Wednesday, June 22, 2016


I have heard people describe motherhood as if you forever have your heart walking outside of your body. I feel it's more akin to living life without skin on. Every part of my being feels every emotion so deeply. Every crack in my character glares at me. I have days where my inadequacies haunt me at every turn. Days where I feel incredibly resilient and utterly fragile all at once. I feel vulnerable to every whim of this tiny human being. That in this world we have so much pain and so much hurt I cannot shield him from. There is hatred and violence. People who bully, people who rape and murder and destroy. There is so much I cannot protect him from. There is so much I can't protect myself from. In a place where only the select few are created equal. Where sometimes we fall short and we cannot cure the evil around us. When it is up to me to bring the light into the dark world when sometimes I cannot see it myself. It is my job to point out the helpers, to raise a helper, and to be one too.
Motherhood has pushed me beyond what I ever thought I could do... could be.  The ability to exist in all of my flaws. To live in vulnerability. To dare greatly. To exist wholeheartedly. To know somewhere in the depths of my soul that maybe... just maybe... I am enough. That in the midst of the mess, the heartache, the demolition of humanity... there is hope and I am enough. Do you hear that? You are enough.
That even in a world where very few things are in our control, the love we have, the time we give, it is sufficient. Even when everyone else says we should be more, do more, give more. That who we are... even when we are broken and flawed... it is enough. That even when it hurts, even when I feel raw and like my entire being is fragile and hanging on by a thread. Even when I am spent and exhausted, that being me is enough. To understand that it is okay to lean into the sadness, to feel the sharp edges, to dig in deep and know that you will be better for it. To know that the essence of motherhood is not letting the difficulties define you, but the ways in which you overcome shine more brightly and sound more loudly than the naysayers around you. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bentley Two Months

Okay Folks... I cannot get over how flippin' cute my kid is so I am barraging you with a lot of his two month photos. I know I am biased and all but objectively I think he is really adorable. Especially in this vest. 

 We have two weddings throughout the month of August and so I dressed him in this outfit. He has become such a little man this past month. He smiles a ton, especially in the mornings. He is quite the fussy baby at night but we still love him even when he cries so much he pukes.
 He loves his baby gym... we call it his wiggle mat cause he wiggles his arms and legs like crazy when we set him down there. He is learning to use his voice so well now and coos and ahhs at us a ton. 
  This little boy has stolen my heart in ways I didn't think were even possible. It hasn't all been peachy keen and in fact a lot of it has been incredibly hard and anxiety ridden but I still cannot imagine my life without this little one. 
 We were in a pretty bad accident recently and the brief moment where I realized that it only takes a split second for life to change was terrifying. We are all fine thank God but it was a reminder that every moment we have is a gift and I'm trying to not take any of it for granted. The days that are hard I look at him and remember why I keep fighting and waking up every day. 
 I'll be going back to work pretty soon here and my heart just breaks thinking about not being with him all of the time. 
 I guess I'll just have to plaster these photos all over my locker so I don't get too sad. Doesn't that smile just make you melt? 
Happy (belated) two months Benny. Mama loves you so much. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bentley - One Month

Friends, I cannot believe it has been over a month since my little boy came into the world. The past 5 weeks have been completely an upheaval in my life. I have been struggling with pretty severe postpartum anxiety and depression but I am getting help and getting better daily.

 Last week my sister in law and I decided to do a little photo shoot to commemorate Benny's one month of life. She has been staying with us to help out with Benny and it has been a huge lifesaver and a big part in my getting better.
 I have been thoroughly enjoying my little bean more than ever these days. His little smirks and smiles make me beam with joy. The way he cries out and ooohs and ahhs, trying so hard to test his voice just melts my heart.
 He is the greatest joy I have ever experienced. It is really hard to put into words how amazing it is to be this little munchkin's mama but I am so thankful I am.

Friday, June 27, 2014

My slightly traumatic birth story.

