Monday, January 30, 2012

Birth story- as told by Erin

I figured it's about time I post Piper's birth story :) Keep in mind that this story is written for me. I'm sharing it because I loved reading birth stories when I was pregnant and I hope that someone else might like reading my story. While I don't consider this to be at all graphic for a birth story, I didn't take pains to make it not graphic either. You have been warned :)

The day I became a mom of two was absolutely nothing like the day I became a mom of one. I looked forward to Jade’s birth with anticipation that only a first-time mom can have. Her birth was everything I hoped it would be and so much more, and then my world was turned upside down. Nothing about being a mom was what I expected. Of course I knew I would be sleep-deprived and pooped on, but it’s so much more than that. Cliche´ or not, it really is like having your heart outside of your body. Worrying about every decision that you make and truly learning how to rely on the Lord when you realize that the worrying does absolutely no good.
But this isn’t Jade’s story. It’s Piper’s. My labor with Piper started quite a bit earlier than I expected it to. This wonderful (please catch the sarcasm) thing called prelabor began at 36 weeks 6 days. The hospital bags were not packed. Chuck’s master’s degree was not done. The baby clothes were still in the attic. Not ready is an understatement. I began to follow my doula’s instructions for what to do to determine if you’re in false labor: drink lots of water, pee a lot, and take a bath. I was at home alone with Jade so I put the TV on to distract her, sat on the couch and tried to relax. But my mind was racing and the contractions didn’t let up. Irregular, but consistent. In a bit of a panic, I called Chuck at work and he came home to watch Jade so that I could shower.
After the shower, when the contractions were still coming, I called Aimee (my doula). She determined that the contractions would not stop until I could get my mind to relax, which meant getting things ready. So Chuck and I ran around like crazy people, washing clothes, packing bags, cleaning the house. And then I got on my knees and prayed. Told Jesus that while I wasn’t ready, if He was, then let’s do this.
I went to sleep that night not knowing if I was going to wake up in full-blown labor or not. I didn’t. However, the contractions kept on coming. And these babies weren’t just a little uncomfortable. They were take my breath away, wrap around my entire uterus, stop talking contractions. Unfortunately, they were also irregular. This went on for several days and I seriously thought I was going to lose my mind. I had nothing like this with Jade and wasn’t prepared for it. Going about my daily life was so difficult, but also necessary because there was nothing else I could do. I went on walks and the contractions would pick up, but then would die down again. I was exhausted because my body was doing so much work, and I was finally really ready for Piper to get here. Thankfully, this only lasted about 3 days. I was mad that it never turned into active labor, but so relieved that they had stopped.
A week and two days later I woke up around 5 in the morning with some cramping. It felt remarkably similar to my labor with Jade- just like constipation. I laid in bed for a minute to see if it let up, and when it didn’t I went downstairs to get something to eat. At this point with Jade, I had about another 10 hours before things got really intense. With Piper, I had about 10 minutes. I was not able to finish eating my bowl of cereal before saying “ok, we’re having this baby today” and going upstairs and waking Chuck up. I jumped in the shower and he started packing the car, calling Aimee to say we were going to the hospital soon and letting the Rogers know we would be bringing Jade over. While in the shower, I started to panic because I realized that things were moving very quickly. I tried to calm down but didn’t feel like I would be able to until Jade was at the Rogers and we were at the hospital. I was unable to stand still through my contractions and I felt like they were getting closer and closer together, something that I knew I was intensifying with my panic.
I got out of the shower and got dressed. Chuck had gotten Jade ready and we were ready to go. I had called the midwife earlier and got a call back just as we were leaving the house. When I told her we were on the way she seemed to hesitate a moment, as in “are you sure you’re at that point?” was about to leave her mouth. But there was no doubt in my mind and as soon as I had a contraction on the phone (in the middle of the driveway on my hands and knees) the midwife said “ok, we’ll start filling up the tub”. I love that they truly can tell how far along you are just by the sound of your voice as you’re working through a contraction. 
I sat down in the passenger seat and immediately groaned, realizing how hard it was going to be to sit during the drive. I was still a bit panicked because I knew things were moving very quickly, but was very glad we were on the way. I believe this was around 8 am.
As we were dropping Jade off, I got out of the car to work through a contraction. I vaguely remember Kristi laying hands on me and praying but I have no recollection of whether or not I acknowledged her at all. I did make sure to give Jade and kiss and then we were off- for the drive to the hospital, which felt like an eternity.
I just remember grabbing onto the handle during every contraction and trying to pull myself off the seat because it hurt so badly to sit. I was feeling so much pressure that I felt like if I moved into another position I would have been having the baby in the car. I grabbed Chuck’s hand consistently and kept telling myself to calm down, but not following my own advice. My desire for this labor was “peaceful and calm” and I was NOT getting that and I was a bit mad.
When Chuck exited the interstate, I turned the hazard lights on and told him he better treat every red light like a four-way stop because we needed to get to the flipping hospital. He seemed way too excited about that. Breaking the law when you have an excuse is really a lot of fun, apparently. I told him to go to the ER entrance because it was a Sunday and I didn’t know if that counted for after hours. I started to grab stuff from the backseat and realized that he didn’t give Kristi Jade’s bag of food and got very irritated with him and then realized “they have food at their house, I should probably focus on the baby I’m about to have”. But it was hard. I wanted so badly for Jade to feel completely at home with them and I felt like her lack of little bowls and plates and oatmeal would take away from that. 
