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Where Am I?

The day after I gave birth I had this moment of panic about needing to immediately start job hunting. I need a job, like NOW. My brain was in manic get-back-to-it mode and thank god in that moment I was in a hospital bed and not anywhere near a computer. First of all, maternity leave. Second of all, I don’t fit into any of my clothes yet. How would I even go to a job interview?

Oh please disregard my leaking breasts and the fact that these trousers are unbuttoned, I just had a baby.

I definitely need a minute to sort myself out before I go trying to convince other people to pay me money for my savvy professional writing skills. But the fear and holy-shit-ness is real.

For several nights in a row my dreams consisted of a sudden realization that I needed to take care of a lot of people unexpectedly. First I dreamed that Kamel had some sort of head wound and I needed to wrangle our 5 children and convince him he needed to go to the hospital all at the same time. Then the next night I dreamed I discovered yet another fish I needed to keep alive and had forgotten about and now needed to bring back from the brink.

Having 2 kids is a kick in the ass. One kid was good. I felt on top of it, like I had leveled up in life enough that adding another complication to the mix was just… fun. I upped my difficulty level but I was prepared for it. I had the bandwidth. Having two kids makes me feel like I’m constantly juggling…sticks that are on fire… while balancing 3 stories of plates atop my head.

I’ve got to make sure Gabe gets enough attention and 1:1 time with each of us.

I need to be aware of Fae’s eating schedule and remember I can’t just up and leave the house without her for long stretches.

Omg baby vaginas. Don’t get poop in the baby vaginas!!

I have to encourage and foster Gabe and Fae’s relationship even when I want Gabe to stop touching his sleeping sister, to be quiet so she doesn’t wake up, for the love of god wash your grubby daycare hands before touching her face! Don’t squish her eyes! Be careful of her head!

… but I don’t say most of these things. I don’t want him to feel like she is off limits. She is his as much as they are ours.

There are still meals to prepare (Even if that just means popping something in the oven thanks to my dad and friends), diapers to change, a thousand more loads of laundry, and floors to vacuum. Now I just have less hands, less sleep, less time. I am never not parenting. I am either nursing, holding, burping, or changing one OR playing with, talking to, supervising, bathing, changing, snuggling the other. There is no “handing off the kid and taking a minute of me time” because there is always another one seeking attention.

I could be napping right this second, but I’m writing this instead. If not now, when? And I need to write, I need it. It’s how I set down a thought and walk away. I’ve never been very good at sleeping when the baby(ies) sleep. That’s not how I self-care. Even when I am so very tired. Even when I should actually probably shower, tend to my stitched nethers, change my nursing tank. Sometimes I would just so much rather be here. So I am. And I will be for the foreseeable future, even if it’s no longer cool to blog. Even if it is. And honestly, I’m too busy and in the thick of it to really know which is which anymore. Are people still reading the internet? So many of you reached out to me when I was wondering what I was going to do with a space I feel I can barely keep up with myself, that it looks like at least a good handful of you are still out there. <<waves>>

Even if I’m not on HuffPo. Even if I never get a book deal. Even if I never sell advertising. These things are not actually my real goals anyway. I just want to write really honest, really great stories that people read and have some sort of reaction to. It’s a constant work in progress.

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Fae Was Born, Part 2

*Warning, some of this post is gross. If you would rather not, here is your out.  So, yay! We made a baby! And it was not the greatest most epic experience of my life, but it was over and that was pretty great too. About two hours after delivery the hospital policy is to move you to a recovery room. At this point it was 5-ish AM, my epidural had not worn off and I couldn’t totally lift my left leg on my own. My nurse had me scoot to the edge of the bed and swing my legs over. I sat there for a little bit, feeling woozy and shaky. You know – I had just pushed a baby out of myself, I was bleeding a lot, I had actually been awake...

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Fae Was Born, Part 1

There is a bit of backstory to this that I haven’t talked about because I wasn’t sure how it was all going to play out, but now is the time to share. It ended up that I tested positive for Strep B, which is not a major deal, mostly just a slight complication. It’s a build up of a bacteria around your nethers. Everyone has this bacteria in them, and they come and go. I was negative for Gabriel’s birth. The fix is IV antibiotics at least 4 hours before delivery. The danger (thought it is a low-ish risk) is that the baby could get pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis, etc. So if I hadn’t been able to get the IV and wait 4...

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4th Anniversary: Fruit and Flowers

We spent our 4th anniversary like this: And a little bit like this: This year of marriage has probably been our hardest. I don’t know if Kamel feels that way, but I definitely do. I wasn’t interested in the compromise of marriage. Marriage is work on a personal level. Loving your partner is not the hard part, it’s being constantly capable of considering another person, being willing and able to put them first. There were lots of times in the last year where I didn’t feel willing to do that, where I was spread too thin, where I really wanted to just stomp away and slam the doors and say I Don’t Want To. And...

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The Catch Up

Fae Lira was born!! I am no longer pregnant, and that was exactly the first words out of my mouth after she sprang forth from my womb. (Imagery right there, folks. Like maybe she had a top hat and a cane and she did a little jig? TA DAAAAA!) How that all came to be will be a story for next week because, guess what? Having 2 kids is way harder than having just 1. Like … holy shit what did we do what were we thinking, I GUESS THIS IS OUR LIFE NOW. Fae is the best and Gabe is the cutest big brother but I seem to never have any free hands and my laundry just tripled. Also! It was Kamel and my anniversary yesterday! And I didn’t...

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Focused

What’s happening? I am being lame with writing. My whole energy is wrapped around the end of this pregnancy. It is not something I feel like I can control – the part where my brain is not my own. I hurt. A lot. It is what it is. It is not so terrible that I cry, it is terrible enough that I have to now greatly limit my physical activity. Walking WAY less, like hopefully not at all. I feel so bloated and blimpy and swollen that it grosses me out. It is so uncomfortable but also so … icky feeling? Like it makes me feel bad. It makes me panic that I will feel this way forever even if I know that one day it will end and then...

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Who the hell is she?


Lauren

Seattle/Writer/Adventurer/Married to Kamel/Maker of many mistakes/Mom of 1 Gabriel and 1 TBD/Baker of things/Roaster of Vegetables/Maker of videos/Normal life photographer/Romantic/Irreverent/Honest

If you would like to chat with me or see what else I'm up to you can follow me on Twitter (betterinrealife), on facebook, or email me at betterinrealife at gmail.


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