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Archive for the ‘Little Boy’ Category

The transition from one to two kids has grown me in ways I wasn’t expecting.

I write this post with complete vulnerability knowing that it could open up judgement or misunderstanding or (if you don’t read to the end) could cause you to feel as if I am ungrateful for my blessings. I pray that if you read this blog you understand its intentions and offer me grace as I extend part of my personal life to you.

I write this post because what I experienced was real, and not often talked about, and I want to be a voice for so many new parents I know who may come across the same feelings.

I write this post to share a story of depression that transformed into deliverance which has brought me such peace.

As I sit here today, I am so full of joy.

But it wasn’t always this way…

The past two and a half months have been an ebb and flow of emotions and I feel like they have settled into that sweet spot that eventually comes for parents. It’s a balance between loving where you are at, excited for what is ahead, and appreciative for what is behind.

When Brooklyn came into this world, I was nauseatingly in love with her. I couldn’t get enough of every moment with her – despite the fact that she was a terrible sleeper- I couldn’t make myself break away from her to sleep when she rested, I would just watch her sleep with the biggest smile on my face. I created some serious attachment issues on my end (thankfully she was resilient and really never hesitated to leave my side to go to a family member or friends arms). Her pregnancy was a complete surprise for us, I grew to be so protective of this being inside of me that I had trouble letting her out of my grasp when she finally made her entrance into this world.

As I passed through my pregnancy with Timothy I anticipated those same enamoring feelings to overtake me after he was born. I expected to never want to leave his side. I expected to want to watch his every move, awake or asleep. I expected to annoy everyone with how much I loved him!

But a few weeks after Timothy was born I became overcame with sadness. I cried and cried, and sometimes I didn’t even know why I was crying but the tears would fall none-the-less. I loved Timothy with a fierce, protective, motherly love but I didn’t feel the fluffy and warm love I felt with Brooklyn. Which confused me and frustrated me beyond belief.

Talking with Joseph, my mom, my sister…the same conversations…

“I feel so crazy…”

“I wish he would stop crying, I wish he would let someone, anyone, besides me hold him…just for five minutes!”

“Sometimes I know I love him but I feel like I can’t make myself like him”.

These are really scary things to think as a mother. These thoughts, they make you feel horrible. As I was adjusting to all that comes with a newborn and all that comes with a newborn while already having a toddler, I tucked the thoughts away but I knew they weren’t ‘normal’.

I tried so hard to bond with him. I held him so often, I told him how much I loved him, I told him how sorry I was that I was having these thoughts, I prayed over him, I prayed for myself, I rocked him when I didn’t feel like rocking him, I asked the Lord to quiet my mind and make loud the feelings of my heart.

Your heart as a mother is so much different than your mind as a mother.

I knew that my heart had such a deep love for him but my mind wouldn’t let it come to the surface. That’s the thing about depression – which I believe is straight from the devil – it shields your heart, it silences what is real and replaces it with noise of what is false.

False thoughts that I couldn’t like my son, false thoughts that I was a bad mother, false thoughts that I was responsible for feeling these things, false thoughts that it may always be this way.

I eventually talked to my doctor about how I was feeling, I broke down in tears while I was talking to her telling her how guilty I felt and that I had no idea how to fix it but I wanted to feel better.

Of course I had heard of post-partum depression, but never really considered it to be something that I was dealing with. That is the thing about lies the devil will try to get you to believe, you have all the evidence but can’t put it together so that it makes sense.

We talked over different ways to combat post-partum depression, we talked about the fact that this wasn’t my fault- I hadn’t set myself up for this in one way or another, it was just simply something that strikes certain people and stays away from others.

Whether you are for or against medicine, whether you are for or against counseling, whether you are for or against changing lifestyle habits …if you pass through feelings like this as a parent: be vocal with your family and doctor, be assured that this is not your fault, be hopeful that you will not always feel this way.

After I further understood what I was going through, I knew that God would lead me through these uncertain times just as soon as I was ready to give up trying to fix these feelings instead of living through them in appreciation for how they would stretch my relationship with the Lord.

The world offers a diagnosis to you and tells you “here is how to get your problem to go away”.

We live in a society that constantly feeds us crap that life is always supposed to reward us in some way.

As a Believer, if I looked at my depression the way that the world wants me to, I could feel very sorry for myself. I could feel like the world owes me. I could feel like God owes me. I am a “decent person” by the worlds standards, why do I have to have depression? Why does life get messy? Why me? Me. Me. Me. That is who the world teaches us to have in mind, ourselves.

