But Maybe I’m Done

When my husband and I met, one of the things that connected us was our family values and what we saw in our future regarding family. Four of those things were babies. We both wanted four children. I grew up with two siblings, cousins that were especially close to us and an open door policy in our home. All of our friends were welcome in and out of our house as they pleased. There were always friends and family around. I thrived in that environment, our home was a little complicated but there was always love around. It was the saving grace to a whole lot of drama.

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My husband was an only child until he was in college when his parent’s adopted two beautiful girls from Russia. He grew up in a bit of a more quiet household. This has inspired him to have four children, a household full of little people running around. We have had two very different upbringings that have led us to many of the same dreams.

Little has my husband known that I have been trying to wrap my mind around having more children after this one. It is fairly difficult to admit at this point. I don’t want to admit my weaknesses or back down on something that I know is so important to my husband. That being said, though I am not puking in the bathroom every second, my body is tired and in pain in ways that I never imagined or experienced before giving birth. These thoughts which are few of many have left me planting a seed in my husband’s brain and heart that two may be the final number.

I am beyond grateful that I have been able to have one healthy baby. I am extremely grateful that I have been able to carry a second baby. I realize we are not all so lucky. I don’t mean this to be insulting in any way to the mothers who struggle to get pregnant or carry one baby.

I know we are lucky to have a healthy family and I am thinking waaaaaaay in advance but I had to be honest with my the man. The man who I have had so many conversations with about having a large family.The man who I’ve made so many jokes with about our ten children. I have to admit to myself that maybe, I just can’t do this again. That one sibling for our daughter is enough. I try to rationalize not having anymore children. It’s only nine months. Then I think about adoption, we could adopt. It has always been in the back of my mind, something I have always admired. I’ve learned so much from my husband’s parents. Why have more children biologically when you can offer a home to another child in need? Maybe two children in need?

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The other night I asked my husband about one of the names we have been thinking for a girl. We both love the name and it means a great deal to my hubs. I asked him if we had a boy, would he want to use that name for him. He responded saying we might have a girl after. I responded with, we might not. I asked if he was okay with two children instead of four, if he was okay with this being our last little one. Being the man he is, he reminded me not to get ahead of myself and that we would work through things as they happen. The calm to my crazy. But with a pang to my heart and my gut I responded, “I’m serious.”

He then reminded me I felt similarly after the birth of our daughter. The difference then was that I said later versus never.

I have a love/hate relationship with pregnancy. Actually, that’s too harsh. I have a love and dislike relationship with pregnancy. But the love takes over just about every other emotion in my body, and for that reason I may actually say later not never in a few months.

One day at a time,

Raffaella

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Was It Worth It? Noa’s Freestyle Fridays

 

We made it! Almost exactly 3 years after our first failed attempt we actually not just touched the sand, but put a tent up and even got some water on us. Woohoo!!

First time we tried our son was then 6 months. We packed up half of our house (I call it the ‘just in case’ first time parents syndrome) in the car, and schlepped all the way to Santa Monica for what we thought would be a great day at the beach. Right?

WRONG!

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My love even took a trip to REI and spent hundreds of dollars on umbrellas, folding chairs and even a waterproof picnic blanket for our lil infant to lay down on. We finally get to the parking lot. There’s nowhere to park. I guess we weren’t the only geniuses thinking a Sunday beach day is the way to go…Our lil baby is screaming his lungs out, hating the carseat and the whole ‘looking for parking’ deal, we parked (illegally), just so that I can take him out of the carseat and carry him with me to the beach.

Feeling rushed, hot and exhausted I sat down on the first rock I saw to nurse him. All the while I was thinking Yes, I can see the ocean. We’re almost there. Almost. There.

As I wrap up the nursing session I see my love making his way to us, carrying the umbrella, the folding chairs, the cooler, the picnic blanket and whatever else he was able to fit in his hands (Go Crossfit!) when our infant started screaming. What’s wrong now? Nothing calmed him down. NOTHING. Feeling defeated, angry and exhausted we made our way back to the car and drove home.

Last weekend we decided it was time to try again. Our new girl is a chill baby (“You are low maintenance just like your mom”, my love keeps saying to her) and yes, we still schlepped the entire house on our backs but we actually made it to the beach. After a rocky start like our son crying that he hates the water and my love’s answer (and I quote) “what did we do wrong to pussify you” , and then chasing down our tent, almost knocking my eye out in the process but IT WAS WORTH IT.

Even with the little sniffly sniff that our little girl got after our beach day. It was sooooo worth it. Thank you, kiddos, for making us work for something we took for granted before you came along and for being exactly who you are! and thank you, my love, for creating funny memories with me along the way.

