Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Are you sure you want to have a kid??

One of our ministers, Scott, is teaching a parenting class to newly married couples and asked for feedback on Facebook. My response was turning into a novel (shocker), so I decided to post it here: Right after London was born, my aunt asked me in a sweet and romantic way, "Oh Kathrine, do you even know what you did before London was born??" I know what she wanted me to say. I was supposed to say something mushy like, "No, I don't. I can't even remember life before London. It was all so meaningless and dull before her." However all I could think to say was, "Yes I remember what I did! I went to movies and went out to nice restaurants and slept in on Saturdays!" Being a parent is so hard, yet so wonderful all at the same time. It has already flown by, and even though I'm sometimes so tired that I want to cry, I have never regretted one minute when Christian and I put London first...above our hobbies, our friends, our household chores, and even our ministry. We love God more than anything and because of that we love London. Yes we go on dates. Yes we read the bible and pray....we are not neglecting those relationships. But right now, our main goal for the next 16 years is to make a disciple out of the precious little human than God has entrusted to us. So, those of you planning to have kids better be prepared to kiss your selfish days goodbye. You will trade in late night movies for late night baby rocking, but trust me, it is so worth it!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What Really Matters

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”  But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42 NLT) Today I started to feel guilty that I couldn't be of more help in the kitchen. Instead, I found myself chasing 1 year old London around the house and cuddling her for a nap. People think it's crazy that I still hold her for most of her naps, and maybe they're right. However, as I was sitting here thinking about all the details of the Thanksgiving meal, all the missed conversations and opportunities to reconnect, God gently reminded me that my true purpose for this day lay right in front of me...on my lap to be exact. When Jesus went to stay with Martha, she missed the point of His visit. The point was not to impress Jesus with a tidy house and perfectly prepared meal. No, instead, the point was to spend time connecting with her Savior. So today, on this day of thanksgiving, I will be thankful for the time I have to connect with my tiny girl. Time goes so quickly, and before I know it, she will be too big to fit in my lap and too busy to cuddle. God has given me the enormous gift and responsibility of motherhood, and I fully intend not to waste it. There will always be dishes to do and laundry to fold (or throw in the bottom of my closet), but when it's all said and done, London will not remember if the rug was vacuumed or the laundry was neatly put away. She will remember sitting on the porch watching planes fly over our backyard, having spontaneous dance parties in the living room, and, yes, falling asleep in her mother's arms (And let's be honest...I am far better at these things than I am at housework!). I pray that these years I spend as a mom will be done so in the spirit of Mary. There will always be housework to do and meals to prepare, but my London will only be a baby for the blink of an eye. I'm done wasting energy on guilt and insignificant details. Today I choose to be thankful. Today I choose London.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sorry, Mom

My mom gave me a card for Mother's Day that said, "A summary of motherhood: Holy crap. This is hard. The End." Couldn't have said it better myself. Don't get me wrong. I love being a momma, and, to quote my good friend Shannon, "my worst day as a mom is better than my best day at my job." However, it IS wicked hard, and every day I find myself thinking, 'I really should apologize to my mom for all those mean things I said to her when I was a teenager.' After all, she changed my diapers, washed my clothes, cleaned up my messes, caught my spit up in her hands, chased me around the house, fed me, bathed me, carried me on her hip while she cooked dinner, endured hours of crying, gave up sleep for 18 years (I've heard that you sleep even less when they are teenagers), and, oh there was that unmedicated 24 hour labor and delivery thing she did too. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. When I was 5, she consoled me when I accidentally stepped on and killed Fluffy, the class hampster. Then, in the 6th grade, I threatened to jump out of a moving car after I found out I had to change schools.  My mom was my best friend that year; she watched me cry myself to sleep countless nights and coaxed me to befriend the friendless at school. She was there for me in the 9th grade when I had my heart broken for the first time, and, then, fell asleep crying on the couch with me 6 years later when it was time for me to be the heart breaker. During my freshman year of high school, she stayed up all night with me and my best friend Lisa to help us finish the infamous leaf project, and that same October, she pulled another all nighter to make mums for all my friends. And I'm just getting started. She was a party planner, a mediator, a nurse, a taxi driver, a lifeguard, a teacher, a homeroom mom, a hair dresser, a travel agent, a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker, and one hec of a wedding planner. Now that I'm a momma, I am starting to understand just what it is that she did for me, and all I want to say is, "Sorry, Mom. I never knew, but now I do."  So, Mom, if you're reading this, I hope you know how thankful I am for you and how much I love you. I hope it was worth it. Then again, I guess I'm  not that sorry, because judging by my experience so far, it totally was.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

