Saturday, July 27, 2013

Heavy heart.

In the past week, I have heard of TWO young daddies who have passed away from stage 4 cancer. Healthy, young, vibrant lives, ripped from earth by this evil monster. Both were Christian men, both are in heaven with their creator, no more suffering, no more pain. In this, there is peace. However, my heart aches for the wives and babies they are leaving behind. 

When I imagine myself in this situation, I am racked with fear. Would I have what it takes to get through it? Would I be smart enough or strong enough to get through one day, one week, one lifetime without my husband? Would I hold on to Jesus or would I back away from Him in anger? I know the answer- God would see me through. He would not forsake me. However, there is the voice in the back of my head that implores with God, "Please, don't allow me to go through that. Please, not me." I know these wives prayed the same prayer. Which is even more terrifying to me. 

I am brought to my knees by the graciousness of God. Fully aware that earth is fallen, and life here will always be messy, until Jesus comes back. People ask, "Why would God allow such suffering to good people." I don't struggle with that. I know that suffering here is a result of man's sin. The goodness of God is through imputed righteousness and eternal life. We are not guaranteed health and happiness here on earth. I KNOW THAT. Yet, I still beg God not to give me scary circumstances, to not make me suffer. I am certainly NOT with Paul as he says, "For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him." (Philippians 1:29 NLT) I guess the best I can do is acknowledge that I am not in control and be thankful for what I have been given, for every good thing is a gift. I will hold my little family close to me and cherish them, holding them with open hands, knowing that it is all temporary. Whatever happens, I WILL emerge, I WILL survive, because of Him and His grace. I don't deserve any of this. ANY of it. Thank you, Jesus. 

"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again." (Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 NLT)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Getting strong(er)

Well, I've been truly "back at it" for about 3 weeks now. It's been really hard. I'm actually not in that bad of shape, all things considered, BUT my mind is way ahead of where my body is. I KNEW it was not going to be like I was immediately going to bounce back to where I was pre-pregnancy but it is hard to convince yourself of this. Or maybe it is just hard admitting that you aren't the same person or body you were then. 

It's funny, when I first started Crossfit, it was all about getting my mind to push my body harder. Now, my mind is much tougher but my body isn't there. And I really need to respect my body and all it has gone through rather than run it into the ground. It is a fine line deciding how hard I should push to improve fitness, but still respect the post-natal healing process. 

And eating is hard. I'm just really hungry. And I'm super scared of eating too little calories and affecting my milk supply. And honestly, alot of paleo meals are not as easy and when you have a sleeping infant (aka ticking time bomb) sometimes you gotta eat just to get calories because it may not happen otherwise. But we are sloooowly getting much better. I found some nitrate free deli meat and I can almost always make a great lunch of that, half a LARGE avocado and a big serving of fruit. We make breakfast at night (eggs mixed with potatoes, sausage, or bacon) so I can easily heat it up in the morning. Dinner I can usually manage to cook. The slow cooker is my friend. Usually slow cooker or grilled meat, either sautéed greens or a salad, and roasted veggies. Easy peasy. 

This post by Lisa Thiel (crazy amazing crossfit athlete and coach who recently had a baby) has helped my mindset. Basically she says you have to rid your thinking about getting back to the old you and embrace your new self, and look at each day as a PR.  Here's to the new me!!

Birth story

Little did I know that when I posted on WEDNESDAY, I would be going into labor just two days later! 

Olivia's birth was the most intense, powerful, utterly human, experience I've ever had in my life. I am SO THANKFUL for a safe, relatively complication-free childbirth. 

Let me just say, although we chose to have a natural childbirth, I have no judgement towards different birth experiences. Every person is different, every birth is different, and I am well aware that under different circumstances, our story could look a whole lot different. Childbearing and childbirth is this wonderful thing that MAKES US WOMEN. No matter how your children entered the world, we as women are all connected by this truly human quality. 