Love you,

Shabbat Shalom,

Me.

 

A Safe Haven?-Noa’s Freestyle Fridays

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Unless you live on a different planet(which is unlikely,since you are reading this) you probably have heard the sad news about another senseless & maddening terror attack.

Being a native of Israel we had (and still have) quite a few of these devastating attacks.

Imagine a small country surrounded by other countries who want to destroy it and you got yourself a recipe for disaster!

I think in the back of my mind I didn’t want my kids to be raised in fear like I did (even though no one ever uses this word in Israel) and so I relocated years ago, to where I believe is safer.

Hearing and seeing images from yesterday’s horror brings me back to the disturbing images I’ve seen growing up. I’ll spare you the details… which leads me to question- Is there such a thing as a safe haven? Is there a place where I can pack up my little family and be safe??  I sure hope that the answer is yes.

Nice, my heart goes out to you.

Here’s to a safe haven everywhere!  soon, I hope.

Shabbat Shalom,

Noa

Family.

I was asked to write a blog about what family means to me–in so many words. Within so many words, I share with you what family means to me. I invite you to share with us what family means to you.


 

Family is a funny thing. They say you can’t choose your blood, but you can. You may not be able to choose the fact that they share your blood, but you can choose whether or not they are in your life.

I grew up in what turned out to be a broken home. My parent’s got divorced when I was in 5th grade. My sister was in Kindergarten and my brother was in 7th grade. I don’t remember our ages as clearly as I remember the grades. We moved from New Jersey to Connecticut then POW parent’s got a divorce. I watched my father abuse alcohol, I watched my mother turn from a confident woman to a broken hearted mother trying to keep it together for her children. My father turned from a hard working man to support his family financially to an unhappy man who couldn’t keep his skeletons in the closet anymore. Our family broke apart. My brother ran away from the family problems and I took on the load of caring for my sister.

I always knew I wanted to have children. I knew I wanted to have children more than I wanted to have a spouse. After seeing the hurt and challenges my parents went through, I figured it would be easier raising a child alone. I didn’t need a man. I was in bad relationships, relationships with cheating, neglect, dishonesty, and full of men who just didn’t want to deal with their shit. It made me question my relationship with my parents, with my siblings. Was I too much of a mother figure to my sister? Was I dating men that resembled my father? Was I angry at my mother for depending on men to provide a sense of worth? Was I angry at my brother for not stepping up when we needed it the most? Did I feel betrayed by my family? I never stayed anywhere long enough to face my own demons, I took one opportunity to break it off with a man that I was trying so hard to love, so hard to fix, and then it clicked. I was projecting my familial relationships onto other relationships in my life.

I quit, and I ran.

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I ran right into my husband. I ran into my husband, the father of my daughter, and my unborn child. When I wanted to run away from him because of course, being in a good relationship was even more challenging than being in a bad one, he showed me what it meant to stay. To stay and work through it all. And so it began. I began the work to make the relationships in my life, the relationships within my family, work for me, in a healthy way. My father was drinking way too much and I needed to create boundaries. Boundaries to the point where I didn’t know if it was healthy to have him in my life. My mother was depending on men for comfort and frankly, for life. I wasn’t sure how much more I could be supportive without being angry. This is when the choice comes into play. Who do I want in my life? My hubby proposed and I was then his fiancé, we then found out we were pregnant three months away from from our wedding. Now we are pregnant with our second.

This is the family I never knew I would have but always dreamed of having. If I was honest with myself and didn’t look to the future with fear and with skepticism, this is everything and more than what I could have ever dreamed of. Not just my husband and daughter, but my blood. My parents are not perfect. My siblings are figuring their way through life, as I am; as we all are. Families break apart if you’re not willing to be honest with each other, that doesn’t just go for blood it goes for friendships. The friendships that I have now, at this point in my life, these people are family. They are relationships I have been able to be honest in, and them with me, and we have grown together. If you can’t grow together, you break apart. Just because you break apart doesn’t mean you can’t come back together. But family, family pushes through. Family works through issues together. At each other’s necks, at times brutal arguing, but they push through together. Because this life is nothing without them, and sometimes broken is better. I wouldn’t have met the select few people that help make up this heart of mine if it wasn’t for the brokenness.

Cheers to your family, whatever that means to you. Hug them tight.