We went in the ER doors and the next thing I know, I’m in a wheelchair. I was NOT HAPPY about this. I had just been sitting down for 20 minutes, I didn’t want to sit down anymore. With each contraction I pushed myself off the chair and the nurse kept stopping and telling me to sit down. I told her to keep pushing that thing no matter what I did and I promised I wouldn’t fall out of the chair. When we got upstairs, she tried to take me to labor and delivery and I said “No, the midwifery center” and she got very confused. I think I might have been rude to her at this point, but I’m not sure. Either way, Chuck or I convinced her I did not have to check in at L&D and she took me to the midwifery center, where Nell (the midwife) was waiting.
I put on a hospital gown and got on my hands and knees in the bed (LOVE that they let me do this for monitoring) and they hooked me up to the fetal monitors and checked my cervix. I was 9 cms. When they told me that with Jade, I was shocked, but this time I could have told them. I knew I was progressing quickly. I remember looking over and seeing Aimee at this point, but I really don’t remember when she got there. Nell told the nurse not to bother hooking me up to the antibiotics for my group beta strep because I would probably be pushing in 10 minutes. I told them that I wanted to get in the hot tub but they said I had to be monitored for a little while longer. I’m sure it wasn’t long, but it felt like an eternity before they told me I could get in.
The hot tub was one of the main reasons I wanted a midwifery center birth instead of a hospital birth this time. My hospital birth with Jade was amazing, but I had heard how awesome hot tubs are for labor and I really wanted to try it out. The second I sank into that thing, I knew it was worth the extra drive. It’s like my pain melted away. Finally, I could really relax and work through the contractions like I wanted to and focus on how labor was a good thing and that my baby would be here soon.
I think I was in the tub for about an hour. I honestly don’t know, but it felt like a while. Chuck got in with me and it was so nice to share that with him. I was able to focus on moving my baby down into my cervix and really visualize things. I was able to talk and joke and enjoy myself. At my 2-week follow-up appointment, Aimee told me that she kept thinking “if I could just get her to shut up, she’d have this baby” but I’m SO glad she didn’t do that, because that time of laughter and talking is what I needed. 
After a while, I started to have the urge to push with each contraction. Just like I remembered from Jade’s labor, my body just began to push and then I followed through. After a couple of these contractions, I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to push effectively in the tub. I couldn’t get into a position where I really felt like she was moving down when I pushed without simultaneously drowning myself. My water broke at some point while I was pushing in the tub, and I felt more pressure but still didn’t feel like the baby was moving down. Nell said she wanted to check me again to make sure there wasn’t a lip over the head since I kept saying that she wasn’t moving.
At that point, 3 people helped me to get out of the tub and onto the bed. The contractions were so close together that I just fell into the bed on my side and couldn’t move because I was already pushing again. Nell checked and said everything was good. I wanted to move into another position but really couldn’t. The difference in the amount of pain from the tub to the bed really caught me off guard and I felt stuck there on my side. Nell had me hold my leg back, I held Chuck’s hand and screamed my way through the rest of the contractions. 
Aimee continuously had to remind me to bear down and not raise my head. I kept telling her that I didn’t remember it hurting this badly and that God plays mean jokes on women and that I was having a home birth next time because I didn’t want to have to drive anywhere again. I remember saying “this sucks” quite a bit. I truly hated pushing. I felt like I was ripping in half but I knew that I had to keep going. I kept saying “she’s not coming out!” and they kept assuring me that she was. I prayed to God for strength and then said “I’m not doing this again”. Pushing is all a blur- all I really remember is the pain. I know that Piper was moving back up in-between some of the contractions and that was really frustrating me so Nell told me just to “go!” and I did. Everyone had told me that pushing with your subsequent babies is so much faster than pushing with your first, so I really thought I would have had her out in two or three pushes and that was not the case. I’m not sure why- if I’m a “bad” pusher or if that’s just the way my body works, but I remember being so frustrated that I had to keep pushing. 
Of course, at that point, what else are you going to do? You can’t just stop. So I kept going and after what felt like an eternity, she was out and they were laying her on my stomach. It’s amazing that in that moment, it all becomes worth it. The first thing I thought was “she’s so tiny” because I truly had expected her to be a big baby and then I thought “wow, she looks nothing like Jade”. I kept trying to pull her up more into my arms but the cord was too short so I couldn’t. 
After I delivered the placenta, Nell started stitching me up because I tore (again). I knew it was my fault this time- I got impatient with the pushing and didn’t wait for the opening to really stretch out. While I was being stitched up, they were checking Miss Piper out and everything was great. They gave her back to me and we were able to have a wonderful start to breastfeeding. Baby girl latched right on and stayed there for 45 minutes. Chuck went and got me some food (Jade’s oatmeal that we had forgotten to give to the Rogers, actually!), and Aimee stayed and we talked until he got back. 
I didn’t get the nice, peaceful birth that I wanted and I felt like a big baby because I was so panicked for most of it, but it was so beyond worth it. I think I will definitely look into a home birth for any future babies because I do progress so quickly and I know that if I didn’t have to go anywhere I wouldn’t be so panicked, but I wouldn’t change a thing about this birth because it brought me my Piper Lorelai and that’s the whole point. C-section or home birth, the outcome is the same and I would do whatever it took to hold my baby in my arms. So yes, maybe God does play jokes on mamas by making the memories of the pain fade, but I suppose I forgive Him ;) 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Warm fuzzies