The one thing that really resonated in the process of our childbirth education was the importance of taking charge of your birth experience. KNOW YOUR OPTIONS. Even in the most dire of circumstances, we have CHOICES! No matter which path you choose, or what complications arise, you can still have a meaningful birth experience without feeling like you had no say in the matter. When educating yourself on your options, I highly recommend the following resources: the books, Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way and The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, and the documentary, The Business of Being Born. 

So, Olivia's birth-since this is a public blog, this will be the less explicit version. Ask me in person if you want to know some more of the gory details ;)

I had been having pretty serious practice contractions all week. I went to the dr at 4:30 on Thursday (3/28). No change from the week before. In my mind, I thought for sure we at least had the weekend. I cooked dinner Thursday night, did some laundry, all the normal stuff. Went to bed around 10 and at 2:30am woke up to use the restroom and felt vaguely cramp-y. These "cramps" felt very different than my Braxton Hicks. I tried to stay in bed and let Tommy and I sleep a bit more. I wasn't successful at falling back asleep but I stayed in bed until around 5am. Tommy and I had a conversation in which he said he was going into work for a little while to which I promptly responded, "no you are not". So I think that gave him the hint that this might be the real deal. I labored around the house for a while, timing contractions. I anticipated having to do this most of the day. However, by 9 am, we were in the car going to the hospital. 

When I got to the hospital, my first exam indicated 4cm dilated which meant I had done quite a bit of work at home. Things were progressing, now I just had to finish! 

Contractions were very painful, not going to lie. I got tired pretty quickly because my contractions were very long in duration with very little break in between.  I definitely couldn't have lasted without my wonderful coach-my husband. He said everything I needed to hear to keep my head on and push through. By the time I got to 7cm I was exhausted and at the hardest point of labor. Tommy was exhausted too! The best way for me to work through the contractions was on my feet, walking, swaying, or squatting. My sweet hubs physically supported me, holding me up with my arms around his neck THE. WHOLE. TIME. It was around this time that I started to really doubt myself and wanted to give up. Tommy's words of affirmation helped me to hang on! Eventually, I got through those feelings and moved to "go mode"- I was ready to get this job done! 

At 7cm, my water had not broken which was stalling things out a little. The Dr mentioned the option of having her break my water. We chose to give it another hour and check back. 

At 8cm, the dr asked again if I would like to consider to have her break the bag of waters. Since I was having pushing urges and baby was so low she felt that once the waters were broken, we would move to pushing very quickly. At this point (4pm) I was exhausted. Though I had snacked some throughout I really wasn't able to get good calories in with so few breaks in labor. So, we decided to go ahead and have her break the water. This was around 4pm. At 4:30pm, it was time to push. Pushed for 30 min- she showed up at 4:59pm! She was perfect and I got to pull her straight up on my chest! 

All of her tests were great and her jaundice levels were really low. All the nurses kept commenting on how alert she was. She caught on to nursing like a champ. I was pretty good too, excepting some low blood pressure due to blood loss. Nothing a few bags of IV fluid couldn't fix. 

She was born on Good Friday and we went home Easter Sunday. Her popi and Lita (my parents), Grammy and Papa Byrd (his name is still TBD), uncle Greg, aunt Jen, and cousin Austin, Uncle Allen, and Aunt Allison were all there to welcome her to the world. 

So blessed! 


Olivia Rae Byrd
3/29/13, 4:59am
6lbs 10oz, 18.5 in long 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

12 weeks

I did this great 10 week post with pictures and was just waiting to add her height/weight stats. I come back and the draft is GONE. :( I'm sad because I wrote some really fun things too. 

Well, at TWELVE weeks this is Miss Olivia Rae:

Current stats: at 2 month check up you were 21.25 in tall (8th percentile), 9 lbs 3 oz (9th percentile). You are a petite little thing!

-Her personality is all girl. Very emotional, either very UP or very DOWN. It's funny because sometimes just fixing the problem (diaper, hunger, hot, etc) doesn't calm her down. Sometimes she just really needs to be comforted through it. Like I said, ALL GIRL. I kinda love her for that though.

