Feb 10, 2015

Happy Birthday Elliot!

 It was so hard to choose my favorite photos of this birthday boy so here is way to0 many, but it is his birthday after all!  Happy birthday to my sweet Elliot Dasher.  I started with your first photo and ended with one I just took today on your first birthday.  Here is a little message I wrote to you as you were sleeping in my arms this morning.

 "one year ago our world was changed forever. elliot dasher compton was born in the early morning and he was so perfect and so so sweet. I still remember the first moments of skin to skin and the incredible bond I felt. I remember his amazing baby scent and long sleepy yawns. It was hard for me to even put him down the first couple of weeks! he loves to be carried, he loves to laugh, he loves attention, and he loves pop music. rambunctious is the perfect word to describe him! he will swipe a piece of food out of your hand and into his mouth before you can blink! he is wild, loud, fearless and determined. when I was praying and praying for another little boy to be a mama too, he was the answer to my prayer. so sleep as long as you want, I will keep running my hands through your soft hair and reflecting on all we have been through this year together, and feeling the weight of my love for you, and how I can be better for you. happy first birthday baby boy.”

This weekend we will be celebrating with family at a party at our home.  It will include his favorite things, top 40 songs, sweet potatoes, and all of his favorite folks.  I can’t wait to see him dive into his smash cake!
My mom has been sending me little video clips today from this day last year.  Me and Cameron as they are doing the surgery, where I am just smiling away, and of them cleaning Elliot and clearing out his airways in his first moments out of the womb.  They were such sweet moments to watch.  I just can’t believe it has already been a year.  This boy has certainly kept me busy and has filled my days than more cuddles and snuggles to last me a lifetime!  

Be looking out for pictures from his party soon to come! :) Its going to be simple and sweet, and all about this cute kid, Elliot Dasher.  


 This weekend Kate came to stay with us.  She arrived Friday after we celebrated Lilly’s 12th birthday party, and helped Cohen and Cameron make a new YouTube video.  The next morning we snuggled with the boys and enjoyed strawberry portraits before we started to get ready for the day.  The thing I miss about living in the same house is my sister is you have a companion to get ready with.  Getting ready becomes an event on its own in which music is playing, gossip is swapped, secrets are shared, and advice is given.  I love making new memories with my sister, and sometimes, that is all it takes!  However, the day had much more in store for us.  We took her to downtown Gadsden and stumbled upon a chili cook off, and spent the day walking around in the 60* degree sunshine and trying all of the chilies. We browsed record stores, antique stores, and of course the superhero collectible store for Cohen and Cam.  Cam and I took turns carrying Elliot and he enjoyed being outside so much.  We had Frios gourmet popsicles and Elliot loved the banana pudding flavor!  Katelyn made a lot of new friends around town, (she floats around like a butterfly charming everyone in her path).

That night we took Cohen and Elliot to the Airwalk in Birmingham for little Zillie’s 3  year old birthday.  Cohen braved the trampolines for just a minute but was more excited about jumping in the foam pit.  I was having the time of my life jumping around with Cameron before we both broke ourselves, he hurt his back doing triple back flip slam dunks, I almost sprayed my ankle just jumping over a mat.  We were sore for days after!

Any weekend that involves my family and new memories is a success in my book!

Feb 9, 2015

Two Loud Voices (and not who you think)

 I wanted to write about a strange internal struggle I have been having lately.  It’s no big deal, I just find it odd how I can want two different things at the exact same time.  It’s just a strange feeling, and I thought it was worth exploring.  I’ve been at war with myself lately.  My mind and my body have both informed my soul of what they think is best for me.  I yearn for another baby, yet I am not ready to have another baby for a while, in fact I am kind of terrified.  Both scenarios make me feel selfish.  It is just the strangest thing! Here is why it is not that easy of a decision for me.

I suffer from hyperemesis during my pregnancies, and before I go on I will explain what that is.  So there is morning sickness and occasional nausea associated with pregnancy especially during the first trimester.  Most women that I know might have a nauseated month or might not ever get sick at all.  It is normal to feel nauseated during the first few months of pregnancies usually in the morning time.  But some women, like me, experience something a bit more life altering.  I first heard the term hyperemesis when I was laying in the hospital bed having my shriveled veins being pumped with fluids.  But let me rewind before I go on.

The morning of the day I found out I was pregnant with my first baby was normal in that I woke up with a craving for pancakes.  As I took the last delicious bite, it all came back up.  Instant nausea had set in and after the worst was over and I picked myself off the bathroom floor, I washed out my mouth and then looked up into the mirror and smiled.  I just knew I was pregnant.   I took a test and I was.  So that is what I thought was normal. Find out you are pregnant, throw up in the morning a few times and then go about being a glowy radiant baby bump bearing mommy to be.  I had NO idea what was in store for me.

