Saturday, February 27, 2010

For the Love of Food

Dear Blog,

Heath does and says a lot of funny things and I need to remember them. So, whenever there is a small moment that cracks me up (and when he's not trying to be funny, I feel this point is important) I am going to tell you about it so I can look back and laugh and say, "Oh yeah! Ha ha ha ha ha....."

The other day I decided to make some bratwurst for dinner. Heath loves bratwurst with ALL the fixings. I am in the kitchen getting everything together and Heath joins me. We're talking about who knows what and then, all of the sudden, Heath decides to take my hand, hold my waist, and press his forehead to mine and leads me around the kitchen in a lovely romantic dance. I smile and think he's so sweet and wonderful. Kisses and a short minute passes and then in a soft, loving voice he says.....

"I wish we had sauerkraut."

He really knows how to make me swoon!

Love,
Mrs. Wilcock

Friday, February 26, 2010

Another Side-by-Side Comparison

Dear Blog,

Remember when I did this side-by-side comparison? It was only a couple weeks ago. Well, this one should have been first. This picture was taken in her first day of life and every time I looked at it I knew I had seen it before. After a couple weeks I realized what it was and boy, did I laugh!






You've seen Disney's Fantasia, right?


So far, Juniper only resembles food.


Sincerely,
Emily Wilcock

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Don't Try to be a Hero"---humbug

*** Reader beware, there are some semi-graphic photos of childbirth here. No crotch shots, just goo and possibly some cleavage.

Dear blog,
I thought I would tell a little bit about my pregnancy/birth experience. I am in no way trying to brag or stick it to the skeptics or say my birth was superior to others. If anything, I want women to feel empowered because I certainly did. And I am just still elated with my birth and honestly look forward to the next. Having a home birth was the most awesome thing I've ever done (surpasses my wedding day [a close second], as well as my semester abroad and Peru trip, though they all are at the top of the list).
The night before

So why did I decide on a home birth? My mother had 3 of her 5 children at home and I was one of them. For as long as I can remember, I knew that I too wanted to have my children at home. I pictured "normal" birth at the hospital because that's what I saw on TV and everyone I knew besides my mom had births there. But for some reason I never envisioned my birth(s) at the hospital. And that means I've never envisioned using drugs.


When I got pregnant, I knew immediately that I wanted a home birth. Heath and my in-laws were hesitant but with persuasion (and education) Heath felt comfortable with a home birth and my family was kind enough to let us do our thing. I was so excited and was happy to tell just about anyone my plans. I got a lot of grief from people. "Isn't that dangerous?" "What if something bad happens?" "What if it's an emergency?" "So, you can't have an epidural???" I even got a few eye rolls. The worst was "Don't try to be a hero." It was like they thought I was so naive. I felt like David against Goliath, but I wasn't scared. I worked for an OB/GYN for 2 years and I still knew that a home birth was for me. I also did my homework and I knew home birth is a safe route to go for any low-risk woman. If anything, they were naive.



At the beginning of hard labor between a contraction

Close to pushing time


Between pushing contractions - I was tired


When I woke up that morning on December 1, 2009, I thought it was like any other. I did have cramping but I had cramping for the previous 2 weeks. I drove to my appointment and by the time I got there I felt like the baby was coming soon, possibly the upcoming weekend. When I got home I was getting ready for school/work but I didn't feel well so I called in sick. I didn't believe I was in labor yet. My lovely sister Jill kindly came over and helped me completely unpack the house (we moved 6 weeks earlier). I needed it to be clean and organized and I wasn't capable of doing it all myself and Heath was super busy. The afternoon rolls around and Heath is at work. My cramping is getting very regular and I begin to think little Juniper is coming sooner than I previously thought. I call Heath and he gets home around 5pm. At around 6pm, Jill leaves, my midwife arrives and this is where it turned into real labor, intense labor, getting progressively more intense until she was born at 11:56pm. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. It was much more intense than I thought it would be (some women find it easier than they thought it would be, but I had my mom's example of 1-3 hour labors. She made it seem like cake!). I remember thinking that women in the hospital have it so easy, relatively easy that is. They get an epidural or a c-section, those lucky dogs! But I am so happy those methods weren't even available because I didn't need them and in the end it was absolutely worth every contraction. And to compare the amount of joy I felt afterwards and how long it lasted (still going strong) to the pain of those 6 hours has made me think, over and over again, of a scripture: D&C 121:7 "My son (or my daughter), peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment." And was it ever small!


