Slowing Down

As all the cliched sayings go, it’s going by so fast.

But at the same time, oh so slow. Every minute is a struggle. And I mean, a struggle. I spend each day trying to make it to naptime. Then when they’re sleeping, I sneak peeks into their quiet rooms, wishing they were awake so I could squeeze them tight. I never knew parenthood would be filled with so many paradoxes and extremes. But that’s my life right now in a nutshell.

Oliver has started solids! And he LOVES it!

I went on an overnight getaway with a fellow mommy friend. We spent the whole week texting each other about how excited we were to get a full night’s sleep uninterrupted. Our goal was to eat at restaurants where we normally wouldn’t take our kids. We waited in long lines and took our time eating (without having to share with our kids!). At one point, we were walking through a neighborhood and exclaimed how we could hear birds chirping! If that’s not a glimpse into the craziness of motherhood, I don’t know what is. I spend so much time wrangling my toddler in, soothing the toddler and the baby, grabbing snacks out of my bag, and on and on. I’m always doing something.

But at the end of the day, I love it. Of course. Ari exclaiming “mama!” when Russ facetimed me while I was away was everything. I love these kids so darn much.

Anyways, I can keep talking about my kids. I can also show you a million pictures. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about how I feel like I’m always doing. And as a mom, as a wife, I am. It wasn’t until my little getaway this weekend, at all the silences I enjoyed, I realized how happily full my life is. I know it’s only a season and while it’s hard now, I will happily fill my silences with baby laughter and toddler shrieks. But since my life is full of children business right now, it means slowing down in other things.

I told Russell I wasn’t enjoying my Etsy shop as much anymore. All the orders kept taking my time away from my kids, and if not from my kids, then it took time away from resting. I stopped enjoying sewing and started dreading it. I also missed making myself fun things – like dresses and skirts and fun little bags. So I’m deciding to stop selling stuff on Etsy. This is not a big deal to some people but it is to me. Over the past year, I was surprised to see my sales increase drastically and actually make enough income from it to save and send Ari to preschool this Fall. But I’ve also realized that the things I make/sell are so labor and time intensive. And for the amount I sell them for, I’m basically working for below minimum wage while also neglecting time with my kids. So really the payoff is not worth it. At least not right now. I hope to get back into it once I have more time (whenever that is).

But! Now I get to sew things for myself again! I have so many dress and skirt patterns I’m itching to get back to. I hope to share some of my makes here as I slowly get back into it.

Wow, this post is all over the place.

One more random, Russ and I celebrated 6 years this past April! Even though the kids were sick and I had the stomach bug, every anniversary with Russ is the best kind.

Today

As I slowly get back into the rhythm of blogging, I’ll post little snippets of my day here and there. Here’s a little bit about my day today.

Yessss, I’m playing with text on pictures instead of text out here like a proper blogger. 😌 Hopefully it comes out readable!

Night Swimming

In the early days of teenage years, for a couple of summers, two of my cousins would come over and stay with us for a week. They would sleep in my room and during the day we would run around – that space between childhood and adulthood where you wanted to do more but never could quite get there.

One summer night, my parents took us to a community pool for some night swimming. I had never liked the pool. Or swimming. But my cousins seemed excited for it so I went along. For all the chattering we did, that night we were a bit more quiet than usual. It was because if you floated on your back and looked up at the night sky, you could feel the weight of the universe.

I remember that night so clearly. I can feel the water on my back holding me up, my hair floating around my head. I can hear my cousin’s soft oh as she looked at the stars. At one point my cousin and I held hands as we floated in the pool, knowing that if we let go, we would propel into the giant universe before us. I felt so small floating beneath the stars, so small but at the same time…significant. Like the water that held me, cradled me. It was like God whispering, I got you.

The other night, I was driving to the grocery store without my kids. As I turned into the road, I was hit with this memory. Something about the way the breeze drifted into my window reminded me of swimming at night when I was 14. I felt a fondness for that memory, close to a yearning. But instead of wanting to go back to being 14 (because, ugh, who wants to be that age again once you’ve gone through your 20s), I am looking forward to one day taking my boys to the pool at night and hoping they float aimlessly and look up.

I hope for this for my kids. That they too will spend a week with their cousins in the middle of a hot summer. In those awkward years where you feel insignificant and lost, I hope they realize the magnitude of the universe, of the God we serve, and feel comforted in the same instant they feel small. In those teenage years of feeling lost, I hope they feel found. That they may feel small but significant. That the might and vastness of the universe catapults them into stillness. I hope they too get memories of clarity so strong, they can’t forget. And instead of wishing of going back, they look forward. The universe is big and vast, but it’s punctured with infinite stars lighting the way.

Oliver’s Birth Story – A Timeline

disclosure: Hello! It’s been awhile since I’ve touched this blog. And I KNOW this is long overdue — because hello! Oliver is already 4 months old — but this is better late than never 🙂

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
It’s Halloween! We take Ari to an outdoor mall during the afternoon to trick-or-treat at the different shops. He’s a cute little dinosaur and he loved getting candy put in his bucket. I waddle around following him.

