Tag Archives: Bullet

Mother’s Day 2014

The year 2014 marks the third year that Zeb and I have celebrated Mother’s Day, with Me in the starring role of Mother. The year 2014 marks the first year that we’ve had the proof of our parenthood present and accounted for.

In 2012, we were eagerly anticipating the arrival of Baby Dub, aka Hudson Ruth.

In 2013, we were mourning the loss of her, and I was struggling with the awkward quandary of being a mother without a child to be a mother to.

And then, today.

The only Walter getting breakfast in bed was Anson.
Nobody slept in.
Everybody is blissfully happy.

I have found myself thinking often of what an awesome world we would live in if we had 22 month old Hudson today as well as 3 month old Anson. These two would have made a dynamic duo of trouble-making. Hudson would have been inquisitive, unhelpful-by-trying-to-be-helpful, loving, gentle and wonderful in her role as Big Sis. Anson would have doted on this Other Woman in his life, and would have grown up to be as protective of her as her father would have been. The world of Anson-PLUS-Hudson would have been paradise.

Who knows if I would have known how good we had it. Who knows if I would have taken this gift for granted. I’d like to think I would have cherished every day with the same fervor that I try to now.

We have much to cherish.

Tickles and giggles with Uncle B and cousin C

Tickles and giggles with Uncle B and cousin C

Future best friends.

Future best friends.

Couple-a dudes sitting on the couch

Couple-a dudes sitting on the couch

That juicy smile!

That juicy smile!

That's the Dub in him coming out!

That’s the Dub in him coming out!

A precious keepsake of Anson's first Mother's Day

A precious keepsake of Anson’s first Mother’s Day

 

 

 

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1 Month of Magic

Anson is 1 month old today.

I celebrated by taking a zillion pictures of him in a custom-made onesie. Enjoy.

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The 11th

In the year following Hudson’s birth and death, I wrote something each month on the 11th, to mark the milestones we should have been celebrating with our growing little girl.

And then, we were pregnant with Anson, and Hudson’s first birthday was spent contemplating all we were missing but also celebrating her brief existence and the coming arrival of her baby brother. And with the passing of July 11, 2013, the 11th started to sting less.

Sometimes the 11th of the month comes, and my mom texts me to let me know she’s thinking of us and of the joy our little girl would have brought us, and I’m surprised that it’s the 11th.

^^That actually happened today.^^

This weekend a dear friend came to visit and meet Anson. Amidst the questions about nighttime feedings and diaper changes and who does Anson look more like, she asked me how I was doing emotionally.

Another friend whose first child was stillborn shared with me that some of her most emotional moments over the loss of her daughter came years later, when she was caring for her infant son.

I won’t pretend that I haven’t had countless thoughts of our beautiful girl since the birth of our son. But I’m so filled with joy over the little guy that I don’t have a lot of room for sadness over the missed moments with Hudson. If anything, all these moments are made more beautiful knowing how precious they are, how much we would have given to experience them with Hudson.

Back to my friend’s question: How are you doing emotionally?

I’m happy.

Let me be clear, Anson’s arrival doesn’t fix Hudson’s far-too-early departure from our lives. Hudson’s life is its own beautiful part of our story, just as Anson’s life is a new and wonderful chapter, and he is his own unique person. We experience Anson’s life more fully because of his big sister, but I want to be careful not to tie the two too closely to each other. My hope for Anson is that he always knows how much he is wanted, how much he is loved, in his own right and not just because his big sister died.

So today,  the 11th, gets to be the day that Anson spit up on 3 outfits and went through 3 diapers in an hour.

It also gets to be the day his big sister Hudson would have been 20 months old.

This life doesn’t give us only beautiful experiences. It’s up to us to find the beauty in all of life’s experiences.

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Mommy & Daddy & Anson

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Mommy & Daddy & Hudson

 

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Wonderful

Sometime I will have the energy and motivation to share more than this, but for now, my days are filled with this.

Introducing Anson Joseph.

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And life could not be more wonderful.

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The day after the day after tomorrow

This is the way we think now.

It’s the 10th of February, which means tomorrow is the 11th of February and tomorrow, our daughter would have been 19 months old. And I bet she would have been excited about meeting her baby brother.

With her, this adventure would have been so different. Our yearning for a second child would be different, certainly. But our anticipation, the excitement of possibly completing our family, the boy-girl duo that would most certainly have been best friends and trouble makers for life… well, all that would have been awfully different if Hudson’s life hadn’t been so tragically short.