Raffaella

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Moving Madness

It isn’t ground breaking news. Or a deep profound thought…that moving legitimately sucks. A few weeks ago, when people told me how difficult it would be with a toddler, I silently told them to very nicely be quiet, that I’d be so on top of it on moving day, that I’d be walking around not knowing what to do with myself as I’d be amazingly organized and as a result have nothing else to do.
It’s not too late for this naive fantasy to come true. We have a little time to make this happen. But as I go through the list of things to be done, a mild panic attack lurks around the corner. What I had failed to realize was that packing is the easy part. Scheduling everything, ordering the needed items, and making sure the timeline is in alignment, is where I might lose my mind. All the while, reminding Little that the items in the boxes, are supposed to stay in the boxes. We’re still working on this one.

I’ve had a few friends who moved with their toddlers and their new babies. This means an infant AND a two year-old. Respect. I don’t know how they did it without falling apart. And in the chaos they managed to hold regular play dates, and keep a smile on their faces. That’s talent.
Give me your secrets.
Baby steps, and big boxes are awesome,
Roxy

  

My Soft Porn Addiction-Noa’s Freestyle Fridays

It’s hard to admit that you have an addiction. Any addiction, whatever it might be.

It’s hard to admit, and come clean. I used to laugh at people who watched it and now I’m one of those people. I don’t know what it is, the story, the family, the fact that it’s scripted but not scripted, the makeup, the set….

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What is it about Keeping Up With The Kardashians that make me not only watch it, but record it on my DVR??

I must be crazy. I’m an educated, career driven, loving mother who got no time to watch TV but for this, well apparently for this I find the time.

When my mom was in town we watched it together and even though she doesn’t speak a word in English she understood everything. We talked about their lives like we are their family members. Crazy, right?

I used to blame my son when my soulmate saw it recorded on our DVR. I used to smile and blame my son for recording it by mistake. I lied. Straight up. Until… I discovered my love’s addiction to…. The Bachelorette! WHAT? (YES!)

So lucky for me, now I’m not the only educated, career driven parent in our household with a soft spot to reality porn and that, my friends, makes me feel a lot better!

So here’s to Kim K and her awesome momager, Chris Kardashian, a mom of 6 who makes shit happen!

love love love,

Noa

The M Word Continued…

My dear friend and fellow blogger over here at Talking Baby Bumps brought up the topic of miscarriages this past Friday. I don’t want this topic to just pass by without really being looked at. It is a subject that does not get enough attention leaving many women confused, feeling inadequate, and ashamed, among many other emotions that come with a miscarriage. The situations in which it occurs range from women not trying to get pregnant, not knowing they’re pregnant and losing a baby to others who are fighting with every might to get pregnant and have successful implantation to then lose the baby before full term. The unfortunate reality is that those little sticks we pee on, the ultrasounds we hold onto, those blood tests we take that fill us with such hope don’t always end with a successful pregnancy.

There is no one reason why those precious eggs of ours don’t implant or a miscarriage at any point in pregnancy occurs. Maybe that’s one of the greatest reasons why it is so confusing. What did I do? Did I work out too much? Did I eat enough? Did I drink enough water? Are my hormones messed up? What is wrong with me? That question, there is so much self-blame in that question. It is an incredibly valid one. You, as the woman are responsible for carrying this little thing inside of you that turns into a baby with organs, and a soul. The thing is, it’s not just you who makes that baby. It’s a sperm that meets the egg, though you may not think about that immediately because it is natural to take on the responsibility since we are the ones carrying the babe, they do provide half of the chromosomes. I’m not blaming the man. I’m trying to point out the many factors other than you that play a part. It’s not as easy to get pregnant and carry a pregnancy out full term as so many people think it is. (Another topic all in itself).

After reading up on the subject as I tend to obsessively do about everything pregnancy, birth, childhood, and psychology; I learned that there really isn’t a great deal of information out there. The statistics are all over the place. Some sources said that around 75% of conceptions end in miscarriage blaming abnormalities in the chromosomes. Other sources said only 31% of conceptions end in miscarriage. Another source said that 15-20% with a verified pregnancy will miscarry. I came across another source that said the second most common cause for miscarriage was “incompetent cervixes”; way to really hit a nerve, ass holes. At the end of the day, every situation is different. Every battle is different. What is not different is the fact that miscarriages are common. Common as fuck, and no one talks about them.

No one talks about them.

What isn’t different, though the causes may be different, is that women need support. Partners need support, families need support. There is no support in silence. There is shame around the subject which shouldn’t be. I am not inadequate because I had a miscarriage. You are not inadequate because you had a miscarriage. The topic deserves a conversation. I beg of you to start one, or continue this one. I promise you, whether you are aware of it or not, someone in your life has had a miscarriage—or maybe five. It deserves a conversation filled with love and support.

With patience, love, and support on this hump day,

Raffaella

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