Sunday, April 28, 2013

Martyr Moms

I’m getting really sick of the moms who use their birth stories for martyrdom.  When you spend time with moms, especially new moms, everyone likes to swap birth stories.  You feel as though you’ve entered a sisterhood, and so you gravitate towards each other and the commonality of what you’ve experienced.  What really irks me is when people start to throw the details of their own birth stories into other moms’ faces. 

Some moms labored for days, some moms did it without any pain meds, some moms had emergency C-sections, and some moms did it unconventionally in the water and/or at home.  Many of these moms want the world to know that no one- NO ONE- suffered or sacrificed like they did.

Hey- every birth is dramatic in its own way.  Hell, it’s childbirth, and no matter how it’s done, it’s pretty traumatic on your body.  Would I have wanted to labor for days?  Of course not.  But, in the midst of my labor, as everything was progressing so quickly and I barely had time to stop and comprehend what was going on, it was pretty scary.  My point is that every labor is different, and no individual labor is better or worse than another.  I have a ton of respect for my friends who had to be induced, had long labors, and/or had to have C-sections, just as they have respect for me that I did it without any pain meds (I didn’t have the choice, but still, I did it).

Instead of trying to one-up each other, we should be coming together and celebrating the miracle of childbirth, the strength is takes, and bask in the beauty of what our bodies were able to accomplish.  What us moms should NOT be doing is competing for birth story of the year.

Because I would win.

Totally kidding :)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Loves of My Life

When you pick the person you’re going to spend your life with, you’re not just picking the person who will be your partner and best friend through the ups and downs, you’re picking the person who’s going to parent and help raise your children.  You don’t always think about that when you’re first settling down.  For the first 6 years of our relationship, it was all about JD and I, and I think we were able to work out all the kinks and build a strong partnership.  I was afraid of what a new person would do to our dynamic, but now that I’ve seen him as a father, I don’t think I have ever loved him more than I have in the past few months.

From waking up with me for feedings in the middle of the night, keeping me calm and wiping my tears when I was sore, tired, and frustrated, and changing almost every diaper, JD was my rock while the baby and I were still stumbling through the first few days of nursing.  But more than just being my partner and support system, I now get to see JD as a father, which is more amazing than I could have imagined.

When we first found out the gender, JD was a little nervous about having a girl.  A former Marine turned police officer who likes to cage fight in his spare time, JD is the definition of a man’s man.  During the second half of the pregnancy, he started to get used to the idea and was more and more excited to have a girl (of course, knowing you  have an entire squad of police officers who will help ensure she never goes on a date… ever… helps).  I heard the emotion in his voice when she finally entered the world and he announced, “She’s here!”   and he’s been absolutely smitten since.

He’s a hands-on dad.  To hear him try to soothe her when she’s fussy during a bath or a diaper change, see how snugly she fits in his big arms, or watch her gaze up at him while he gives her a bottle melts my heart.  Once he went back to work, he was always anxious to return home and cuddle up with her at the end of the day.  Now that the roles are reversed and I’m back at work, he’s fallen into the role of “Mr. Mom” quite nicely.  He sends me pictures during the day of tummy time outside on a blanket, play time on her playmat, or long walks in the stroller.  Last night, when I arrived home from work, she was sleeping soundly against his chest in the Baby Bjorn while he cooked dinner.  (Side note: If he could stay at home forever, I would totally let him.  I love having a stay at home husband).  I have always loved him, but now I love him in a deeper, more profound way.  He is not just my best friend, but he is the most important man in our daughter’s life and he is the father I wanted for her- the father she deserves.

Having a baby has changed my perspective in so many ways.  Things that used to be important to me just aren’t anymore, because my daughter takes up so much of the “important” in my life.  Coming home at the end of the day or a weekend free of work has whole new meaning.  Nothing makes me happier than to come home, give my baby a bath and read her a couple of stories.  I can sit quietly, not doing anything but rocking with her, and not be bored.  She is the love of my life.

Well, they both are.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dear Loralai

Dear Loralai,

Thanks for pooping on me and daddy's bed. Thanks for waiting till I'm ready to eat to decide you're upset about something. Thanks for spitting up all over your clean outfit as soon as I've gotten you dressed.  

Thank you for being quick to smile and your beautiful, observant blue eyes. Thank you for becoming the thing I love most in this world, and changing my perspective in such a profound way. Thank you for being the reason I get a lump in my throat when I think about going back to work tomorrow.

I'm sorry I won't be able to be with you as much. If I had my way, I would spend every second of every day with you. I wasn't sure I'd ever be the mom that said that, but it's a testament to how much you've changed things for me, I guess.  Know that I will be thinking of you all the time while I'm at work, wishing I was with you.  Just because I will be away doesn't mean I love you any less.

I hope you enjoy your month with daddy. It will be a very special time for both of you- a time not many babies are lucky enough to have.  Just don't forget to give him a hard time once in a while, just to keep him on his toes and make me feel better about being away...

Love you lots,

Friday, April 12, 2013

Some Bitch Punched My Husband In The Face

When JD called me, he was hyped up and breathless as he quickly told me he'd gotten in an altercation (attacked, really) at a domestic disturbance call.  He was on his way to the hospital to get checked out for a possible concussion. I asked if he wanted me to meet him, but he assured me there were other officers with him and I should stay home with the baby. It was one of those conversations that didn't really sink in till we were off the phone and I'd had a few minutes to process. I looked over at our beautiful baby sleeping next to me and got angry. My husband is a good, honest man who is just trying to serve his city and resolve conflict. He has a baby at home who needs him. Neither he nor his family deserves to suffer because he is trying to do his job.

The story is this.... He responded to a domestic dispute where a mother was kicking her daughter out of the house. JD was the first on scene and entered the residence before his check-in arrives (they don't ride with partners in his department but, depending on the call, they have other officers who check in with them).

I believe he talked to the mother first then went outside to talk to the daughter. The daughter was shouting and he was trying to get her to stop. She got pissed and punched him in the face.  As if that wasn't bad enough, she was holding a bejeweled hard cover cell phone. As he's trying to cuff the daughter, her brother comes out of the apartment and jumps on JD from behind. So, two against one in a surprise, come-from-behind attack.  Luckily, some neighbors stepped in to help JD out.  Fast forward several hours... JD is discharged from the hospital with a mild concussion, a black eye, and a cut on his face.  Both the daughter and her brother are charged with felony assault of a police officer.

In the grand scheme of things that could happen to him at work, this wasn't a huge deal.  JD was back at work for his next scheduled shift a few days later.  But it does seem like we have a wake up call every few months.  Whether it's a fight with a suspect or someone tries to pull a weapon on him, it's enough to keep JD on his toes and remind me that I need to be thankful every day that he comes home safely.  Now it's not just me.  I'm thankful on my daughter's behalf as well.