Month of May

My Goal this Month in Learning 2 Love & Be Connected:

The time has flown by and again, just like in April, I was unable to update my blog weekly. I had lofty goals for “Learning to Love” in May but the month turned into a goal of “just get our baby well”….

My Experience this Month:

It wasn’t until I had a baby that I came to understand my expanded capacity to love. From the moment I saw the positive pregnancy test to the first ultrasound, felt her first movement and saw her beautiful eyes I was filled with a love that I didn’t know was possible. And I also learned how quickly your life can be totally consumed by the well being of your baby. The entire journey has opened up my heart and mind in ways that I never knew was possible.

Other than Kaylee needing medication to control her acid reflux and projectile vomiting as a newborn, she has not been a baby prone to many illnesses that required antibiotics – we were pretty lucky. Then came the month of May. Kaylee had an on-going fever with a persistent cough and she just wasn’t herself. The first visit to the DR was unsettling because they thought it was just a virus going around. But just 3 days later we were back at the DR with a high fever (104) and now she had bronchitis and an ear infection. Double whammy! 1st round of antibiotics and a week and half of her not breathing well, not eating well and not sleeping unless she slept with Mommy – needless to say – none of us got much sleep. My husband, Tim, and I were taking days off work to stay with her on the high fever days and then after work tried our best to be patient through her fussiness. The days were long and the nights even longer.

After a week of meds, she was feeling better and back on the road to being herself again, hooray. Then just 2 weeks later, she was back to having a fever for a couple days and one night it was 105.1! That was scary for us since she had never been a high fever baby. We called the on call DR and after some Advil we were off to the bathroom for a cool bath – luckily her fever came down quickly. We were back at the DR the next day. They tested her for everything and nothing came up so they sent a urine sample to the lab just to be safe. (A urine test that I had been asking for a couple times at the DR since the odor was so bad for several weeks (even during her battle with bronchitis). Come to find out she had Pseudomonas – a very stubborn bacterial infection in her urine. My Dad contracted this same bacteria during his battle with ALS so I was very familiar with the dangers and challenges in fighting it off.

Chances are if you are a parent in this day and age, as soon your child’s DR tells you something like this, you go on the internet for more answers. I have concluded that the internet is a dangerous place for a worrisome Mom. Everything I was reading just made me worry about her more. Once again, we were back to antibiotics, fevers, not eating, diarrhea, not sleeping – the whole enchilada. We barely had time to recuperate from her last infection and here we were again.

And let me just say…the strain on your job performance and relationship with your spouse during something like this is so unexpected and requires true commitment. When you are getting 3 to 4 hours of sleep at best in 1 hour increments, trying to calm a screaming toddler, trying to function at work and still get all the other “crap” done around the house – losing your sanity surely comes to mind. If you didn’t have any issues with your spouse before…you certainly will when going through something like this. But somehow we made it through and after 10 days of antibiotic hell, she was given the clear – no more infection. Hooray! And after a week of going back to our sleep training techniques – we were finally on the road to getting 6 to 7 hours of sleep again. Hooray!

Our lives for the better part of 6 weeks was all consumed by nurturing Kaylee and trying our best to help her feel better as quickly as possible. It is a terrible feeling to witness your child going through an illness and there is very little you can do to help her besides holding her while she cries, watching Cinderella and Tangled all night long, letting her eat as many crackers as she wants since she wouldn’t eat anything else, telling her the medicine will help it not hurt, kicking  your husband to the couch since she wants to sleep with Mommy and there just isn’t enough room for a stretched out toddler and Daddy in the same bed…I really thought to myself…GEESH…I totally owe my Mother BIG TIME if this is what she put up with when I was a baby. (Yes, Mom…I finally get it).

Although, my goals for the month will have to wait for June…I still had moments where I practiced “love, love, love” – during the wee hours of the morning when I thought Kaylee would never fall asleep and my patience was running thin, I would take a deep breath and remind myself “I am so blessed”, “I love having this time with her to be a Mom and just love her”, “I will eventually get some sleep” and “this too shall pass” – having these thoughts playing in my mind truly helped me get through those long nights and tired days. And even as tired as I was, when she would finally fall asleep, I would still spend precious sleeping time staring at her precious restful face, watching her breath and thinking how lucky I am to be her Mommy!

So, the month of May is behind us and we venture on with a few more notches on our “being parents bedpost” and with a new found gratitude that all is well once again.

~ Hoping you find a way to stay connected ~

Love,

Victoria 🙂

Kaylee watching Sofia the First while Mommy tries to sleep...

