Wednesday, October 18, 2006

~:C O N T R O L:~

Though I'm madly in love with Anton, I've said goodbye to the notion of control. At least for the time being. This is the largest reality shift I've ever made. I've been brought to my knees by this beautiful creature. We're both new to everything. All of this.

Having decided my life had space for a new being - to enlarge our family, I've got to make room for new things and say goodbye to others. Control being the first. I am a schedule freak. A list maker. An organizer. The person who does it best. The person who thinks of things first. A fixer. A doer. A person who finishes tasks. Who makes everything.

Today I am a person who is new at this huge life shift and is struggling to just keep my balance. Mom says you just get better at it and your confidence grows as you do. She says I sound better than I think I do. And that I'm doing fine. I have no reference other than to think SHE, my own mother, has more experience and could do it better.

So today I just felt overwhelmed. I cried. Anton just looked up at me with the sweetest look on his face. I sang the Skye Boat Song to him and just rocked him. Both of us actually. I woke him up from his nap and whispered in his ear that God was with us. Oh boy, do I need God now. Now more than ever.

So, yes. He is beautiful and I love him. And yes, I am scared to death. Not missing my old life so much. Just unsure about the new one. I have to remind myself of all the previous new hard big things I've accomplished so far. And that I did them well, after letting the boat rock me into a new schedule. Once I find it, I'll be just fine. It's how I've done things in the past. Find the footing.

Maybe Anton's my footing and I just don't know it yet.

Hey guess what? I walked to the mailbox and back today! For the first time in over 3 months. What joy! I also ran the dishwasher. And we're moving the cat box back inside so I can clean it again. And BjornMouse comes home tomorrow night. So we'll be a family again.

Oh, and my tits are on fire. Gotta go. Time to wake up Anton!

I love you all,


Saturday, October 14, 2006

~:F O U R • Y E A R • A N N I V E R S A R Y:~

Doug and I celebrated our four year wedding anniversary yesterday. Anton's the real gift. A neighbor brought us pot roast for dinner and we went to bed early - exhausted and deliriously happy.

My head's feeling much less sore, though now I'm experiencing tension headaches at night. I wish I could snap my fingers and get rid of them. I am impatient about the time it's taking for my body to heal. I should be better to myself. I think these new headaches are about the huge responsibility before me now. I am in charge of someone's life. It's crazy. Me? Take charge and make sure things are in place for Anton to thrive? Like I know what I'm doing?
Nanny and I took Anton to his 2nd check up at the pediatrician on Wednesday. Gaining an ounce a day and doing very well. Though I kept thinking the nurse and Dr. were scrutinizing me. "Who put HER in charge? SHE'S a mother?" I know it's all in my head and is all about my own insecurities. I kept thinking, "What if he gets sick?" And then I'd say to myself, "Um, you'd take him to his doctor and then he'd get better."

Enough about me...

Anton's a real trip. We are all pretty dern sure he's got Doug's legs. He loves to stretch them out whenever possible, especially when you put him in a pair of pants. It's hysterical to watch. I think the first thing he'll want instead of a Tonka Truck, would be his own ottoman.

We let the cats back in the house this weekend. I missed them. They're curious about Anton - but shoot out of the room if he cries. There's an awful lot of sniffing going on. I'm sure there's more to come when Bjorn gets back.

I remember there being a TV in the family delivery recovery room they gave me after the c-section. And I remember thinking, WHO would ever want to stop looking at their newborn baby and turn to the TV for entertainment?

Still getting the hang of all this new baby stuff. Major lifestyle change - for the better. I don't see imperfections in the house anymore. I don't see dust bunnies on the floor. I don't pick apart unfinished projects I've got around the house anymore. I don't see weeds. All I see is Doug and Anton. And that's beautiful.

