Friday, June 13, 2014

Life Lesson From My Children

Here we are with baby number 3. He and I spend a lot of time together. He likes to keep me up late into the night and in the delirium of sleeplessness I find my thoughts turning to my children and how each of them have taught me and molded me into the woman I have become.




KYLEE
When Kylee was born it was a violent shove into motherhood. It felt sudden and foreign and I was ill prepared. It’s funny because you see other Moms while you are single and childless and you don’t think much of it because this women are graceful and organized and they make it seems like, “yeah, anyone could do this”. Then one day this baby you have been dying to come into the world actually does and noone prepares you (or they do and you can’t hear them) for what motherhood is really like.

Kylee and I had a rocky start. Nursing was hard, going to work was hard, sleeplessness was hard. I read parenting books and did everything they said-TO THE LETTER!

·         “Feed your baby every 3 hours”-check.
·         “Don’t hold them too much”-check.
·         “Let them cry it out”-check.

My newness as a mother and my lack of skill blinded me from the seemingly obvious:
1.       Your baby could be hungrier than every 3 hours
2.       That baby time is fleeting and you’ll regret not lovin on them more
3.       Sometimes your baby wants you to hold them until the end of time, but do it because the time is fleeting.

My introduction to motherhood was hard. I suddenly saw all my personal flaws in Technicolor simultaneously! I was selfish and I saw motherhood as the end of Misti and the beginning of my new persona “Kylee’s Mom” and it frustrated me. I saw all the things I was giving up in order to be a mother and felt guilty for feeling that way. I was young and I needed to finish school and we were poor and so I had to continue working. The weight of my responsibilities was crushing, let alone adding motherhood to the heap. So what did Kylee teach me? She taught me that I am a crazy, controlling, “by the book” nut job-at least up to that first year.

In a lot of ways I feel like I failed Kylee. I failed to be the kind of mom I hoped I would be for her during those early years. I was preoccupied with trying to pay the bills and obtain a diploma to be a really good Mommy. Kylee taught me humility. She helped me realize that everything isn’t about me. I grew up never feeling like anything was about me. And I certainly didn’t want my child to feel that kind of unimportance. Kylee helped me learn that I can change. She helped me realize the potential of the kind of Mother I could become and made it seem attainable. While Kylee and I had a rough start, I’m certain our finish will be wondrous. Through her I have transformed my vision of the perfect by the book Mom to the perfect Mom for Kylee Stoddard. A hard lesson, but one I never would have learned any other way.

AUBREY
I’ve mentioned it before in this journal, but Aubrey opened my eyes to the gift of motherhood. Following a very difficult family trial, I prayed desperately about how I could possibly heal and move on from this tragedy. My answer came and shockingly was, “Have a baby”. Um yeah no, so I prayed again. The answer again, “Have a baby”. Honestly, I prayed several more times and finally got it that we should really HAVE A BABY. And so we did.

Aubrey came and she really did heal my heart. She taught me that love can heal all wounds no matter how deep or wrenching. Holding her little baby body warmed my heart to what this life is about-FAMILY.  I felt blessed to have this “fresh from heaven” child as my tangible band aid. I rejoiced in her dependence on me because I had equal dependence on her, to help me forgive and to reconcile from recent anguish.

Aubrey taught me to appreciate the baby time. To trust myself as a mother and let the little things go. To accept my mothering faults and work within them and just simply live in the moment. Her baby-toddler years were a joyous time, which says a lot following such deep despair. Even now when I look at her, I am reminded of all she healed just simply by her presence. She is my miracle worker baby and brought healing and great joy to our lives.

RHETT
I joke that we like to wait a minimum of half a decade before we contemplate having another child. Honestly, Rhett was a hard decision. It seemed like I would be ready and then Paul wouldn’t. Then Paul would be ready and I would not. We were just could not get on the same page.

 My best friend Christy had her first baby girl in mid December. I was blessed to witness her birth and the utter joy that encompassed her and her husband as they welcomed their little sweet Emma. It was really one of the top 10 moments of my life. I went home and couldn’t stop talking about what a miracle it was and how that special experienced touched my heart.

Being Christmastime, Paul and I were up late wrapping presents and we discussed, yet again, having another baby. Finally, we were both on the same page.  The very next month we were pregnant. This baby was READY and was simply waiting for us to realize we were too!

