Wednesday, September 19, 2012

the price we pay for unadulterated love.



video

Ruby Marie is three months and three days.   The summer has been long and hot and we've survived it with flying colors with the help of our friends and family, of course.  The village aspect is alive and well and I highly recommend getting one if your'e going to have a baby.

She's been through three LA earthquakes, attended Friday night Jazz at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, twice, eaten out A LOT, had a few girls nights in, and has made me smile so hard and so much that my face hurts.

She sleeps 8-9 interrupted hours a night, breastfeeds like a champ, loves to go on hikes, loves her dogs, and all her aunties, and I think she said  "Hi" the other day.

I know it's hard to imagine, but we are in love.  She's sweet, smart and just so happy to be here.

I've lost my vision, my hair and my ability to hold my pee, but she's worth it.

Everyone said the minute you meet your child all the pain and hardship that we experienced getting here, would go away.  They were right.  The spirit, the body, and the mind have all worked in concert to orchestrate forgetting all of that stuff so we can be present and enjoy NOW.  It's yet another great lesson in being present.

Gratitude abounds in this household, day in and day out.

xo

Andrea




Wednesday, July 18, 2012

No, really she's' a genius

video
I didn't think it would happen, but it has.  I absolutely am one of those parents that believe my child is a genius and she's only a month and two days old....and it's not just me that believes, it was confirmed the other day in the Pediatricians' office.  Not only is she smiling at me, just because she is happy, not because she has gas, but she's also tracking the dangly things we hang over head that have black and white spots on them.   AND to top it off, she rolled over in the Docs office when we went in for her check up.  While the doctor was showing us how to do tummy time, Ruby went from her stomach to her back.   My friend said, "it's because she's being raised by dogs, that she can roll over so fast".  Very funny.  Yes, that's it.  That and she's a GENIUS.  Her doctor actually was surprised and a little taken aback because Ruby almost rolled onto her stethoscope and then right off the table. She warned us that since we have a very strong girl on our hands and "advanced" :)  to not leave her on a surface unattended.   No more running to get that thing I left in the other room for five seconds, or run and pee because I can't hold it, and have peed on my leg,  since childbirth, or turning my back on her for one second.    Just as I was getting comfortable putting her down at all, now it's all about her flinging herself off the bed etc. Not that she's rolled over since, but  okay, okay I get it.  All that time she was in my womb I would talk to her and tell her that she is smart. She is strong.  She is healthy.   It's amazing.  I guess she actually listened.

Note to Self:  Don't be careful what you wish for.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ruby Marie Buchanan Berkin is here!




We are tickled pink, over the moon, swelling with gratitude, smiling every second of every day to meet our baby girl, Ruby.  She is healthy. She is strong. She is perfect.  She looks just like Jason.  I went into Labor on June 15th at midnight and she was born 17 hours later :) at 7:10 pm on June 16th.  She was worth every push and painful contraction.  It was such a profound and beautiful experience, one that I will never forget.   I had my tribe of women in the room, five closest girlfriends and sister, our Birthing Doula and Jason by my side holding my hand, coaching me every step of the way. And the incomparable Dr. Crane, who is worshipped by legions of women in LA, and now I know why.  There were lots of tears, dancing, bouncing on a big blue ball, standing in showers, throwing up, laughing, chanting, singing, cursing and finally after an hour of pushing, I was able to reach down and pull her out of my hoo-hoo (that's code for vagina) and onto my chest.  The first sight of her was heart exploding, mind melding, other worldly.  If you had told me aliens delivered her to me, I would have believed you because the other story, that I grew her in my belly and pushed her out of my vagina, and then pulled her onto my chest with my bare hands seemed just as unlikely.    Pregnancy has been a wonderful experience, but now that I think about it, it was mostly conceptual.  The kicks, the hiccups, the pictures of Ruby on the ultra sound were all real,  but the idea of her and what she would look like, how she would move, what it would feel like to touch her, and smell her skin was a concept.  Not anymore.  She's here.  And it's our job to keep her alive and watch her grow.  Another "concept" I'm slowly wrapping my head around.   To think that after five years of wanting, trying, praying, crying, and now we have this beautiful baby girl, well is just about the best way to wake up everyday that I could imagine.  The tears are still coming, but they are filled with Joy and a few moments of self doubt and fear, but so far I can handle those.   We are committed to staying close to home for the first six weeks of her life.  Today is the start of week three.  I'm basically a milking machine, and walking around our house in a breastfeeding daze.
The dogs are doing great, a little bit of an adjustment, but so far they are handling it.  By the way, I still love my dogs as much as I did before Ruby arrived, maybe even a little more.  Whew what a relief.