All Mine

London is all mine. Have you ever been given a sweet treat at Christmas time or for your birthday? A treat you tucked away in your pocket, and, later, stowed in your top dresser drawer to savor and eat slowly? A treat that was all yours? My aunt makes 4's every year. These hand-dipped caramels take days to make, and when you receive your box on Christmas day, you vow to make them last the entire year, only to succumb to their buttery temptation day after day until it's January 6th and your box is empty. London is like my box of 4's. She is all mine. Oftentimes I don't want to share her; I just want to take all of her hugs and kisses and lock them up for safe keeping. And I want her to last forever, until my hair turns grey & arms are no longer strong enough to hold her. I want to savor her life like my chocolates, not rushing one moment, but taking in the sweetness of it all. Today I prayed for a long life with my baby girl, but I know that any amount of time spent with her will never be enough. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Breath

It has been a hard week and I'm tired. It's the kind of tired that you feel in your bones. But it's also the kind of tired that makes life worth living. It's the cuddling in the middle of the night kind of tired. It's the sound of a rocking chair for countless hours kind of tired. It's the soft head in the crook of my elbow kind of tired. It's the small hands on my cheeks as we drift off to sleep kind of tired. It's the endless playing on great grandma's red quilt kind of tired. It's the singing If Your Happy and You Know It 10 times a day kind of tired. It's the holding baby girl while she naps because I can't bring myself to lay her down kind of tired

Someone once told me, "It's a breath. Before you know it, they are grown and going to college." My time with her is but a breath...I can sleep later.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Things they don't tell you about being a new mom...

Childbirth truly is the worst pain you will ever feel. It's not something you can prepare for, and you lose all of your dignity in the process.

Childbirth is the most rewarding and incredible experience you will ever have. It is a miracle...there is no other word for it.

When I was in the hospital, every day felt like Christmas morning. I had this precious gift, London, waiting for me. The nurses took care of everything and I could just relax and enjoy my present....

Then they sent me home. You have to take a test to drive a car and become a US citizen, but they just let any idiot walk out of a hospital with a baby. I remember thinking, "I can't even figure out how to buckle her into the car seat. How am I going to raise her without all the nurses??"

The first month sucks. I wish there was more eloquent way to put it, but there's just not. You don't sleep, you don't have time to eat, you still look pregnant, you cry a lot and you have no idea what you are doing. I have heard women talk about bringing their babies home and staring into their eyes all day, contemplating how much they love them. They are liars. No one has time to stare or contemplate. You simply survive the war zone.

By about 3 months you might have time to contemplate your great love for your baby. I love holding London while she naps. I wish I could say that I always use that time to read, pray and think deep thoughts. But sometimes all I have the energy to do is watch Netflix. However, more often than not, I find myself gazing at London, taking in her features and thanking God for the miracle that is my baby girl.

Babies are a full time job. I consider my day successful when I am able to change out of my pajamas before Christian gets home.

