Category Archives: Uncategorized

Surprises about motherhood

You know how young love is dreamy. Where you can’t stop talking or thinking about this new person in your life that makes everything appear like butterflies and rainbows? That’s life with Rosemary. I had no idea it would be like that. I thought we would trudge through the first year or so, bleary-eyed and enduring the hard parts of parenthood. Instead, I am surprised to say that even the hard days are good. It is just such a pleasure to be Rosemary’s mom. To be called Mom. To know her every move and tendency. To dress her and cuddle her. To calm a cry and to get her up in the morning. I just love the whole experience. I did not expect for parenthood to be weighted so heavily towards wonderful.

Coffee turns cold faster than before parenthood.   I don’t know why that happens but I am fine drinking it that way. Now I understand why my sister pounds coffee so fast. There just is not too much time to savor coffee.

I am surprised by how uninterested I am in leaving my house. It’s like this peaceful, happy place where our little family of three simply, peacefully exists. We have everything we need there. Venturing out means preparation and packing. Not much is worth that. I am shocked that I would be that mom. I thought I would be crawling the walls, dragging Rosemary everywhere. We do get out but home is so great.

I love sleep. I need sleep. I think about sleep a lot. And I am getting some sleep. But it surprises me that my favorite time with Rosemary is in the middle of the night. She sleeps through the night a lot but sometimes wakes between 4-5 to eat. She goes right back down. But she is then up early, especially on weekends it seems. But middle of the night and early morning time is by far, the most tender, sweet time with my girl. I don’t mind.

These surprises are sweet reminders that we may think we have things all figured out (I certain think I do) but we really don’t know what each stage will be until we are there. I am grateful for these blessed days. They are not easy days. There are plenty of challenges. But I would not change it for the world.

Oh!  And we have kept Rosemary Drake Buchholtz alive for half a year.  Scott and I are grateful for the help in doing so.  We need all the help we can get.  Happy half, Rosie Drake!

Three months of Rosemary.

Its official.  We have kept a small human alive for an entire quarter.  We feel quite accomplished.  This little girl has captured our hearts completely.  And if fat cheeks and thighs are signs of thriving, this girl is living large.

fullsizeoutput_407b

Rosemary discovered her hands and eats them with great urgency.  She learned to smile and that melts us. She has quite a lot to say in a language primarily consisting of “oohs” and some growling.  She plays on the floor and grabs hold of loops and shiny things from her activity gym.

fullsizeoutput_4076

Her best trick is sleeping.  She pretty much sleeps from 7 to 7.  Its like she knew that she could win us over by valuing sleep as much as we do.  She is very advanced…

fullsizeoutput_4077

And going back to work has actually been okay!  I love work and the time passes so quickly I hardly have time to be sad.  The anticipation of returning was definitely worse than actually doing so.  I felt the prayers of all of you who have prayed for me.  I stare at my phone waiting for a picture to come through while in meetings and I beeline to Rosemary after work, but so far, so good.  Its not easy, but its good.

P.S. Rosemary came home from the hospital in the same outfit she is wearing in these pictures (the monogram came later).  Think she has grown much?

fullsizeoutput_407d

 

 

One month with Rosemary.

fullsizeoutput_1be2

Rosemary Drake Buchholtz made her world debut on October 17, 2016, a month ago today.  She was nine days late, but just a little thing, weighing 6 pounds and 2 ounces.  We went to the hospital on Sunday night, October 16, at 5:00 pm, loaded with movies to watch and a take-out pizza.  We were to spend the night in the hospital for an early morning induction.  I received a medication to prepare my body for delivery at 7 pm and my water broke at 9 pm.  No induction necessary!  Needless to say, we did not watch movies that night.  Thank goodness I did eat pizza before all the excitement started.

By 11 pm I was dilated to a 5 but crawling the walls in pain.  Part of me was hoping I could deliver without medications but I quickly decided against that.  I received an epidural at about 11 pm and another in the middle of the night.  Two for the price of one.  Scott and I both slept some and by about 8 am I was ready to push.  at 10:02 am, Rosemary Drake was born.

Scott counted to 10 approximately 1000 times in those two hours of pushing.  He was brave, peaceful and constant.  The nurses were encouraging and made me feel strong.  My doctor gave me a huge hug after delivery and was such a wonderful cheerleader.  The experience was one I will never forget.

