Tag Archives: pregnancy

Parenthood 2016

Parenthood 2016

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

The art of raising kids seems to be on my mind a lot lately.

Parenting has never been as simple as a mom & dad happily raising a child, as it appears in the silhouette above.

And I would believe parenthood in 2016, is probably somewhat complex.

There are now so many types of families; single parents, 2 dads, 2 moms… the options, dynamics and circumstances are infinitesimal.

Even though some aspects of parenting remain steadfast… our world has certainly faced a variety of changes which have affected parenting.

 

I do wonder what it’s like to be a parent of young children in 2016

 

Let’s face it, technology is moving so fast… we are living in a very different world from the one (28 years ago😉)  when I started raising my kids.

 

And we have become quite an introspective society.  

 

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the topic of being a parent in today’s world.

 

Lately, I hear so many people saying— “God, I would never want to raise a kid in today’s society!!”

 

In a way, I understand where people who believe that are coming from… for goodness sake, I’m not even so sure that I like raising myself in today’s society.

 

I do believe the opinions people have on parenting are “Generational”.  

 

What I mean by that is… our opinions are formed by what we know… what we have personally experienced.  They even depend upon our personalities, our temperament and outlook on life, but that’s a whole other blog!

 

So, let’s stick to the realization that someone’s opinions are formed by what generation they grew up in and raised their own children in.

 

Therefore, I can see how someone may say raising a child in today’s society would be a daunting task.  Something they would never chose to do, and are downright grateful they won’t have to.

 

Remember the popular saying  “Parenthood is for the young!” ??  This may have been written by a wise old (very tired) parent from a previous generation.

Seriously… who wants to run another marathon, after you’ve just crossed the finish line.  

I bet not too many.  

Yet, all of us absolutely love and adore precious, sweet little babies… and THAT is obviously why God invented “Grandparents”.

 

This all brings me back to my first question:  

How do the people who are facing parenting

in today’s society

feel about raising kids?

 

Since I didn’t perform any formal surveys or scientific research on that question,

I’ll just give you my opinion (based on what I see & hear)… 

It depends on who you ask!

 

1. I think a lot of young adults don’t want to have kids.

 

It’s much more acceptable to say that nowadays, than it was 30 years ago.  

I’ve also heard MANY different reasons why they feel that way…

Some of them are just choosing to have dogs instead of kids.  

They think it’s easier.  

And who knows, they may be right!!

 

Lucky for the human race…

2. Many of them want to have kids.

 

Honestly, it’s never easy to have kids.  

I really can’t think of a time or generation when parenthood was easy, breezy.   

It is always tough to raise a kid.  

Hence, the saying “Parenting is one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever have”!

 

So, what advice/suggestions would I give somebody raising kids in today’s society?

 

Here  are  just  some  Bridges  I  would  suggest  to  make  navigating  Parenthood  a  little  easier

 

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s ALL small stuff?

Actually I believe that is total bullshit!

 

When you’re raising kids… it’s all BIG stuff and you’re going to sweat it… (at least for your first baby)  So, just do your best to get through it.

 

  • Be really, really careful picking your parenting partner!

 Nuff said!

 

  • Work hard to stay on the same page with your parenting partner!

Yes, people are all different… but you have to compromise as much as possible when it comes to parenting styles.  

You MUST (and I rarely use the word “MUST”) have a Cohesive-Parenting-Front, because when these little sweet babies grow up, They. Will. Divide. And. Conquer… with the skill of ancient Samurai warrior.

 

  • Try not to let social media make you feel like a bad parent!

Nowadays people are posting everything from sonogram pictures to first birthday parties. And they ALL LOOK SO GREAT!  

Keep in mind that a picture is sometimes just that…

a snapshot in a second of time

and what goes on before or after that second, may not look SO pretty as the second the picture was taken

  

  • Try to enjoy every minute because it goes so fast?

This is so much easier to say, that than do!   

I remember how upset I used to get when somebody would say that to me

Usually in the grocery store… while sweetly admiring my precious little child, who was smiling innocently and looking irresistibly adorable just sitting there in the grocery cart…

the same child, that had kept me up ALL night screaming and crying with gas.

 

  • Don’t forget to take care of yourself!

To be honest parenting is somewhat of an exhausting, thankless job. There are no medals, no trophies or paychecks to be earned…. no vacation days.

But we do it because we’ve been called to do it… we want to do it and we Love to parent, protect, teach, guide, and nurture our kids.  

And the best way we can take care of those we love, is to first take care of ourselves.

(Again, I’ve always found this much easier said than done!)

 

 

  • Don’t take everyone’s advice (even mine)!

Every situation is different.  Every mom, dad, kid and set of circumstances are different.  So think twice before you buy the latest bestseller book on Parenting, or pick-up the magazine touting the best solution to, getting your newborn to sleep through the night.  

 Simply think of all these influences as “suggestions”, not fact.

♥ 

But there’s one suggestion I think all parents (new & old) should do…

watch the movie Parenthood with Steve Martin.  Even if you don’t learn anything… you’ll get a much needed laugh!!

 

Tell us (in the comments below) some Bridges you’ve used to make parenting a little easier… fun… etc…

 

 

Navigating Through a Miscarriage

Navigating Through a Miscarriage

Welcome Back!

 

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

This post is for those facing the changes and challenges that come with Miscarriage.  If this doesn’t pertain to you, please pass it on to someone it can help.

 

This post illuminates my personal journey Back Home after a miscarriage.  My children are all from my first marriage, and this story begins back then.    Almost 20 years later, it is still hard to revisit the roller-coaster of emotions.

 

When does life start?  When is the life one is carrying considered a “baby” ?

 

The answers to these question differ from person to person.  

 

 For me, it is the minute I find out that I am pregnant.  At that moment, I have already included this precious little soul completely into my life.

