Monday, August 20, 2007


to my mom

Some bad days...lately.

2 days after my mom left I felt my world was going to crumble.

I have too many tomatoes growing outside. Reluctant to do anything that requires work, I end up making the biggest bowl of salsa. It took a lot longer than I wanted it to and yet I was somewhat pleased with it knowing Chay would appreciate it...Kenzie opened the fridge and dumped the whole bowl over. It splattered all over my rug, up the island, and inside the cupboards. Now this is all happening when I am sleep deprived and dealing with Julia who has colic or something- she only stops crying when she's asleep or eating. I look at the salsa mess and just start to cry. I wipe it up with thoughts, "Is this what I came to earth for? To clean up salsa? To play dress up with dolls, to hold a crying baby all day, to get stretch marks, to make dinner, do dishes, to not talk to anyone for days on end?"

baby blues? Oh probably

Here I am feeling sorry for myself- feeling a little lost in the big moving world...I really don't know what I feel to be honest- which can be worse sometimes. I am just trying to grasp this whole life thing- Heavenly Father's plan for me, while I change diapers and bounce up and down on our bed all day holding Julia- trying to sooth her. I just want to ask, "what am I accomplishing here?" I always hear these inspirational quotes "Carpe Diem, make each day count, go for the gold, today is the first day of the rest of your life" you've all heard them a million times- yet to a mother with new little children these quotes can be quite discouraging. I mean honestly who feels they are reaching their potential when they are hazy all day from little sleep, wearing the same shirt for three days in a row, yelling at their toddler to stop drawing on is hard to picture yourself all grand and glorious in this life for being a mom. I guess the world tells us we need to have a plaque on the wall, praise, showy talents, special knowledge to be of any worth...hmmmm

Tribute to my mother. Isn't it interesting how I feel this way about myself yet I look to my mother with the highest regards. I look at her in aw for the person she is and the life she is living. She too spent many days wiping up, cleaning up, sweeping up, chasing down after her children. She too had many long days where I am sure felt like nothing got accomplished besides surviving motherhood. Yet I honor and respect her- her life, her faith, her love has given me the perfect example to live by.

My mom is holding on to life. She is a fighter. She isn't trying to earn a huge degree or land a job she has always wanted before she dies- she isn't trying to feel good about herself by accomplishing something great in the world's eyes- she is just filling her life up with love. She listens, nurtures, and cares for her children. She isn't a fake grandma- she is the real deal. She actually cries when she says goodbye to Mckenzie and takes time to leave her notes and gifts. She is searching constantly for guidance from the spirit. Her life is driven by faith and inspiration. She knows Heavenly Father loves her even though she is always in pain, always fatigued. My mom's last days will be spent in her flower garden, or painting a room, or fixing something in the garage, or preparing a lesson for church- she is a fighter because she chooses life despite what life chooses for her.

My mom came down to help me with the baby. She slept on a couch in the basement. She must have climbed those dreadful steep stairs 15 times a day. She cooked meals, did my laundry, painted rooms, painted trim- all with stage 4 cancer. She hardly complained. Even though she did many physical things for me- my most treasured part of her stay was when she would sit with me and listen to me talk and when she would be my support during the first horrid days of breastfeeding. I treasure seeing her spend time with Kenzie and giving Julia a bath. I treasure her prayers.

Motherhood. We are taking care of God's children. So...hmmm spending all day with little children, caring for them, hugging them, talking to them, cleaning up messes...can it possibly be the most important thing we can do for a human soul? Children must gain their concept of God by the way they are parented by their earthly only makes sense. So maybe I did come to earth to clean up spilled salsa. Being with Kenzie practically every waking moment of her life teaches her trust and confidence...singing nursery songs, holding a crying baby for hours, reading books, unloading the dishwasher, eating peanut butter and honey sandwiches together all might be pretty righteous works...some major building of the kingdom of God. We may one day see how these simple acts of love contributed to healthy development of the child and spiritual preparation for the mom in this life and the life hereafter. Yes sleepless nights, tried patience, yelling at our kids and asking them and the Lord for forgiveness, teaching our little ones how to pray and be reverent may not get a whole lot of recognition- but we are becoming Christ-like whether we realize it or not.

Well just an insight- easier to write about than to actually accept- the long days get to me you know? I am thankful for prayer.

Friday, August 17, 2007

first week

I sat in the rocking chair this morning, dazed, numb, in denial. I did not want to get up from that chair. I just wanted to sit there the entire day. I was holding Julia in one arm. I had just finished feeding her and I was letting my cracked, blistered nipple get some air- Kenzie was in my bedroom scattering clean clothes my mom just folded the night before all over the room.

I'm on day 12 with Julia. Even though things are tough they don't even compare to the first week home.

Postpartum. We really don't think much about it or even talk a whole lot about it. We all just get happy and smiley when we know someone had a brand new baby. Trust me-the week to serve is the first week after someone has a baby.