To see new pictures of Anton with his Daddy, Baba, Nanny and more go here: Anton: Week 3


~Anne, Doug & Anton

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

~:S L E E P • H U N G E R • L O V E:~Oh joy, this is fun. Such, such fun. Anton and I had our first full day alone together yesterday. We did it! So I'm happy and feeling more confident. I have so many thoughts to share with you all and am too tired at the moment to list them all, but wanted to give you a quick update to let you know we are home and I am doing very well - slowly recovering, slowly saying goodbye to those headaches and moving around more easily around the house.

People have been incredibly generous with food. I've never eaten more healthily before in my life. Nor have I ever had such an appetite. I feel pretty chipper during the day. Mornings feel best. But by 6:00, I am more tired than I can describe in words. The best I can manage is to raise a fork to my face and shovel food into my own mouth. Sounds ridiculous, but it's true.

We feed Anton again around midnight and then try to stretch those night time feedings further and further apart. Though it's tricky - as we all get to know each other. Life's all about who is hungry and who is tired. It's fun, though. Feeding Anton is the most satisfyingly simple thing I've ever done. He really is an easy baby - though he had a meltdown yesterday. I took his cue and had one of my own seconds later. So we all sat in the nursery last night and Doug comforted us both. So sweet.

It must be hard to be a new person, I think. Everything's new. It must be scary to be hungry, to cry... to trust that you'll feel better in a second or two. Trying to see the world through Anton's eyes really is enlightening for me. I feel so much like him. If I were to pick him out of a room of babies, I'd pick him. He feels so mine. Even Doug feels more mine. I love him more and more each day. Having this baby has expanded my heart. My capacity for kindness, humility, grace. I feel like an entirely different person. I feel more of everything.

I am so glad to be home and feeling better. Saturday morning I made toast and coffee and OH it was glorious to be standing in my own kitchen again and NOT be afraid of losing this pregnancy. Missed this house so much. I missed color. I missed sunlight. I missed the sound of crickets. Running water. The feel of a breeze. My bed. Dogs barking. And now Doug and I have Anton to share it with. To hold and stand by a window and point to our front yard and tell him that's all his.

I feel so transformed.

Thank you again to everyone for your gifts, your prayers, your support, your food.

Check out our new round pictures: Anton: Week 2


~Anne, Doug & Anton

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dear Friends and family,

This is a very wordy e-mai you may wish to glaze over if you don't' have a lazy afternoon or evening to spare for its digestion. Otherwise, enjoy.

First of all, Anton is doing fabulously well. I, however, am not - though on the mend. The very next day after discharge, I was readmitted to the hospital for pregnancy induced hyper tension. Then cluster migraines. And to top it off, experienced a seizure for the first time in my life, was rushed down to the ICU and remained there over night for closer observation. I was readmitted back to my old room here up on HRP and have been slowly weaned off medications like something for bruising that happens to your brain when you get hit with migraines, magnesium sulfate, high blood pressure medication, pain meds, etc. . They will send me home with medication to control this postpartum pregnancy induced hypertension. It has been horrible. The migraine pain on a scale from 1-10 was a twenty. We hope the worst is far behind us and we can go home - and STAY home as a well family at last. Right now we are looking at a date of later this week to go home at last. Something like Weds, Thursday or Friday. Keep your fingers crossed!

Doug, Mom and Dad have been a tremendous help. They have been able to bond with Anton in a way that I have not quite yet had the energy or health to do so. I am told that Anton will remember me once we are close again and in the quite peacefulness of our cozy home. After all, I have a lifetime of memories to build with him, don't I?

The complications of this pregnancy have been such a tremendous test of character for me. I am confident that Doug has passed, Anton has passed and Mom and Dad have as well. All with flying colors. Today I am looking for the faith needed to give myself the same passing grade. There is a voice in my head that pipes up in times in great stress - and I am looking deeply for that voice today. I will have a lot of time for myself to dwell and ponder, pray, meditate and relax.

I pray or peace. I pray to find a new rhythm of this new life of mine quickly. I pray for confidence. Reassurance. Faith. Openness. Love. Grace.