I began throwing up more and more, and in a month, the person i had been was barely there.  I didn’t have a job at the time but if I had had one, I would have been forced to quit.  I couldn’t hold anything down.  I survived on graham crackers and blue Gatorade and I couldn’t even hold that down.  Cameron would come home from work and I would be laying on the floor in our apartment, crying and weak.  I kept bags by my bed because I became to weak to get up every 20 minutes to throw up.  By month two I felt like I couldn’t even remember who I was anymore.  I would scream and cry and wish to not be pregnant anymore.  The nausea was not subsiding day by day and I couldn’t imagine living like that for much longer.  I felt so guilty for my feelings, but overtime I threw up, for the 50th time in one day, and trying to cope with that yucky car sick nausea every second, I wished to not be pregnant anymore.  I felt alone because no one that I knew had experienced what I was going through.  I thought they just thought I was weak, whiny, or over exaggerating.  I didn’t know I had a condition that was different then regular morning sickness.

So back to wear I started,  laying in a hospital and getting the hydration my body so desperately needed.  I heard my sister tell someone over the phone that I had hyperemesis.  Here is the definition I found.

It is "a complication of pregnancy characterized by intractable nausea, vomiting, and dehydration and is estimated to affect 0.5–2.0% of pregnant women.[1][2]Malnutrition and other serious complications, such as fluid or electrolyte imbalances, may result.Hyperemesis is considered a rare complication of pregnancy, but because nausea and vomiting during pregnancy exist on a spectrum, it is often difficult to distinguish this condition from the more common form of nausea and vomiting experienced during pregnancy known as morning sickness.”

"When hyperemesis gravidarum is severe or inadequately treated, it may result in the following:[1]

The doctor gave me a better drug to help with my nausea, and after I was hydrated I was set on my way.  Along with my new medicine I came up with a better system to manage my enausea.  I kept graham crackers by the bed and ate a couple as soon as my eyes opened in the morning. (Cameron had to deal with a lot of crumbs in the sheets).  I moved slowly and took my meds religiously, being careful to not let it get out of control again.  I began only throwing up a few times a day, then maybe it would just be once a day.  By the time I was starting to show, around 20 weeks, I was able to start living again.  I still dealt with nausea and a case of throwing up everyday, but it subsided enough that I could actually start to be excited for my first pregnancy.

I was nervous to get pregnant with my second baby because I knew I would probably be very sick again, and it would be hard to take care of a toddler while throwing up every minute of the first three months.  Eventually I did get pregnant with Elliot and as soon as the nausea hit I took my cocktail of pills to ease it.  A few times I just couldn’t get it under control in time and I think I was only admitted to the hospital once for fluids.  There were days when our parents would watch Cohen all day while I was in bed sick, and I started to feel guilty again for being pregnant and being unable to take care of my son the way I should.

Hyperemesis is kind of lonely because no one understands the despair that months and months of straight nausea can cause.  I worried that if I complained that others would think “why is she complaining when she wanted to get pregnant so bad, she did this to herself haha) I know that mind sound crazy but its true.  Nobody wants to whine to their loved ones for months and months about how they are nauseous, because it doesn’t sound as bad as it actually is.  Its just so hard to explain.  Thankfully, I had amazing support the second time around and everything worked out really great in the end.  I was never so thankful or close by family in my life.  If I ever got pregnant and we lived in another state, I would have to move back in/near family for help, its that extreme!  I can’t get over how dismissive it sounds, nausea.  But consistent, persistent, insisting, every second of the day for weeks and weeks nausea, or hyperemesis, terribly effects a person mentally and physically.

The war I have going on with myself is that half of my heart, wants to have another baby, already.  The other half, does not.  It wants to spend the spring and summer with my boys healthy and happy, energetic and attention giving.  Soaking up every minute of  with them, with these moments that I will never get back.  It’s hard for others to understand because I spend my pregnancies so much more debilitated than others, and I can’t give my boys the attention and love, and time that is so important to me.  I know I would be depressed if I missed out on precious moments for months of their lives because I was sick again.  I will be ready to do that one day, but as for now I am not.  If I could do it all, I would.

I feel selfish for wanting more babies, because of the neglect it will cause the two I already have.  I become a burden on those I love, and feel ashamed that I need to ask for so much help, for a situation I put myself in!  I also feel selfish for NOT wanting more babies, because my oldest boy is already wanting a sister and I know I am supposed to have more, I can feel it.  Cameron feels hesitant because he knows how stressful pregnancies can be on me, because he is the  one who has to hear about my sickness everyday, the one who has to take up the slack when I can’t do a thing.  He also feels so helpless when I am so sick.

As women we suffer many different hardships that go along with something we want so badly, a baby.  Some women struggle to get pregnant, and that alone is so hard.  But then if they get pregnant they might suffer from preclampsia or postpartum depression and feel ashamed to talk about how it makes them feel, because they so desperately wanted the experience of having a baby.  I guess I always felt weird about complaining about something I so desperately wanted, but not talking about it can make you feel very isolated.  Trying to look like you have it together when you don’t can make you feel lonely.

It is true that when the baby came, in my case, I felt happy, better, free from my nausea prison.  I could deal with c-section pains all day as long as I didn’t have to feel nauseated anymore.  Soon in time, it’s clear that all the bad that you went through is worth it.  It is worth it, its just more of a rocky journey for some of us.

So there you have it.  I have two equally loud voices demanding two different things. “HAVE A BABY NOW!” and “YOU CAN NOT DEAL WITH BEING DEBILITATED RIGHT NOW, YOU HAVE TWO KIDS YOU CRAZY.”

And as for now I am listening to the latter.