My due date was June 8th and the week prior I had my membranes swept twice and two false labor scares with one trip to L&D that included us getting monitored and sent home. I had a ton of braxton hicks that felt very confusing as to whether they were true contractions or not. Turns out I was having mild contractions about every 10 minutes and just didn't really feel them. Around 11am on June 9th I started feeling like I was either slowly leaking amniotic fluid or peeing my pants. By 4pm that evening it had happened enough throughout the day that I emailed my doctor to ask if it was something worth checking in on. By 7pm or so I full on soaked my pants and decided it was time to call the on-call number for my clinic. The OB told me to go straight to L&D and sure enough my water had broken and I was to be induced that evening!

They started with two doses of cytotec pills, spaced 4 hours apart. I got my doses of ampicillin for being GBS positive. The contractions got stronger but were still irregular in spacing and intensity. At around 4am the pain started getting consistently worse and it was difficult because the contractions would stack together at times. We had also been battling with Bentley's heart rate decelerating all night. I couldn't lie on my back because his heart rate would dip down to the 70-90's so I was stuck on my left side and it was getting pretty uncomfortable. I made it to about 4-5cm dilated, -1 station and decided at that point to get the epidural so they could start the pitocin and really get things moving. They started the pitocin and eventually the decelerations became more severe, lasting longer and longer with each contraction. By 6am we had multiple people rushing in the room, flipping me from side to side, turning off the pitocin and giving me sublingual sprays of nitroglycerin to stop the contractions. I was having strong contractions that kept stacking which made the decels worse. I had a large amount of bloody show as well. In fact my whole bed was soaked with blood from the waist down. At that point they had called my OB and told her she needed to come in right away. When she got there I could tell by her face that it was getting very serious. She checked me and I was dilated to 7cm and as she is talking to me about my options his heart rate dips down and stays down. Mid conversation my OB looks at me and goes "No we need to do an emergency c-section now. His heart rate isn't coming up."

Within minutes my husband was throwing on scrubs and I was being wheeled into the operating room. Luckily the epidural was in place already so they just increased it to a full nerve block which had a slight complication and made my entire left side numb... but it was better than going under general anesthesia and being intubated. I warned the anesthesiologist that I had severe panic attacks during pregnancy when I felt short of breath and since the block makes you feel like you aren't breathing they pre-treated me with a little bit of versed which made me totally loopy but made the procedure totally bearable too.  I got sick during the section and ended up vomiting everywhere. Within 15 minutes they had Bentley out; he had the chord around his neck and was descending down the birth canal slightly crooked. He also had severe molding on his head (major cone head) which probably meant that my pelvis was too long and narrow for him to make it through.  During the surgery I lost about 800ml of blood which is a TON for a c-section. The next day they almost had to transfuse me with blood because my hematocrit dropped so low. Bentley was taken to the nursery with his dad. I got stitched up and sent to recovery where I continued to vomit everywhere. About 2 hours after birth I got to hold my baby boy for the first time and I sobbed uncontrollably. He was perfect and beautiful and I was so relieved to have him out of me and have him healthy.

 If I am really honest I feel like pregnancy and childbirth were the worst experiences of my life. I never want to go through it again. I can definitely say that my son is the best thing in my world though and I am SO SO glad to have him.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Baby Shower Pictures

I wanted to share the baby shower photos I have because I realize that much of what I write about on here in terms of my pregnancy is just sad. While I have been suffering from severe antepartum depression it wouldn't be fair to say that there have only been horrible, depressing moments. There are some great moments of my pregnancy that I hope to remember. My baby shower was definitely one of them.
My mother in law did such a wonderful job at making me feel so loved and cared for and Bentley too!
I looked ready to give birth any minute but really I still had 8 weeks to go!

 She had such an amazing spread of food and really fun games and these adorable prizes.
 We got so many gifts from everyone and even had a little helper while we were opening presents. :)

I was so happy that friends from all over the state came to join us. It's hard to get all of us together these days but it was a huge blessing to have them all there. 

 I also was so lucky to have amazing co-workers who threw me the sweetest work baby shower. We are decorating Bentley's room in a Super Mario Brother's theme so my friend Julie went through all the trouble to hunt down baby Mario decorations!
So much good food and love from everyone. This kid really is going to be so incredibly spoiled.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

For Bentley


I am sitting here pregnant at almost 37 weeks and I am marveling that in just a little while I will be holding you in my arms for the very first time. It feels like an eternity away and yet I know it will fly by quickly in the grand scheme of things. These past months have been a trial for me. I have struggled with pregnancy more than I have any other thing in my entire life. There has been a lot of pain and discomfort and worry. Many days where it felt like the torture would never end.