As a Believer, if I take God’s word to be truth, I know that God’s plan for my life is for His glory and not mine, He will refine me through the process though (Isaiah 48). That’s how I began to choose to see the days I passed through this depression, as something that would benefit my spirit for His glory, though it may trouble my mind. Each moment of pain I felt mentally, was a moment God would (undeserved to me) offer grace to me and allow me to one day (this day) share with you not just about how He has taken me from a dark place (that’s what the world would want to hear about, how things have gotten better) but that He was IN the dark place with me. God is present though you may feel your troubles are undeserved, God tells us differently – our troubles are not for us to define as deserved or undeserved but for a greater purpose of looking beyond ourself. It’s not about me. It’s not about you.

When I began to think this way, I noticed my heart overtaking my mind.

I started smiling at my son.

When I laid him down to sleep at night, I started missing his face and would go back in for one last look before he wanted to eat next. I still have a text saved on my phone that I sent my older sister “I laid Timothy in his crib and I miss him :)”, it felt so good to feel that way.

I started finding everything he did nauseatingly cute [because it is :)…].

I began to process, even more so, this journey the Lord has taken me on, growing in appreciation for the Lord’s hand on my life from the very beginning in such specific ways capturing my heart at different moments knowing what I needed best in each stage of life.

From a surprise pregnancy allowing me to pass through such intense feelings for Brooklyn so that my heart would be captured from the first moments of motherhood, teaching me to love children and lay a burden on my heart for the unborn and born alike who have mothers that don’t love them enough to be selfless.

To the amount of time God allowed Joseph and I to wait before that positive pregnancy test where we found out I was pregnant with Timothy. Though it was not a long time in the scheme of things considering how long others wait for that positive to show, it was the time the Lord knew Joseph and I needed, to grow closer to Brooklyn while waiting for another, to lean on the Lord when my desire for another child was so strong, to grasp that God’s timing is not our own in another way than we learned with finding out I was pregnant with Brooklyn.

I began to appreciate the Lord’s hand on my life in the present state I was in, shattered and weak, allowing me to pass through such low feelings that I really only could rely on God to see me through. Dark places that gave me a clearer understanding of the Lord’s role in my life, that not a single second of motherhood can be done without a close grip to the Lord’s hand. Were it not for the Lord walking by my side, whispering at times and shouting at times that these thoughts are lies from satan and not a testament to my love for my baby or my ability to be a parent, but they were simply about learning to live each day…each second even, with the perspective that it is not about me and these trials are not for naught.

I hope to never take the dark days for granted.

These things I have come to understand about my relationship and reliance on the Lord are not for motherhood alone. You don’t have to be a parent to come into inches of the devil whispering fear into your soul, you simply have to be a person. My deliverance at this time in my life has been from depression in regards to motherhood, but there are countless other things you may need to be delivered from, and the Lord is ready to deliver you when you are ready to grasp His hand.

He may not deliver you in the way you expect, He may not deliver you from the actual hardship but He may deliver your mind to a new understanding of the hardship. There are days I may still pass through thoughts of depression, but that will not overtake the joy the Lord has graciously overflowed my heart with.

People love to say “God meets you where you are at…” but He truly, truly is already there – if you are just willing to acknowledge Him.

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior” [Oceans by Hillsong United]

 

 

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This is going to be a long post.

If you make it to the end, I appreciate you reading.

I’ve been wanting to document the arrival of our son but every time I revisit the night he was born I become so overwhelmed with emotion.

There is nothing quite like the unknown. It is no secret that I had been hoping to have a natural delivery with Timothy. I’ve been talking about it in conversation with friends and family, posting on Facebook and twitter, and reading all kinds of material at home and online. As much as I prepared myself and informed Joseph of all he needed to know/be aware of I still was so unsure what this would all be like, and I’m still trying to wrap my mind around all that took place.

I’m just going to start telling the story, it’s hard trying to preface it with any words that make sense…

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I started having contractions around 11pm while Joseph and I were watching a movie, it was finishing up so I was trying to pay attention to the movie and not the contractions. I was 40 weeks 5 days(almost 6 since it was 11pm). I started feeling them get a little stronger and was telling Joseph maybe I should call my parents but I didn’t want to overreact incase it was false labor. I decided a text would be fine. I knew my dad would probably be awake, he and my mom had planned to take care of Brooklyn while Joseph and I were at the hospital, they live half an hour away – so I just wanted them to be aware I was having some different contractions than normal incase things started picking up. I told Joseph to get some rest (again, thinking it would be awhile before anything significant happened…) and he almost took some NyQuil because he had not been feeling well, but decided DayQuil might be best 😀 glad he chose that option or we might have had a problem.