After my last post, I really feel the need to post some "I really love my kids" warm fuzzies. Because I do love my kids and I am frequently amazed by how awesome they are. Although I will admit that this post is very Jade heavy because Piper is two months old and two-month-olds don't do a whole lot :)

This is from my phone because I still can't upload pictures to my computer so I apologize for the crappy quality of photos/videos.

The other day, I was nursing Piper and heard Jade say "Elmo read!". I looked over and she had set Elmo and her baby doll up with books and then proceeded to tell me what books they were reading. I was so impressed that she knew the book names and was so happy to see her using her imagination.

This picture might not look like much, but it's the first time she's colored something and then told me what it was: a flower :)

I was getting my wrap ready to wear Piper and Jade asked to be put in the wrap. I asked her if she wanted to put her baby in a wrap, which was apparently very exciting and she ran to get her baby. I grabbed a scarf as this is what we came up with. Melt. My. Heart.

And a video of her adorable pronunciation of "Piper". I catch myself calling her Poppy all the time. I have a feeling the nickname might stick.

Nothing earth shattering, but I think my kid is pretty awesome (a mom thing I suppose) and wanted to share.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Just one of those days...

A while back, a friend posted on my facebook status that "some days are just bad". I took such solace in that statement, which I realize might seem stupid. But knowing that everyone has bad days and that it will, in fact, END keeps me sane when I'm in the middle of one. And today, my friends, was one of those days.

It started off well enough... actually, it was a great morning for us. Piper slept until 8, which gave me some one-on-one time with Jade as well as my cup of coffee. Despite that, Jade was whiny. Super whiny. I'm suspecting some teeth might be working their way in, but I've been waiting on these teeth for months so the truth is I don't have a freaking clue if that's what the problem is. Incessant pulling at my legs, pushing me away from the kitchen counter so that she can squeeze inbetween and say "up, please" repeatedly. Falling on the floor and thrashing when "up, please" is not immediately met with me picking her up. Shoving a crayon in my hand, ordering me to color, and then screaming "NO!!!!" when I begin to color and snatching said crayon out of my hand. Asking for her blanky, then screaming "NO!!!!" when I try to hand the blanky to her. Treating her baby sister like a baby doll and screaming "NO!!!!" when I intervene.

Yes, that's right... "no" is definitely her favorite word. And honestly, I could handle that. I've been dealing with that for months. But last week, the hitting began. And now, the hits accompanied by smiles that tell me "yes, mama I know what I'm doing and I know it's making you angry so I'm trying to see what kind of reaction I can get". And I can see the line that is the border for my sanity and I'm straddling that baby.

