2015 began with morning sickness and depression.
Those are my main memories from last January and February. As I look back, I’m thankful and optimistic. 2016 is gonna be awesome. This winter is going to be easier. It’s a fresh start, and I’m excited.
While we were thrilled to be expecting our second child, the timing was interesting. We’d just barely finished moving and we were still adjusting to a new house, new city, new church. We had a friend living with us. We had mice in our home. Then sinus infections. I took the cold weather hard. I craved sunlight. I could barely open the fridge without vomiting. I cast all health concerns aside and entered “first trimester survival mode.” I lived off of cereal, a little Jimmy John’s, and yes…even McDonald’s a couple times!
March and April came with a little relief from sickness. I felt well enough to serve again. We hosted several bands, a house show, and two lovely foreign exchange students. Josh and I also took a short “babymoon” to Ohio. I love traveling with this guy so much!
Malachi turned 2 on April 2nd! And in my mind that’s when he really transformed from a baby into a child! His desire to learn and be independent has accelerated ever since! He remembers his party, hunting Easter eggs with friends and eating his first cake with sugar. (Gasp!) I’m pretty sure it’s one of his first memories.
In May and June I felt well enough to do a lot of activities in addition to working. I was nostalgic about this being Malachi’s last summer as an only child. I cherished our one-on-one trips to the zoo, to the pool, and just playing in the yard.
I was entering my third trimester and having second-thoughts about my OB. His desire to deliver all large babies via c-section didn’t sit well with me. I knew Shiloh would be big, so I initiated a switch to the O’Fallon Birth and Wellness Center. Best birth decision ever.
July had Audiofeed, our favorite family tradition. Audiofeed is a grassroots music festival sprung up from the die-hard fans of Cornerstone Festival. Every year our network of friends grows. Every year the music is awesome.
But it’s about more than the music. It’s about serving the bands (I love helping prepare their food in the outdoor kitchen.) It’s about the conversations between sets. It’s about the community. We call it a family reunion. I was a little nervous about camping and staying up late at 8 months pregnant, but I had a fantastic time.
There were more house shows at our place both before and after Audiofeed, as summer is a busy time for bands and everybody is out there touring. We loved it!
August started out slow. Very slow. Waiting for a baby is hard – right up there with morning sickness. I was still working a couple days a week. But the week before my due date my body decided it was done. I took my leave. Nothing but nesting and waiting and napping whenever possible.
Shiloh was finally born August 17th – two days past his due date. We were so thankful for the midwives attending our homebirth. Shiloh was 9 lbs 6 oz. It was an incredible accomplishment especially in light of the c-section my OB proposed.
“We did it. We have another one!” Were some of my first thoughts upon seeing him. It was hard to process. Going from one kid to two is pretty transformative. The love, the feelings, the personalities, the snuggles all doubled in one day.
In September, October, and November I battled mild postpartum depression. I was determined to fight it. I went places, I ate well, I worked out, and I talked to friends about it.
Malachi potty trained himself! (If you’re a parent, you understand that this is a huge deal!) Shiloh was healthy and adorable and growing. Malachi embraced him and still adores him. Their love for each other was, and still is, completely pure, innocent, and unflawed. I know that one day they will hurt one another. They will have issues they must work through. But right now I just enjoy their radiating smiles.
December I really turned a corner when I returned to work. I’m thankful for my leave, but working a few days a week helps center me. My work family has warmly welcomed me back and helped make the transition easy. I’m thankful how Josh supports me by watching both kids on nights I’m gone. It’s not the easiest thing ever but he rocks it. My mom also helps us out, which is awesome!
So far this winter had been mild. I’ve adjusted really well to the changing season and the colder, dreary weather. So far the depression has stayed away. Shiloh still doesn’t sleep through the night, but we’re doing just fine mentally and physically keeping up with it.
We enjoyed a nice, simple holiday season without too much stress or running around. I recently took down all the Christmas decor and I love the freshness it leaves behind. Yes, I’m that person who loves Christmas stuff in November / December, but can’t stand it the day after. I’ve always loved the clean, sparse space that’s left behind after taking down the tree and garlands.
My desire is that 2016 would be a fresh start. While there’s chances for new beginnings all year long, there is significance in the freshness of a whole new year. Undoubtedly there will be failed resolutions and unmet expectations. There will be success and surprises too. Life isn’t predictable.
But God is good. We are blessed. And no matter what happens in 2016, those words are true.