Monday, November 3, 2014

A Baby Story

One week.

Nate and I have been a family of four for one week!

Honestly I can barely remember most of the week. All I know is it involved a lot of baby snuggling, not a lot of sleeping, and quite a few loads of laundry. We are considering changing Everett's name to I.P. Freely. #boyproblems

I can tell this is our second child since I am writing this one handed while holding and feeding the baby. But with two kids if I don't write it up now, I'll never remember the whole experience and may not find the time ever again!

It was an ordinary Sunday... at least as ordinary as days are when you are a week overdue and can barely stand because your belly is so enormous! We got ready for church, made it right on time, and committed to stay for an hour. At our church, we go three hours, to Sacrament Meeting, Sunday School, and Relief Society/ Priesthood meetings.

After Sacrament, I decided to go ahead and stay for the rest of church. To my happy surprise, the teacher during third hour had made cookies! I took two... I figured I had earned it. So Emmy and I munch down our cookies and listen to an awesome lesson, and as the concluding remarks are being given I start picking up a few toys she had thrown on the floor. As I bend down and reach to grab a toy wedged behind my chair I notice a trickle of water. Being super pregnant I assumed I had accidentally peed a little or something, but more and more started coming and I realized I couldn't stop it- my water had just broke!

I sat on the ground debating what to do. Do I just make a mad dash for the bathroom? How do I tell Nate? How do I contain this and also conceal the giant wet spot growing on the backside of my dress!? Luckily my trusty friend Alissa grabbed Emmy for me and another kind friend went to go get Nate. We escaped out the side door before too many people noticed, headed home to get our hospital bag, fed Emmy a quick snack and Nate some lunch, handed Emmy off to Alissa (who graciously entertained and took care of Emmy that evening until my parents got off their flight from Boston), and off we went to the hospital.

When we got there around 3 pm, they started antibiotics since I tested positive for group b strep, and I wasn't having any contractions really so we just sat around and waited. They had mentioned if I didn't go into labor on my own by 6 pm they would have to start Pitocin. I REALLY didn't want to go that route, but was preparing for it since nothing seemed to be happening. But around 5:15 pm or so, contractions starting coming hard and fast.

My amazing midwife Jennifer had another woman in labor next door, so Nate and I spent a good portion of labor alone together in the room. I have to give it to Nate, we had discussed how I needed him to be more supportive and helpful this time around and he was. I didn't seem to be getting a break from the contractions and he cheered me on dutifully. I decided to try laboring for a bit in the jetted tub, which I ultimately think sped up labor, but it didn't really relieve much of the pain associated with the contractions. Jen had delivered the baby next door to us and came in to see what was happening.

At this point, I was starting to lose my nerve and thinking the epidural would give me an easy way out of all the discomfort of the contractions. So I told Jen I wanted one, and she told me if I was at seven centimeters when she checked me, she thought I should go without it and there probably wouldn't be enough time to get it anyway.

So I hop out of the tub, and low and behold I have progressed to seven centimeters! I went from three to seven in a matter of an hour or two! Nothing like my labor with Emmy. Jenn told me transition would go quickly, but I still had them start IV fluids in case I could still get the epidural and labor wasn't progressing as quickly as everyone thought it would. Like a crazed woman I kept asking how much fluid I had left in the IV bag before I could get an epidural as the contractions were kicking my butt. By the time I was close to having the anesthesiologist called, I was at 9 centimeters and starting to feel pressure like I wanted to push. Everyone was really encouraging, telling me I was strong, I was doing well, and that I could do this.

I felt a bit embarrassed by myself, as I started to yell, grunt, push and generally make a commotion about wanting this baby out. At some point, even though I was still groaning about, my mind had resigned itself to the pain and I was able to let go of it a little. Poor little Everett's head came out, but his shoulders were stuck. Quickly an assisting nurse came over and pushed down on my abdomen while I pushed and it was over! It was an instant relief, and after he came out  felt back to normal.

They handed him to me, and I instantly loved him. They let the cord finish pulsating, clamped it, Nate cut it, and then I delivered the afterbirth and got stitched up. The joy of having a baby get a little stuck is having to be stitched up after labor. I really could have cared less though. He was finally here!

I feel like this labor went so much differently from last time. I was well rested when I came into the hospital, I ate during labor which helped keep my energy up, and it was so much quicker this time around I was able to manage things so much better. When Em was born, I didn't feel an instant bond. I was exhausted and felt disconnected from the whole experience. I honestly feel part of it was not getting an epidural. I was able to feel the experience entirely and everything that comes with it. It was the labor I really wanted and am glad I had the support to get through it medication free.