London is a what Dr. Sears calls a "high-needs" baby. She doesn't like to be put down. She will out cry us every time. For the first two months, I would literally hold her all day long (thank the Lord for my Moby Wrap). Once, after a particularly hard day, I told my mom that I felt like a loser because I hadn't "done anything." Her reply was one I will never forget. She said, "I dont know why people think rocking a baby means you're not doing anything. Holding and rocking London is the most important thing you can do right now. She will only be a baby for the blink of an eye and then she will never be this small again. Hold her and rock her as much as you can, because someday you will wish you had just one day again to hold your baby."

Being a new mom is the hardest, craziest, most stressful, most emotional thing I have ever done...and there is nothing that I'd rather do.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

London Scout Pimentel

When God said that he would greatly increase labor pains because of Eve’s disobedience, He wasn’t kidding. However, now that London is here, I realize that the reward of a baby is the ONLY thing that would cause a woman to do something so unbearably painful. In one instant, I experienced that greatest pain and the greatest joy I have ever felt.

On Monday night, I started having regular contractions that were gaining strength by the minute. I didn’t sleep at all Monday night and went to the doctor’s office on Tuesday morning. My midwife said I was indeed in labor, but that it was progressing slowly. She told me to go home and keep an eye on it. There was a risk of prodromal labor (contractions that don’t help you progress at all—basically REALLY SLOW labor), but she thought I would be at the hospital that night to deliver. Well, lucky me, it ended up being prodromal labor. We went to the hospital that night around 9:00PM, only to find that I was still only 1cm dilated. Since I hadn’t slept in 24 hours, they gave me allergy medication to help me sleep and sent me home. However, the contractions continued to increase in strength and were 4 minutes apart, so at 3:00AM we went back to the hospital to be admitted. By the time the midwife showed up, I had been without sleep for 48 hours, so they gave me stronger medication to aide my sleep. I still had contractions, but was able to doze in between them for 2 hours.

Christian and I had decided to do an unmedicated birth, and in my naivety, I thought a few classes and some determination would make this whole labor thing a piece of cake. Boy was I wrong! I never thought I would be one of those women to yell and cry during labor (not sure why I thought that, because I am pretty dramatic). In fact, Christian and I would make fun of the women in the videos we saw during our labor class. I am here to tell you that I ate every snide comment that I made about those women. My mom, dad, and sister were in the room for the majority of the labor, and we could not have done it without them. I say “we” because Christian was as much a part of the labor as I was. I had back labor the entire time, so Christian would apply counter pressure to my back during contractions. My mom and dad took turns rubbing Christian’s back in between contractions so that he would be able to help me. It was truly a group effort! My poor dad probably cried more watching me labor than he did at my wedding….it was really sweet!

When I started the transition phase of labor, everyone but my sister and Christian went to the lobby to wait. At that point, I truly thought I could not continue. Shelby and Christian were amazing, and continuously encouraged me when I felt like giving up. At one point, I ended up writhing on the floor and crawling under the bed….to their credit, Shelby and Christian didn’t laugh at me once, even though I know it was hilarious to watch. You truly lose all dignity when you are in that much pain. I could care less about what people thought….I just wanted to do whatever it took to meet my baby girl!

Finally, after 45 ½ hours of labor, I started pushing. I pushed for 2 ½ hours, which took every ounce of strength that I had. I was literally praying out loud the entire time, asking Jesus to help me find the strength to push….I’m sure the nurses thought I was crazy! Shelby and Christian were incredible and stayed by my side to encourage me the entire time. About halfway through pushing, we were able to see the top of a head full of black hair. Knowing that my little one was so close gave me the strength to continue pushing. There was this poignant moment, at the very end, where I thought my body had given out….I literally had nothing left to give. I remember looking at Christian and asking, “Can I do this?” to which he replied, as he had so many times before, “Baby, I’m so proud of you. I know you can do this.” That was all I needed. At 10:44PM on 7.13.11, London Scout Pimentel entered the world weighing 7 lbs. 11 ounces. I can’t begin to describe what it was like to give birth to London and have them lay her on my chest. It was the most beautiful, spiritual, and joy-filled moment of my life. I thank God for trusting me with the life of my precious little girl.