Exhausted, Dermaplast, lansinoh cream, Tucks, super maxi pads, engorgement, bleeding nipples, tired, ice packs, painful urination, tired, exhausted, emotions, sore muscles, achy hips, feedings every 2-3 hours, a toddler running around, hormones,...tired

The nurses at the hospital told me I was a nursing pro. They reassured me Julia was latched on perfectly. 3 days later Julia pukes up her feeding all over the floor and there was more blood than milk. I try pumping- the bottle filled up with blood. My nipples were coming off of my breast! At least it looked that way and felt that way.

I get very envious of those who don't have problems nursing. I had the same problem with Kenzie. Plus to complain even more- I have a broken breast due to surgery that Julia won't take because milk doesn't come out fast about lopsided...oh brother

But I won't give up.

This too shall pass- it has to.

I guess these trials all bring us closer to Heavenly Father. Right when I want to go off about how unfair I have it- I am reminded of all the opportunities I have to call upon the Lord for help. When I was dilated to a 10 and going through severe contractions the midwife told me the combination of my swollen cervix and the position of the baby is preventing the birth to progress like it should. I immediately said with deep breaths, "Let's pray, Heavenly Father will help" My mom said a prayer and with the very next contraction the baby passed the cervix. The midwife smiled and said, "your baby just dropped a good 4 inches" Pain, trials, humility invites the needing of Heavenly Father. I say a prayer every time I breastfeed. I pray 20 times a night to get through the pain and discomfort.
I know Heavenly Father will help me. He already has a million times.

I can sense my faith is stronger than it used to be. I can feel myself wanting to get discouraged and feel depressed with all the changes- but there is that tiny ounce of strength, that little testimony deep down inside that tells me I can do this, the Lord will help me, my calling as mother is the highest calling I can obtain in the kingdom of God...these little reminders help keep me going, and get me off the rocking chair.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Ok well she is here. Little Julia. Chay already calls her his jewels...which she is.
I arrived at the hospital around 4:30 Tuesday morning. My contractions were hard but spaced far apart which convinced me I wasn't very far along in labor. The nurse was quite surprised to find me dilated to an 8. After pacing the room a hundred times I decided to take advantage of the hot tub in the room. It was the best thing ever! No wonder they say water is nature's epidural. The midwife would put pressure on my back during each contraction- then she taught Chay how to do it. It was the best relief. After I got out of the hot tub, I had about 45 minutes of painful painful contractions and in 2 pushes Julia arrived. Oh what an amazing feeling to feel her pass through my body. In just 2 seconds the pain was gone. My eyes filled with tears. They placed her in my arms immediately after she was born. She was covered in blood. All I could say, "my baby, my little baby" They cleaned her, Chay cut the cord, sucked out her nose and mouth all while I held her. I couldn't believe her dark hair- so much of it. Our new little daughter so fresh from Heavenly Father...

Julia Kaye Clark is 20 1/2 inches long, weighed 8 lbs 3 oz and arrived to earth at 7:22 am August 8th 2007. Her middle name is my mom's middle name- in honor of Julia's strong faithful grandmother, Edie Kaye.

Postpartum is probably worse than natural child birth in its many different aspects- healing, breastfeeding, no sleep- but I don't feel like talking about that now...maybe later. But Julia is beautiful- she is peaceful, small, perfect- the spirit is strong in our home despite our little gruffs from being so entirely wasted.

Enjoy the small movie- it is kind of long- but I figured family members would just love it.

holding two

my new sister

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


4 minutes apart

I can't sleep...too excited...too overwhelmed...hurts
No I don't have a crib set is in pieces in the living room
My bedroom is full of Kenzie's furniture and clothes

Kenzie is sleeping in my bed right now. Her bedroom is non existent at the moment. I'm not sure what to do with her.

It is 11:36 at night...that means it will be a long night and it also means according to my cell phone clock...I will be having another contraction right my strong strong....oh isn't this insane the pain we go through? ..... breathe....ok it's over not too bad....

Should I go to the hospital? I don't want to show up and have them tell me I am only dilated to 2.

I'm in labor.

Many prayers are running through my head.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

what I needed

Well I was about to vent big time. I was going to complain about our ruined bathroom floor and not having a toilet nearby for 2 1/2 weeks, our water heater dying, Mckenzie coming down with the Herpangina virus that caused her to scream all day and wake up every 15 minutes at night, my house being in complete disarray because my parents and us decided to paint and fix up the girl's new room (which will be pretty cute) plus not sleeping well at night- all this just days before I am due....but then I get this email from Chay and well everything seems to be ok...I can handle anything...especially with Chay by my side and a few tears here and there to help release stress. This email is just what I needed.


Honey....I'm just sitting here at work doing my usual paperwork and listening to Chase's iPod. Firehouse's song from the early 90's "When I look into your Eyes" is playing and it just really made me think about all the good times and growth that we've shared together. Thanks for your love and always believing in me. I love you April. Go to the doctor today and get Kenzie looked at if she's not getting over her fever. I love you and I hope you enjoyed this random and cheesy email.