Rhett really was ready to make his debut! He came into this world quick (3 hr labor) and I instantly new that he was for us and was encompassed with a feeling of completeness. He was the last piece of our family puzzle and he has made us all feel whole.

Rhett has taught me to slow down and truly relish the baby time. Getting up in the night was not a chore, but a joy. A time set aside for him and me to be alone. I loved it, I loved it all. I have felt a strong and instantaneous bond with this little boy that I can’t quite describe. It is best said that I am simply in love with him!

After coming home from the hospital Mom and Jill and Ryan were at our house and were hogging him. I had just spent 2 days in the hospital with him all to myself and having to share was hard. I went to lay down to cry (remember I’m coming off those crazy prego hormones) because I wanted to hold him. Luckily Paul went and rescued me and brought him back into my arms. I guess that really describes it all. Rhett and I are bonded. Without him, I wouldn’t really be me.

Now that he is here I am counting down the days to when I can quit working and be with him and the girls full time. A desire I never had before. Rhett has shown me how much I love my children and how much I love being a Mommy.

My children continue to teach me about my short comings and where I need to change, through their ever changing needs they show me how to be a better person, how to laugh and enjoy the little things. But best of all, they have helped me feeI am good enough for them, which helps me think that maybe I’m not such a bad Mommy after all.

Rest assured my 3 sweet children I am screwing you all up, of this fact I am sure! But I am doing it to the best of my ability and I am doing it with all the love I can muster! 

On Leave


I just went to print my pay stub via a website at work and noticed next to my name it stays “On Leave”. What a wonderful phrase that is! I really am on leave. I’m at my house enjoying my new baby, hanging out in my yoga pants, occasionally hanging with my friends during the day time and taking a nap on my every whim. I never though the “stay at home mom” thing was ever for me, but now I see the amazingness of it. This is really the life and I could get easily adjust.

I love it ALL! Making breakfast in the morning for my kids and being home when they rush in from school. Walking with the baby to pick them up and being able to attend school field trips. Don’t even get me started on the joy of going VTing during the day. I love everything about this time.


I’m ON LEAVE people! And I love it J

Happy Birthday: Rhett Warren Stoddard

On October 15th  at 11:20am my sweet little baby boy rushed into this world-totally excited to join our family.

Our induction was scheduled for 8am and we were all hooked up and ready to go. We had a rough night with Aubrey being a little nervous anticipating the baby’s arrival. She was up vomiting all night and Paul and I got little sleep so I was excited to have hours upon hours to sleep. We were hunckering down for the long haul since Aubrey took 8ish hours to get here.

Every 30 minutes the nurses would come in and turn up the Pitocin. It wasn't even an hour in and those contractions were getting really intense. Paul was OUT shortly after I got all hooked up so I didn't want to wake him since there was little he could really do. We both tried to sleep while every 30 minutes those faithful nurses would come and crank things up.

About 9:30 I decided I was ready for that epidural so we called and by 10ish the nurses were back and I was in the most pain I had ever experienced. Pitocin was KILLING me. We mentioned that I called for the drugs more than 30 minutes ago, but no one came. They rushed and got the anesthesiologist in and by 10:30 I was hooked up. However…the edge was off, but I could still feel everything. It was awful.

The nurse and midwife left and said that I would start to feel a lot of pressure and when I did to call them. They no more than walked out the room and that ton of pressure was ON. Our midwife came in checked at I was a 9. That was not even 30 minutes following my epidural. P.S. I could still feel everything.

She sat in the room and got things ready and the nurses came back to. And said I would be pushing soon. I was freaking out because I could STILL FEEL EVERYTHING. I hadn't felt more than slight pressure with the girls so I was in panic. I was trying to get a crash course from the nurse or midwife or anyone who was willing to give me any bit of advice on how to get through this next scary part.

Everyone was too busy to help me. Finally the anesthesiologist came back to give me a “rush dose”, but at that point it was really too late. The midwife, finally seeing my panic, told me not to worry that I had already done the hard and painful part to labor to a 10. That little reassurance was all I needed and a few minutes later (literally) we welcomed our 8 pound, 19 inch completely adorable little boy into the world. It was painful, but so very wonderful.

3 hours flat from set up to delivery. This baby was as ready to come out as I was to have him out!

Welcome to our family my sweet little boy! 