Yet, so many times I would press my hand to my belly, trying to remind myself why I was enduring it all, and there you would be. Your little foot meeting the palm of my hand so strong and quick and my heart would melt. You were my joy in the midst of such despair. I struggled with depression during pregnancy, along with all of the other physical ailments too but the depression was the worst.

Still, in the midst of it all, knowing that I would someday get to hold you and see you and know you, it kept me afloat. The sound of your heart beat was pure bliss. The day I found out that you were a little boy... my baby boy, I cried tears of joy. I have dreams of you too. Wondering what you will be like. What you look like. How it will feel to see you and hold you. There are so many people who want to meet you. So much family and so much love waiting for you in this world. I feel lucky though because I have already felt you. I already know you in so many ways. Your hiccups, your kicks, your every move I feel from within. You are my sweet Benny. My reason for fighting and getting up every day, even when it feels impossible. My love for you is beyond what words could ever describe. It is a special love that only a mother could have. A special bond from feeling you grow since the very minute you came into existence.

I promise I will always give you everything I have. It will be flawed and I will make many mistakes along the way... that I am sure of... but you will always get the very best of me. I undoubtedly will fail a million times over but I hope you will always feel loved, safe and secure. I hope you will always know your worth. I hope I can teach you to have compassion for others, faith in God and integrity in all that you do. I hope you live life intentionally, passionately and fully. I pray that you will love deeply and travel often. I hope that you laugh a lot and find joy in the mundane. But most of all, my sweet Benny, I hope that you will always know that you are the best thing this life has given me.

I love you,
Your momma

Thursday, May 8, 2014

To My Fellow Nurses

I have been sitting at my computer for over an hour now trying to think of what I want to say to my fellow nurses on "Nurses Week". It is hard to put into words just what a nurse does on a daily basis. If you were to shadow me on a day at work you would see that my day is very busy. From the minute I am done getting report my mind is already racing with the list of things I must accomplish. Giving medications, patient education, trips to CT scan and MRI, wound care and dressing changes, getting immobile patients out of bed, multidisciplinary rounds, assessments, charting, titrating IV medications to maintain hemodynamic stability, drawing labs, adjusting ventilator settings, monitoring vital signs, cleaning up every bodily fluid imaginable. We are the ones at the bedside 24/7. A bedside nurse is a very special person. We are there for the sickest patients in the most vulnerable state of being. We hold your hand, clean you up, hug your families, skip our breaks and our meals just to make sure you are stable and taken care of. We give up our holidays for our patients. We sacrifice time with our own families working nights, weekends, and overtime because we want to take care of people.

There have been many times that I wanted to quit nursing all together. Too many days I come home exhausted and spent. Physically hurting, emotionally drained and defeated by the system that often prevents me from connecting to the more "human" aspects of my job. I love the days that I get to spend a little extra time with my patients. Reassuring, helping, hand holding, healing, connecting. Those days are rare but the good nurses I know make every effort to fit that in when they can. The good nurses I know are the ones who are smart and work with integrity. They work tirelessly and selflessly for their patients. They teach and train newer nurses to be caring, thorough individuals who advocate for the patients even when it means you have to go head to head with the on call physician.

Nursing is anything but a glamorous job. It can be rewarding, it is rewarding but many times it is just hard. I am proud of what I do and I cannot imagine doing anything else. My job gives me meaning. I know that despite the lack of accolades we make a difference in the lives of those we treat and care for. To my fellow nurses, I hope this week you feel appreciated. I hope you stop and take the time to recognize all that you do on a daily basis. I hope someone hugs you and says "thank you" but if not I am saying it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. What you do is significant. What you do matters. What you do saves lives. For the people you touch, the families you support and the patients you heal, you deserve so much. For now I hope you hear me when I say thank you, you matter and please don't stop what you do. Your co-workers need you, your patients need you, their families need you and this world would be a lesser place without a nurse like you.