Category Archives: HAPPINESS

Mark’s Birth Story and Family Photos with Jack & Lola Photography

January 7, 2017

BABY / HAPPINESS / Uncategorized

 

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I wanted to share these newborn photos Lyndsey of Jack and Lola photography took in our home when Mark was about 3 weeks old. Lyndsey came over with donuts and presents along with her super happy cool attitude. One especially awesome gift was a set of glow bracelets that were intended to be used in a night time bath for Grant (BIT HIT). Anyhow, we had scheduled the session for two weeks post baby but around the two week mark I did not feel well enough to put on real clothes let alone fix my hair due to the C section this time around (what some of my friends call “belly birth” -love that). The session was super fun and we are so happy to have these beautiful images.  

It’s funny how I look back at the birth story of Grant from a couple years ago and it seems so dramatic to me now. This time the unexepcted Csection and recovery was intense but played a smaller character in the story of bringing baby Mark into the world. HA!

As for this birth story, I had intense close contractions starting around 12:30 a.m. one night. Chris asked if he should call his father (who lived 40 plus minutes away) to come over and watch Grant so we could go to the hospital. I knew many people locally but do you know how hard it is for me to ask people for help? So, even in labor I hesitated in asking for Grandpa to come over. Well, Chris saw the frequency of contractions and made the call. 

Oh just a few moments later I said, let’s all get in the car and go to the hospital right now. We woke up Grant and headed over together. Twenty minutes later as I got out of the passenger seat, my water broke. “Oh cool,” I thought, “No mess in the car but wait…now i’m a mess waddling into the hospital.” Lol. Grant was so interested in what was going on. He had a look of wonder on his face as we checked in. He was so excited and it was an adventure. Soon enough grandpa arrived and took Grant home. I missed him immediately. 

I was at 5 cm (1-5 cm is the part that takes relatively the longest) so they said, “Great, you’ll have this baby in no time.” Hours went by and I think the amazing body makes you truly forget that pain. I kind of moaned with each contraction and time flew.

Well, that is until I got to 8cm where I stayed for hours. My very cool and natural doctor said the baby’s head was at an angle and stuck, not allowing the head to sort of condense in size during delivery. They told me to start pushing to see what would happen. Many more hours passed and I asked for an epidural. “Oh, wow I thought, this is going to be a breeze now, cmon baby!” Oh but 8 cm stayed put so a C section it was! Wow that was a surprise especially since my first birth was vaginal. 

I remember shaking from the medication/cold room and my left arm kept hitting one of the doctors. He would say with each taps, “Hey, stop touching my butt.” I was so grateful for that because it actually embarrassed me and distracted me. HA! Loved it.

Oh I cried when they brought him to me. “He has blue eyes like Grant. A Korean kid with blue eyes,” Chris said. He was HUGE (for little ol me) at 9 lbs. 5 oz. Oh I was in heaven. I noticed Mark had quite a chin dimple (like my dad, Mark). The nurses and doctors were so surprised at how happy I was because they knew I was hoping for a totally natural birth and the opposite happened. I was just overjoyed with my big gulp full of passionfruit juice with all that great hospital ice (small like Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf) and this huge, sweet baby.

Grandpa and Nana brought Grant to the hospital to see us the next day. I felt guilty, joyous, you know al those things. Chris brought sushi for us to eat at the hospital. The nurses were SUPER nice and I drank about 400 gallons of that passion fruit juice. We had wonderful visitors over the couple of days there. It was a regular party. 

Recovery was really different from the vaginal birth. It was two weeks before I could really walk around the block but I relished in being “bed bound” and all of us being at home together. I took some medication for a few days then weaned off. It really helped. I lived in the chair I’m sitting in right now. Its a big comfy leather chair with an ottoman. I slept here too for 2 weeks. Our bed is memory foam and when you are not supposed to use your abs, its near impossible to get out of a sinking foam bed. 

This is such an amazing and interesting time of life to be growing a family. I don’t know how it’s possible that six months have gone by. I keep reminding myself that I want to start solids any day but it just seems so soon! Surely the same feelings I will have when it’s time to get the kids their driving permits. Ah!