It felt like eternity between the time she was born and when my doctor said, “its a girl!”  I burst into tears, turned to Scott and told him what a good daddy he was going to be to a little girl.  And he is.  They cleaned us both up, took our first family-of-three-pictures and our larger family came in–my dad, mom, sister, and Scott’s sister.  We cried and marveled at her perfection.  I have never seen God’s faithfulness exhibited so clearly as when I held that baby girl in my arms.  And introducing her to those who had prayed so diligently for her was a distinct pleasure.  Holy moments.

fullsizeoutput_1be4

We named her Rosemary mainly because we both agreed on it pretty easily.  Rosemary is used in wedding flowers as a symbol of fidelity and faithfulness.  I come from a family of gardeners and naming her for something that generations of my family has harvested just felt right.  We call her Rosemary and Rosie.  Drake comes from my dad, who was a DJ and newscaster before he went to law school.  Because Gary Thornton was a bit nasal, Dad went by Gary Drake on the radio and television.  Those who knew my dad in college call him Drake.

Because I opted for an epidural, I expected labor to be a fairly passive process. I don’t know what I was thinking, but even with the epidural, turns out, pushing a child out of your body takes a ton of work.  My body hurt from the effort for days.  My voice, my arms, everything.  I have a friend who told me labor (without meds) was similar to a spin class for her. A spin class is much shorter than what I experienced, but the pushing part did feel a little like that. I took it one contraction at a time (hill, song, or effort from a spin class) without looking ahead to the next. It was more manageable that way and helped me feel strong.

I had a fever when Rosemary was born, which meant that both Rosemary and I had to receive antibiotics, which meant time in the NICU for Rosemary–26 hours.  She had an IV in her head.  I went there to nurse her around the clock until she finished her antibiotics and could join me in my room.  Those 26 hours were long.  I got lost in the hospital each and every time I went to the NICU.  They need arrows on the floor for bleery-eyed, directionally challenged people like me.

fullsizeoutput_77e6
We went home on Wednesday and home has never felt so good.  Megan (Aunt Sis) made the best meal of my life: Holiday Spaghetti, Caesar salad and red wine. Heaven.

Rosemary is very kind to us.  By the second day home, she would sleep for a few hours at a time, sometimes longer.  She eats well and as of today, has gained 3 pounds, mainly in her cheeks.  She has her fussy moments, and life is not all happy moments, but it is so, so sweet.

I think what everyone says is true.  The days are long but the years, or in this case, the month, is short.  It doesn’t seem like it has been a whole month.  Scott stayed home from work for two weeks.  He loaded the dishwasher, made coffee, ran errands, helped me get naps, and spent time learning Rosemary.  We loved having him home and he has been a rockstar daddy.  The day we came home, he put Rosemary in the jog stroller (with infant carrier, don’t worry) and took her for a walk.  He puts her to bed, changes diapers, talks to her sweetly and is tender toward her.  I have never loved him more.

Our village of love has supported us well.  Mom/Leelee spent two nights with us and still comes over to help me almost every day.  She made healing food, made me lay low in the first weeks, and cared for me well.  We have binge watched Call The Midwife.  She came into my house, took command of my kitchen, held the fort down, and I didn’t get sick of her.  I am still not.  I can’t imagine becoming a mother without my mother to show me the way.  I call her each day to basically ask when she is coming over.

My sister/Aunt Sis has been a regular and such a huge help.  She runs errands, brings food, dotes on Rosie, buys her the best hats and eats her up.  My dad/Papa comes over most days to remind Rosemary who will spoil her.  We FaceTime with Scott’s mom who comes home from Paris next month.  When nothing fit Rosemary, Bonnie sent little french onesies that fit perfectly.  And of course, a host of additional family and friends have celebrated Rosie’s arrival so richly.  We feel rich in love; my heart is overflowing.

Rosie and I have tried to find routine.  In these groundhog days, I have wanted to reintroduce parts of my pre-Rosie life with intention.  I started to read the lectionary again for my quiet time.  The first time I opened it, I was directed to Psalm 139.  I read it aloud to Rosemary and wept.  “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Psalm 139: 13-14.  And yesterday’s scripture: ” May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The one who calls you is faithful….”  1 Thes. 5:23-24.  The scriptures are coming alive to me as blessings and instruction to someone I love and feel responsible for forming.  I pray over her and just cry.  I just can’t believe she is ours.