Kaylee watching Sofia the First while Mommy tries to sleep…

Our Kaylee girl...looking so grown up and feeling better!
Our Kaylee girl…looking so grown up and feeling better!

 

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Month of April

My Goal this Month in Learning 2 Love & Be Connected:

My goal for week 4/8 actually turned into a month long goal. Learning to lean towards love rather than pull away because of fear or past trauma. No wonder this goal took so long to write about…

My Experience this Month:

Hmmm…the goal for the first week in April actually turned into a month long process and honestly, it is still on going. As I wrote my thoughts and feelings each week, it didn’t seem right to post any weekly updates about my experience when I felt little closure or accomplishment at the end of the week. In addition, each week was difficult to write about because the topic is so personal and hits really close to home. I mean how much closer can you get other than your relationship with your spouse, your partner, your love?

Being through my share of relationships before marriage also means I have been through my share of break-ups. And like many women, I spent my 20’s and early 30’s being single, dating, learning what I wanted, how to handle compromise and how to be “me”. Fortunately, I did most of that learning and growing up in the big city of Denver rather than the small town where I was born and spent my high school years. For obvious reasons, this was a bonus.

I moved back to Napa, CA after spending nine years living in Colorado. My main reason for moving back home was to help my Mom take care of my Father, who by that time was in a scooter and needed constant assistance. Coming back home felt like the right thing not only to be with my Dad more but also because I felt I was finally ready to meet “the one” and have my own family.

Needless to say, I didn’t find my husband until late in life…dare I say how late? By then I was certainly set in my ways and carried the scars of a few bad relationships (as most do I guess). But I always knew I wanted to get married and have a baby. And like most young women I imagined a Prince Charming would show up one day sweep me off my feet, take care of me and we would live happily ever after. What I didn’t know is that marriage isn’t so simple. Marriage is a harder proposition and you have to want it…

My husband, Tim, and I were married in 2009 and started dating in 2006 so this year in July will mark our 4th year anniversary of marriage and 7th year of being together. For both of us, this is the longest relationship we have experienced so far. And to be honest, I don’t think either of us was prepared for the stress, changes, challenges and vulnerability that comes with being married. Now add some left over issues from childhood and previous relationships and things can get a little chaotic.

But one of the great things about marriage is that you have promised to stick it out – to work through the issues – to hang in there and I think that is what makes all the difference. In marriage, the stakes are higher than when you are just dating and the consequences are greater. So it forces you to constantly remind yourself that there is a bigger picture than whatever the issue is at the moment that is causing turmoil or chaos.

I believe every relationship in our lives has a purpose and is designed to help us learn to love and bring us closer to Spirit. Some of the relationships in my life (and not just previous romantic partners) are truly testing me in so many areas and helping me work through several barriers. So for me, during the month of April, the goal that was in my heart of learning to “lean towards love” and not pull away was a huge undertaking. And it also struck me as I was writing this post that this goal also applied to other relationships in my life as well.

My past relationships (and not just romantic), with their heartaches and betrayals, have taught me that when things get tough – the safest bet is to pull away and put up a wall so I don’t get too hurt which doesn’t allow myself to be vulnerable. And perhaps that is hard for everyone at some point in their lives. Being vulnerable is what opens you up to tremendous growth but at the same time will leave you open for pain. This is a delicate balance that maybe everyone has to learn and grow through.

To me, leaning towards love means:

– trying to believe the best rather than expecting worst

– trying to let go of the little things rather than allowing them to fester

– trying to express my needs rather than assume they are known

– trying to be more patient rather than quick to respond/react

– trying to see the issues through the other persons eyes

Honestly, I am not sure how well I have accomplished this goal over the course of the month and I know it will be an on-going lesson for me but being committed to the growth and leaning towards love feels like the best step in the right direction. And every relationship that I hold dear to my heart can only benefit from “my leaning in”.

A therapist once told me; “in your relationship you are always in one of 3 states: Neutral (not good, not bad, just is), Pulling away (not forgiving, not engaging) or leaning in (having compassion, loving and forgiving)”. And if you are pulling away then perhaps look at what stops you from leaning in. There it is…the tough question: What holds you back from leaning towards love? Answer that and you just might be on to something….

~ Hoping  you find a way to stay connected ~

Love,

Victoria  🙂

Me, my squished hubby, Tim, with our daughter Kaylee and my bonus daughter, Jena

Me, my squished hubby, Tim, with our baby daughter Kaylee and my bonus daughter, Jena