Seasons

I’ve been contemplating life lately. I figure since I am approaching my 35th year of life I could be considered to be somewhat of an expert in contemplating ;).

There have been many blessings that have come from this pregnancy, but one of my favorites is feeling taken care of and having a deeper love and appreciation for my husband.

 I love Paul and when we married I loved him, but I had no idea how much more I would come to love him as we journeyed along life’s path together. The past several months the ailments of pregnancy have forced me to slow down and really do a whole lot of nothing. The fruits of nothing are spending time with your kids and your husband who get to accompany you while doing nothing.

My favorite has been sitting with Paul. Talking about and anticipating our new baby. We walk a lot too and discuss the past, the trials we have endured, sprinkled here and there with ideas about our future. This, right now, is how I have seen marriage played out in the movies, but what I never though could be reality. But it’s actually happening in real time. I have a loving husband, who I can trust, who takes care of and loves me unconditionally. And the best part…this wonderfulness is reciprocated! Creating a Utopian state for me. This closeness with him has made me consider heaven and premonitions of what it will be like. I anticipate it will be much like my “now” with Paul. A great and vast feeling of love and appreciation and part of me can’t wait for it!

Simultaneously, while in this moment, I realize its delicacy. Change is looming on our horizon and this “season” of closeness and contentment will be replaced with adjusting to life with a newborn. Still, I can’t help but appreciate this glimpse into what life and marriage can be like. This moment has been seared into my heart and I feel utter gratitude to even experience a marriage like this; to feel loved and cared for in this way has been momentous for me and I’ll cherish it always

Thank you Paul for making me feel like the center of your universe during this wonderful season. You are truly my everything and I look forward to eternity with you!


*Readers: feel free to roll your eyes now. This is dripping with cheese, but it comes from the sincerest part of me! 

Thoughts on Pregnancy


In Genesis 3:16 we read this gem, "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children...". I spent much of my 9 months of sorrow angry with Eve. I was certain that her decision to eat that apple was a direct result of my misery.

Sorrow is defined as a sadness or grief. This word doesn't begin to touch pregnancy for me. I experience agony and pain, deep despair at the longevity of what I must endure, and the seemingly endless road ahead. It's close to a feeling of tourture for me really.

Early on, I felt the utter loss of my stength and ability to endure. I kneeled to pray one night and just sobbed. Pleading with all I had for strength to come from somewhere, anywhere. I knew I, alone, had nothing else to muster. I flopped back into bed and dozed off for what seemed like minutes, but was really hours. I awoke suddenly and felt a nearly palpable push to email all my girlfriends, sisters and family and tell them of my needs and to ask them to pray for me. I sat and contemplated what this really meant. It meant I had to admit to all these amazing women I knew and loved, of my weakness and lack of strength and what a baby I really am. Not really what I wanted to do. I tried to talk myself out of it-listing all the reasons why no one would care about this and how through some other unknown avenue I would get through the next 6 months. I lost that battle and succomed to the prompting. I emailed the following:

A Little Help From My Friends
Hello ladies! I have thought of a dozen ways to word this email, but nothing sounds right so i'm just going to get right to it :). I'm in need of your help.
As you know we are expecting and while it's a very special and happy time, it's also been quite a struggle for me lately. My physical ailments are mounting as they tend to do with pregnancy and as much as I hate to admit it they are taking a toll on me mentally as well. The past 5 days it is all I have to get out of bed. Every minute awake I am utilizing all I have to just be present. Not to carry out my responsibilities-just to show up. Every day is a struggle. I feel very unequal to the task before me of bearing these burdens and enduring what the next months have in store for me. The journey seems long and I feel too weak to endure it. I need help!
So as difficult as this is to admit to all of you I know it will serve a great purpose. I believe there is great power in prayer. Prayer has worked miracles in the lives of many and I have faith it can do so in mine. So I ask each of you; my sisters, my friends to pray for me. Pray that I will be strengthened during this time of great challenge...that I will have the courage to face each day with hope...that I will be able to seek help when I need it. That is truly all I need right now-your faith and prayers. Can you please do this for me?
I love each of you! Thank you for being someone I can confide in, someone I can be real to. Thank you in advance for your prayers on my behalf.
Lots of love,
Misti

Once sent, I felt a relief-like my lifeboat was coming. Help was on the way!In the days that followed all my sweet friends and family sent emails of love, encouragement and support. Not only did I feel loved, but slowly and surely that strength came. Through prayer and love, I was lifted and made equal to the task before me. Definitley one of the many miracles I have been blessed to experience in this life.