I like this picture because you can see the cord is still around her neckBringing her up to me so I can hold her


Relieved

7 lbs 4 ozShe looked just like Grandma KerriProud Daddy

It is true that medical intervention is necessary at times and that the epidural is a WONDERFUL option for pain. I was blessed to have a short labor but others aren't as lucky. There is no doubt of the feat a woman accomplishes in giving birth no matter the method. But I believe my drug free home birth was the single most empowering thing that I've ever experienced. It erases all the doubt, shame, discouragement, embarrassment in myself that I've had in the past.

Still have my "fullness"


When I posted some of my labor pictures on facebook it was obvious I was at home. Some of the comments were flattering. I was even called Wonder Woman! Haha. But I'm no different from any other woman. Anyone can do it. If you are one of the many women who have fear in childbirth: fear of pain, tearing, healing, becoming a mother, or anything, I plead with you to realize your strength and power of being a woman. That you were made for this. If you needed help, that's OK, it doesn't make you any less of a woman because you still did it! Mothers who have lost in pregnancy or after birth, you still did it! Mothers who have adopted, you still did it! And I truly believe that.



Sincerely Your Cosmic Sister,
Emily Wilcock

Together at last

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Macadamia Nuts and Samoas

Dear Blog,


There's no doubt we act like our parents from time to time, if not all the time. I'm sure we all have said or done something which we instantly realize was just like our mom or dad. One thing I do like my mother is correct people who pronounce something wrong. Heath, on the other hand, is like his father and frequently says a word incorrectly. Clearly, we were made for each other (Not that I'm proud of correcting people. In fact, I'm working hard on keeping my mouth shut).


For instance, When my mom came into town when we had our baby she brought with her chocolate covered macadamia nuts from Hawaii. I noticed that whenever Heath would say "macadamia" it sounded like he added an "n" at the end. Finally, after about the 10th time of him saying it I brought it up and we had a conversation that went a little like this...




Me: Are you saying "macadamian?"

Heath: Yeah, macadamian nuts.

Me: No, I mean not macadamia but macadamian?

Heath: They're called macadamian nuts.

Me: It's macadami-UH not macadami-AN.

Heath: Yeah, macadamian.

Me: You're saying it like these nuts are from a place called macadamia. Like macadamians come from macadamia (laughing).

Heath: (serious) It's macadamian, Emily. (He's just messing with me now to see how long I'm going to keep this up).

Me: Where's the box, I'm going to show you there is no "n" at the end of macadami-UH.

Heath: You're going to be wrong.

I found the box and I was right! But it's not about always being right, right? Then earlier this afternoon I had deja vu. Heath brought me home some Girl Scout Cookies, Samoas to be exact. We are snacking on them and Heath is talking about how much he likes them.



Heath: I think Samoans are the best ones. Then Tag-a-longs. Thin mints are good too.

Me: It's Samo-UHs not Samo-ANs.

Heath: Yeah, Samoans.

Me: Wait, didn't already have this conversation?

Heath: I think we have.

Me: What was it?

Heath: Uh....

A minute goes by...

Heath: Macadamian nuts

Me: Oh yeah. Macadamia.

Heath: Macadamian nuts and Samoans

Oi vay!!!


Sincerely,

Emily Wilcock

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How to laugh it off

Dear Blog,

As a child I always thought I had a good sense of humor and was never serious. Then I grew up and looked at myself realized that I am and always have been quite a serious person. Then I really found myself to be a serious person when I met my Heath. And boy, am I glad I married him!

You see, more often than I like to admit, I am upset, disappointed, down, frustrated, or just plain mad. Heath always stays calm and listens, and then somehow makes me laugh. I don't know about you but when I feel one of the former adjectives I listed, the last thing I want to do or think I can do is laugh. So I am always surprised when I find myself cracking up when just a minute before my face was red hot! Then, I feel calmer and happier. Simply put, Heath helps me be better.