Despite my child's behavior, I went to Costco. Had to, because I'm hosting playgroup tomorrow (yikes!) and I needed juice boxes. Playgroup without juice boxes... well, it just isn't good (although I didn't have any the first time I hosted because my kid was 4 months old and it didn't even occur to me- oops!)

But back to Costco. I had not one, not two, but THREE complete strangers ask me if I needed help. I kept saying "no, I'm fine, thanks" but I really wanted to ask them "WHAT THE CRAP DO YOU THINK YOU CAN DO??" Don't worry, I refrained. Piper was nice and cozy sleeping in the woven wrap until Jade started hitting me when I asked her to sit down and instead hit her sister. So then not only was Jade screaming, but Piper was screaming. I had two things to get... so I got them. People are staring from all over the store. Most in sympathy, some in judgement. Jade was either in the cart screaming or "helping" me push the cart and then darting away. Kid almost got left at the store because she kept running off, but I decided that I didn't feel like explaining that one to child services and football carried her to the car, with her kicking and screaming the whole way.

Unfortunately, the bad day didn't end there. I tried to go for a walk, and wound up going for a 5 minute walk because Jade was crying and Piper decided that she was WIDE AWAKE and wanted to look around. Unfortunately, "looking around" to a two-month-old means "my head is going to flop sporadically in every direction". Which meant Piper-girl needed some help from mom... leaving mom with one hand to push a stroller and walk two dogs. Not. Happening. It actually took far longer to get everyone ready for said walk than the walk itself actually took.

That's right, my friends, today was just one of those days.

But don't worry, later tonight, when I'm sure that she is GOOD AND ASLEEP, I will sneak into Jade's room, watch her sleeping and remember all the reasons I love her and how awesome she is. And Piper and I had a nice chat earlier and she was giving me some of the best open-mouthed smiles I've seen yet, which certainly helped my mood (Yes, I have photos. No, I cannot post them because my computer still hates me).

Truly, I live a blessed life, where these are my biggest problems. My girls are both so amazing and while every day might not be fun, every day is a part of our journey together. All of these days will help shape me into the mama God designed me to be and them into the people God designed them to be.

But here's to hoping that tomorrow is NOTHING like today :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Piper grows up- 2 months

Dear Piper-girl,

This month has been crazy! You have had a little cold, which has been so sad for everyone. Whenever you cough, you look at me like "what was that?!?!" You are already giving me and your daddy lots of smiles which just melts me from the inside out.

We started a bedtime routine the first few weeks of your life, but you're really starting to seem to "get" it now. You LOVE to be swaddled and give us a nice long stretch of sleep at the beginning of the night every night. The rest of the night varies, but I definitely think you are quite the sleeper for a two-month-old.

You've really started to notice your big sister. You look at me and smile, but you look at her and just study her like she's the most interesting thing in the world. I've tried to get you to follow my finger to no avail but you almost always follow Jade as she walks around. I just know that you guys will be best friends and I can already tell that you're going to idolize her. That or you just think she's loud ;)

You love to get a bath but HATE to get out. Honestly, that combined with the cold weather we've had lately keep your baths to a minimum. You don't spit up much, so you stay pretty clean and good-smelling without baths :) Don't worry, we'll bathe you more frequently when it matters, promise.

It appears that you're going to be quite the social baby. At the chiropractor the other day, you smiled at people. I realize this might not seem like a big deal, but this is all new territory for your daddy and me, as Jade was never a big fan of strangers. It will be very interesting to see how this develops as you get older. I am constantly amazed by just how much of a personality we are each born with. You truly are fearfully and wonderfully made and I can't wait to see God's design unfold in you as you grow.

Your daddy and I keep talking about how big you are, but at your appointment today I discovered that you are technically only average. Still, average compared to your sister is pretty dang big :)

Height- 21.25- 25%
Weight- 11 lbs 3 ozs- 50%
Head circumference- 15 in- 25%

You are meeting/exceeding all of your milestones. You don't yell at me quite as much during tummy time now and roll over every time I put you down. Your legs are surprisingly strong, which I think will serve you well as you grow and start trying to follow Jade around. I have a feeling you'll be moving before we know it.

We love you so much baby girl and hope you always feel that love all the way to your toes.