Some people will think I am nuts, but honestly I didn't feel like it was all that bad. I am sure the speed of this labor had a lot to do with it, but I have been in worse pain in my life. I'm not saying it was not an intense experience, nor do I think everyone should go meds free. I think everyone has their own ideal birth and this was my experience.

So that it the story of Everett Nathaniel Eaton. Healthy and strong, arriving at 8:28 pm, weighing in at an impressive 8 pounds 11 ounces, and 21.5 inches long.

Thank you to everyone who has brought us meals, congratulated us, and supported us. We are so blessed to be surrounded by awesome friends and family who are happy to help in various ways.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Today, lots of things are overdue. Writing a blog. Our baby boy. This rant about pregnancy you are about to read. So I am taking care of the two I can control.

Pregnancy is a strange time. In a phrase from Taylor Swift, it's miserable and magical. I know I am super blessed to be able to have children. A lot of people don't or have a hard journey to finally be parents. Yesterday was the day our baby boy was due to come, but like his big sister, he was a no show.

One of the worst things about pregnancy is the things people say to you. To quote some of my favorite questions and comments over the past few weeks:

"You are HUGE!" (Which coincides with the subcategories of: Are you having twins? Are you sure you aren't having twins!? Since when is it ever polite to tell someone they look like they swallowed a bowling ball?).

"They are going to be how far apart? Was this planned?" (Em and her brother will be 16-17 months apart, and do I ask you what goes on behind your closed doors you creeps?)

"Oh, so you are done having kids after this?" (Do people only have more than two kids if they get one baby of each gender? I don't know if we will have more than two, but it's okay to have children if you want to. It's no easy feat, but they are some amazing little people.)

"So when are you having this baby? "(Clearly I don't know when this baby is coming. Would they need to give mothers a due date if they all magically knew the moment their babies would decide to be born?)

"You know what helps induce labor? Have you tried EVERYTHING *hint hint*?" (Once again, do I ask you what you do in the privacy of your own home!? Yeah, we've tried it. Pretty sure that's how we got into this situation in the first place. I'm also pretty sure that a male doctor came up with the science behind that old wives tale because his pregnant wife said NO MORE! And I am happy if walking 15 miles helped you go into labor, but no I'm not doing that either. As with children in general, everyone has their own opinion and what works for them. So while something works well for you, maybe it doesn't work as well for everyone else.)

I know people care, and they just want to be interested in the details of life because they are interested in my well being. But as any pregnant woman knows, I am a little hormonal at the moment, so if we could tone down the ridiculous questions and comments, I'd appreciate it. I may not take phone calls and texts for much longer... but I will be back to myself in a few months, and then I will be happy to accommodate crazy remarks with a polite smile rather than the urge to scream.

We are all very excited to meet our baby boy here in our family, and can't wait to share him with you! So even though he is overdue, some things are worth waiting for!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mommy Guilt

It's real. It's vicious. And it's raging at 11 PM. And no it's not pregnancy cravings.

It's mom guilt.

As Emerson wakes up for the 15th time since I put her to bed, I lay in my room another night battling scenarios in my head. Maybe she keeps waking up because dinner was too spicy and she has a tummy ache? Maybe she is having some sort of allergic reaction? Maybe she had a bad dream and needs some comfort? Is it too warm in her room? Is it too cold? I assure you this is only a picture of the thoughts that roll through my head when Emmy cries.

Every time I have fallen asleep tonight, Emerson seems to cry out. I don't think the girl even needs sleep. If it weren't for the case of temper tantrums she throws when she is overtired and you tell her no, if you let her do what she wants and play, the girl is perfectly content to never nap. And beyond that, she is still her typical smile and wave to everyone I see self.

The reason she is up tonight is probably because she refused to take an afternoon nap and is overtired. Another explanation could be she has her daddy's weird sleep disfunction and will be a sleep talker and walker.

Even with two logical explanations, I feel guilty still. That I must not be a good enough mom if my baby still has nights where she just doesn't want to sleep. Or I should have left her in her crib this afternoon until she fell asleep.

After an hour of tossing, turning, and crying, I am wanting to jump on board and do the same. I went in to check on her and she was fine. Laughing, asking to read a book, and giving kisses. So what do you do besides close the door and hope somehow I can stop hearing her cry and fall asleep?