Paris, The World

November 16, 2015

HAPPINESS / Uncategorized

IMG_1954This was a peaceful breakfast we had in Paris a couple of years ago. I join in the movement for choosing to push away fear and bring love and strength to the forefront. My mother and her siblings grew up with parents who endured a war and a third world society. Teaching survival from robbers, abductors etc. was an integral part of their upbringing from parents who had experienced such things. They grew and thrived as a family as Korea came up but still, these lessons were passed on to us. My sister and I were taught to be brave, not fearful. We were strong and kind. We used to roll our eyes when our mom would tell us ways to defend ourselves in case of trouble because we always lived in super hokey-safe neighborhoods. Chris and I want to show Grant that the world is a good place. Sometimes bad things can happen but the world is still good and he can make a difference in it.We are praying for all the people lost in Paris and their families.

What have you been thinking about after the events in Paris?

Creativity Sprints

November 9, 2015

HAPPINESS / Uncategorized

IMG_9857My mom has been here all week. She cooks us meals, does our laundry and takes Grant to the park many times a day. I feel so spoiled! I had a huge list of things I wanted to get done and then I ended up mostly sleeping. HA! Glorious.

I made this plant hanger for our bedroom from some macrame rope I got at Micheals a few weeks ago. I’ve been making a point to fit in a tiny bit of time each week to work on a fun project. I used to want large blocks of time to dedicate to creativity and now I’m finding ways to fit in little sprints of it. 

I’ve even been knitting again (yes, still the same baby baby blanket for Grant) a few minutes every few nights and it’s awesome! 

Is there a little fun project that you could fit into a few minutes here and there? It makes me immensely happy!

 

Take A Look Outside

November 2, 2015

BABY / HAPPINESS

IMG_1140I’m a walking zombie a lot of the time but I’m a happy one. As I get deeper into motherhood I see how one loses one’s self into it. I was fighting so hard at the beginning to “retain my identity” and now that isn’t so important in the same way. Now I see it as a temporary state, this full emersion as the mother of a baby.

My mother recently told me how she remembered my first full day of school. After dropping me off and returning home she thought, “Oh, I have a full day alone. I”ll listen to music now. Now, I’ll make something to eat. Well, what do I do now?”

I try to remember the things I would see her doing as I grew up. There were crafts, International Wive’s Clubs (charity organizations when we lived overseas), volunteering at my school, sewing costumes for us, making all of our lunches, taking us shopping for school supplies and driving us everywhere. 

I never heard her say anything about, “What about me? I need my identity. I need my career.” It wasn’t for lack of ambition or intelligence. She quietly did all the house chores herself, never asked for recognition and laughed often, telling us that no one was going to make us happy, that it was up to ourselves. 

I’m going to soak it all up, mothering my little one. These days will be gone someday. I’m still here.

Happiness Is…

October 19, 2015

HAPPINESS / Uncategorized

IMG_0316-2Social media, blogs, photos…They can seem so fake and posed. Well, a lot of the time they are. HA! When I look back at photos of my family, like this one (“posed” but really reading and I washed my hair), I see the beauty of my mind’s eye. In my head, every time I read to Grant, it feels like this warm, cuddly moment. I feel beautiful, everything is clean (maybe some food on his shirt). For me, it makes up for the 9.8/10 days I have a disheveled pony, bags under my eyes, Grant is teething and grouchy. So my obsession with photography and capturing everyone else’s most beautiful moments forever.

Recharge

October 12, 2015

HAPPINESS / Uncategorized

IMG_9569How do you recharge? Yesterday, I went to Target…by.my.self. It was glorious. I got an iced coffee and ran into someone I knew (for like 5 seconds) so I’ll add coffee date to that list. I put lots of things in my basket, walked around to areas multiple times and put most of the stuff back on the shelves. I checked my phone for Instagram decorating inspiration and web surfed. Even got a “look” from a salesperson that said, “This lady has been hovering in home decor for waay to long. Just buy that throw already, OK? It’s returnable. Gosh!” Ha! 

Phew. It’s easy for me to talk myself outta doing something for myself. I’m going to make a commitment to doing more of this! Any tips?