 I have embraced its presence as a member of our family… allowing myself to daydream about everything from its first birthday party to all the other lifetime milestones we will share.

 

My Story:

This baby was especially exciting for me.  My husband and I had once shared the desire to have a big family, but after two children, he decided our family was complete.  However, I did not agree.  I felt deep in my heart that our family was not complete, and finally convinced him we were meant to have at least one more child.

It was a sunny autumn day, I was in my second-trimester and we brought the boys to my check-up to hear the baby’s heartbeat.  I was excited to have our sons (ages 3 & 9)  hear the miracle of their tiny sibling’s heartbeat.

The doctor came into the room, and as she put the special speaker stethoscope on my belly, she asked how my pregnancy was going.  I was very proud to tell her it was just perfect!  

I felt great, my “baby-bump” was bigger than expected (she had just measured it at TWO weeks ahead of schedule) and I joked that this baby was probably going to be much bigger than his two brothers were.

The boys were busily chatting with their dad & I waited for the heartbeat “whoosh-whoosh” sound, which I knew would quickly get their attention.  The doctor finally said she was having trouble picking up a heartbeat.  

I confidently replied, “You will.  It’s there… just move the stethoscope around a little.”  But, to my bewilderment, she put the stethoscope away while mentioning something about fetal movement.  She said even though everything was probably fine, she was ordering an Ultrasound just to make sure.

I didn’t know what to think.  I was convinced if she had just tried to find the baby’s heartbeat a little longer, we’d hear it loud & clear.                                                                                                                                                    Instead, we were getting a sitter to stay with the boys and heading to an Ultrasound appointment.

At this point, I wasn’t one bit concerned for the baby.  This pregnancy had proven to be my easiest one yet.  Other than being tired in the beginning months, I had quickly regained my energy and was feeling healthy and strong.  

I was actually excited to get a “peek” at our little one and was hoping to bring home a new, updated sonogram photo to show the boys and put up on our refrigerator next to the first one.  

 

That photo (seen above) was taken at the very beginning of my pregnancy & the baby was just a tiny shadow.  But, by now the baby would be so much bigger & we might be lucky enough to even find out if it was a boy or girl.

And then the bough broke.  The Ultrasound technician said there was No heartbeat.

My baby was Not alive and a part of me died right there and then as well.

That is when the roller coaster started the climb up the first hill.

Shock was the first emotion I felt… quickly followed by denial.  This could Not be true!  This baby IS healthy and strong!  I would have KNOWN if something was wrong!  

It made NO sense.  The baby had to be alive!  How could I have not known the exact moment that my baby had died right inside me???

Then guilt rushed in.  What did I do wrong?  Didn’t I eat right, rest enough, exercise enough, pray enough?  Why did God let this happen?  Why wasn’t our family meant to have this precious baby?  What did we do wrong?  What did I do wrong?

Then deep, deep sadness.

My parents came into town to help with the boys during this time.  There were a couple days I was pretty out of it.  I cried a lot, especially in the shower when my body was still obviously pregnant, but my mind had to accept that I wasn’t….that my baby was gone.  And the truth is… it was going to take time for my body and mind to accept and adjust.

It was going to take time to get Back  Home.

And I had no idea how to find the Bridges to help me get there.

The good news was the boys really didn’t understand the depth of our loss and I was grateful, they we’re able to move on quickly.  

The bad news was my husband didn’t share my beliefs or emotions and he moved on immediately.  He insisted it was just a miscarriage and was happy we didn’t lose an actual baby.  He didn’t understand why I was making “such a big deal” out of it.

I tried to find strength and solace by forcing myself to live in the moment with my sweet fun-loving boys.  But, without the emotional support from my husband, I felt truly alone in mourning the loss of my sweet baby.

So, the first Bridge I searched for was the support and wisdom from those who had endured similar loss.  It was way before Google, so I started by opening up the phone book and making some phone calls.

I learned a lot from others.  

They shared ideas & told me the things they did to help themselves deal with their loss.  I took their advice… did a lot of the same things and was slowly finding my way Back  Home.

I started a journal, planted a tree, designed a piece of jewelry to wear and filled a memory box… all in memory of my baby.  

As I was writing this blog I decided to get that memory box out of storage and I opened it today for the first time in almost 20 years.

I also created a sweet card to thank those who were supportive.  Even though there was no longer a baby, I wanted them to have this card in the baby’s memory.  

 

The card included a little butterfly and a quote that gave me tremendous peace in my sadness.  The vision of imagining the baby I lost up in heaven (as a beautiful sweet butterfly) brought me great comfort.   

 

 

Everybody says the best remedy for loss is time and I will agree with that.  It took me a long time…

Six months after the miscarriage, my husband made an appointment for a vasectomy and I was devastated. I had always felt in my heart there was another soul… another baby we were meant to include in our family.  So, I brought up the topic of adoption, to which my husband immediately vetoed.  

It was about a week before the vasectomy appointment, when I got our miracle.  I was pregnant.  And after 9 long months of continuing that roller-coaster ride of joy and worry… I gave birth to a precious, beautiful, healthy and happy baby girl.  And the moment they put her in my arms I noticed a faint birthmark on her cheek in the shape of a butterfly.  

I believe our baby’s soul up in heaven had kissed her cheek, before she was sent to us…

to let us know

everything was going to be OK

and we were finally all  Back  Home.   

 

 

Do you have any suggestions to help others navigate through a miscarriage?

Please share below in the comment section.

Here are some helpful links to copy/paste into a browser

that may help those who are navigating a miscarriage find their

Bridges Back Home 

http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-loss/miscarriage-surviving-emotionally/

http://www.empowher.com/miscarriage/content/i-will-survive-life-after-miscarriage

http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/information/leaflets/links/