March 16, 2015

Everything is Bigger: An Ode to My Last Month of Pregnancy

Saturday morning, bed head, sans makeup, flowery robe. In other words, my daily uniform. 

Everything is bigger.

My body is bigger, in just about every way. I'm not upset about this, just extremely aware. My belly, boobs, feet, hands, nearly everything on me is...larger. This makes it harder to sleep, to sit, to lay down, to walk, to walk slowly, to walk quickly, to walk the dog, to put shoes on, to work on my turbo hip-hop dance workout dvds. (That last one was a joke, I hope you know that.) It's been a humbling experience for me, a normally self-possessed and independent person when it comes to, you know, doing things for myself. It's humbling to realize that it's a full, 4-point turn to get out of bed. It's humbling the first time you knock over a table lamp with your belly. It's humbling to be larger than you ever have been in your entire life. 
My body is bigger. 

My heart is bigger, in just about every way. I FEEL EVERYTHING. All the feels. All the time. I'm struck on a daily basis the depth of love I have for my husband, and how there's a small part of me that will mourn the day when it's no longer just the two of us goofballs, figuring out how to do life. My heart nearly explodes when I envision this little baby being placed on my chest, all warm and wet and alive and ours. When a college friend sent me a box of sweet baby goods I just about melted down. Not because of the adorable baby things, but because having people care about you enough to reach out, from far away, after years of not talking - my heart literally grew 3 sizes. That Facebook video someone posted of a puppy and a baby and a bird or was it a kitten I don't know - all I know is I cry. That Ellen video where she gives the audience a washer and dryer - all I know is I cry. When the Trader Joe's cashier says I look beautiful and insists on carrying out my groceries - all I know is I cry. 
My heart is bigger. 

My fear is bigger, in just about every way. How will we do this? Will Matthew and I still be best friends? Will I be able to breastfeed? What if I can't? What if the baby has health problems? What if she never sleeps? Will I truly lose my mind? Can I really work from home? What if I resent the baby? How will I survive being a mother, without my own coaching me? Will I suffer from postpartum depression? Will we ever pay off our student loans? Will I ever learn how to cook meat correctly? These are just sampling of the fears running through my brain at any given time. We've decided to cloth diaper, and when we made the decision we were both totally confident and on board. Now, it depends on the day. On Mondays I'm cool with it...yeah, earth friendly, less expensive, better for the baby...no problem, yo. We can do this. On Tuesdays I'm less cool with it...DEAR GOD why would we cloth diaper, it's insane, we're creating more work for ourselves during a time when people tell me we won't eat or sleep...yeah, I turn into a panicky mess. I realize that when it comes down to it, it really doesn't matter. They're diapers. It's fine. We'll figure it out. What's more notable is how my fear can drive me, in an instant, to question everything. 
My fear is bigger. 

My gratitude is bigger, in just about every way. I've waited YEARS to get where I am. Here we are, my incredible husband and I, awaiting the arrival of our sweet baby girl. I'm no longer working at a soul-sucking stressful job (yuck), I'm spending my days working with creative professionals and photographing all the beauty the world has to offer. I live in a beautiful place, filled with friends and family and sun and sea and farmer's markets, in a house with a front garden. I AM BEYOND BLESSED. When my fear gets out of control about things that don't really matter (see above: cloth diapering) my gratitude is that magic that rises up in me and reminds me that I don't need to worry. I'm fine. I'm more than fine - I'm happy, safe, supported, loved, and living a life that while is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, it's mine and I'm figuring it out. 
My gratitude is bigger. 

36.5 weeks pregnant, and I'm ever cognizant of the largeness of life. Everything has been turned up to blast, there is more of everything. I'm going forward, trusting the process, and trying to enjoy these last few weeks of my pre-baby life. Cankles and all. 

Everything is bigger. 

January 15, 2015

The Final Stretch....Third Trimester Thoughts


As I enter the third trimester of pregnancy, I am flooded with so many emotions.

