baby on a plane, a summary.

You wake up early and pack every snack you own into the diaper bag. Pack plastic bags for the messy diaper you know is going to happen on the flight and jump in the car. Your car ride is full of screams because you booked your trip to be a little after naptime because you dont want to be that mom on the plane with the crying child. You get to the airport and the Southwest lady wants to see proof of age for your child who clearly is under 1 years old and you search through all of the snacks for a immunization record or something for proof that your diaper-wearing, babbling, and non-walking child is not a toddler. You go cheap on the flight and choose to have a lap baby and need to put their car seat under with baggage but forget to tell your husband to get a palstic bag to protect the car seat with. $15 later Southwest helps you out and gives you a nice big blue cheap cover to ensure the "safety" of the car seat. 

You're doing good on time and you feel like you got this in the bag. Here comes security checks. You smile at the lady who puts her germ-infested hands all over your babies sippy cup  top and then hollers for you to "move along lady, there is a line here". You listen and hurry up  with your baby in tow in the carrier to get checked for possible bomb powder on your hands. Now it is time to get all of your carry-ons and infected sippy cup all the while trying to help your husband from getting his brand new laptop smashed by on-coming luggages. 

The end is in sight. You see your gate and head on over and do a quick diaper change.You would go to the bathroom yourself but it's almost impossible to pee with a baby strapped to your chest. Good thing you get to go with family boarding because you checked in way too late and are in C class. Your baby is getting wrestless due to it being way past naptime, but you planned this all out perfectly so don't fret. Family boarding is a breeze minus the two families who purposefully cut you off because they clearly coudln't see or hear you in line before them. You let it pass because as a fellow parent you kow you are all just trying to survive at this point. 

Your baby gets a cold perfectly in time to meet family which sucks but on the upside you get a whole row to just you and your family. Thank you runny nose. Thank goodness for the carrier also because baby is just starting to fall asleep. Good thing you planned out the nap this way. Captain is on the loud speaker now and boy is it loud. His 9am coffee must be kicking in. You figure you are in the clear because your baby should sleep for the entire 45 min quick trip up north.

Here comes the stewardess who kindly tells you that you need to unstrap your baby from your carrier for departure. Wait! You mean the baby you just go to sleep for the flight? Yes, that baby. It obviously makes perfect sense and safer to unstrap the baby from your carrier so that in case of turbulence your baby while now have literally no way of being restrained and safe. Too bad they make flights so expensive or you could have had baby in their car seat on the flight. 

Thankfully, your baby doesn't wake up despite the unnecessary carrier needing to be removed. All is well and you are soon to nana's house. Oh wait, you hear sceaming. This is a loud scream but it's not your baby. Nope, it is another mom who's two year old wants something. The screaming does not stop. And now there are more than 5 babies screaming. Good thing your baby is exhausted and passed out. But the anxiety of a screaming baby fills up inside of you. Why didn't you pack lollipops? If only you brought the older boys bag with you then you would have had a lollipop to give the mom who won't give her child the snack they are begging for. Why can't that mom just give her child the snack? Think of all of us who's hears are figuartively and literally popping. Too late now, your baby is awake. Thankfully, the screaming helped the time pass and soon you are landing. Time to wake up your husband who had a nice nap on the flight, good thing he can sleep through anything. 

Thank you for choosing Southwest and welcome to Sacramento!

(jokes aside, we had a great trip up north to see family. My mom kindly kept the older two boys for us so the trip went smoother than normal but gosh travelling takes a whole lot of patience.)

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Guest Post by Kerrie DeBerry

Yesterday at church as my husband was doing announcements before preaching, I came up from the nursery to see my 3 year old at the pulpit by his leg. He handled it well and she came back to me in the pew, while I grinned as the entire church watched this all play out. Now, how would I have responded to my 3 year old at home WITHOUT 200 eyes looking at me? Is there a gap between how I respond to things in private vs. public? If someone was a fly on the wall of my home what would they observe? Of course we are all different to a degree in the comfort of our own homes. I wear things at home I am not going to parade around church in, I have inside jokes & teasing, playful things with my husband I will not share around others. We have family quirks just for us, not for the world to see. This is not what I mean. When evaluating this area of my life in a healthy way, I am referring more to my heart, my spirit, how I am relating to God. How do I speak to my kids when giving general directions or when correcting? How do I respond when the clothes I just spent 30 min folding are thrown around the floor? In our home, how do I speak about other people not present? How do I speak to my husband? How do I use my time, my energy? How do I use my phone? Is what I post indicative of reality or making myself look good, showing my good works before men? Or is it a healthy, truthful representation of my life, my kids, and authentic? And is my phone or something else making me far less present with my family or am I exercising wisdom with my time?

