Our birth plan. (Or lack thereof)

via In Honor of Design

I usually chuckle when I get an email asking how I manage and balance everything so well. I make sure to assure them, I don’t know what those words mean most of the time.
Now I may have editorial content for the blog lined up a month ahead of time, as well as perfectly prioritized to-do list.  I am an expert at planning a trip itinerary in advance. I can plan a party down to the detail. I can even have all of the families work, school, or just for fun events entered as alarms in my phone two or three times to ensure we don’t forget.
However, unless organization is required, I tend to fly by the seat of my pants.

Most of the time, I couldn’t tell you what we are having for dinner the next day, more or less what we are having that night. 
We don’t make weekend plans till Friday at 4pm. 
In fact, we have our friends sign a flexibility disclosure that we may not be able to secure hang out plans till the day or hour before. (wink)
And don’t even bother asking me where each child will go to school and when. We don’t know these complex things till forms are due, and decisions MUST be made.

However, there are some things that require advance notice and a little more thought out organization than hour by hour…
For instance, a birth plan. Or lack thereof…

Did you have a birth plan for your first child? What about the second or third?
I realize that you are either a planner or you are…………….not.
Now after reading the before mentioned, can you guess which category I fall under?
If you guessed that I never have a birth plan, you are just about right. He knew!
My theory tends to be that if you make a plan for the birth of a child, that child likes to spite you, and prove you they have more of a personality than predictability. I decided to go into my first two births with an open mind, and let these babies come when they were ready, in the way they wanted to. This was probably a good thing considering the way each birth happened.

Even though all three of mine came on their due dates, they came in very different ways. My labor with Gabriel started off in a crazy way, but ended up in a paced and peaceful delivery post epidural. Veronica came quicker than expected and without the ability to choose medication. If I had any sort of plan in place, it never would have happened because of the nature of both deliveries. However, I decided maybe I would try out some sort of a birth plan for my third pregnancy and hope this would give me a little bit more control over the result this time. Ha! Max the moose surely laughed. My planned water birth never happened.

You can imagine why a making any sort of plan for the birth of my fourth is probably unnecessary. However, I do have a goal. GET TO THE HOSPITAL ON TIME. With how fast Max came, I am afraid I might have to pitch a tent in the hospital parking lot the week before my due date to ensure Gabe isn’t delivering the baby on the side of the road. Which apparantly, Gabe is perfectly fine with (can I have some of that ease of mind please?).

So there you have it my friends. No birth plan, but to call my midwife with the first contraction, and get myself to the hospital in a timely manner. I may just opt for that epidural too if I was so lucky as to have the option this time;)

Speaking of birth stories, I LOVE to read them. Especially right before giving birth myself which makes no sense whatsoever. I am a glutton for self – antagonization I guess, as I am also busting through seasons of Call the Midwife.Leave me some links if you have some good ones!

*Dress (non-maternity) by Free People c/o Shopbop, a fun similar one here.

A real Mother’s Day.

Little hugs | In Honor of Design

This weekend May in the south skipped right to summer with some hot and sunny weather. Per my request, we didn’t plan a thing for Mother’s Day. I was hoping for the wide open day with my family with nowhere to be. When life is busy, it’s the unplanned days I look forward to the most.

It was like most Sundays with an early rise time of 6:30AM to get 3 little early birds and myself dressed and fed in time to get to 9AM mass. Gabe hadn’t stirred yet after our late night date to see a movie the night before, and it was his only day of the week to get a little more sleep. I had already dissolved several squabbles, picked up a couple spills off the floor, and franticly searched the laundry basket for a pair of clean underwear for Veronica. Forget my hair, it would have to settle for the frizzy mess it was, because I had two curly little manes to detangle instead.

However, I did wake up to two voices downstairs whispering to each other….
I got to open two packaged cards with crooked tape across the top, some skewed letters on the front and little surprises inside. Gabriel wrapped up a sharpie marker he found around the house because he said he knew I liked them. His name was written out proudly on the back of the card (a new skill he learned in Kindergarten this year). Veronica had spent a while coloring a flower garden and wrapping up a picture of me and my sister she had found on the fridge. In another envelope she had packaged up a few of her favorite purse trinkets. They couldn’t wait to give them to me and I got a few more squeezes around the neck than usual. I teared up because I couldn’t believe they were mine to raise.

Gabe stumbled downstairs close to 8AM with a new cappuccino maker wrapped in Christmas paper. He had snuck out with Max the day before on a “secret mission.” His thoughtfulness and dedication to our marriage is what I really see underneath the wrapping. I look at him with prayers of gratitude that he is the one I get to raise our children with. After church (to which we were late to just like every other Sunday..), Gabe made us all a big brunch. My brother came over, and we spent the day at the pool, took some long deliciously deep naps, and finished the evening with an ice cream run.

brunch

Just like every other day my patience grew short by with a crabby 4 year old, my back was sore from lifting my clingy toddler, and I was weary by the end of the day from settling fights about sharing toys. After the kids fell asleep I cleaned a messy kitchen and made sure things were in order for the last school week of the year. 

Motherhood never takes a break. You receive it with open arms the moment your first child enters your life, and you continue to keep those arms open until death. And as you spend your time, energy, emotion every waking moment on their well being, your whole being changes. These every day moments stacked into days and years is what produces an instrument capable of giving and receiving love in depths you never thought you were humanly capable of. Your limits are pushed, bent, and broken, and you become an instrument with a great ability to receive and distribute love. With the grace of God you become a constant source of life for your children. You are now the receiver and the giver. 

Just like every other mother, I will never be able to find the words in the human language to describe the receiving part. The part where you experience unearthly joy and happiness only received when you give over a part of yourself to another. 

I hope you all had a beautiful weekend! As always, thanks for being a reader and accompanying me on this wild adventure of motherhood:)

This one’s for you…

Peonies in paper via In Honor of DesignFlower Bundle Gifts via IHOD

As we were wrapping up some peonies in paper for some mama friends this morning, I couldn’t help but whisper a prayer for those who have a difficult weekend ahead. 

There are wombs in waiting.
There are arms aching for the children they have lost.
There are sons and daughters with fresh wounds from the loss of the person who raised them. 

It is easy for me to be overwhelmed with tears these days.
I tear up when I notice my child is growing.
I straight up weep when I think of their birth.
But today I can’t help but shed some tears for those mothers in waiting, those who mourn, and those who are trying to muster through the weekend.

A prayer for you today and through the weekend that God brings you peace, comfort, and HOPE that life still holds so much goodness for you, and is not too far in the distance. Know you are not forgotten, and that big bouquet right there^^…that one is for you.

And for each of you new and long time mothers, cheers to the life you give to your children tirelessly. I hope you are celebrated this weekend, and throughout the whole year!
x, Anna