One Year Ago…

I can’t believe Jackson is turning 1 tomorrow! Everyone tells you that time flies by, especially when you have children. I believed it, but then time went even faster than I thought it would. One year ago today, our beautiful son decided he was ready to make an appearance very unexpectedly.

My original due date was December 5th, my shower was scheduled for mid November and we hadn’t done or bought much to get ready for Jackson’s arrival. I had my 34 week appointment on Friday, October 24th, and the doctor said everything looked fine and they’d see me in 2 weeks. My husband and I even planned to pack the hospital bag, finish painting furniture and do a dry run to the hospital the coming week. However, nothing went according to plan.

33 Weeks, October 20th

33 Weeks, October 20th

Saturday, October 25th, 2014 I woke up around 8AM to my water breaking. I was really shocked, freaked out, confused and unsure of what to do. I yelled out to my husband and told him that I thought my water had broke and and he jumped out of bed. I immediately called the hospital, very nervously, to see what I should do. They told us to come to the hospital so they could check everything out. We quickly grabbed a few things (my bathrobe, slippers, Kindle, phone charger) and got into the car. We didn’t actually think anything was going to happen. We were very much in denial.

On the way to the hospital, I could still feel Jackson moving, so that was a huge relief. I began calling my parents and family to let them know we were on our way to the hospital, but of course no one as answering! That’s always the way isn’t it? When you actually need people to answer their phones, that happens to be the one time they don’t. After about 45 minutes, my family called back and I let them know my water had broken and we were on our way to the hospital. My Mom wasn’t very good at keeping me calm though, as she kept repeating “This isn’t good” over and over. After we hung up, my parents immediately left their house to get to the hospital as well.

We arrived at the hospital by 9:30AM. It took me a few minutes to get out of the car thanks to the whole water breaking process. Just as an FYI, it doesn’t come out all at once, it comes out over a long period of time, which is horribly embarrassing. We got checked in and I was hooked up to some monitors to make sure Jackson was doing ok and thankfully he was.

The doctor checked me out and they put a monitor on me so they could keep a close eye on Jackson. I started having contractions around 10:30AM and was given a little bit of medicine to help things along. As the day went on, my husband and I just hung out, relaxed and visited with my family once they had arrived.

My contractions progressed really well. Around 2:30AM on Sunday, I was ready for an epidural. My pain was about a 6 or 7 out of 10, and I was all set with it getting worse. The epidural helped a bunch and let me sleep a little bit.

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Throughout the morning, I quickly progressed, going from 3 cm to 10 cm in 2 hours, and was ready to push by 7AM. It took 5 pushes and Jackson was out. He was 5 lbs. 2 oz. and 17 in. of awesomeness. My husband and I got to hold him and it was one of the best moments of our lives.

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Sadly, we had to go home without Jackson. Being 6 weeks early, his lungs weren’t quite strong enough for him to come home yet. He spent 2 weeks in the NICU and they were a long 2 weeks. Almost every day I’d spend the day pumping at home and my husband would work a full day. When he got home, we drove an hour to the hospital, spent about 3 or 4 hours there and then drove the hour home, sadly leaving Jackson behind each time. Thankfully he was getting stronger and healthier every day.

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On November 7th, we were finally able to take him home. It was so exciting to be able to have him at home with us and not see him all hooked up to tubes and wires.

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Now, our little guy is turning 1. He’s growing up so fast and I plan to make sure I enjoy every second of it!

What I Should Do

I’ve always been the type that does what I should be doing, or at least what I think is expected of me. And, to be honest, it’s wearing down on me. Even when I’m by myself, I have this constant struggle of doing what I want to do and what I think I should be doing. I’m sure for most people, these are the same thing. However, I run into it time and time again, even with little things, when I’m not doing what I want, or I’m worrying that people expect me to do something else.

Today with Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, BuzzFeed and every other site showcasing what other people are doing and their accomplishments, I feel even more pressure to live up to that. I feel like I do need to be able to juggle advancing my career, taking care of my family, DIY-ing everything, making gourmet meals every night, and whatever else. But why?

Is it really the end of the world if I’m happy in my current job and ok with staying there for a while? Do I really need to push myself for a promotion or different position? Some people would say yes, because you need to keep moving and improving. Honestly, I’m too busy with other things in my life right now. I don’t want to deal with interviewing, more travel or any other additional responsibilities that may come with a new position or promotion. I’m comfortable. What’s wrong with comfortable?

Do I really need to lose every pound I gained while pregnant with our son before I get pregnant again? Isn’t it enough to just try and eat healthy, with the occasional indulgence, and try to be active when I have the chance? Can’t I be ok with getting home at night and spending time with my husband on the couch or just reading to my son before bedtime instead of making sure I fit in that ever important workout?

I’m almost 30 and I think I’m finally figuring it out. Yes, if I really wanted to push myself, I could get up at 5 AM and work out and try and lose that weight. I could spend extra time at work trying to get ahead. However, none of that is a priority for me right now. It’s not that I can’t do it or I don’t have enough time. There are always ways that I could make everything work, but I’m plainly stating that it’s not a priority. I’d rather get 6-7 hours of sleep at night. I’d rather get home on time, stay up a little later and hang out with my husband watching shows that we enjoy together. I’d rather do so many other things in my life right now.

Why waste my time worrying about things that I’m not even invested in? It adds more stress to my life, and my family’s, when I try and take on more than I can. I know now that I need to focus on the things that make me happy right now: my husband and our son. Once I do that, everything else will start to fall into place.

New Outlook

Every day, I find myself looking on Facebook or Yahoo for a few minutes to clear my mind and take a quick break from work. I need these mental breaks to keep my mind from overloading. However, lately I find it really upsetting every time I do so. I think it’s the new outlook you get as a parent.

I’ll be scrolling through the top stories on Yahoo, and then I see it, the awful story about a little baby dying after being left in a car, or some horrible person beating their child, or the countless other horrific stories centered around a child being hurt in some way. I see these stories and I instantly think of Jackson and want to just put him in a bubble so nothing bad can ever happen to him. I also get teary eyed because the thought of something awful happening to a child is, honestly, unbearable to think of. Even when it comes to movies, I don’t want to watch anything that might have a child being hurt.

Does anyone else feel this way? Sometimes I feel like I’m a little crazy for getting so emotional about these news stories, but I can’t handle them anymore. Before having Jackson, these stories would upset me, but not to the level that they do now. I have a feeling I’m not the only parent who feels this way.

Thankfully, I haven’t had to experience any of the heartbreak that some people have had to face with their children. I pray to God that I never have to either, or anyone else for that matter. It’s every parent’s greatest fear that something happens to their child and I feel so deeply for any parent who has gone through something. I can’t even imagine the heartache and grief they must feel.

Sorry for the super depressing post, but I just had to get it out…