Later that afternoon, we take him around a neighborhood to go trick-or-treating. I feel huge and uncomfortable, but the baby does not come.

Thursday, November 1
AM – More walking.

PM – Come evening, it looks like the baby is not coming again so Russ and I get Ari ready for bed then sit down for the night. I bring out my sewing machine and Russell turns on the TV and we start catching up on The Good Place episodes.

8 PM – I feel a bit of a gush of water. I go to the bathroom to check. Yup, looks like my water was leaking (the same thing happened with Ari – my water didn’t break all the way but would start leaking in short bursts). I come out and tell Russell that my water was leaking. I get a towel to sit on and begin to sew again. Russell looks worried.

8:30 PM – I text my mom because Russell says he’ll text her if I don’t. I tell my mom that she might end up having to watch Ari this weekend because my water was leaking and the baby might be coming sooner than we anticipated.

8:40 PM – Mom calls me and tells me to go to the hospital. I say nah.

9:00 PM – Mom texts and tells me her and dad are on their way to our home to pick up Ari. I tell her to take their time since the baby won’t be coming soon. I shower. I start cramping.

9:30 PM – Mom and dad arrive at our place. I help dad get wifi set up on his laptop. My mom tells me and Russell to leave and go to the hospital.

10:30 PM – Russ and I arrive at Hoag Hospital. I remember thinking that it was a nice, calm drive on the freeway. I enjoyed the drive and my last bit of quality time with Russell before the baby arrived. I also reminisced about the last few days of quality time I had with Ari.

11:00 PM – In triage. The nurse confirms that yup, my water did break. I start getting my IVs set up. My contractions begin to hurt. The nurse notices my contractions are coming more frequently and guesses that I’ll probably be having the baby within the next 4 hours.

Friday, November 2, 2018
12:00 AM – I get moved into a delivery room. Contractions were still manageable.

1:00 AM – I get the epidural. I was still only halfway dilated so Russ and I try to get some sleep.

10:00 AM – The nurse says I’m stuck at a 9 for dilation. They give me a little bit of pitocin to help with the final dilation.

10:30 AM – Nurse says I’ll be ready to push soon. A bunch of nurses/doctors come in to set up the room. Russ and I still have a fish tank show playing on the TV and I don’t know when is a good time to shut off the TV. It all happens fast. I remember vividly that the fishtank show was playing in the background while my feet were being propped up and I began to push.

Like with Ari’s delivery, I got scared that the baby’s head might be too big and I won’t be able to push the baby out. And like with Ari’s delivery, the baby is out sooner than I expected. I should talk about how amazing my doctor is. I really think that why I didn’t tear at all (or need any stitches) was because he helped pull the baby. He also would instruct me on when to stop pushing or when to just do a little push. At one point, Oliver was trying to turn sunny side up – knowing how much Ollie likes to move now and also how much he moved in my belly, this isn’t surprising – and the doctor was able to turn him facing back down so that I wouldn’t tear.

11:11 AM – Oliver Henry, born on November 2, 2018 weighing 10 lbs 3 oz and measuring 22 inches long.

When Oliver came out, the nurses kept talking about how big he was. Even my OB stayed a little bit longer just to see how much he weighed. Believe me, I was also impressed by the 10 pounder. Oliver took after his dad who was also a 10 lb baby at birth.

Oliver Samson Sanga Henry

Golden Hour Bonding

Also, Oliver didn’t cry when he came out. The nurses wanted him to cry and tried to get him to cry because he had inhaled some liquid coming out. They got him to cry for a short bit but he would stop and open his eyes. It was the sweetest thing when they put him on my chest and he would look up at me.

During the one hour bonding with the baby, Oliver was even able to latch and nurse a little bit. It was a great golden hour.

I think I’ll end the post here. Things took a little turn downwards after the bonding. Maybe I’ll write about it in another post but to sum it up, I was in the delivery room for a bit longer afterwards because I was losing a lot of blood and they didn’t want to put me on the general recovery rooms. Also, after we left the hospital, we found out Oliver had really bad jaundice and we had to go to a children’s hospital overnight when he was two days old. That hospital stay wasn’t nearly as bad as when Ari had to go to the children’s hospital, but going with Oliver gave me unwanted flashbacks of when Ari was there. It also didn’t help with the postpartum blues which I really wished wouldn’t come but came anyways. Throw in not having seen Ari for a couple days, yeah, it was a major downturn the following couple days. But to be honest, the first couple weeks following birth are the hardest and most anxiety-filled days for me.

So let’s wrap up this delivery story! Oliver is a healthy, smiley, very HAPPY baby. I will try to keep up with this blog now that I’ve kind of (ha!) adjusted to the two kid thing.