I'm really trying to put aside the mommy guilt. Especially since I have enough to worry about with a new baby on the way too! Children definitely don't come with a manual and we have to do the best we can. Every day I pray God can grant me the knowledge I need to raise our children right. And that through the enabling power of the atonement God can make me so much more than what I am able to do on my own.

And God knows we can't do it on our own. He wants us to hand over the guilt about our short falls, about our worries and struggles. I think He made parenting hard so we would have to turn to Him.

Still next time you see me, remind me to drop the mommy guilt.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Cloud Is A Giant Rain Drop Party In The Sky

I realize I missed June, we'll chalk it up to pregnancy brain! So I may have needed 5 minutes to shoot out some emails this morning and caved and let Emerson watch some Baby First TV this morning. It's awesome when you finally become a parent and realize all the things you swore you would never do quickly crumble away.

I will never use TV as a baby sitter.

I will never change my baby in the middle of a restaurant.

I will never give my child sweets just to keep her quiet.

Win some, you lose some, right?

At least "I will never accidentally leave the house in my underwear" was realized before I was about to walk out the door a few days ago. I'd like to leave that one uncrossed.

As luck would have it, Emerson's educational TV program has brought us our thought for the day.

Clouds are not sad. Clouds are happy. They aren't a lonely mass in the sky, they are actually a conglomeration of tons of tiny bits of water vapor/ water droplets. A cloud is like a giant rain drop party in the sky.

Here is my issue with the rain cloud party. I have created what I would like to call a friend cloud. I am so blessed to have lots of little rain drop party goers in my cloud and am grateful for them. However, once the air becomes a little cooler, it reduces air's ability to hold all these little vapor droplets and they all become heavier water droplets waiting for the right conditions to cause it to rain.

Well this pregnancy has created some rain. Back in 2012 BC (before children), life was a hot party. However, life in 2014 AD (after daughter... and soon to be son) has cooled the party off a bit. This cloud is not quite so quick to jump at a fun opportunity for a get together. This has caused some of my sweet little friend water drops to drop right out of my friend cloud.

So how do people with children keep friends? Is it better to just let it rain? How do you tell people you still love them, but by the time you can somehow roll your giant belly out of bed and hopefully put on some pants you feel completely spent for the day? Not to mention you still have an active one year old who takes no pity on you.

I love getting together with friends, but lately everyone has something they want to go do... it is summer fun season for goodness sake! But this Mama is going to have to let some party clouds pass her by. I have decided to start saying no. That it would be nice to hang out, but I just don't have it in me. Next year, when I am NOT pregnant and chasing two kids, I'll be there. But for this little season, it has become time to let it rain if it must.

I hope for all my friends reading this, you will still invite me out sometimes, but don't feel slighted if I just can't put on pants today to come and play. I hope you'll still be part of the rain drop party in the sky.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Restless in Richmond

  Emerson's 1st Birthday is right around the corner and if there is one thing I did NOT anticipate, it would be her still not sleeping through the night. She is such a smart, beautiful, happy baby no one knows what a struggle we have with her at night.
  Reading web sites about baby sleep is probably the worst idea in the world, since each one contradicts each other in advice and will generally leave you feeling hopeless. Tonight I just needed to rant about this to get it out. As I type, Emerson is crying in the other room, tired beyond belief, but unable to sleep.
  We have a bed time routine. It is one we do every night at the same time. We nurse and snuggle, we read a book, I rock and sing her a couple songs, and then she goes in her crib. Some nights, she sleeps without a fight, other nights she fights all night long. Our baby definitely does not lack determination!
  In the past year, we have tried allowing her to cry it out, we have constituted set nap times, we have read and implemented dozens of books, tried feeding her different foods, put a white noise machine and projector in her room, and a variety of other things. Nothing seems to work. And everyone who offers up advice swears their magic formula for sleep will work, but to date no suggestions have worked. Instead of people's advice being encouraging it now has the opposite effect of discouraging.
  And so the sleep deprivation continues. And it this point I can assure you I have some serious sleep deprivation going on. To the point it scares me sometimes. I can tell I am not as alert as I should be, which causes a fear of driving because I think I may fall asleep behind the wheel. And I know that pregnancy hormones aren't helping in the worrying about sleep or inability to sleep. Most days I am so exhausted I don't know how I will make it through another one.
  I have learned a big lesson this year about parenting from this experience though. It is not to compare to other people or assume you know what they go through. Recently an acquaintance told me she thought being a stay at home mom was so easy. She didn't understand why everyone said it was so hard, that when you are tired you can sit down and rest, and that they all needed to stop whining. I choked down the desire to lay a verbal smack down, but weeks later it still bothers me. And I want to know what kind of kids she has that you can sit down and rest and not constantly be on watch. I know I need a room in the house that is completely baby proof, but having a one year old, I can tell you no room is ever this way. Emerson is so curious and busy that she starts picking at the carpet edging if she can't find anything else.
  Now I'm not saying that being able to stay home with her is not a wonderful and awesome experience, because I love it. I love being able to watch her grow and learn, to snuggle her during the days, and to love on her like crazy. It is the best job in the world, even if I think it's one of the most demanding. But if anyone wants to send the sandman our way, I won't complain one bit about the dust on the floor. I'll even leave him treats like kids do for Santa. Please Mr. Sandman being us a full night sleep. At least one in the coming year. I don't know that I can handle two babies if I don't get some sleep at night. However, Emerson just finally fell asleep, so I am going to sleep while I can for now!