I rock Rosemary in the middle of the night and while sometimes I am simply thinking, “please, please, please go back to sleep,” I am filled with gratitude for having the chance to be this little girl’s momma.  I am grateful that I get to be the one she will want when she is sad, who knows her looks, noises, and preferences, and who gets to teach her about Jesus, how to be kind, and how to be a strong woman.  I am honored to do this along side Scott, who will be her first love, who will teach her how to have high standards and how to change a tire, how to rub some dirt in it and be tough, and who already loves her so well.

God doesn’t give us everything we want.  I don’t know why he answered our prayer for a child and he doesn’t for all people.  I know I have prayers in my heart that he will not answer.  But today, with our Rosemary, he answered so, so richly.

fullsizeoutput_1be0

Jane, Rosie’s oldest cousin, gave Rosemary the redbird in this picture.  It is a sweet reminder of our Meemaw, who loved redbirds.  It’s appearance in monthly pictures will provide a nice measure of Rosie’s growth over the next year.  Meemaw always told us, “we don’t cry over anything buys back.”  And while she meant not to cry over stuff that we lost or that broke, I am reminded by her saying now.  Over the last month, I have cried so many happy tears for a gift that money can’t buy. Praise be to God.

The last days before baby.

October 8th, the due date of Baby Bucky, as we are affectionately calling this kid until we know more, has pretty much come and gone.  The nursery is ready for an occupant.  We are as ready as we can be to meet this little person.  Our families are anxiously awaiting.  I feel like we are in stage that seems so typical and cliché.  Just waiting on a baby, happily.  I don’t mind it he/she stays put for a few more days.

img_2621

Throughout this experience, I have made some observations and acquired some favorites to share with others who are headed down this path.  I thought I would share them here, and a few pictures of the nursery, which is really a room for my delight more than anyone else’s.

First, Le Tote.  This is a clothes rental service in which you pay a monthly fee ($70) and they will send you 5 things at a time (two are always accessories).  While they have a “normal people” track and a maternity track, I think this is mostly beneficial for maternity clothes that one only needs for a short time.  You can wear each once, 5 times, whatever, and return dirty.  Then they will send you your next batch.  I subscribed to this for my last two months of pregnancy, rather than sitting in my closet each day having a tantrum.  I have averaged about 4 “totes” a month—I wear each item about once, throw each item in the return envelope dirty, and at the end of the week return, only to acquire the next one by about Monday of the following week.  It has made dressing for work so much easier.  I highly recommend it.  If you want to try it, let me know and I will send you a “free tote” online.

img_2626

Also, safflower oil.  In the spring, Mom, Megan and I went to Santa Fe for a quick trip.  It was glorious, especially the few hours we spent at Ten Thousand Waves Spa.  The spa used safflower oil as massage oil and it doesn’t smell at all.  I have been particularly sensitive to smells during pregnancy (and most of life) and I have used this each morning as moisturizer to avoid stretch marks.  It has worked so far.  Scott says stretch marks will come when I “shrink,” so I will report back then.  I love that guy.

img_2627

Babylist is another favorite.  This is a registry site that allows you to curate your registry from all corners of the web-world.  I registered for things on etsy, Nordstrom, Anthro, etc., and I think it made the registry process much more fun!  Of course most still love to buy from Amazon (me too) but branching out a little has been really nice.  

img_2625

I have observed just how different it is for each person to be pregnant.  I actually really enjoyed it.  I have felt pretty good.  I don’t have to wash my hair as much.  People tend to be pretty nice.  I have less guilt about ice cream.  I can unapologetically eat in every single meeting I have during the day.  I had to replace two tires and they just gave them to me for free earlier this week.  I think I looked a little too large and crazy.  The tire dudes were a little freaked out.  I have had reason to celebrate with friends, and be with my family more.  Scott has checked so many house projects off our list.  There is sort of something natural to talk about with people.  There is excitement in the air.  It has been fun!  (And weird!  But mostly fun!)  But I know that is not the case for everyone, and I am really sympathetic to that.  It is different for everyone.  And that is really okay.

Mostly, through this whole experience, I am grateful.  Grateful for the experience.  Grateful for friends who have celebrated this baby.  Grateful for family who is excited.  Grateful for the prayers of our big world to pray us into parenthood.  Grateful for a husband who is steadfast and kind.  Grateful to God who is always good.