Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Family Pictures

Nearly every time we're back in Sac it seems like I'm calling my friend Sara to come take pictures of our family. It's not often that I feel like a super model, but I must admit that I always look at the pictures she takes of me and us and think that I and we are beautiful! I'm so happy with how these turned out, and I'm so excited to have family pictures with our new sweet Coco.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mourning the loss of my fertility with gratitude

I met with my Doctor last week and it's officially official: I'm fixed. Because I was a space cadet during delivery there was a part of me that wasn't sure whether the tubal had actually taken place or was a result of my hallucinogen. But it did, in fact, happen. The factory is closed. My child-bearing days are over. Cora is officially the last little Wig and I have pictures of my fallopian tubes in a test jar to prove it.

If I had written this post during the first couple of days and maybe even the week following my surgery you'd be getting a very different piece than the one I'll probably write today. And isn't that the blessing and curse of our human narrative? If I'd have written this post from the Operating Room you'd also be getting a different piece, but that one won't surprise you since I already wrote about my horrible delivery and my moment of clarity when I realized that I was NEVER going to do this again. If I was writing from the OR you might have also gotten some rainbows and unicorns, but that would definitely have been the drugs talking!

I had THE hardest time deciding if Cora was my last. When I first got pregnant with Coco I had a strong feeling that we were done having babies this way, but as I went through my pregnancy I started to second guess my decision because I really wanted to have more little ones. Because I have c-sections it was more than just whether or not I wanted more, it was whether or not I should have more and if it was safe to have more. I prayed a ton, I consulted all my c-section Mama friends, I scoured internet discussion boards, I had long talks about risks with my doctors and I received a blessing from James but I was still lost. James had the impression that I wouldn't receive my answer until the very moment I needed it and even though I doubted it would happen this way (and the planner in me hated that thought) he was right. In an instant in the OR I knew without a doubt that I would never have another c-section, that God didn't expect it of me, and that I was done having babies. It's been a long while since I felt so much peace and clarity about a decision and boy, doesn't it always feel so good to know that God is looking on your life with approving eyes? That assurance, along with the joyous thought of never having to make that blasted recovery again, carried me through the hospital stay.

But I must admit, the days and weeks following left me feeling such a wide range of emotions that although I logically knew I had done the right thing, I was emotionally convinced I had done the wrong thing. Actually I think all along I knew I had done the right thing, but creating life had become such a large part of my identity these last eight years that my heart and my brain were having a hard time staying on the same page. As is always the case when things don't go exactly how you imagined they would, I needed time to mourn my new reality. Mourning the loss of my fertility was uncomfortable and felt so tangible. The reality that I wouldn't have any more babies was coupled with incredible guilt for not being grateful for what I had been given. Because I've been given SO MUCH!!! I have four of the most beautiful children in the world who love me, test me and teach me daily. Not to mention that after serious concerns for each of their health and safety, they are all thriving and healthy. They are perfect and I started to realize that feeling sad about not having more was in a way admitting that the ones I had were not enough. AND THAT IS NOT TRUE. Guilt is usually not a motivating force, but in this case it was exactly what I needed to help me realize that my decision was correct and our family is complete. Talmage, Everett, Quinn and Cora are the little loves of my life and they fulfill me completely. I am lucky and blessed to be their Mama.

Six weeks out and those same assurances that carried me through the hospital have returned (thank God for that) and through the craziness of life with four little kids I've felt such peace about our forever family of six. And you know what else? Even though the Pregnant Heather and the New-Mom Heather are people of the past, I have a feeling that the many Heather's of the future will feel just as fulfilled, just as inspired and just as happy. And that's something to be grateful for.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The last week.

Honestly just a whole slew of randoms that I really, really love. Hold on tight, here we go: 

It was SO nice reconnecting with Becca and her crew over a Shake Shack and cheese fries. Reconnecting is probably too generous a word since I felt pretty frazzled with Quinn climbing all over the table (and drinking the cheese sauce) and Coco screaming, wanting to be held and then nursing but it was really nice to see them nonetheless. 

The sweetest moment shared between Grandma Winnie and Cora.

We didn't get dressed and I clearly didn't put on make-up but you better believe we got our free slurpees on 7/11.

Quinny and Tysie (our neighbors dog) playing "puppy" together on the floor. She really loves that dog, almost enough that I want to get her one. Too bad that's not happening!!!

These next three pictures make me laugh so hard. Life is really eventful around here lately, as you can see!

How cute is this girl? So naughty and so cute! I say, "Don't jump on the couch" and she gets this smile on her face and starts shaking her head yes and jumping.

I love this easy-going baby so much.

Best biggest brother award for sure.

Happy year-mark to Sister Steed!!!

Saturday bath for Coco with SOOOO many helpers. She's a lucky baby (even though she feels pretty picked on when she's in the tub!)

Her baby piggies are the cutest these days.

Oh Coco, I could eat you for dessert. And how much do you want to kiss those little puckers?

I think we counted at least 4 of her 18 teeth, so that's progress!

Tea party with their homemade muffins and chocolate milk. They loved it!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Just a little taste of Me-Pa Camp

The 1st Annual Me-Pa Camp was a total success. I don't know if my parents were planning on starting a yearly camp when they offered to take my boys for a week so I could ease into my new life with four kids and a corporate lawyer husband, but guys we are doing this every year for the rest of forever!!! I am a little bit jealous of all the fun they had without me (FOMO for sure) but mostly I'm just grateful that they had a blast, I got some rest, and they at least sent me some pictures of their fun. Here's just a brief little taste of what they did. 

^^^Life of Pets on Opening Day with a bag FULL of candy^^^

The girls were in definite need of some Mema and Pepa snuggles after the boys hogged them for a week!

For Father's Day my Dad asked for a double date with each of his kids. When they came down to drop off the boys we decided to take them to Barrel and Ashes, a restaurant they had seen on the Food Network and had wanted to try. Oh my yum guys, it was so good. Almost as amazing as the company, and that's saying something!

Coco was 5th wheeling it, and we didn't mind a bit.

Goodbyes are always so hard, and this one was filled with so many tears. Love those parents of mine. Thanks for Me-Pa Camp and so much more.