Since this post has been serious so far, I will lighten the mood with some pictures of none other than my happy Heath!


video

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Have you seen how beautiful the sky is?

Dear Blog,
Heath never gets as excited over the sky as I do. It's not that he doesn't find it beautiful, he just doesn't "ooh" and "ah" like me.
Sunsets have always left me speechless and wanting so badly to enjoy that seeing them with someone. I remember my senior year while I was on Pom & Cheer at Mesa High during the football season. We would arrive before the game to set up while it was still daylight but the game never started until after dark. So, every Friday night I witnessed the most amazing sunsets (I think they were particularly amazing during that time of year because it was usually partly cloudy). I would be taping banners to the bleachers saying aloud (to myself really but loud enough so the girls standing by me could hear), "The sky is so beautiful." "Isn't that gorgeous?" "Wow." But I would never get any response from the other girls. Maybe they didn't hear me. Every week I expressed the sky's breathtaking beauty and still no response. No one even looked! Finally, my friend Shawnda was walking by so I asked her, "Shawnda, look at the sky! Isn't it beautiful?" Without even slowing her pace she took a quick glance at the sky and said, "Yeah!" I shrugged my shoulders and gave up and thought, "I guess I just really like the sky more than usual."
The sunset a couple weeks ago
I remember the first boy I kissed. I was 19, YES 19! He was an odd boy but kind and funny and took an interest to me. I wasn't really interested. After my classes one day at school, I was practicing my piano pieces in the choir room (there were no more classes there for the day). The door was left open because it was a lovely day outside. He peeked his head in the door and said that he was going to listen to me practice. I thought that was weird but whatever, and he sat on the door stop and looked outside towards the sky. After about 5 minutes he said, "The clouds are so beautiful."
What?!?!?! I couldn't believe it! Someone, and a boy for that matter, thought the sky was as beautiful as I did! He got me interested after that. I stopped practicing and went and talked to him. Haha, apparently it didn't work out.
Still, to this day, I have this passion. I don't express it as much as I would like because I don't think people really care. So I just take it all in instead, it's their loss.
Sometimes I ask Heath if he has seen the sky that day. He humors me and says, "Yes, it's beautiful." He's sweet like that.
Sincerely,
Emily Wilcock
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT!

Dear Blog,

Every Saturday night Heath does his shows at NCT-National Comedy Theatre and Juniper sleeps most of the night so I usually spend my Saturday nights alone. I rarely go out on these nights because it corresponds with Juniper's long stretch of sleep. I don't mind much. I'm just happy that Heath gets to perform each week. After working at a job he'd rather not have, going to NCT is his bread & butter. It's what keeps him alive! I am very proud of him, that he went for it and auditioned a year ago and made it! He still gets nervous before shows and can't eat. I think it is very sweet and silly too. He has nothing to worry about because he always does a great job and anyone who knows him would agree that he is quite the funny fellow.

Meet "the Team"

Playing "Blind Freeze Tag"

Juniper and I hanging out




I must be off to bed.
Sincerely,
Emily Wilcock

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Smiles are contagious

Dear Blog,
It is really hard to find a formula that works best for Juniper. They leave her constipated and the poor darling's face turns red with every push. I feel so bad for her. I hoped I would get my money's worth but no, not really. I took many people's advice and applied for WIC which I have but was told that they only give out the same powdered formula that is the hardest on June. I know beggars can't be choosers but I wish I could choose something better. Heath and I are trying to be more natural and holistic for us city dwellers to be but getting breastmilk from a milk bank isn't exactly in our budget. It is unfortunate that WIC doesn't even consider alternatives to similac.
I have had a migraine and felt nauseated all day and June is much more gassy and constipated from switching to a new formula. This leaves us both deprived of sleep that we both could really use. Being sensitive to sound as a result of the migraine, her cries and screams painfully ring in my ears. It is hard not to get frustrated when hearing her cry physically hurts. But every now and then she still looks at me and gives me a huge smile showing her toothless grin and dimples. You have all heard it before but that smile actually does make you forget all of her cries and makes you feel much better.
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Monday, February 8, 2010

A Familiar Sight

Dear Blog,

Juniper will be 10 weeks tomorrow. She is getting big and I can read her cues much easier and I am happy to say that I read them best. That, of course, makes me feel like her mother and that no one else is. I know, it sounds a bit selfish. But this isn't what I wanted to talk about.