My pregnancy went on and it was rough! Morning sickness, diabetes, headaches, hemmeroids along with several hemmeroid sugeries, pain hand over fist. One night (admittly toward the end) I reacalled that Eve's decision to eat the fruit was based on the fact that we needed to pass through sorrow that we can know joy. There is nothing more joyful than holding your sweet newborn baby. A joy I am blessed to experience and a joy I really do relish. So I'll forgive Eve and instead thank her for her courage to do the hard, but neccesary thing, so that I can endure the sorrow and also adore the joy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Kylee loves UVRM

Sunday during sacrament Kylee kept complaining about her stomach hurting so much so that I decided we should go home. Once home, she began what is a pretty common thing her her...puking her guts out! Poor thing spent more time hugging that toilet all that day and into the night than ever. Remembering our September visit to the hospital I feared we would find ourselves there soon if we didn't get her into the doc asap.

Monday we got in rather late in the afternoon and to our surprise, the doctor referred us to Utah Valley Regional to get a CT scan and to talk with a pediatric surgeon. I met him and he was waiting for Kylee's results from the scan. The moment I saw his face I knew that things were serious. He gave me the run down that no matter what the scan revealed she would need to be admitted because once again her sodium levels were so low that she would need an IV to get back to normal. Shortly after I arrived they took us up to her room in the pediatric unit where we waited for the results.

I can't express enough the anxiety. Why did they want a CT scan? We didn't know. The doctor expressed the seriousness of what he thought it was, but never shared that information with us. The nurses also seemed anxious and kept wishing us good luck. For what?! The not knowing and waiting is pure torture. So many thoughts go throw your mind. You naturally think the worse. It felt like forever before the Doctor came in and told us that it was her appendix and that we should be happy it was that versus what he thought it was. At that moment I was grateful NOT to know what he thought it was.

Because her sodium levels were so low it was very risky to do the procedure immediately. Apparently, they can go into cardiac arrest with levels as low as she was during that period so we had to wait for 3 hours before it could be done. I was worried that her appendix would burst during the wait, but I'll take it over cardiac arrest.

I was so sad and scared to leave her after they gave her the anesthesia, but she was super brave. The surgery itself went super well. It was laparoscopic so not too invasive. We spent the next 2 days in the hospital and had so many friends and family come visit and help with Aubrey. Thanks to the Pricketts, Lewis' and Bills for all your help with Aubrey and to everyone for the prayers. And a GIANT thanks to Mom for coming to visit and help. There is just something secure about your mom being there during a stressful time. Love ya Mom!

Let's hope this is our last visit to the UVRMC this year. I have given them enough of my hard earned money for one year!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Happy 10th Birthday Kylee!

October to December is a busy time with work so I always feel bad that it falls that I am on a business trip for Kylee's birthday. Regardless I feel like I make up for it in the end, but there is a part of me that feels like I am sacrificing the things that matter most, for the things that matter only a little.

It's hard to believe that Kylee is in the double digits. She is growing into such a sweet tweener. Every now and then we see glimpses of mood swings and surliness and it is terrifying. I realize that puberty and all the ups and downs are right around the corner, but I also appreciate being able to have conversations and share thoughts with a "young woman". She is certainly something. I can't wait to see what she wants to do with her life.

At 10 years Kylee...

  • Loves to draw
  • Hates to clean her room
  • Enjoys writing stories
  • Is inching her way to Grandma Joan status with the amount of notebooks she owns
  • Loves to cook and appreciates good food
  • Found that riding her bike is actually fun
  • Needs a to wear a bra full-time now ;)
This year has been a rough one in school with friends and such. There have been many tears shed over girl drama. However, I am proud of Kylee for seeing her worth despite the bullying. I think she has really learned the power of prayer, forgiveness and the fact that her Heavenly Father loves her. As hard as it was to wipe the tears and see the pain, I am proud of who she will be after this trial is over for her. She is truly going to be an amazing young woman.

Happy 10th Birthday my baby girl. I sure love ya.


L

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Paul and I have been married 10 years. We have two beautiful little girls, Kylee and Aubrey. We are blessed with a great family and amazing friends. Life is good!