Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Journal Entry

I just got back from my walk on which I listened to a podcast about postpartum depression.  I don’t want to feel sad, but I wish I could redo having my babies.  I would do it again, having more information and more determination to stand up for myself and fight for myself.

 I had three pregnancies.  I went to the doctor for the first one because of all of the nausea.  I was sick for 30 weeks.  I was just told that some people feel that way.  But there is medication for nausea, and if I would’ve felt well, I could’ve handled everything better.  When I was pregnant with Peter and Creegan, especially Creegan, I went to the dr with lower back pain that was unbearable.  I couldn’t walk.  I was told that maybe it would get better as the pregnancy progressed.  It didn’t.  I could’ve tried a chiropractor.  I shouldn’t have had to live with that.  It was awful.  And that pain alone makes me never want to be pregnant again cuz I had it with every pregnancy and it got worse and started sooner with each one.  I had depression during my pregnancy with Creegan.  I knew it, and I never mentioned it to a doctor.  It got better within a week after he was born, but it was bad while I was pregnant.  Nights were so scary.  I didn’t feel like Melanie at all.  I shouldn’t have had to feel that way. 

Then, the time after my babies were born was awful.  I remember being scared to death when Ben would leave the house for school when Eddie was a baby.  Like practically having a panic attack scared.  And I would just hold on until he got home.  I had anxiety, and I didn’t know that what I felt wasn’t normal.  And I was so alone.  (We had just moved to Atlanta from Utah, and I had no family and no friends, and Ben was super busy with his graduate program.) 

On top of the medical problems I had, I had cultural/belief issues that really made everything worse.  I truly thought that somehow babies were better off if it was their mother taking care of them, not just in general, but every single moment.  So, Ben only helped with Eddie about ten minutes a day while I took a shower.  Period.  I remember one night when I was so exhausted, it was like 1 a.m.  I lost it and was bawling.  I gave Eddie to Ben so I could sleep.  I laid in bed feeling guilty for abandoning my baby (abandoning him! To his own father!).  I don’t think I ever fell asleep.  I just calmed down and went right back to work.  When Peter was born, Ben began taking care of Eddie, and I took care of Peter the exact same way I had taken care of Eddie.  (which actually made it impossible for Ben to bond with Peter, which is a whole different sad story)  By the time Creegan was born, I finally was aware that I was beyond my capacity to care for children by myself, so Ben helped a lot with Creegan as a baby as well as with Eddie and Peter.  It was a much better experience for everyone.

Another detrimental thought process I had was that, as a good mother, I should always put my needs secondary to my kids’ needs.  This is a dangerous belief to have because you can’t really take care of someone else well if you aren’t well.  But I thought that’s what Heavenly Father wanted from me.  Every time I somewhat failed at this, I would offer prayers seeking forgiveness, and I truly felt guilty.  I really thought I had disappointed God in caring for his children he gave me.  Something that was really helpful for me was realizing and believing that I am Heavenly Father’s child as much as my children are.  That he loves me as much as he loves them.  And that he wants me to be happy and well as much as he wants them to be happy and well.     

The most detrimental belief I had was that I was alone at failing as a mother, that all the other new moms were doing okay.  Why did I think this?  Because every time I saw other moms, they looked put together and happy.  Every freaking blog I read was full of sappy, crappy happy-to-be- a-mom stuff. (Thank goodness FB wasn’t the thing yet!) So I thought I was alone.  Why can everyone else do this but me?, was my constant thought.  I am so sad for that Melanie.    She felt like such a failure at the thing she thought was most important and she was supposed to be great at (personality-wise and church emphasis-wise). 

No one can take care of a baby alone.  Maybe the nuclear family just isn’t the best model.  It leaves you with so much responsibility and so little support.  And really so little knowledge of what’s normal and what’s not.  Maybe having one parent be the financial support and one parent be the emotional support isn’t the best model for a family because both parents are overwhelmed in their role and don’t have anyone that understands or can relate.  You definitely can’t relate to each other.  Maybe if we shared these responsibilities we would feel more supported and less solely responsible for something that seems out of our grasp.  Less pressure, more love.

I wish I could tell all new moms out there all of this so they don’t get surprised when the experience isn’t at all what they expected.  Educate them, establish normative feelings and behaviors.  But maybe we all have to learn it alone.

When my children become parents, if I live close enough, I want to go to their houses once a week with a nice dinner, then clean for them, then take the baby that night so they can sleep.  If not, I can pay for them to have meals and a maid once a week.  And a babysitter.  Cuz, really, no one should be doing this alone.  

Friday, October 04, 2013

In Response to An Open Letter to Kate Kelly and Those Pressing for Ordination from Meridian Magazine


I disagree with this article for multiple reasons.  First, the author implies that it's being too brazen to publicly ask for women to have the priesthood.  Have you heard Pres Hinckley’s response to the question of whether women could ever have the Priesthood?  He responded in the affirmative then added, “but there's no agitation for that." http://agitatingfaithfully.org/post;jsessionid=2803821D898EB321688A9873399DCE20?id=the-quote-in-context  
To me this implies that our leaders need to know when we desire further revelation to be sought.  Kate Kelly, and other members of the church, are well within their rights in asking. 

Second, the author implies that it’s only appropriate to seek further revelation if we want to align ourselves closer to God’s will.  How do we know that it isn’t God’s will for women to have the Priesthood?  The author is assuming that it’s not. (Interesting note: women that lived in Joseph Smith’s time, gave blessings for the healing of the sick.)

