Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How Being a Mom Helps Me

Sometimes being stranded alone on an island, doesn't sound so bad. Quiet. Peaceful. Sounds of the ocean. All to myself! Not worrying about anyone else. Not seeing anyone's opinions on social media. Not comparing myself to that beautiful pregnant girl, who's 8 inches taller then I am, who's got perfect hair and legs for days. Leaving my phone behind, no more calls or text messages! Getting the chance to have the best night of sleep not worrying about all the things I need to do the next day... And then I remember how much I hate bugs, mice, and other strange animals... Then that stranded on an island dream starts to fade...

Some mornings, I just don't want to get out of bed. Not because I'm depressed, but because I need to wash the same bottles I just washed 4 days ago. I need to vacuum the same carpet that was vacuumed 3 days ago. I need to do the same dishes I just did yesterday. I'm going to have to change several diapers on a baby who won't sit still. I'm going to try on another shirt that isn't going to fit this growing belly. I'm going to have to cook... again. These don't motivate me to get out of bed.

But I do it anyway, because this boy...

... deserves the BEST mama in the whole world!!! So I get up, leave the annoying thoughts behind me and put on my super mom cape.

I roll around on the ground and crawl on the hard, cold tile just to play with him. I spin him around and through him the air until I feel like I'm going to throw up. I carry him even when my arms are tired. I sing goofy songs and make up tunes that my husband probably laughs at me for. I avoid turning on the TV when he's not sleeping.

For years I struggled with a depressive attitude. My husband did a great job of helping me. But I owe the majority of the credit to this sweet boy!

This didn't happen over night. I woke up a few days ago and realized I haven't felt the way I used to for a while! Being a mom has given me a great purpose to live and to really feel alive! Being a mom has given me an excuse to eat healthier and care more about my physical and mental health. Being a mom can be stressful. I have raised my voice. I have wanted to pull my hair out. I have cried.. A LOT! I have put my son in his crib when I just couldn't deal with him. But he is my reason for waking up every morning and being the best person I can be.

But he's not the only one. Jaxon won't be an only child. Maybe this pregnancy has turned my hormones for the better? We still have 2 and a half weeks until we find out this baby's gender. But it's an angel. It's up there looking down on me and cheering for me every day. Why? Because it wants and deserves the BEST mama and it wants to make sure I am doing all I can to be that. It's the sweetest little thing not causing me any morning sickness. (It really is an angel :) )

My kids won't care what number I see on the scale, they don't care if I'm the most fashionable mom, and they don't care how many likes I get on Instagram. They just want me to be happy, healthy, fun, kind to others, and to know how much I love and support them. So I work harder on my marriage not only for Jordan and I, but also for my kids so they can have the best parents. I work harder on myself to be better. I read the scriptures with a little more intent. I pray with more of my heart then repetition. I ask the Lord to help me be better for them. Because my kids deserve the absolute best part of me. They healed me. They make me better.

I can only pray to be half as loving, caring, and kind-hearted as my son. :)  

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Parenting: Year 1- Pregnancy, Labor & Delivery

Jordan and I decided when we were dating that we wanted to wait at least a year after marriage before we tried to conceive a child. We thought that would give us enough time to establish our marriage and for Jordan to finish college. So it took him by surprise when 2 days after our wedding I told him I wanted to have a baby.

“No Way!” he said.  

I was 25 when we got married. I had always thought and wanted to be finished having children by the time I was 30. After all, it’s harder to conceive after 30 and there’s a greater chance for more problems, right? If I was going to have 3-4 kids we needed to get on that! It took a little convincing and faith on Jordan’s part, but 4 months into marriage he was open to the idea and very gratefully on my end we conceived the first month.

I was extremely tired and exhausted that first trimester. I was nauseous all the time but only threw up 2-3 times, and they were self-induced because I was just so nauseous. I knew it would go away if I could just get it all out. Looking back, I had a fairly easy pregnancy. No new stretch marks, my morning sickness wasn’t terrible, I gained a healthy amount of weight, and I didn’t have back pain! I just hated feeling fat! I know there’s a baby in there, but I still just felt huge all the time, and I hated that. I couldn’t do a lot of things I considered to be fun, and like every other pregnant woman, I had a hard time sleeping and had to pee all the time. Oh, and my body odor was terrible!! I had to shower twice a day and even then my husband would still ask me if I showered that day! Also, my breath was awful; it didn’t matter that I had just brushed my teeth. On top of that I had the worse gas! I am convinced that one is straight from Jaxon because some of his yucky diapers smell just like the horrible gas I used to pass! (Sorry probably TMI, but just being honest.)

