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Thursday, June 14, 2012

No Fear

This post is a stop on the Virtual Book Tour for The Gift of Giving Life
Remember a few weeks ago when I said my Girl 1 has been giving me hell since pre-conception? No? Well read up, then come back. Or just keep reading. Whatever.

So--as I was saying--Girl 1, not so easy. Our most recent flip flop "misunderstanding" was only the latest in a long line of Battles for Control. But I don't want to bore you, so let me see if I can sum up the past twelve years in a paragraph.

Miscarriage; clomid; miscarriage; clomid; raging hormones and much craziness from said clomid; ectopic pregnancy; clomid; pregnancy; progesterone; frequent blood-letting to track hormones; fainting from said blood-letting; puking, puking, puking, and more puking; pounds, pounds and more pounds despite the puking; worrying, worrying and more worrying; then swelling, really a lot of swelling; more worrying because of swelling; much crying and begging to be induced early; hospital check -in; cervical gel to induce labor before my body/baby was ready; baby-less check out to make room for mothers actually about to give birth; hospital check-in; pitocin; repeat of baby-less check-out this time with a shunt sticking out of my hand making it impossible for me to look at said hand until next hospital check-in; more pitocin; raging sinus infection but only mild contractions; more pitocin; another sleepless night; water breaking; contractions; epidural (ahhh); impatient doctor; move to operating room but not before nearly choking to death on anti-nausea medicine; c-section...

Perfect, beautiful, miracle that I have to wait too long to hold.

And most of those things took place over a period of nine months. But those nine months have affected how I parent this kid ever since. A parenting technique can be boiled down to one word:


I hate fear. I'm always trying to conquer it. I fear the ocean, so I learned to scuba dive. I fear getting in a car accident if I'm not driving, so I let my husband drive. I fear rejection, so I started writing.

But one fear--aside from my fear of snakes--I haven't been able to let go is all the fear surrounding Girl 1's conception and birth. First there was the fear we'd never have her, then the fear we'd lose her, and finally all the fear on the day(s) (four to be exact) of her birth.

I probably should have let go of my fear after everything turned out okay and I had a healthy baby. But I didn't. I've held onto it and it flares up whenever things get rough with #1.

It manifests itself in the What Ifs? that make me a crazy mom. What if she throws a fit if I say no? What if she throws fits because I yell too much? What if I'm the cause of all her insecurity? What if she never leaves home? What if she does leave home? What if she does all the bad things I can imagine a teenager doing? What if she does all the bad things I did as  a teenager? What if something bad happens to her? What if I'm that something?

You see what I mean?

I don't have the same kind of fears with my other two. Maybe it's because they're not my oldest, but I also had much better births with both of them. And you can call me crazy, but I think our experiences giving birth can have a bigger impact on us than we realize.

Which is why I wish I had this book twelve years ago:
The Gift of Giving Life  takes the fear out of childbirth and puts the focus back on the sacredness of it. So many women--like me-- get caught up in everything that can possibly go wrong or having everything perfectly prepared for baby, including the timing of his/her birth. Most of the books about childbirth (I'm looking at you What to Expect When You're Expecting) leave you looking for any and every sign that your body is not doing what it's meant to do rather than encouraging you to listen to and trust your body and your spirit.

The Gift of Giving Life fills that gap. And while it is very much LDS oriented, I think every woman can learn from the personal stories in it. You might think that since one of its authors is my friend Sheridan who I've told you about here and here, the stories would all be about natural childbirth involving hypnosis. But they're not.

There are stories about miscarriage, adoption, emergency C-sections, planned C-sections, water births, hospital births, headstand births. Okay maybe not that last one, but you get my point right? Pretty much every method of childbirth is covered in this book.

You might also think if, like me, you have no plans to EVER be pregnant again that you don't really need this book. Wrong. I have learned so much from reading through these stories. This book is an awesome reminder that Heavenly Father has not only blessed us with the ability and privilege of giving birth, but also to nurture and raise our children. All of it is pretty stinkin' hard most days, but if we'll put our trust in Him and ourselves, we can do it. We have no need to fear.