Most notably: OMG THERE'S REALLY A BABY IN THERE AND SHE'S GOING TO COME OUT!

But more seriously, I've been reflecting on what an incredible journey this pregnancy has been. It's been hard, confusing, uncomfortable, surprising, joyful, exciting, and the most bizarre experience of my life. Having gone through a mixed bag thus far in life (great sorrow and great joy, and everything in between) I thought I knew what getting into pregnancy would mean for me. I had seen friends go through it, watched the movies, read the books, and thought I knew how I would react.

Yeah, it went differently.

To be honest, we didn't know if we would be able to have children. We had tried for awhile (over the course of several years), nothing happened, and so we were in this interesting limbo of being open to it...but not expecting to get pregnant. Anyone who has struggled to get pregnant can relate to feeling weird and confused about the whole thing, especially when watching others get pregnant so quickly and easily. (My sister-in-law got pregnant in one month. Both pregnancies. She is a fertile goddess!)

So when it finally happened (surprise!) it was the weirdest thing - I couldn't trust it. I was constantly fearful about having a miscarriage, worried that I was somehow going to mess it up...I just couldn't settle into the idea.

But then came the insane sickness that plagued me for 12 weeks...and I started to believe. :)

And then your belly starts to grow, and you hear a heartbeat, and you feel a kick (!!!), and then you meet your little girl over an ultrasound, and then you're taking birth classes, and then you're thinking about what you're going to bring to the hospital. And here we are.

Over the course of this journey my wish has been to trust and celebrate this miracle. These are my mantras for the third trimester. TRUST and CELEBRATE.

If you've known my husband for more than 5 minutes, you know that he is, well, the best. During the first trimester he starting writing his reactions down on his phone - mostly in poem form. He's letting me share his initial thoughts when I told him I was pregnant...they still make me cry.





January 1, 2015

Hello 2015 / It's A Brand New Year

"You're not a mess, you're BRAVE for trying."


+ + + + +   Happy New Year!  + + + + +

This year I've decided to choose a word and color to represent my 2015, and I've chosen TRUST and gorgeous GREEN. (Thanks Becka for the inspiration!) I'm prone to rush right to fear/worry/anxiety when faced with scary things but my mantra for this year is to trust. We are looking ahead to many new things, changes, unknown twists and turns - and instead of dealing with those things by steeping in worry worry worry, I am trusting the process. I have always loved the color green, and this year it's a powerful reminder of growth, new life, abundance, and being connected to nature. 


 > > > TRUST MY BODY // i am the strength of all women who have ever birthed a baby and i am ready to join that tribe.
To naturally labor and birth a baby, to find my inner strength, to bounce back afterwards

> > > TRUST MY CREATIVITY // you attract the right things when you have a sense of who you are.
To honor all of my creative ideas, to follow my hunches, to keep learning more 

> > > TRUST MY PARTNER // to love a person is to see all of their magic, and to remind them of it when they have forgotten.
Embrace collaboration, express my gratitude for him daily, let go of my control, learn together

> > > TRUST THE PROCESS // hold the vision, trust the process.
I may not have the answers now, but that won't prevent me from moving forward

> > > TRUST THE UNIVERSE // God is within her, she will not fall.
I am part of something larger, I am not alone, and I will not fall


In addition to my mantra and color, I've got a few others things that I'm channeling this year:

living simply and paring down
living in the moment, leaving the phone
living authentically
remembering there is goodness in everyone

How about you? I'd love to hear your thoughts, goals, resolutions, and mantras for 2015. Please share! 


October 1, 2014

Some BIG News!


You guys, WE ARE HAVING A BABY!

Do you know how hard it's been to keep that secret?

We are OVER THE MOON excited to welcome our little one next April - 
a time which seems incredibly far away and bizarrely right around the corner.

For those of you who know us, you know it's been an interesting and long(ish) journey to starting our family. 
I'm planning on sharing more of that journey, but for now Matthew and I just want to share our joy with you all!

Check out that hand!
The heartbeat, sounding strong!
roy joy. All rights reserved.
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