Saturday, May 10, 2014


"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way..."(A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens)

If you are a Mom, you get this quote. Motherhood comes in so many shapes and sizes. For some it is a  future hope for others an every day reality. Some of the best mothers I know don't have children of their own. But they have mother hearts. They give all and ask for nothing in return. My sister Darcie is one of the best examples of this I know.

Today was an incredibly hard day. Being pregnant and chasing after Emerson is sometimes more than I can take. Occasionally instead of finding joy in the journey, I am trying to get the journey over as fast as possible. We all need a break sometime though. Acknowledging you can't do it all is okay. 

But acknowledging all the things your mother has done for you is essential! I am in awe of the line of incredible mothers I come from. I honestly don't know how my Mother made it look so effortless. She worked full time but still made us a priority always. And then there is my Grandma, who is the toughest woman I know! She raised 10 kids, and from what I understand she did it without much help from my Grandpa. Yet she has one of the biggest giving hearts I know. The same one I see in my sister Darcie. The same one I am trying each day to develop.

Some days as a mom, everything is joyous. Other days it can feel like the winter of despair. Being a stay at home mom can feel extremely lonely, but then you get one of those sweet front tooth grins and you get the strength you need for one more diaper change, one more snuggle, or a little more patience when you have picked her water bottle up off the floor for the 18th time.

Although it is hard, I know motherhood is God's work. To finish with the words of Charles Dickens:

"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done"

Thank you Mom for everything you've done and still do! I love you! Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, April 28, 2014


Have you ever noticed that life goes on a cycle? We have times where life seems routine and easy, and then where everything seems challenging. In life right now, I would say Nate and I are in the easy zone. Though I am sure we will be back to the challenging side of things when we have two babies. (I linked the announcement... we had a taste of a viral video and made it on GMA and the Today show!)

A few years ago when Nate and I were first married, it seemed like something was always going wrong. Doctors visits, hospital stays, deaths in the family, struggles with work... we seemed to be catching tastes of it all. And then at some point, things leveled off and we were no longer constantly treading water, trying not to drown. We were on top, floating on by through life. The life cycle. Your life gets flooded, you resist drowning in it, and eventually you stop treading water and learn to float.

That is the purpose of life. To get knocked down and to get up again. To learn. To progress. To ultimately return back to live with God, wiser then when we left His presence and hopefully more like Him.

But sometimes life just seems unfair. Because life IS unfair. Its part of living in a fallen world, things just don't work out for us sometimes. If you are like me though, you want justice. Nothing bad happens to good people and people who do bad things fail. But rain falls on the just and the unjust. Hardworking people lose their jobs, healthy people you love get cancer, and lots of other seemingly awful things occur every day. And you try to make sense out of it all. Why? Why does this have to happen to me? Or him? Or her? But there is no point trying to figure it out, because most of the time we don't get an answer. It's just life.

As I have had people close to me struggle with challenges much bigger than my own, especially things that are SO unfair, I often wonder why God couldn't have provided a miracle? Where was the lamb in the thicket or the angels to shut the mouths of the lions? Why would He let something like this happen? When things are hard, I admit there are times where I've wondered, where is my miracle?