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About 30 minutes after I texted my dad, I was unable to talk through contractions and they had been consistently 3 minutes apart for about an hour (from 11pm-12am). I never had gradual increase in time, it didn’t start out 20 min….15 min..10…5. Just straight to 3 minutes, with increasing pain. I had been studying pain management techniques and so I am trying to utilize everything my brain knows but I am having trouble even completing thoughts in my head, so I decide to go tell Joseph that it’s probably time to call my parents. I still felt silly at this point – what if a baby was not coming tonight? I decided to call the hospital to make sure that if I came in they would admit me…didn’t wan to make a trip for nothing. You can see, it was a long wait on the phone with the hospital, I answered a slew of questions and then they said come on in! I was relieved, and starting to believe maybe I was actually in “real” labor.

I had packed a bag a few weeks ago, so I was double checking to make sure I had what we needed…becoming increasingly fuzzy minded, this was a little unnerving to me because I had been prepping my mind to go through natural labor and delivery and I was frustrated that I could barely think about where I put my socks…how was I going to remind myself of everything I needed to in order to make it through contractions?

My parents arrived and I don’t think I said one word to them, I just headed straight to the car trying to focus on getting through the pain, my contractions were closer together but I really wasn’t timing them at this point. On our drive to the hospital (only about 10 minutes away) I decided I’d time the next few to make sure I knew incase they asked me. I was feeling them every minute and a half now. I thought “if I get checked in this hospital, and have not made any progress in dilating, I’m going to cry and have a meltdown”. I probably actually said that too, now that I think about it.

By the time we got checked into the hospital and up to our room, it was around 1:30am. My contractions were strong but I just wanted to get “in the computer system” so I could get out of the room and walk around or take a shower, anything to take my mind off the pain…was not trying to just lay in a bed. She checked me and I was 4cm, relief, I was actually progressing! My nurse was fabulous, she had delivered both her boys naturally so she didn’t flinch when I said that was my plan and she said it was fine if I wanted to go walk around or take a shower, so long as my water didn’t break (if it did they would want to monitor his heart and that would mean I’d need to stay in the bed or very close by…so I could utilize a birthing ball). No sooner did she say that…and my water broke. So, fear set in. I had prepared to walk through contractions as long as I could, and use heat from a shower or tub to get through some tough contractions. There was meconium in my water so that was also a reason to stay on the monitor to make sure Timothy wasn’t under any stress.

As I labored in the bed, I shifted positions frequently and tried to recite some verses in my head that I had been studying for these moments. I felt so much doubt. I kept thinking “I cannot do this”, “This is so painful”, “I want to scream”, etc. My mind still felt fuzzy and I was so unsure of myself. I looked to Joseph multiple times, not wanting to mutter the words “I am too weak for this”, because I wanted so badly to accomplish this goal, but I knew I could not do this for long. Each time I met his eyes with doubt in mine, I only received confidence and encouragement back from him. “You’re doing so well!”, “You’re one contraction closer to the end”, “Breathe deeply, don’t forget to breathe!”…I was, at times, starting to hyperventilate from my anxiety. He held my hand, and I squeezed his arm so tight through each hard contraction. Every rise and fall of pain I felt fear and then relief. Mentally, it was exhausting. Physically, too, but mentally was most of the battle I believe. No matter how much you read, prepare, study, etc, you never know quite how your laboring will be.

I was feeling pretty much a mess and told my nurse that I felt like I needed to push, I was hoping she would check me and say I was good to go. This was about 2:15am. I was 6cm. I was devastated. I started to cry and she assured me I was progressing fast and do not be discouraged but keep breathing. Keep breathing. So that’s what I did, with some doubt and anger and yelling and tears, I kept breathing. 15 minutes after that I was 8cm, and 10min or less after that I was 10cm and ready to push. My favorite doctor was working, this was a blessing. My great friend Mallory was the charge nurse this night, and she got to scoot in right before I started pushing – in the middle of me freaking out – and she held my hand and looked me in the face and said “you can do this, you have to breathe, and you will do this”. I cannot tell you how overwhelmed I get when I think about how God orchestrated for me to have an incredibly fast labor, with a supportive husband, and two nurses who championed me through my desire to accomplish this goal. When it was time to push, I was relieved but scared, it is a different ballgame with no epidural – I felt compelled to push with Brooklyn but I didn’t feel as if I was going to die like I did with Timothy. I really did go to a place of “blacking out” during pushing with Timothy, I was so unaware of anything except getting through this pain and getting this baby out. I pushed once, and it was weak and ineffective, I got a pep talk from my nurse and grabbed my husbands hand and pushed once more and heard a baby cry at 3:03am. From start to finish: 4 hours of labor, 1.5 hours going from 4cm-10, and two pushes, I met my son and fulfilled a goal that had become really important to me. I zoned out at this point, I think from utter exhaustion from the seeming battle I just endured.