Lots of love,

Thursday, January 19, 2012


This morning, I loaded my two kids (still feels weird to say that, not going to lie) into the car and made my way to MOPS. One child has been throwing massive temper tantrums and the other has a cold (bet you can guess which is which!) and I needed this time. Like seriously needed.

Generally, we have some sort of speaker or do a craft or something. Nothing knock-your-socks off crazy, but something nice. And loud... but loud with chatter and not with whining. There's a big difference.

Today, they said that we were going to split up from our normal tables and go around to different tables and answer discussion questions. I admit I groaned on the inside. What is this, middle school? Discussion questions??

However, the people that plan these things know a bit more than I do and it turned into such a sweet time of fellowship and meeting new people. I got exactly what I needed from this morning: a reminder that no one is perfect.

I have this image of a picture-perfect housewife in my mind. House is always clean, floors mopped, toilets scrubbed. Wife is always showered and presentable. Laundry is always folded and put away. Home-cooked meals every night. Leisurely evening spending quality time with the husband. Although I know, in my heart of hearts, that this person does.not.exist, it's the image I compare myself to day in and day out. I never make the cut.

My MOPS group is fairly large and a lot of the girls know each other from attending church together, so it's taken me a while to get to know people. In my mind, some of these women that I saw come inside with their well-behaved children and manicured nails were the perfect housewife. Today, I got to talk to those women. And learn that they also have husbands that work all the time. Have houses filled with laughter, but also with screaming and whining. Have kitchen cabinets that have been re-organized by toddlers. Have unhealthy meals for dinner while screaming at everyone to "sit down and eat already!" They all have bad days. None of them is perfect, either. 

The best part? We don't have to be. Sometimes I wish this meant that I could just forget all those things and never clean the house and rarely shower, but that's not the answer either. The answer is so much more. It's savoring the sweet moments with your toddler before she starts screaming at you. It's having intentional conversations with your husband when he is at home (sidenote: Chuck has been home by 6 every night that I have been by myself with both girls except for one. This is ah-maze-ing and I currently have no right to complain that he works all the time). It's watching your newborn sleep and knowing that she looks peaceful and content because all is right in her world at that moment. It's living your life moment by moment... taking the good with the bad and going to bed every night knowing that tomorrow is a new day.

"Let the peace of God, which transcends all understand, guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7

Could we hope for anything more?

Sunday, January 15, 2012


It's amazing to me that no matter how many people tell you how hard going from 1 to 2 is, you don't believe them. I knew it would be hard. But man, am I tired.

I am on a de-cluttering kick. It takes far too much effort to keep this house clean and I know it wouldn't be as hard if it wasn't so cluttered. Chuck is proving to be far more of a pack rat than I am and is fighting me every.step.of.the.way. Such a lovely time in our marriage.

Piper is getting so big. I think that she's actually probably just average, but compared to Jade she's huge. She's already outgrowing 0-3 months clothes from Gap and Old Navy. Their sizes run a bit small, but still. I am very interested to see how big she is at her 2-month-appt.

Jade is obsessed with coloring. She's content to sit and color for half an hour, which must be an eternity to a toddler. Friday, she discovered that crayons color on things other than paper and the table around it. Uh oh.

She's doing this adorable thing when we pray before meals. We always say "God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food". Then I say, "Jade, what comes next?" A couple of times she said "Amen" but most of the time she says "two". Always practicing counting :)

My bestest friends in the world are coming to visit in February for President's Day and I am SO EXCITED.

I've started to run again some, which has been awesome. Unfortunately, it hasn't been anything consistent but I'm hoping to rectify that soon. My body has bounced back amazingly well, but I think the rest is going to take a little work.

Monday, January 9, 2012


I'm just going to stop apologizing for posts being late, because right now they're all late so yall better get used to it for the time being. I'll catch up soon enough and all will be well.

Christmas this year was amazing for a few different reasons. Number one, Jade was old enough to really get excited. She still doesn't really get the anticipation of it, but when she came downstairs Christmas morning she was so very excited and started playing with her toys right away.

Number two, we had a brand new baby in the family and it was so good to be reminded of what a true gift really is.

Number three, my parents were in town, which was so nice because we were able to be with family without any of the stress of traveling with two little ones.

We kept things pretty low key since Piper was(is) so young and was keeping us all so busy. Decorations were minimal and we didn't go anywhere other than church on Christmas Eve. But I really enjoyed that and think that more people should slow down for the holidays to give themselves time to focus on the One that it is all about.

Here's a bit of a photo dump of our time around the holidays :)

She loved wearing the Santa hat. Only it was WAY too big. 

