Lauren Wellbank

One mom and her struggle to survive until bedtime


Tag: mom (page 2 of 3)

How I finally found my mom tribe in a Facebook group

In 2014 I heard the term “mom tribe” for the first time.

Of my very few girlfriends, only a handful were what you would consider close relationships.  Even fewer yet were mothers.  I’d had no reason to be familiar with that term up until then, because before a cold morning in December, I’d had no use for mom tribes.

Just like most new moms, I struggled in the beginning.  I had questions, I felt inadequate, and I wondered more often than not if I was even cut out for all of this. Continue reading

Life after death, our new normal

There is a reason why people clean when they grieve.  I think part of it is a need to be doing something mundane and normal.  Part of it also has to do with wanting to be in control of something, anything, when everything else seems so profoundly out of your control.

The honorary hospice nurse

These thoughts are knocking around in my head as I spend two hours walking through my kitchen rearranging flowers and food and wiping down every surface I can reach despite the size of my ever growing belly.

I wipe, I rearrange, I cry.

That’s been my routine since I woke up today, in this, the first day in my new normal.

 

Continue reading

To my daughter on her final days as an only child

We’re snuggled up on the couch together as I write this.  Your head resting on my shoulder, your arms intertwined with mine.

You fell down earlier while running through the hallway.  I was busy pulling your old bassinet out of the bottom of your closet, as you ran up and down the hallway, yelling with glee.  When I reached you, big wet tears were already rolling down your cheeks and you were clutching your knee.

Photo by Darian Green

And then there were four

After I soothed your tears away you asked to get into your bassinet.  You’ve been too big for it for so long now, but you were still desperate to get back into it.  Instead I rocked you, and cooed at you, and told you about the days when you used to fit into it.  Pretending to suck your thumb with your eyes half closed you smiled, laughed, and said, “I a baby.”  Continue reading

Pregnancy and the horse latitudes, what the last weeks and sailing have in common

Have you ever heard the phrase horse latitudes before?  If you haven’t, don’t worry, it’s an outdated term with several different interpretations that the average person would have no call to know. The origins of the saying have absolutely no baring on what I’m about to tell you.  That is, other than to briefly explain what it is so that you can better understand where I’m at right now.

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my

The horse latitudes is an old sailing phrase that indicated that a ship had reached a location with calm waters and no crosswinds.  Of course, this was prior to the days of two and four stroke engines.  Are you impressed that I know that terminology, because you should be?  With no prevailing winds, large ships would find themselves stalled out in the middle of the ocean.  Supplies would begin to run short and sailors would start to panic.

The inhumane (and insane) fix for this often began with water rationing.  The animals on board, specifically the horses, would bear the brunt of this solution.  When the ships remained moored in the middle of the sea they would begin unloading their least precious cargo, the horses. This would both lighten their load and reduce the use of their finite resources.

Continue reading

Parenting is not about the wins, it’s about living to fight another day

I’m sitting on the toilet, pretending to eat a fake carrot as my toddler stands less than an inch from my bent knees begging me to keep going.

“Eat more, mommy.”  She says, and pushes the carrot back to my face.  Again I make the “om nom nom” noise and pretend to nibble on the tip.  “It’s ice-cream!”  She yells, reminding me that I can’t even eat a fake carrot correctly, because now it’s been transformed into a fake ice-cream cone.  Get it together, mommy, her face says.  Parenting is kind of your job.   Continue reading

St. Patrick’s Day and Pregnancy; the two have more in common than you think

Every year since we first began dating, my husband and I have thrown a St. Patrick’s Day party.  The tradition began as “kegs and eggs”, which was basically just an excuse for some serious day drinking.  Over the years, as all of our friends began having children, it evolved into something a little more family friendly.

By the time we had our first child our annual green and orange clad shit show had morphed into something different.  It had become part wild party and part daycare, complete with an arts and crafts table.

