week and then I was over being pregnant because “MORNING” SICKNESS (12 pm-bedtime in my case).

3. Will I become a mommy blogger? Again, the purpose of this blog is to share the life lessons I come across through my journey, and that usually means talking about what’s going on in my life. Just expect more of the same, probably. Same self-deprecation humor, same expressions, same terrible-quality photos, same endless pop-culture references.

4. Does this mean you guys will fall off the face of the earth and stop hanging out and doing stuff, even last-minute? Heck. No. Please don’t stop inviting us to do things. We have zero problem with non-family babysitters or leaving our child in the capable hands of others while we go to the movies or out to dinner. Plus, even if we were, we have like 700 family members in our close proximity and plan on using and abusing them for date nights, weekends away, and the like as much as they will let us.

5. Uhhh yeah? What about that #IWillBeThere campain? Well, much like all the songs Mark McGrath’s girlfriend used to sing and their favorite TV shows, that sucker is gone out the window for now. Pre-pregnancy Alex was all “When I get pregnant I’m totally going to work out and stay super-fit!” and then Present-day Alex is all like “Bleghhhegh!” (<– That’s the sound of throw-up, lovely right?) I really do hope I can work out some later on in pregnancy, but for now an occational walk feels like when Rocky ran to the top of the steps and pumped his fist like a true champion. Ask me about it early next year, but for now I’m thinking I will not meet my goal of Size 6 by July.

Most recent preggo pic: 10 weeks!

Most recent preggo pic: 10 weeks!

 

How cute is he? BABY DADDY!

Expect to hear from me more in the future, dear readers, now that my exciting news-cat is out of the bag!