Visit The Gift of Giving Life site to sign up for their newsletter and to receive a free Meditation MP3 as well as tips to help increase spirituality in your pregnancy and birth. 

For my readers I have a coupon code for 10% off a copy of The Gift of Giving Life.   Click here and after you add the book to your cart use this coupon code.  GWFWXR3F  This code is good until Father’s Day 2012.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I Want to Hide All of My Eleven Year Old's Shoes

I want to hide all of my eleven year old's shoes. Every last pair.

I went out of town a few weekends ago, but as I drove away from my house on the way to the airport wearing my very favorite outfit I thought to myself (because who else would I think to?), "Really, Brittany? Is this what it's come to? You can't even put on real clothes to leave the state?"

To which I meekly replied, "I changed sweatshirts."

But I couldn't fool Myself. "That sweatshirt came with pajamas," she kindly pointed out. "So technically it is sleepwear. Which means you are about to cross the line to become one of those I-couldn't-bother-to-get-dressed-today-so-I'm-wearing-my-p.j.'s-in-public people. You need to step back, girlfriend."

And so I did. I turned the car around, went home, changed clothes, and left my flip flops--my favorite pair--at the bottom of the stairs.

I returned home three days later as excited to be reunited with my flip flops as I was to see my family again. And more excited to see them than I was to see the dog. I'd been going through some serious flip flop withdrawal (I'm sure Mitt can relate, except with a different kind of flip flop).* My pedi needed some air time and my soles longed for the feel of soft rubber beneath them. I'd missed their comforting whispers of  thwak thwak when I slipped them on to walk across my dirty kitchen floor. They're more than a pair of sandals. They're a trusted friend and protector, always there for me in times of need.

Except now they were missing.

I searched for them, thinking maybe I was misremembering where I put them or perhaps dear husband had put them away somewhere for me.

"Has anyone seen my flip flops?" I asked.

"Not me," came the all too familiar reply from three little girls.

"Girl 1, did you wear my flip flops? The ones I asked you not to wear."


A very definitive answer, so surely it must be believed.

But as day passed into night with still no sign of my favored flip flops, I began to worry. Morning came and I asked again. "Girl 1, are you sure you haven't seen my flip flops?"

"Which ones," was her innocent reply.

"The black ones with the little jewel," I said, hoping my description would jog her memory.

She thought carefully, but her confused look left me little hope of recollection.

"The ones I told you not to wear ever again. Three times."

Now she remembered. "No, I haven't seen them."

Her answer seemed a little cagey, but I let it go. Even if she had worn them--and I was pretty sure she had--I had little doubt I could find them in one of the usual hiding spots.

But as one flip flopless day faded into the next, I lost my cool.

"Girl 1, do you know where my flip flops are?" I asked with significantly less patience than I had asked the previous one hundred times.

"I don't know! Okay?!" she yelled.

Which meant I know I should know where they are but I can't remember and I know you're going to be really mad at me so I'm going to go ahead and get mad at you first.

"Did you wear them?" I asked while debating whether to start with consequences or go straight to water boarding.

"I don't remember, okay!" she yelled.

No, not okay.

"Can't you just wear a different pair?" she asked, I'm sure, with every intention of being helpful. "Why do you have to have those flip flops? It's not like you don't have others!"


Maybe I could have told her a little less loudly, but I can't be held accountable for my actions when I'm in the midst of flip flop withdrawal.

"I think they're at BFF's, okay!" she responded in kind before grabbing her backpack and stomping to the door while muttering, "You are so unfair. Why do you care so much about a pair of stupid flip flops anyway?"

The door slammed shut and she stomped her way to school, but I could still see her eyes rolling.

And that's when I seriously considered ransacking the entire house until I had found every pair of her shoes so that I could hide them. Maybe at my BFF's house.

But I didn't. Because then she'd just wear my shoes and we'd be right back where we started. So instead I rolled my eyes and muttered, "When is eleven going to be over?"

Then I longed for the days that I thought would never end when I couldn't get her to wear matching clothes, let alone shoes.

*Seriously, it's a post about flip flops. You had to know there'd be a Romney jab somewhere, right?