And at church on Sunday as I pondered why hard things have to happen, it was reconfirmed to me once again that when there is no lamb in the thicket, or if God doesn't send angels to shut the mouths of the lions, He already provided the miracle. "In the gift of His Son hath God prepared a more excellent way (Ether 12:11)". 

Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, all things are made right. All the inequities and injustices of life will be reckoned for. And instead of dwelling on the "why?", I felt God's love fill my heart with hope. For the new day. For second chances. For the time when all will be made right by Him. And though the "whys?" still pop into my head, His peace has comforted my heart and I know that He is in control. Though I don't understand, I have faith in His plan, and that is what carries me forward.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Call to Repent

In church today, I gave a lesson entitled "Faith and Repentance". I had NO idea how to give this lesson. It spoke about the need to call others to repentance. It was hard to reconcile the idea of calling someone to repentance vs. judging others. After reading lots of devotionals, talks, and speeches on the matter, this was what stuck out the most to me. The following excerpt is from a talk entitled People to People by David B. Haight:

Arturo Toscanini, the late, famous conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, received a brief, crumpled letter from a lonely sheepherder in the remote mountain area of Wyoming:
“Mr. Conductor: I have only two possessions—a radio and an old violin. The batteries in my radio are getting low and will soon die. My violin is so out of tune I can’t use it. Please help me. Next Sunday when you begin your concert, sound a loud ‘A’ so I can tune my ‘A’ string; then I can tune the other strings. When my radio batteries are dead, I’ll have my violin.”

At the beginning of his next nationwide radio concert from Carnegie Hall, Toscanini announced: “For a dear friend and listener back in the mountains of Wyoming the orchestra will now sound an ‘A.’” The musicians all joined together in a perfect “A.”

The lonely sheepherder only needed one note, just a little help to get back in tune; he could go on from there. He needed someone who cared to assist him with one string; the others would be easy. Then, with all strings in tune—in harmony—the lonely sheepherder would have a source of companionship and joy and could play uplifting strains.

My expressions and encouragement this morning are to God’s children whose batteries may be low or with strings in need of tuning, those whose souls were one time touched by the words and teachings of the Master and His servants but have been attracted away into other interests and activities. Some may have been neglected or not sufficiently involved in a meaningful Church responsibility or may have a feeling of injury or hurt or even unworthiness.

Some have allowed themselves to get out of tune. They may have lost the pitch and drifted from the original score. The Savior of the world gave rules to live by and taught principles of love that encompass concern and encouragement:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour,” he said, “and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28–30.)

He did not limit or say “all who are perfect come unto me” or just the rich, or just the poor, or just the healthy, or those without sin, or those who pray the longest, or just the sick. His invitation is to all: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” comfort, peace; “for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Sometimes when our batteries are running on empty and we make a wrong decision or two and our lives get out of harmony, we just need a little help. One note of encouragement or help to get us on the right path. Repentance isn't about judgement and guilt. Yes, we should feel sorry for what we've done, but the joy of repentance is turning away from the sin and getting back in tune with God. Its about love.

Lately my life has seemed a little out of tune. Not that anything in my life is egregiously wrong, just that I haven't been as close to heaven as I'd like to be some days. In the hustle and bustle I forget to do those things which bring me back to God. It was such a tender mercy to be assigned to teach this lesson and another testament of God's goodness and guidance in my life.

Monday, February 3, 2014

It's For Your Own Good

Missed the January post.. I know I know... but when your baby only sleeps in one hour increments it seems difficult to get anything done during the day. Last night she slept through the night. It. Was. HEAVEN.

Occasionally when God has something for me to learn he lets me struggle until I figure it out. At other times I get subtle nudges. And rarely I get words directly whispered in my ear. God's message to me the other day was so clear I thought I should write it down, so I am sharing it with all of you. I caught myself telling Emmy "You don't understand this, but it is for your own good" when trying to clothe her the other day. She was sobbing, and it was freezing, and I just needed to put her in some warm clothes! As a mother, I know staying warm is more important than her desire to free spirit around town naked, but she didn't care and tried to squiggle away by any means possible.

How often does God say that exact phrase to us? When our lives seem to be crazy difficult, and we don't know if we can take anymore, how many times has God told us, "I know you don't understand, but this is for your own good!". And we are angry with Him, even though He knows what is best for us.

I heard Him say those exact words to me, to allow me to understand that He is in control and will lead me where I need to be. I may not understand His plan for me all the time, but need to know He knows what is best and will make all things good for me. For all of us.