The other day I went grocery shopping because we were out of food and Heath and I were hungry for some dinner. I went to a farmer's market and discovered that if you go about 30 minutes before they close they put their rotisserie chicken on sale because they cannot sell them the next day. So, I grabbed one. We needed to eat still anyways and we didn't want to wait any longer to cook something.

As I placed the knife to the chicken's skin, ready to carve, I noticed that I have seen those legs before. Except the kind of legs I was thinking of were not chicken legs, although I may want to eat them from time to time because they are so soft and squishy. No, they looked more like my baby's legs. See below.

It gave me a good laugh (and a full tummy).

Sincerely,

Emily Wilcock

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"That wasn't in the plan, but it works."

Dear Blog,

Little miss Juniper Lucy turned 2 months old yesterday and she is getting so big. She feels much more substantial (physically) now. I think she has mastered holding her head up very well. I can pull her up from lying to standing just holding her arms. She has been smiling for a month and smiles more and more each day. Right now she enjoys the ceiling fan. She smiles at it like it is making jokes and faces at her. I must say that I actually enjoy changing diapers. I find her bum and little frog legs so cute and the only way I see them is when I change her. Speaking of dirty diapers, she cannot stand to be wearing one. She enjoys bath time but does not enjoy the cold shock when she comes out of the water. Heath and I always joke that her best friends (aka her hands) are always getting her into trouble: Hitting her in the face, beating the bottle to her mouth and blocking the way, or sneaking out of the blanket and waking her up. When she coos she makes some of the cutest noises I have ever heard. Whenever she is tired she will not go to sleep until she is securely swaddled and rocked to sleep in my arms. Luckily, I can easily lie her down in her bassinet once she is asleep. I love the feeling of knowing she trusts me and needs me for her to succumb to a quiet sleep. I love that she does not feel the need to cry when it is sleepy time. I love holding her in my arms and being her mom. The feeling that I am her only biological mother, the one who carried and birthed her. What a wonderful experience that was.

video


I have a point to this. At around 6 weeks postpartum Juniper and I were still working on successfully breastfeeding. There were roadblocks one after another and I promised her we would get through it and that I would never give up. That I would give everything I could to ensure that she received the most fortified food on the planet. But after six weeks of ups and downs, encouragement and discouragement, trial and error, I had to give up. I was stressed out and crying almost every day. We would clear one hurdle but soon another one appeared and it became more and more difficult to muster up the emotional strength to tackle it. I could no longer take the rejection. It hurt to think that I should be the unlucky mom to have these seemingly endless struggles at the breast. I did not feel as close to my baby. I did not enjoy taking care of her. I did not like that I felt that way. So, I had to give in. It was so difficult to call it quits and when I gave in I fell apart. I could not contain my tears. I felt like a failure. Like I could not do what any woman should be able to do. It was terrible.

It could not have gotten any darker.

Then, the light appeared. I accepted my defeat and guess what...Juniper was crying less. I was crying less. I could place her down to sleep. She could happily be awake without me holding her. She allowed me to get other household work done. I noticed the little things that she was doing that melted my heart. She got cuter and cuter daily and I began to feel closer to her. I feel like she knows me and trusts me more. I was not troubled constantly with the strain of nursing and neither was she.

I love being a mom and though it is still hard work I love serving my daughter. The more I serve her the better I feel and the more I love her. I am not unlucky at all. I had a perfectly healthy pregnancy and delivery and a perfectly healthy little girl. That is why I can enjoy reading the above list of lovely daily events.

I do wish that nursing turned out a lot different but I was wisely advised to not look back. But if I could start over and try again I would. And I will with my future children. I am certain that I will succeed one day.

Sincerely,
Emily Wilcock