But without her, this adventure has been just that – an adventure. Not better or worse, but its own special thing. Bullet’s arrival the day after the day after tomorrow is an important event, regardless of his sister’s legacy. You might say we wanted him more because his sister left so soon, and you might say we’ve better appreciated this pregnancy because we know how tragically a pregnancy can end, but bottom line:

Bullet gets his own fanfare.

With just 2 full days left to face before his arrival, I have so many competing emotions that it is physically depleting. Or maybe that’s just 38 weeks and change of pregnancy making me so exhausted.

The day after the day after tomorrow, we will meet our son and begin getting to know him all over again, his life outside of the womb so much different than the life inside. We’ll see who he looks like. We’ll discover his quirks, and see first hand the expressions that accompany his vigorous movements. We’ll be aware of his presence in such a different way – kicks and squirms inside of me becoming cries and gurgles on the outside.

We’ll raise him to be the best of both of us, and we’ll celebrate him in ways big and small over the course of his lifetime. We’ll see new sides of each other – and we’ll fall in love with all these aspects of each other just as we’ve fallen in love over and over again in the time since we’ve known each other.

The adventure doesn’t stop at arrival, I know. There will be a day that I feel guilty for wanting to a break from Bullet. There will be tears of frustration and tears of joy and probably a few barn-burner fights between the Hubs and I. It won’t be all sunshine and roses and kittens. There will be poop.

Lots and lots of poop.

But the day after the day after tomorrow, “Life as we Know It” gives way to “Life as it Will Be with Bullet”, and I cannot wait for that life to begin.

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3, 2, 1… FUN!

Tomorrow marks 3 days to Bullet’s arrival. This is our last weekend of freedom, right?

We have wanted this for so long that it seems silly to talk about being child-free as anything close to “freedom”.

Every morning I wake up and I say to my husband, “Only XX more days!” or more recently, “This is our last Sunday without our baby!” to which the Hubs will respond “Basically only X more days” because of course today doesn’t count, it’s practically over.

This was our last weekend before Bullet, though, and there was (and is) much to do.

I packed my fabulous new Kate Spade diaper bag (thanks Hubby) with Baby’s necessities – a few outfits, socks, pjs, hats, those little gloves that protect them from clawing their faces.

I did one last load of baby laundry.

I did one last load of grown up laundry (way less cute).

We made an epic meal for Shiz Family Night and had my siblings over for dinner.

We got car seats installed in both of our vehicles.

We celebrated my niece’s 11th birthday.

I made whole wheat chocolate chip cookies.

We did one last trip to the grocery store, careful not to stock up on too many perishables.

And the highlight of my last weekend of baby-free-ness was a snowy maternity shoot with the lovely and talented Melissa McFadden. You may recall her excellent work from our first pregnancy, when she captured our eager anticipation of Baby Dub aka Big Sister Hudson in the glorious summer sunshine at Rooks Park. We’ve had almost a foot of snow in the past three days, so the boots we sported for this photoshoot were of the waterproof variety. But the fun was the same. The fun was soooo fun.

So much is the same as we face the last days before baby’s arrival. We are so excited to meet our son that we can hardly handle the tedium of these last child-free days. But we are a little more patient, too.

Only a little bit more patient though.

I do say, at least once a day, directed at my belly, “Come on out, baby!”

In 3, 2, 1…

 

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Hiccups

This is a new phenomenon, folks. From time to time, I’ll notice that Bullet has a wicked case of the hiccups.

It’s not a new phenomenon as far as the pregnancies of the masses are concerned, but this is new for me. Hudson never had the hiccups – or if she did have them, it was early and before I could really tell what was going on in there.

Bullet, on the other hand, gets them at least a few times a week. And they are hilarious.

You can tell he’s not a fan of the hiccups. Rhythmic nudges in my belly signal that the bout has begun. Then Bullet will adjust his position, trying to allay himself of the discomfort. There is a break in the rhythm, like maybe he’s beaten them. He settles down. Then BAM. Hiccup.

I wonder if I can scare the hiccups out of him, but how are you supposed to scare a baby en utero? An enthusiastic “BOO!” doesn’t seem to do the trick, I feel weird about shoving at him, and there isn’t much I can introduce to his environment in the way of a surprise. Maybe I can jump in the air?

I should not be so amused by what is clearly a discomfort for my unborn son, but I just love any little development that gives me a sneak peek at his personality. He is clearly a man who enjoys his comforts and is irritated by interruptions to his peace and quiet. He takes after his father in this regard.