The best we could do. But I like it :) 
My favorite family picture of us. Ever. 

After church, we lost the dress. This is Jade and Chuck reading "The Night Before Christmas". 
Piper was very excited Christmas morning.

Can't you tell?

The gifts before Jade got there.

Monkeys love to play the piano.

Giving Elmo a bath in her kitchen sink.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Piper grows up- 1 month

This post is ridiculously late, but I figure better late than never. I hate that I didn't start doing this in the first few months of Jade's life and don't want to make that mistake again. They change so quickly in the beginning- Piper's been one-month-old for almost 2 weeks and I'm struggling to remember things she was already doing at that point and what has changed. 

I'm going to do something different with the monthly pictures this time and take them in the same place every month. With Jade's pictures, it was hard to tell how much she had grown because I took them in all different places so hopefully this will help!

Without further ado:

She couldn't be bothered to open her eyes :)


The first few weeks of your life were like the first few weeks of many people's life, I imagine. You slept, cried, pooped, and ate. Not always in that order. Because you are my baby, you decided to scream at me when I tried to feed you, but thankfully we have moved past that and I know that one day our breastfeeding relationship will be just as precious to me as the one I shared with your sister.

For the most part, you are a very chill baby. You hang out in the bouncy seat or swing and just look around. You sleep in the co-sleeper some and not just on mama or daddy's chest. Because you are a baby, you love to be held (and I of course love to hold you), but you don't demand to be held 24/7, which I have to admit is a nice change.

Your first few days of life were anything but chill with you deciding to give everyone a big scare and turn blue when you were in the nursery at the hospital. This prompted doctors to run a bunch of test and to keep you in the intensive care nursery for 24 hours. Those first few hours were torturous for your mama and daddy, but thankfully they concluded that it was just a fluke and we were able to visit you for your feedings every couple hours. You had to have an IV, so you spend more time in the nursery than mama would have liked, but I was so thankful to have a healthy baby in my room most of the time that I didn't mind too much.

Your head control is amazing and you have surprised us all by rolling over with ease during tummy time. Despite your tummy time prowess, you still hate it and make sure that we know that as well. 

So far you're not too interested in what's going on around you... with the exception of ceiling fans and lights. You love to sleep in mama's woven wrap, and fall asleep in the car every time we go anywhere.

You've met lots of people this month- your Grandma B was the first family member to arrive, but she was quickly followed by Grandmama and Grandpapa and they all just fell in love with you. 

You're on track to be quite a chubby baby, which is something we've never seen in this house. At your 1-month appt, you were 9 lbs 1 ozs (50%), 20.5 inches (50%) and 25% for head circumference. You had gained almost 2 pounds in a month! It will be very interesting to see how you compare to your sister as you continue to get older. I'm excited, because I think chubby babies are super cute :)

You're such a sweet baby girl and I can't wait to see what you become.

Lots of love,

Monday, January 2, 2012

I do still exist

I know that I've been beyond MIA lately. I'm not going to give any empty promises about how I'm going to start blogging every day or anything like that. But I am going to say that I miss it. I miss writing and I miss feeling like people know anything about my life.

I remember the first few months of Jade's life, I felt so alone. Getting out of the house was a huge challenge, so it didn't happen much. Chuck worked all the time and didn't understand my need to just talk to another human being that could actually talk back. So the loneliness hit hard.

I naively thought that it would be different this time. But even with the business of the holiday season, the luxury of having family in town and being able to get out of the house, and the experience of having done this before, I'm still struggling. Sleep deprivation combined with my tendency to question EVERYTHING I do has caused depression to begin to creep back in. Tears are flowing more frequently than I would care to admit and I've spent a lot of time lately feeling sorry for myself and questioning my abilities to function.

That should explain my silence. I have no desire to boo hoo my problems all over the internet. However, today I finally recognized that this might be more of a problem than I thought it was, and started remembering things counselors have told me in the past. Coping skills, healthy eating, etc etc etc. And one of my coping skills has always been writing. So I'm going to do the best I can to keep at this. It might not be the best blog out there, but that's never been my goal. It might get uncomfortable with my bluntness, but I'm not one to sugar coat things.

Hopefully in the next few weeks, I'll get my Christmas post out there. We really did have a great Christmas and I want to share all of that with you guys. But for now, both my babies are asleep, so I'm going to curl up with my Chuck on the couch and watch a movie (or fall asleep... but what's the difference)?