Tuesday, October 18, 2011

a calming influence.

on caleb's blessing day in 2005 i was an absolute wreck.  caleb hadn't slept all night, but had stayed up screaming, until he finally fell asleep at 5 a.m.  i then had to make the judgement call between getting two hours of sleep, or taking a shower and start getting ready.  i chose sleep.

so i had greasy hair, dark circles under my eyes, and probably a stress pimple or two.  i wasn't feeling my best.

ben and i were so worried that caleb would scream, or worse, have a seizure, during his blessing.  we said a prayer before we left that he would be calm, and hoped for the best.  as church started, caleb began to cry so i took him to the mother's lounge to try to feed him and calm him down.  while we were in there, he had a seizure, and fell into his deep, coma-like, post-seizure sleep.  i cried over what i could not stop, wiped my tears, and went back to sit down.  he slept through his blessing, not stirring for the rest of the meeting.

as we drove over to the park to meet with our family and friends, caleb had another seizure.  and fell asleep.  i was in the back seat with him, and i cried again over my inability to comfort him, wiped the tears away, and went to join our loved ones for food and pictures.  

mentally, emotionally and physically i was exhausted.  during the lunch, i continually heard comments like, "oh he's such a good baby!" and "it's amazing, he sleeps through everything!" and i kept quiet, not saying the reason that he was in such a deep sleep.  i'm not really sure why, except that i didn't want to sound dramatic when i expressed that caleb was actually the most difficult baby i had ever encountered {and i had encountered a few in my lifetime}.  i worried that they wouldn't believe me, because here he was, looking and acting like an angel.

i tried to focus on the positive...that he was calm during his blessing, and he was calm for others to be able to enjoy him and that even though i had felt i had aged 5 years in the 3 months he had been alive....that he was alive, and he was my baby.  i loved him with an overwhelming love and was grateful for all he had already taught me.


on leah's blessing day in 2009, stress came because i had caused it, planning too much and overdoing it.  the swine flu had just broken out, the first case of death happening about a mile or two from our apartment.  because caleb had been such a sick newborn, we were cautious with leah.  family members were concerned as they flew in for the blessing that they were going to catch it, so we changed from having the blessing at a church, to having it in our little apartment.

i was also participating in the real mom's guide online show, and they had asked to be able to film us while we were with our families.  i had agreed, which looking back now, was too much.  i stressed myself out, worrying what i looked like because i was now going to be on camera, what our house looked like, trying to fit enough chairs so that people could be comfortable in our small space, baking and preparing food for everyone.

there were a lot of fun moments that weekend, and there was happiness and laughter, but i realized when it was over, i hadn't really enjoyed the actual experience of blessing our new baby girl.  because i had crammed so much in, i had felt internally chaotic, and the chaos had taken over the joy.


two weeks ago was june's blessing day.

this time i decided to do things differently.  i wanted the day to be simple, low-key and not stressful.  my house was clean but not sparklingly immaculate, i didn't bake or cook but instead allowed others to bring food or i bought it from the store.  our clothes were set out the night before, i was showered and went to sleep at a decent time.

for me, the day was perfect. 

spending it enjoying my family and friends, and specifically this sweet baby girl.

in june's blessing, she was told that her "calming influence would bless her life and the lives of those around her."  i absolutely love those words, and have felt that since she has been born. her quiet and content spirit has been a healing piece for me as a mother.  

i know i've written a little about this already, but before she was born, i honestly had convinced myself that i was only going to be given difficult babies.  that there was some sort of lesson i needed to learn through them.  in the back of my heart, my fear was there was something that i did or had done, or was doing to make my newborns scream.  i knew in my head it wasn't true, but i couldn't convince myself entirely that it wasn't my fault. 

i know now it wasn't my fault.  

isn't that such a weird thing to say?  i don't know how to really explain it.  but i took on their inability to be comforted as my inability to comfort, wondering if i was somehow the cause of it all.

i have also released myself from doing too much.  i have accepted that i'm not one of those fabulous party planners, who goes all out with decorating and baking and hosting.  i love attending parties like those, and admiring the talents of others.  it's not that i can't do it, i just choose not to, and don't feel badly about that choice anymore.  i no longer hold myself up to the standard i see others set for themselves, and i accept where i'm at without feeling one ounce of guilt for it. 

much like my daily life, i love most just keeping things simple, and laid-back.  doing things low-key helps me enjoy the rest of it without the chaos crowding in and taking over. 

i can focus on moments like these, 

so when the day is over, i can look and see that i have enjoyed 
what i am most grateful for.


Kristi said...

What a beautiful spirit and beautiful family you have! I missed the blessing since we were out of town. I'm definitely a fan of letting go of that mommy guilt. I think you are amazing!

Rachel Chick said...

Perfection, Lynsey. I love this post. My favorite part -- aside from those gorgeous pictures of your gorgeous family -- is this statement, "much like my daily life, i love most just keeping things simple, and laid-back. doing things low-key helps me enjoy the rest of it without the chaos crowding in and taking over."

I feel the same way. I love you.

ohmylanta said...

I will say it once again Lyns,

I am so So happy that you have been blessed with a calm baby. You really have gone through some difficult experiences with your little ones. I don't think anyone could have handled them better than you have.

My babies have gotten progressively easier. My first was very very cranky. In retrospect, I am so glad that I had the cranky baby right out of the shoot. It made me appreciate the ease of the others. Had I been blessed with an easy baby from the get go, I don't think I would have appreciated it, because I would have been experiencing a major adjustment in motherhood anyway.

However, I have wonder if it is a sneaky move by Heavenly Father. My last was such an angel that it left me thinking..... OH perhaps I could have just ONE more. :) (but really, Uh NO)

I admire you for recognizing your need to simplify your life. Part of that process is being willing to accept who you and and what your capacities are. Far too often we focus on keeping up with others, or (heaven forbid) outdoing them. We give up something in the process, and usually, it is special bonding moments with our children or our spouse.

I just LOVE the beautiful pictures you have posted. Your family is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

BTW - thanks for the post. I am having a difficult time keeping up on blogging like I used to. I suppose that I have finally let other things be a priority. I try to keep up on the posting, but spending hours sifting through friends blogs and leaving comments is just not happening as well.

I have to say, I do keep up on yours. Your blog is so enjoyable to read and I think you are a very inspiring and REAL person. I admire you.

ps. My husbands company is circulating rumors about sending us to Arizona. I have to admit that I try to see the positives in that, but what if they want to send us to a scary area where we will end up victims of drug cartels? It seems like there is too much unrest in Arizona with that stinkin boarder issue. Your thoughts? Areas to avoid?

Charlotte said...

You are such a beautiful writer, Lynsey.

And I'm feeling really jealous right now that your baby didn't need tights and sweater with her blessing dress.