Third, the author states that those who ask God if they can have the Priesthood are trying to educate God on how women can best be empowered.  The implication is that this is a bad thing, but our children let us know when they are hungry, or have needs of any kind that are unmet.  We may not be ready to meet them yet, but certainly they are not wrong to have asked.  Perhaps the author's point is that he is God, and who are we to educate him?  But, if He is our Father, why not ask?  He counsels us in the scriptures to pray and seek about anything.  Why not this?  

I love what Kate Kelly said when asked what she hopes the key message of her work will be.  She said: I want women to know that they are valuable, but not from someone telling them. I want them to feel and see it. Images are very important to me, and when I look on the stand, I want to see women. When I hear people talk, I want to hear women. Functionally, there is no person that can tell me I am equal. I know I am equal, I know I am a daughter of God, I know he loves me … I feel that when I pray and when I go to the temple—I just think that needs to be reflected in the institution, in the everyday practice of the gospel I love. That’s why I created Ordain Women. It is an endeavor in radical self-respect. - 

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Eddie's Birthday Package from Grandma

Eddie got his birthday package from my mom in the mail today.  I am so excited this big and wonderful kid is turning seven this week!  He has really made the lives of everyone that know him more beautiful!  We love you, Edison!  THANK YOU, MOM!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Pictures of me and my Mom

April 4, 1980, two days after I was born

Jan 1982

Dec 1983, acting out the nativity (I was always Mary, and she was always the angel)

May 1985, Preschool Graduation

Dec 1985, Mary and the angel again

Spring, 1999, Mother's Weekend my Freshman year at Ricks College

October 20, 2005, my wedding day

I love you, Mom!  I am so glad you are my mom!!!!  Happy Mother's Day!!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


 In honor of Peter's fifth birthday tomorrow, I am posting some pictures of Peter at three years old that show off his unique, cute personality!  I love my Peter sooo much!

 Peter is so handsome and has beautiful smiles!

 Peter has happy eyes when he smiles big; they become small crescent moons.

 See those eyes!  Peter loves donuts!

Peter likes smalls spaces and has beautiful eyes.

Peter always does things his own way!  
Peter is sensitive to light, like Eddie, but Peter is also sensitive to temperature.  He is always so cold at restaurants that he needs to be snuggled; he does not want to be outside when it's hot-even the walk to and from the car is miserable for him.  

 Peter always looks to Eddie as his leader, and Peter has beautiful smiles!

Peter is always silly!

I can't imagine life without this boy!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Jacksonville Zoo and Hotel Trip

We needed a mini-trip to do something fun over Ben's spring break. We chose to go to the Jacksonville Zoo because it's only two and a half hours away and the zoo has a new dinosaur exhibit.  We left Friday morning, went straight to the zoo, stayed in a hotel in Jacksonville, and then went to Wild Adventures Theme Park on the season's opening day the next day.
Eddie stuck in the cage at the dino exhibit-notice Peter climbing up the ladder.

Eddie and Peter in the cage.

Creegan did not like the dinosaurs!  They were very scary!  He wanted out of there!

I love my awesome hat; I know I look stupid, but it's great protection from the sun for this Florida girl!  Yes, I am beginning to accept that I am a Florida girl (it only took five years!).

at the hotel-Creegan's favorite place for his finger ever since he had a cold a few weeks ago!

Eddie and Creegan-cute brothers   

My absolute favorite part of this trip was that we made a spontaneous sunglasses purchase at the store for me and all the kids.  These boys look stylish!  

Creegan refused to stand by us for the sunglasses picture!

Enjoying some pre-bedtime tv in their pull-out sofa bed.  Creegan, as always, is laying on Peter.

First thing in the morning, Eddie and Peter got up to color their menus from dinner the night before!  So adorable!

Other highlights of the trip:  dinner.  We rediscovered sitdown resturants this week.  We have avoided them for almost a year now due to Creegan's terrible behavior in one last summer.  Now we were able to enjoy a great meal.  Creegan ate the entire time.  He did not stop shoveling food into his mouth.  He must have been hungry!  So fun to see them enjoying their food and actually eating!  

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Grandma and Grandpa Came to Visit!!!

 playing with the guns Grandma and Grandpa brought; notice target hung on window and Grandpa outside working on the van!  Thanks, Dad!

 look at that smile!  what a happy boy!

 playing hide and seek at the Capitol

 Creegan will not be outdone by his brothers.  He was nervous, though, to go down this incline.  He stuck his chin out and did it, though!  Look at that expression!

 ledge walking

 making cookies with Grandma, chocolate cookies with mint chips, Grandma's and Eddie's favorite

We played games lots.  Eddie and Peter loved playing with their grandparents!

 Grandma helping Creegers with "Jam", Creegan's favorite puzzle, Traffic Jam; he asks to do this puzzle every day.  When Grandma got here, Creegan needed a little help.  While she was here, Creegan learned to do this puzzle all by himself.  He is so impressive!

 We went to see the Monster Truck at the mall.

My parents came to visit for a week.  We had a lot of fun plans, but Eddie and Peter both had fevers during their visit (Creegan's fever was over by the time they arrived, but he still had a cold), and it rained like crazy at least half of the days they were here.  We had a lot of simple fun, and it was really nice!!  The kids favorite thing to do was to go to the hotel my parents were staying at for breakfast, cartoon watching, and bed jumping.  We did this most every morning.  Eddie and Peter even went to the hotel with them one night to hang out.  Eddie came home at 9 p.m., but Peter slept over!!!  They also loved having Grandma and Grandpa watch them ride their scooters, trikes, and bikes.  After my parents were gone, Eddie and Creegan were both disappointed to not have them with us when we went riding.  These kids are so lucky to have such great grandparents, and I am lucky to have such great parents!!