We served champagne and juice boxes, we catered to everyone. Continue reading

Reasons why a toddler is the very worst pregnancy wingman

Being pregnant is a wonderful, amazing, miracle of an experience.  You get to create this life inside of you, and then feel it grow and develop.  Eventually you baby grows to become a tiny person that you will grow to love more than you ever thought was humanly possible.  Plus, there is nothing quite as wonderful as new baby snuggles.

She yelled “It’s moving!” when she felt something, but the joke was on her because it was just gas.

Pregnancy may be a wonderful, amazing, miracle, but it’s also the most goddamn exhausting experience of your life. Continue reading

Ten surefire gifts for any mom on your list this Christmas

Well, it’s Christmas week*.  I don’t know how that happened (time has lost all meaning since I became a parent), but it did.

wp-1479752905380.jpgIf you’re anything like me you are still adding last minute gifts to your Amazon shopping cart and praying frantically to the UPS gods that they make it here on time.  And if you’re not anything like me, and all your gifts are purchased, wrapped, and waiting patiently for Christmas Eve so that they can be placed underneath your Christmas tree, well… feel free to keep that information to yourself. Continue reading

When the Honeymoon Ends

Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary.  It was a wonderful day in which he treated me to breakfast in bed.  We sipped champagne and ate our leftover wedding cake before taking off for a leisurely day where we walked, just the two of us, in and out of shops and took in an amazing lunch at a quiet farm to table restaurant in this boutique filled town near where we live.  Before we fell into bed together later that night he surprised me with a delicate gold necklace with a beautifully engraved locket that expressed his undying love for me in a way that I would have never thought possible.  And then, a giant golden unicorn flew out my butt, and its ornate wings flapped and blew away the fabric of my super intense fantasy life. 

The reality is that I woke up tired with a sick toddler.  A sick toddler that had me awake most of the night before, while my husband slept down stairs on the couch in what I can only assume was an effort to escape my heinous pregnancy induced gas.  We relaxed by making a two hour round trip to North Jersey to pick up our recreated wedding cake that I forgot to order until about 24 hours prior (pregnancy brain, pregnancy brain all the things).  Then we came home and ate lunch quickly before he had to run back out to the grocery store to pick up more tissues and supplies for to make our daughter fresh chicken noodle soup tomorrow.

Even now, as I type this in bed next to our daughter, my husband is back downstairs napping.  The card that I bought him to celebrate is sitting, unsigned and unsealed, on the island in the kitchen where he found it this morning just in time to remind him that he never even thought to get me a card.

This is not what I imagined our life would look like this time last year.  Actually, this exact time last year I was relaxing with my eyes closed as the finishing touches were being completed on my hair and make-up.  I don’t think I was envisioning our one year anniversary, but you can bet if I was it didn’t include me being covered in dried strings of snot, watching yet another episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and trying to negotiate holding a sick toddler without squishing the baby still a’ brewing inside of me.

And honestly, I wouldn’t change any of it.

I know the cliché is that the first year of marriage is the hardest, but that wasn’t my experience here.  Perhaps it was because we had already been together for so long (six years last September) or maybe it was that we lived together for several years prior so not much actually changed when I changed my name.  More than likely it was just the fact that we had already experienced our hardest year, that first year as parents.  And although that was unbelievably hard, I think it actually made us stronger as a couple.

It also made me realize a lot about our relationship.  I never understood why people called their significant others their better half before, but I think I get it now.  I have discovered that there are some things that my husband is just better at than I am.  Sometimes, he has the better half of our qualities.  Where I am tightly wound, he is easy going.  Where I am quick to anger and hold tight to grudges, my husband has an even temperament and is forgiving.  When I see red, he sees reason.  Sometimes I expect the worse of people and he gives them the chance to be who they are.  He learns his lessons where I keep making the same mistakes over and over… the list could go on and on.

He is my better half, and I am so glad that we found each other all those years ago and have taken this strange path that life has set us upon.  No, none of it has been what I expected (or honestly, even something that I would have thought sounded remotely enjoyable all those years ago).  But now, here I sit, covered in dry boogers, exhausted to the core of my being, and still wonderfully and magically in love.

