Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Cherub {part one}

I so vividly remember, 
and often in happiness think of 
...the day you were born.

Giving birth to you gave me the courage to believe in myself as a Mother again.
It has been the single most empowering experience of my life thus far. 
Before you came, I was doubting my patience, my talent, and my worst of all my intuition -as a mother.

I love your sister very much, but birthing her took something from me in a big way.

It left my spirit broken and my heart heavy in a way that I couldn't heal on my own.

Even in my most joyous and special moments with her, 
and gratefully she and I have had many,
something always tugged me downward from within.
An inner demon, whispering, "you shouldn't enjoy this, 
you don't deserve to feel the warmth of this child's love."

I felt like no matter what I did for her, I would never be able to make up for the fact that I thought I had failed her and I both.

When you were living and growing in my belly, 
I knew I didn't want to do things that same way when I brought you here.
I set out to learn about natural childbirth, 
since choosing the medical model the first time around had failed me horribly.

Your father made us atrociously late to the one time class at the closest hospital, 
and in my hormonal state I set out to punish him.
I arbitrarily chose hypnobirthing, 
solely because it was a really long, weekly class, with lots of reading for the father. 

Choosing that class actually turned out to be a the biggest unexpected blessing,
and a treasured date night.
I learned to trust my body, to trust your father, and to trust you
I learned to give the body, 
and the processes God gave it, 
the power to do their jobs,
without letting the fear of uncertainty interfere.

In a hospital, 
under the care of a nurse who rubbed my feet and kept the doctor informed about my way of birthing, 
a doula who talked me through and reminded me of my authority,
and best of all your father who never left my side,
I labored peacefully and intently.
In my own clothing, with no needles in my arm 
or intrusive hands checking your passageway every hour,
I let you set your pace.
At times it was intense, but never unbearable.

As I sat in the warm water of the bath tub I could sense it was almost time and, as per "hospital policy", I left the bath knowing if I waited longer it might be too late.

My hips ached with increasing severity and so I allowed the nurse to examine me. 
She said that you were ready to come out but your head was a tad askew and when I tensed my muscles in pain I was preventing you from getting through.
My doula said "to heck with what the hospital wants, if you get back in the bath it will take the pressure off and she will be able to straighten out."
I knew that was best for you so I did it. 
It took away that horrible pressure and at one point I fell asleep hunched over with my head on the side of the bath tub.

A little time elapsed and then...
All of a sudden a surge of adrenaline woke me from my sleep and it hit me...
She's coming. Now. 

I couldn't tell you what I was doing at that point, all I knew was that 
I _ was _ doing _ it, 
no matter who may not have wanted me to do it right there.
The doctor popped into the bathroom a few short minutes later just as you were arriving.
He introduced himself literally as the first of you was coming out of me.
I yelled back "Nice to meet you Dr. ____, I'M NOT GETTING OUT!"

And just like that you were born into the water, 
and amidst the Doctor induced chaos, there was an undeniable peace.
Still safe inside the serene protection of your own bag of waters,
you glided into the bath water.
My doula lifted you up and rested you on my chest.

You let out the sweetest whimper, just enough to let me know you'd gotten through the journey safely.
We lingered with our blood supplies connected for a time,
until that binding cord had pulsated through to you the last of what my womb had to offer.

You looked at me with serene, aware, knowing eyes, as if you were looking at an old friend rather than someone you'd just met. 
It felt more like a reunion than a first meeting.

At that point you accepted the comfort of my breast, as it had been quite a journey for you.

For three days I didn't sleep, and not because you didn't.
You actually slept quite well.

I just didn't want to let go of the overwhelming feeling I had,
the feeling of accomplishment,
of absolute joy,
of wholeness,
of healing.
For the first time in twenty seven months,
I didn't feel as though I had,
and would continue to,

I felt like a proud mama bear, capable of anything.

You and Tenley both have a better Mother, because of that experience.

Thank you so much, peanut.

{{{{{{{{{      }}}}}}}}}

You have grown so much.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


One of my favorite photography rules to break is achieving "correct" exposure. 
Especially in an unfavorably high-sun, outdoor lighting
situation that can give ugly shadows on the face,
I really love blowing all that out and creating a heavenly sunny look.

In case anyone is curious, 
(In "M" full manual mode)
I used center weighted metering to expose for the face,
then overexposed via slowing the shutter speed by about three or so dial clicks.
If anyone ever wants to know how I process my photos,
leave a comment and I'll start posting my processes and the actions I use.

Friday, April 8, 2011


I know I've already posted this picture,

but I read a quote and thought of the expression in this picture.

Plus I've been playing with textures in Photoshop

and I thought this texture matched the sentiment in the quote.

With her hopeful, inquisitive, trusting eyes.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This Past Week

We went to the mall this week to our eye doctor appointments and found one of those six dollar stroller rentals abandoned. Score! Tenley always wants to ride in them.
I made the mistake of putting Scarlett behind Tenley.
Quickly I was reminded of why I always put Tenley in back.
Hair pulling. 
As irritable as Tenley is, she is surprisingly patient with her sister when her hair is being pulled.
Especially given Tenley's issues, its very sweet and I am proud of her that she is slow to anger at her baby sister.

The girls love playing outside on the patio together now.
Everyday they play a little more together instead of just along side each other.
Warms a mommy's heart

Here Scarlett is ready to come inside :)
She looked so cute I had to take a picture or seven before I let her in.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Clowning Around

The cutest mess/pain in my butt.