Our life in private and the thousands of decisions we make when no one is looking will eventually spill over. Charles Spurgeon said, "Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than a talented hypocrite." And when there is too big a gap between our private & public life do we run to fix it or try harder or fake it better? No, we cannot attempt to touch ourselves up and make ourselves something other than we really are. Instead, we need to first run to Christ, the one who takes us as we are but promises not to leave us as we are. He has sent his Spirit on a mission to change every part of us, in every context of our lives. So as we depend on the Holy Spirit's power instead of our own ability to patch up our morality we slowly but surely become authentically Christian in private and in public.

If we are united to Christ, the Holy Spirit is cleaning us from the inside out, making us more Christ-like. So when we are hypocrites, when we are harsh with our kids, when we do things that make us feel the weight of our sin, we run to him for forgiveness and grace. He's lived each day perfectly on our behalf-in private and public. And then by his Spirit's grace and power we strive to close that gap between public and private a little more each day, knowing he is with us as we do so. 

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the unexpected and transitions.

Here I am writing 4.5 years after first experiencing postpartum depression to tell you that I feel as though I am going through it yet again. I have never been someone who adapted well to change or the unexpected and with this third sweet boy I am having hard time with both the unexpected and the transition to being a mom of 3 boys!

Leo has a tongue tie that will be revised via laser early next week. This might not seem like a big deal to most and was something I thought other moms exaggerated about in the past. The hard thing is that on top of caring for my two older boys I question my every move when feeding Leo.

Having nursed both boys for over a year I assumed this third time around would be a breeze. I even planned to nurse in my baby carrier and really take on the whole mom to three kids role. Unfortunately, our feeding situation currently looks like this (it gives me anxiety even writing about it):

  • Leo wakes and nurses 10 min on one side and then screams and spits up everywhere
  • Nurses the other side and repeats the crying and spitting up (reflux, the painful kind)
  • I give Leo a bottle of pumped milk because he is rooting around like a starving kid
  • More burping, crying, and spitting up
  • I pump and clean parts and bottles
  • Burp some more
  • Put him back down for a nap

Repeat this 8-10 times a day.

The hard part is that I feel guilty for spending so much time on one feeding while not giving the other boys any attention and also it is a lot of work having a 3 step feeding process. After his laser procedure we will have to do a lot of stretches to make him more efficient at emptying me out when nursing and the thought of not knowing how everything will pan out makes me really uneasy. I know God has chosen me to be their mom specifically but  I believe most of us moms can relate to the fact that not knowing what your baby needs is a very hard pill to swallow. 

I did not expect to have to go through another rough go of breastfeeding, I did not expect to go through so many dark emotions yet again, and I did not expect to ever have a baby who loves his bottle. 

There has been a lot of sweet and memorable moments over these past 2.5 weeks. Every time the older boys are playing nicely together or offering to help me I am reminded how short this phase of life is. But the reality is I think society tells us how wonderful this new phase is and for some women, like myself, this is the hardest transition we will go through. Yes, newborns are so sweet and they only stay small for so long but it is also a major time in the moms life. We have to heal emotionally, physically, and spiritually all the while caring for a household, husband, kids, and lets not forget ourselves.

I hope I am not scaring anyone here who might not be a mom yet. I just want to be open and honest with the fact that although some women love the unexpected and the transition into the fourth trimester, there are some of us who it simply does not come easy to. Thankfully, this time around I knew when and where to get and ask for help. Hoping to have time to write more on how our life has changed and how our routines are also changing to better fit the 5 of us.

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