I remember face-timing my mom to let her know I was pregnant. I started the conversation with, “If your daughter was pregnant, would you want her to tell you in person or over the phone?” Keep in mind, I have a sister who is 4 years younger than I am and wasn’t married. She cringed, and said “Which daughter?” I just smiled and asked again. She was nervous. I finally let her know it was me. She was excited, but the joke was still on her because a few weeks later we found out my sister was also pregnant! We were just as excited for her too though. Our sons are 6 weeks and 6 days apart. I loved being able to be pregnant with Samantha and have her there to talk too since she knew what I was going through.

(Pedicure with sissy a week before Jaxon was born)

I was induced at 39 weeks. When I was 37 weeks pregnant we moved 2 hours away from where I had spent most of my pregnancy. I didn’t want to find a new doctor because I really liked my midwife. We had decided it would be best to plan his birth rather than letting it happen and worrying about a 2-hour drive. I was so nervous about the induction, though. It seemed like everyone I knew who had been induced had had a bad experience.


June 18, 2014-
We woke up that morning around 5am so that we could leave a little before 6am. My appointment was for 8am. I had been contracting the drive down, but I didn’t even realize that’s what they were. I just felt my stomach getting really tight and thought he was laying on the outer part of my insides. Around 9:10am the Pitocin was started. When I was 4 cm dilated I asked for an epidural. Pain and I don’t mix. Due to this being planned, we had several phone calls and text messages coming in from friends and family members wanting to know what was happening at every moment. If I could go back and change things, I would have had Jordan turn our phones off. After a few hours on the epidural, I asked them to turn down the dosage. My legs felt like jelly. I couldn’t move them and knew I was going to need some kind of feeling in order to push. Somehow the machine got turned off in the process but it was still working because I didn’t feel an ounce of pain through his birth.

Jordan had stepped out of the room to talk to a friend who worked at the hospital. When he came back in Dr. Hansen let him know it was go time! That was much faster than he thought it was going to be. He went to the bathroom and then let our families know I was about to push. It was around 4:40pm when I started to push. The hospital was short on nurses so Jordan was a lot more involved then he had planned, seeing absolutely everything that was going on down there  (poor guy). I had a mirror set up because I wanted to see everything as well. I knew I could push him out faster if I could see his head. It was like running a race and seeing the finish line. I could “sprint” him out. A little over 20 minutes later, our sweet Jaxon Wade Jacobsen was born at 5:03pm. I tore a little. Not too bad, only 3 stitch’s.

Jordan had been nervous and feeling inadequate about being a dad my entire pregnancy. It was so nice to just look at him and see tears in his eyes. Jaxon and I did skin-to-skin for the first 90 minutes of his life. For anyone unfamiliar with that, the mom holds the newborn directly on her skin touching the baby’s skin for at least an hour. There are suppose to be several benefits to this (look it up if you’re interested! I loved it.) Can you picture holding a million dollars or more in your hands? Like how crazy would it be to hold a life-changing amount of something in your arms and it’s all yours. Holding Jaxon for the first time was better than that. It was like God was saying, “I just placed the most valuable thing you could hold, in YOUR arms. Nothing else you could ever have will be worth more than this. I trust you. He is all yours.” There isn’t even a word to describe that feeling. Love is such an understatement when it comes to how you feel about your child.

Family members had to wait for his first photo and measurements as we were bonding. Jordan just stayed next to us and it was perfect. I had waited 9 years for this day! I get to keep this one! He was sent here for me. I get to be HIS mom!! It was the best day moment of my entire life. After Jaxon was finished eating Jordan got to hold him for the first time. Jordan was standing and did sort of a Lion King ‘hold baby in the air facing dad’ thing and Jaxon immediately peed all over him. I thought it was hilarious! He handed him right back. He weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces, and was 19 inches long.  My mother and father in-law came to the hospital just 2 hours after he was born. They didn’t stay too long but this was their first grandchild and they were very eager to meet him. We had a few other friends come visit but since we were hours away from most of the people we knew we have a lot of alone time at the hospital, which I was so grateful for.

(SO Exhausted!) 

We stayed in the hospital for 2 days. Jaxon was jaundice so after his first 24 hours of life he was on the lights. I just kept crying seeing him there. He didn’t want to be in that hospital crib. He just wanted his mom to hold him so he was crying too. That was really hard for me. I asked Jordan to give him a priesthood blessing and he did. When he was tested again the next morning he was good to go home! I was so thankful for that. I couldn’t stand seeing him on the lights. I don’t know why it was so heart breaking for me (hormones!), but all Jaxon and I wanted was for him to be in my arms and he couldn’t be. Hearing him cry right next to me and not being able to hold him just tore at my heart.

They say you become a mom as soon as you find out you are pregnant but that dads become fathers as soon as the baby is born. This was very true for us. Seeing Jordan immediately become a father and seeing his protective instincts take over was extremely attractive! He is such a proud dad.

Jaxon was born on a Wednesday. We were able to leave around noon Friday. We had a 2-hour drive home and I know Jordan was so nervous driving back. I sat in the back with Jaxon as he slept the whole time. I finally got to bring my baby boy home!

Yours Truly,