This pregnancy has been so similar to my pregnancy with Hudson that I’ve been really latching on to any differences I can identify. The disdain for cheese early on. The more aggressive movements (especially directed at my internal organs). And now, the hiccups.

As we enter the realm of the “single digits to Bullet” countdown, I’m certainly not taking for granted these bonding moments with my son. But I really can’t wait to see his facial expression the first time he’s fighting a case of the hiccups outside of me.

I’ll try to scare the hiccups out of him then.

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As the countdown enters the teens…

We have 18 days until Bullet is set to arrive on the scene. For the first time in this pregnancy, thinking to the big day, February 13, makes me think “Man, that’s coming up soon!”

I still have a lot to do!

A baby room to finish up. A house to clean. A bag to pack. A car seat to install. A book to publish.

We are READY in many ways. I mean, if my water broke today, we’d have all the necessities to bring Bullet home – a crib and diapers are the only real necessities, right? At 36 weeks pregnant and some change, Bullet’s parts should be pretty well in place and developed, though he might need a little extra monitoring and he might be a little bit skinny if he came today. The hiring of a house-cleaner last year has me feeling okay about the state of the domicile, though I’d like to have things a little more organized before the big arrival.

And then there’s the READY that I am emotionally. I cannot wait to meet this guy. I can’t wait to hold him, to see his first smiles, to hear his cries and giggles and coos and gurgles. I eagerly anticipate the perfect perspective that life gives you when the most important Thing in the world is your child. I’m ready for all of that.

Towards the end of our pregnancy with Hudson, we started getting asked “Are you ready to be done?” And of course, the answer at the time was “Yes and No.” I felt like pregnancy was mastered, and parenting a newborn was unknown, so how could I be READY?

This time is different. I am ready to be done, people. I’m big, I’m tired, I’m uncomfortable. But I am so in love with this little man that it seems trivial to complain. I just want to get my hands on the Bullet.

There are bad days when I cheer myself up by imagining the moment I meet Bullet for the first time, when they place my bleary eyed, blinking, disoriented newborn on my chest. I get clenched up thinking about it.

And it’s going to happen in 18 days.

Ready or not.

 

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This just happened

Every 5 weeks or so, I update the white erase calendar in my kitchen. And today, This happened.

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Our little man will be born in a mere 25 days. Not that anybody’s keeping track!

As we head into the home stretch, there are so many things to look forward to in the coming days. As you can see!

A hair cut and color in a few days. A couple of doctor’s appointments. A tailgate themed baby shower being put on my sweet sister the night before the Super Bowl.

And don’t let me fail to mention that my Seattle Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl. Say WHA?!

Me and my current favorite Seahawks fan, my nephew C!

Me and my current favorite Seahawks fan, my nephew C!

It’s been a wonderful day. There are 25 wonderful days until we get to meet our guy. And that will be the most wonderful day of all.

 

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Strong

When Hudson was growing inside of me, we described her as strong. Strong heartbeat at those doctor’s appointments, strong kicks and movements, strong personality without even seeing her yet.

When Hudson was fighting for her life at the NICU in Spokane, she fought strong. She held on for three days, gave us hope, made us a family. She was the strongest person to ever weigh in at just 7 lb. 14 oz.

When Hudson died, and we began our life without her, other people described us as strong. You’d be amazed at how strong you are when you have no choice but to be strong.

The Hubs and my love for each other is strong… was strong and grew stronger in the time we had to cope with after the loss of our beautiful, strong daughter. I saw the very best in my husband when I watched him love Hudson. He is the strongest man I know.

In the After Hudson, I worked on making my body strong. I wanted to be ready for the next child, for Baby Dub Dos, who would later be known as Bullet.

And we all know that Bullet is strong. He’s a little, growing, constantly in action He-Man, astonishing me sometimes with the strength of his movements. And just like big sis, he’s got a strong personality.

I am so grateful for the many displays of super-human strength I’ve been privileged to witness in my life. I am grateful for the strength of our son as he fattens up through the last weeks of this pregnancy. I am grateful for a strong spouse who can bench press over 200 pounds and comfort his crying wife. I am grateful for a strong bond to family, for strong friendships, and for strong legs to lug my expanding self up and down flights of stairs without needing to take a break.

Strength. A desired trait, whether it’s increased physical strength, strength of will, emotional strength. We get stronger with training, with practice. We become stronger through the trials we face in life. We draw strength from the people around us, and we become a stronger couple, a stronger family, and a stronger community when we come together to face life.

And I cannot wait to see how we come together and become stronger with the arrival of Bullet in February.

 

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