I kept hearing buzzing in the background from the doctor, nurses, Joseph… all saying “he’s a boy, it’s a boy, he’s really a boy”. Maybe I let everyone know I was a little unsure, :). In my state of being zoned out, eyes closed, my heart smiled – and smiled big. It was about half an hour before I was able to hold him, as they were making sure he was okay and hadn’t swallowed any meconium, but then I got to hold him, and I loved him.

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and his dad loved him.

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and his sister loved him

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and I look forward to getting to know him, and learn him, and love him even more.

Timothy Chael Rinaldi, we are so glad you are here.

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Little Brother

So, I feel a bit bad, Brooklyn had a dozen blog entries, give or take, dedicated to my pregnancy with her and leading up to her arrival, and this little chap barely has any. Such is life with a toddler, right?

So, for my own memory, and for anyone that cares, here’s what me and the little boy have been up to…

I’m 24 weeks and 3 days along currently. I would say I don’t remember much of my first trimester. I was sick or out of it most of the time. I am happy to report that nausea only strikes maybe once a week if that and has otherwise completely peaced out. I also seem to be gaining some energy back. It seems like a good bit of people want to know the difference in your pregnancies – that’s a question I get a lot. I have felt different with this one, with some familiar moments here and there. Example: I felt just as sick, but maybe at a different time of day. I’m growing, but at a different rate (I feel a lot ‘bigger’ with the boy, but I haven’t gained weight, probably because I weighed more to begin with this time). I have more energy now than I did when I was pregnant with B, but I was also working 40 hours a week then and I am now forced to find energy because my days are spent discovering things with a toddler.

I feel like I am in a good stage. Heartburn is present, but it’s manageable if I eat a whole box of tums (kidding). Lots of little kicks, which is always fun. I feel a little self conscious about the way I look sometimes, but that’s normal, just ask any pregnant person past or present. Or any woman really. I will, however, say that Joseph and I got to go on a ‘somewhat date’ to a wedding (ok, so it wasn’t dinner an a movie, but we were without Brooklyn for the night- thanks Mom and Dad for keeping her!!), and we both looked nice and I felt like I looked nice…which was even better. It’s not all about looks (or at all about looks), but it was one of those moments that I appreciated to make me feel a little more normal again – new makeup and a good hair day does wonders, y’all.

We also had a fun time on the dance floor. Joseph kind of lives to be on the dance floor, it’s entertaining. Sometimes it is rare that he and I get a moment to just enjoy the marriage and not the entire life we have together, do you understand what I’m saying??  Those are two wonderful but different things. I think it’s important to grow your family bond, and dwell in parenthood together, but it’s also super important to remember that you are a Mrs. AND a Mommy, not just a Mommy. So, thanks Grant and Cassie for getting married, so that I could steal some time away with my man.

Back to the little boy. I never really know how to reference him: little boy, baby boy, little brother, little man, the kid on the way, #babyrinaldi2013 (shout out to twitter followers). So for now, he just goes by whatever. We don’t have a name picked out. We haven’t quite decided if we will tell people his name even if we do pick it out.

When we picked out Brooklyn’s name I had a co-worker that constantly told me her name reminded her of Broccoli. Okay. Thanks.

So far my doctors appointments have gone well and have been the basics of weight, blood pressure, questions about the baby moving, general check on how I’m feeling. We have had two ultrasounds and will likely not have anymore (hopefully no complications!!). In a few weeks I’ll take my glucose test. I don’t think anyone looks forward to that, but I am looking forward to that being OVER. I weigh more this time around, but I take better care of myself in terms of what I eat and I work out about 4-5 days a week (and I’m doing squats for a 30 day challenge, shout out to my 30-day-squat-challenge group!). So, I’m not necessarily nervous, just will be happy to hear positive results.

I’ve been on the search for a maternity bathing suit. Most of them are just ugly or overpriced (or both!). So, I ended up purchasing part of a tankini (the bottoms) at target, and combined it with a top I already own, so we can finally have a pool day with Mommy in the water soon, woo hoo!

I have a major sweet tooth with this pregnancy. I never really had any cravings with Brooklyn. The only time I remember wanting a certain food was an apple, and it was ‘one of the best apples I ever had’ or so I told my mom. With this kid, I think I could bake up a storm every day. Cookies, pastries, cakes, brownies, you name it. Thankfully I’ve only done this once so far (gave in and baked something), but I think about it most days… heh.

Looking forward to fun things we have planned this summer: seeing some good friends from Ohio this weekend, celebrating my sweet girls 2nd birthday in a few weeks (we aren’t having a ‘party’, so don’t feel like you weren’t invited…no one was!), Joseph’s 10 year high school reunion, Joseph’s birthday, beach trip in July, and many more fun things I hope!

Welcome Summer time, you were missed!

 

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