-Loves to "talk" and interact. She smiles and has laughed a few times. Daddy got the first smile and first laugh so that was pretty special.

-Sleeps GREAT. We put her in her room on her 12 week birthday and it was a pretty seamless transition. She is about 1/2 and 1/2 on sleeping all night (8 or 9ish to 6 or 7ish) and needing one nighttime nursing (somewhere between 3 and 5). No complaints on sleep for these parents. 

-Usually naps about 3 times a day. A short 30-45 min nap (usually at the gym with me), a long 1-2 hour midday nap, and another short nap around 5 or 6. 

-Loves trees and being outside BUT hates being hot. 

-Loves her daddy so much! She smiles as soon as he walks in the door. 

-She definitely tracks with her eyes, knows who mom and dad are, can grasp stuff (by accident though not grabbing on  purpose), and loves to stand up. She is tolerating tummy time more and more. Still not her favorite. 

-We are FINALLY fully in 0-3 month clothes and out of newborn stuff. Now she has much cuter clothes! 

-This also means...we are big enough for cloth diapers! So excited about this! 

-Another biggie is that she had her first babysitters, Lita and Popi, while Mom and Dad had a nice date day! 

That's all I can think of right now. She goes for a 3 month weight check on the 11th. But she's definitely growing, happy, and being such a little personality! 

She's so fun! 

39 weeks

Nursery is done.
Laundry is done.
House is clean.
Last day of work is Thursday (tomorrow!).
Car seat is in the car.
Dog sitter is on-call.
Bags are packed.

Everything is ready for her to arrive.

This has been an interesting week for me. I have had some moments where I am Ms. Grumpy-pants. I like to be in control and to have things "just-so". Not knowing when she will get here drives me crazy and I'm getting impatient!

I've had non-grumpy moments this week too. Excited, about meeting her so soon. Thankful, that we are both so healthy, thankful, for a supportive, loving husband who is probably more excited than I am, thankful, for God's provision and feeling so "ready". Melancholy, because I have to acknowledge that the days of it just being Tommy and I are drawing to a close.

The past four years have been truly incredible. As I look back, I am so grateful for the journey Tommy and I have had as a married couple thus far. If I had to characterize our relationship right now, I might say EASY. This may sound strange, and I don't mean LAZY or that it requires no work, but that we have grown into a place where being intentional with our relationship comes naturally and doesn't feel like WORK, but a JOY. The effort we have continually placed at spending time with one another, communicating well, and learning each other fully, has created this EASE at being one in marriage. We know each other SO well. Conflicts happen but they are just easier- it is easier to be unselfish and apologize when we have wronged each other. And actually, because we know each other, conflicts are easily avoided because we know what the other needs (or doesn't need) at any particular moment. We have found that when we know each other so deeply, we are more confident to serve one another unselfishly. When we are focused on serving each other more than serving ourselves, things work right. And we are free to focus on each other because we TRUST that our needs will be met- because I know that he knows what I need, and he knows that I know what he needs.

I am so, so thankful for the time that we have had. My prayer for the next week (or however long!) is that we relish and linger in our last moments as just husband and wife. I don't want to wish the time away (although I'm so excited to meet Olivia). I have treasured the past four years with my husband and I want to treasure every moment we have together until our family grows.

By the way, things are progressing (I guess). Nothing crazy yet though. Lots of practice contractions which can be kind of annoying at times but not really painful. They are getting stronger- I've started timing them a few times but they don't continue to progress. Sleep has moved from great to just ok. I'm waking up alot more for potty breaks as she continues to move down. And sometimes her moving or contractions keep me up. But it isn't horrible. Not very hungry anymore. More tired (probably b/c I'm not sleeping as well). Haven't been to the gym since Thursday (3/21). I'm ok with it. I've lasted a long time and I just haven't felt up to it this week. She measured small at our sonogram on Friday (3/22). But not dangerously or disproportionately so. She's just little. Neither Tommy or I are huge people so that makes sense. Pics are actually 38 weeks preggers. Any day now!