I have to tell you about what an easy-going baby Anton is. He NEVER fusses, unless you change his diaper - end even then, it's ever so temporary. He just goes with the flow. Is easy to tote around. Once swaddled, he looks like a little burrito. He just never fusses. Dad and Doug took him to his first pediatrician appt. yesterday and he passed with flying colors. My sweet baby boy. His story has been the least complicated of everyones. Mine the most. I'd rather it be that way, as painful as it is. Life never stops throwing you curve balls and I pray for peace throughout this big shift. If I can survive what's hard about this, just think of all the new knowledge I'd be able to share with others - just think of how much stronger it will make me. A better person, mother, wife, teacher, daughter, friend.

One thing I need to keep reminding myself is that the seizure I had was BECAUSE of the pregnancy and that once my body is convinced it's no longer pregnant, I'm out of the woods. And as far as living with migraines goes, I now have a new Dr. to guide me through coping with that disease. There are millions of people who cope with it daily and the treatments available just keep getting better and better. So there is hope and I can do this. I will be taking something for anxiety, depression and migraines. It's supposed to be a wonder drug for all three. And I pray it works.

I think what I am facing more now is fear. I have never in my life felt more dependent upon people for compassion and tenderness before. I resisted it with a passion when first being admitted here at Northside Hospital, and even while on modified bed rest at home while teaching. It's hard to be vulnerable and ask for help. But once things got really scary, I begged for it and graciously go it. Not since I was five years old, I was once again cradled in the arms of my mother and husband for naps upon naps. I cannot describe the feeling. Resting your head on the chest of people who love you, as your knees are drawn up under your chin, your arms wrapped around their neck, their arms stroking your back...feels like nothing else. It is a primal return to childhood. An its effects miraculous. During this healing process, I have felt an even deeper connection to Anton in that I understand more fully the depth of his neediness. We are the same, Anton and I. Both creatures of the same body, both familiar with the same heartbeat. Both dependent upon the same loving group of support people. When I close my eyes, I picture his sweet face. When I look in the mirror, I see his face. His neediness, his innocence, his openness. It's a connection hard to put into words.

Please. please say prayers for us. I so want normal life as a mommy to begin. I so want to find and discover that new life. After being here in limbo for so long, walking on eggshells and facing the frightening unknown, it is a wonder I'm still here. But I've got so much to live for. I have family. Friends, A perfect baby boy. And I hope a more active prayer life to guide me through it all.

Thank you so much for your love and support. If there's anything you feel you'd like to do to help us at this time, I would say meals tot he house would be very helpful. My job for the next few weeks will be to eat and feed my baby only. Stairs only twice a day and to sleep whenever I can. Mom and Dad will be with me at the house taking shifts while Doug's at work.

Oh! One more good piece of news is that I am moving around much more comfortably with the c-section scar. It's healing well and I can sit up in bed without too much pulling, can slowly walk around - better and better every day.

I thank you all for your lovely cards and gifts, your thoughts and prayers, your kindness and generosity of spirit. The meaning of community has been strengthened for me - of which you play a tremendous part. Please forgive my lack of gratitude in letters and e-mails. I've got strength for only so much these days and it seems my mantra will be to take it as easy as possible for a while. It'll just be Anton and me - peace and quiet and a whole lot of grace. Please know how very grateful I am for all you've done for us.

Oh! And another thing - Anton, we think, favors Doug's features. His disposition is mine though. So it's a perfect combination. The nurses here at HRP have named Doug "Barbie Dream Husband" because he's so incredibly attentive to me and makes all the nurses laugh with his jokes and antics. I have fallen in love with him all over again - something I've heard from other new parents. Having a baby changes the way you look at your spouse. In every wonderful way possible.

To view more pictures of our precious boy, follow these these links:
here and here
God bless you all.

~Anne, Doug and Anton.