I can’t believe my youngest just turned one! I still haven’t blogged about his birth story and here we are, a year later already!
I sorely miscalculated how “upside down” my life would feel as the mother of three young children…and not just any three children. MY high energy, high spirited, high need, totally lovable but totally exhausting two older children AND a new baby! I thought I’d have more time and energy this year to “do it all”; work on my business, cook from a garden I was hoping to grow this spring – summer, blog regularly and still tend to the littles (due to the older two being in school/pre-school a lot of the time)…but in reality, my sanity and productivity is up and down.
I’ve totally neglected blogging and could only grow herbs this season but have truly enjoyed every minute with Brook this past year. I’m so thankful that I’ve had the time at home with an infant (my other two were in daycare from 3 mo. on until we moved to MN). I’m proud of the work I’ve been doing with my small handful of clients but I’m barely keeping our house picked up and in order. Some days I feel like I’m nailing it and doing a good job and other days I’m a hot mess. If I’m doing one thing well, it seems like other things suffer or fall behind.
The kids take up most all of my time and energy. As they should. They’re wonderful, loving and smart and deserve my attention. But I’m laughing at myself thinking I’d have time for much else, let alone to do those things as well as I’d like…or the budget to get a babysitter as frequently as I would have liked so I can have a moment to focus on one task as opposed to multitasking everything in my life. It doesn’t help that my husband has been working like a dog climbing the corporate ladder for the past year and a half. (Praying there’s a light at the end of the tunnel soon because the reality is that I feel like a single parent M-F and sometimes at least one of the days on the weekend. We’re talking 13 hour days on a regular basis).
What’s the payoff of being a “work at home” parent, often by myself, juggling a bunch of balls in the air all the time? This little sweet guy, Brook Maddux. (And his siblings of course, but while I’m disciplining the other two the majority of the time, there’s nothing sweeter than a baby. Am I right?)
Let’s go back to his entrance into the world…
A year ago on September 10th, my husband and I scheduled an “elective induction” to avoid me having the baby on the side of the road, not being able to make it to the hospital in time. It was a gamble being that I was so far along already, without family around to take care of my other two no matter what time I went into labor. All my labors have been relatively fast (12 hrs. with my daughter and 4 with my son). I’ve always dilated up to “active labor” stages before arriving at the hospital, beginning weeks ahead of my due date. My doctor knew that once my water was broken, I probably wouldn’t need any other meds to get things rolling. As God’s good graces would have it, that’s exactly what happened.
I went in on the 10th at 4 cm, 75% effaced and Brook was born about 4 hrs. and 20 min. after they broke my water. The most stressful part of the day was waiting in the lobby for 2 hours because they had 4 emergency C-sections back-to-back and no staff available to clean a room and get us checked in. So, while we were hungry and anxious waiting to be admitted, we had a quick delivery for little Brook once we got in. Everyone was healthy and resting by dinner time.
I was very lucky to be able to have both of my boys fast without any drug intervention. Ryne’s birth was textbook; contractions gradually increasing in intensity while I was able to adjust my pain tolerance and breathing techniques to work through the pain. However, with Brook, labor was a little strange. Contractions started after my water was broken and started to gain intensity for an hour and then stopped. I was chillin’ again without much discomfort wondering what was going on. I tried bouncing on a yoga ball (draped in a towel…let’s be real). I tried walking, laying down, etc. Finally something shifted and more water gushed out. In the next hour I went from 6cm to 10cm!! It was crazy. Contractions were coming hard and fast and I could hardly keep up. At that point, I was just there for the incredibly intense painful ride. It felt like Brook was going to punch his way out. I was in so much pain and urgency I pushed him out like a rocket. His poor little face was bruised from coming out so fast.
After our first day in the hospital, he looked more like himself…not like a puffy purple alien.
Brook’s first name was ultimately my choice. We had two or three names going into the hospital and after looking at his sweet handsome face, he just seemed like a “Brook”. His namesake is after Brook Berringer
, a Nebraska Cornhusker football legend and someone I looked up to as an adolescent (and also a nod to my own Grandma Swanson
). His middle name Maddux, after Chicago Cub great, Greg Maddux
. (All of our kids have Chicago Cub references in their names). He’s our baby…and will likely stay that way since we don’t anticipate having any more children. He’s the perfect fit to complete our family.
In his first short year of life, I’ve grown to love and cherish Brook’s:
* Dragon shrieking and LOUD screaming (it’s how he communicates right now)
* Affectionate hugs and cuddles, especially when he pats me on the back
*Hunger and thirst for pretty much anything I put in front of him
* Attempts at playing “sword fight” or “light sabers” with his brother, even this early
*Fast crawling and desire to “go”…even though he’s still too chicken to walk
*Super soft velvety peach fuzz hair
*Adorable teeth and smile
*The sweet way he interacts with his siblings
I can’t wait to see what he becomes. I’m cherishing every moment…even through night waking and phases of clinginess and other tough developmental phases. Seeing the age difference between Addison and Brook is an every day reminder of how fast time is going. They will not be little for long. Soon they won’t need me as much and I will have endless hours to work uninterrupted or start and finish a project without weeks in-between. Their childhood is precious and fleeting and I’m so thankful to be in this space of life where I can experience their little-ness full on. It’s truly ONE big privilege to be their Mom.