It’s a different love than I have ever experienced before.  Long gone are the days when we would get drunk and make out on the couch with our hormones all aflutter.  But I can say when I came home last weekend and found my husband and daughter napping together, side by side, laying in identical positions, there was some fluttering.

Watching him be a good dad and a wonderful husband doesn’t keep me in love with him (he keeps me in love with him all by himself), it just reinforces those reasons I fell in love with him in the first place.

So today, while the honeymoon is officially over, I still find myself deeply and unendingly in love with my husband.  And I am pretty confident he feels the same way about me, gas and all.

Happy First Wedding Anniversary.

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Photo by Maria Kalitina

A Letter to AARP on Behalf of my Old Uterus

Dear AARP,

I am writing to you today on behalf of my uterus.  Or maybe I’m writing on behalf of my ovaries, hell, how about you just accept this letter on behalf of the whole kit-n-caboodle. You see, I have been informed by my OB that due to the fact that I will be over 35 when I give birth, I am something called “of Advanced Maternal Age”.

Please, dear people of AARP, allow me to explain.

Apparently my lady bits have aged in dog years because the American Medical Association just called my multigravida elderly.  And the definition of multigravida is even worse than being called “elderly”, it means a woman (or female animal) that has become pregnant for the second time.  Yeah, esteemed board of AARP members, I said WTF, too. 

While I was busy enjoying my 30’s, and deriving great enjoyment from the fruits of the efforts of my twenties, my vagina was withering away. Unbeknownst to me, my entire reproductive system was growing older by the moment.  Basically the plot of the movie Jack was playing out in my underpants zone.  Every second I spent on winery tours or dates with my fiancé (now husband) my vagina was inching closer and closer to needing a daily nap and asking for the menu that features the early bird specials.

Nobody ever told me that on the eve of your 35th birthday your fallopian tubes would give a dramatic shudder, cough up some dust, and ask for an afghan and a large print crossword puzzle.

My OB sat there smiling encouragingly at me as all of this sank in.  She was more than happy to explain everything in great detail, making sure that I understood all the accompanying risks and requirements.

Having a baby at the ripe old age of 35 or older (or older… but by god, if you’re older than 35 how do your ancient eggs manage to get where they need to be while lugging around their oversized purse and walker?!  What is the logistics there?) pushes you into a “special” new category of mom. Special.

“Don’t worry,” she assured me when she saw the look of horror on my face as the words Advanced Maternal Age once more left her lips “it just means you are special. You’ll get some extra attention, but it’s really not that bad.”  There’s that word again, fellow AARP friends, special.

After a while of going back and forth she laughed and told me that now a days people don’t even begin their families until their 30’s and that being of AMA isn’t all that big of a deal.

It felt like a big deal.  It also felt like I needed to rush home and get my Medicare and Social Security paperwork in order.

Before I was permitted to hobble out to my car (head down watching where I was going so that I didn’t fall and break my hip), she issued me more reassurances and a referral for a specialist.  A geneticist, because old eggs have a tendency to produce babies with chromosomal defects (which of course was the exact reassurance that this wasn’t that big of a deal that I needed).

The genetic counselor was also full of words of encouragement and laughed at me during our appointment.  Telling me I was still just a spring chicken (something that, ironically, my grandmother’s doctor used to say to her when she would complain about the aches and pains of her 80’s).

“35 is just an arbitrary line they drew in the sand.” She said while I pointed accusingly at my paperwork where the words “elderly” glared back at me.

Elderly?!  Elderly my ass! Well… I guess more accurately that would be, “Elderly?!  Elderly my vagina!”wp-1478524388622.jpg

So, it is for this reason that I am requesting early admission. I would like to begin taking advantage of all of the discounts and benefits that are available to women (and their junk) of a certain age.

While clearly, I am still a spring chicken in the eyes of the world (and kindly, if somewhat patronizing, genetic councilors), the baby growing in the complete tear down that is my uterus would have you believe otherwise.

Thank you for your consideration,

The Brains Behind This Old Uterus

PS – Are there AARP meetings?  Is that where I get to meet Luke Perry?  I’d like to meet Luke Perry. 

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