Well, my last post was all about waiting. And that waiting has been over. For about 2 months. After 1 week and 5 days past my due date, a lot of pitocin and no pain meds, 18 hours of labor with some amazing nurses & midwife and the best husband/partner in this journey I could ask for, our darling bundle of joy, Charlotte Joy, is here! I’d love to post a cute picture of our family right after her birth, but the fact is, I looked like crap. I don’t know how women look beautiful after giving birth. I looked like I had just been hit by a train. One that matted my hair and smeared my mascara all over my face. So this cute picture of C will have to do!
Also, I’d love to blame my lack of blogging on on our child, but the fact is, babies sleep a lot. And our little CJ is a good sleeper. I’m just a terrible blogger.
These last few months have flown by. Much faster than the days of being overdue that inched by like years. I learned that a woman who is overdue should never go to church. Or anywhere else where people might ask the question “Why are you here?”. Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot that I should have had a baby by now; my iPhone didn’t let me know that it was on my list of things to do. Let me go sit in my house alone and think about that fact. Maybe it will make her decide to actually come out?
Well, that didn’t work either. Hence, the pitocin.
Since Charlotte’s entry into the world, we have been learning what it is like to be parents. Less sleep, lots of laundry & a really cute little human that now lives in our house. And makes our puppy Lillie starved for attention.
I’ve learned that while it’s way more fun to get moms-to-be cute outfits for their kiddos, they really just need more spit-up rags, and diapers, and coffee and people to do their laundry.
We figured out that everyone (or maybe just us?) has a breakdown at some point and asks the question “why did we decide to have a child? we can’t do this.” Then they feel guilty because they have a beautiful, healthy baby in the next room. Who is all alone and has been screaming for the last 5 minutes.
We’ve also learned that no matter what you do: attachment parenting/sleep-training bootcamp, breastfeeding/formula in bottles, working full-time or part time or not at all, in someone else’s eyes it’s always wrong.
And we’ve learned that all of that is okay. It seems to come along with this whole parenting thing.
We’ve learned that you have to just do what you need to do. And don’t worry what other people think. Or say. Or ask you judgmentally in an airport after meeting you 1 minute earlier. Their opinion doesn’t matter anyways.
So go ahead and get that mom-to-be the cutest outfits for her little one. She will need a lot of them for when her baby spits up all over them. All the time. While you’re at it, get her a new outfit too. Preferably one that has an elastic waist.
Know that breakdowns are normal. And good. And healthy. And if you don’t freak out, even a little bit, after bringing a tiny human into the world, then I believe you are lying.
And finally, do whatever works for you. If you want to have your kid strapped to you for every waking & sleeping moment of your life, then go for it. If you can’t wait to get back to work after those 6 long weeks at home, then go back to work & don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t worry about what some blog or some woman at the gym or even about what your mom says (sorry Mom!).
We’ve been blessed to have encouraging people around us. People that don’t judge us (at least to our faces) for putting our child to bed at midnight (it took us a while to realize that most kids go to bed earlier than this…), or bringing her on a plane already, or even laying her on the floor in a room at the Union in the midst of fraternity & sorority students at 9pm on a Wednesday night.
So thanks to everyone in our lives who has made this transition easier on us. And for those of you who have gone before us in this whole parenting thing — we’re sorry we probably judged everything you did. We’re starting to get it now.
Hopefully we’ll have some more posts up soon. But knowing us, it will be a few more months…
Advent could be my favorite time of year. When I was a kid, I just liked it because it meant Christmas was near. I wondered about what gifts I’d find under the tree. I wasn’t so good at waiting back then so I would find where my parents hid the gifts and make my sister look at them with me. We would even get up early on Christmas morning, before the “allowed time”, and unwrap/rewrap the gifts by the glow of the Christmas lights on the tree.
In my old, wise age of 27, this time of year is less about gifts (although I am super excited for the Dyson vacuum I asked Santa for — you know you’re old when you ask for a vacuum) and more about the waiting. The anticipation of Jesus’ arrival. The preparation in my own life and heart for God to enter the world. For Him to more fully enter my life and my world.
This year, Advent is especially significant for me. Not only am I looking forward to Christ coming to dwell among us, but in a strangely beautiful way, I can completely relate to Mary preparing to be a mother. Granted, I am not a teenager or an unwed virgin carrying the Son of God, and I am fairly certain that I will not have to give birth in a stable or ride on a donkey to get to the hospital. But I know I can better understand some of the things she was doing and thinking during this time in her life.
What will giving birth be like? When will the baby come? Will I be a good mother? Will I feel prepared?
I am pretty sure that Mary couldn’t have been fully prepared for what was going to happen. And I am 100% sure that I will not be fully prepared to enter into motherhood. Even though we have taken a class about childbirth & newborn care, I still don’t know all the answers. Even though we have had one baby shower and received such generosity from people around us passing things on to Baby Holmer, I know we still need stuff before she gets here. Even though we have a lot ready, I still wake up in the middle of the night with a list of things to do before her arrival. Things that need to be prepared.
So this year I am especially thankful for this time of preparation. Thankful for the time to prepare my heart not only for the birth of Jesus, but the for birth of my own child. I pray that my faith can be like Mary’s and that in the midst of everything that will be chaotic in the coming month I can respond like she did.
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19
Hello friends, family and internet people who we’ve never met who are reading this post! As you may already know, we’re expecting baby girl Holmer to arrive very soon. This is very exciting news. The official due date is listed as January 5th, but it seems like these things rarely happen when expected.
To have some fun and bring some support in for a good cause, we thought we’d make this arrival a bit competitive. I grew up in a family that made contests/games out of just about everything. It’s not that we were super competitive (although Risk is permanently banned), more just that we liked to bring unique fun in unexpected ways. Personally, my competitive level is such that I let people win in video games growing up because I felt bad for them. Jen, however, is indeed very competitive. Beyond the challenge of state level competition in diving, she is not to be trifled with in any video game involving Mario.
We also both care deeply about partnering with children and families who are facing unique hardships. So, with all of this in mind, we present a uniquely competitive contest, where the winners are more than just the contest winners.Read More...
It’s amazing what can happen in a year. People always say that, but it takes something big to realize that it’s true. Beating a disease, getting over a break-up, looking back and realizing that your heart is no longer broken the way it once was.
A year ago today we lost our first baby. It was a terrible day yet was somehow filled with God’s peace. Thanks to helpful calls to moms & midwives and friends who came by to pray & comfort us, we went to bed that night feeling blessed. The next morning was a different story, but for that night we were thankful.
Looking back it feels like yesterday. A haze of doctor’s visits and tears, where we ate way too many peanut butter m&m’s and drank just enough wine. I learned that the exact first place a woman should never go after a miscarriage is to Target (for some reason every single pregnant person in the world is there) and that our friends are even more amazing than we thought. Also, chocolate and coffee are good gifts to send to a friend who has just lost her baby.
Today feels almost unreal compared to this day last year. This morning we got to see our healthy, wiggly little baby moving around on an ultrasound. She moves her hands and opens her mouth. Her little feet cross back and forth and her precious little heart pumps her blood quickly. We got to tell our parents that they will have a granddaughter and our siblings that they will have a niece (we are still shocked at this, by the way). Two ultrasounds a year apart and two very different experiences.
I am thankful that God is all about redemption. He takes hard, messed up, broken things in our lives and he makes them new and beautiful. We are rejoicing for the healthy, active little girl that we got to see this morning and will get to meet in a few short months and are so thankful for the journey we have been on. To Him be the glory!