Angela, Thank you for the perfect burp clothes. I LOVE THEM!!!!

I'll write more soon.
xo,
Andrea



Friday, June 8, 2012

Today is Ruby's due date!!




Howdy,

Today is Ruby's official due date, but she's still hanging in the belly.  Jason and I are doing great, she's doing great, the dogs are awesome, I'm convinced they know more than I do about when she's coming....and as my Doc (who I worship) said yesterday, PATIENCE is key during this time.  This pregnancy has flown by, I can't grasp that I've been doing this for ten months, when it feels like just yesterday I found out and yet now it feels like a slow motion ride rather than the warp speed one we've been on.

One of the biggest surprises is that pregnancy has done some amazing things for my body:  bet you don't hear that very often :)  My weird Granuloma skin disease has cleared up, which means I'm wearing tank tops for the first time in four years, my hair is thicker than it was in High school, and I've actually been referred to as "small" when people hear how far along I am.   I'm 5'10", size 10-12 and an 10 1/2 shoe, being "small" and "pregnant" is just something I never dreamed of.   It seems superficial, and it more than likely is, but I'm not gonna lie, I've enjoyed it!!!  Oh yes, and there's going to be a baby in my arms in a matter of days, that of course is the biggest blessing of them all. That's going to be blow my mind!!

I hope you're well and enjoying the summer.  Thank you so much for reaching out, saying prayers and being a blog friend.

Next post will be some baby news!!

xo,
Andrea




Friday, March 23, 2012

Ruby it is.


There's a Gap in Los Angeles at the infamous Grove Shopping Center that is a two story mega Gap, with Baby Gap, Boy Gap, Diane Von Furstenburg baby clothes Gap, Body Gap and the creme de la creme, Maternity Gap. It's quite literally a Mecca for pregnant women and moms, and I have had my fair share of melt downs in this store over the years during my own VERY challenging fertility journey. I've witnessed very pregnant women buying yummy cotton maternity shirts, or baby clothes for their child to be, or just walking around in a pregnant daze with their own personal soundtrack and people smiling from ear to ear while holding the door open for them. For the past five years, while trying to get pregnant, I've left the Gap-azon after buying a cute newborn outfit for someone else's child, in all sorts of states that I'm not necessarily proud of: I've left crying, cursing God, and laughing maniacally at the injustice of life while quietly convincing myself that my life is better than theirs because I have freedom and the ability to go to the movies whenever I want. As if a comparison of one person's life to another is ever a way to live. Needless to say, this particular Gap holds a lot of emotions and memories for me.

Well, the most amazing thing happened the other day at THE Gap.

After a lot of literal blood, sweat and tears and some good fortune, I was now one of the very pregnant women shopping for a cotton maternity shirt, for $4.99 on sale, with horizontal stripes, to fit over my 7 month pregnant belly. My internal soundtrack was a mixture of Adele, The Beatles and a groovy chant by Guru Singh. I wasn't in a daze, quite the contrary, this moment was not lost on me. In fact, I had a smile from ear to ear that finally I was having my Gap moment in the sun. Finally, I was going to be the lady who people smile at "just because" and who folks hold open doors for. I was/am seven months pregnant buying maternity clothes and I wanted to soak up this moment and make it last forever.

This lovely sales associate named Tean asked if I was doing okay and if I needed help, and we struck up a conversation.
"How far along are you?", she asked.
"Seven Months", choking back tears of joy.
"And you're having a girl." It wasn't a question, mind you. It was a statement.
"Good guess, Tean. Yes, I'm having a girl."
Tean then said, "Well, I hope you're going to name her RUBY."
I dropped my striped shirt on the floor and became flushed, "What did you say?"
Tean repeated exactly the same words as before, "I hope you're going to name her Ruby."
I literally couldn't believe my ears.
"Why are you saying that?" I asked her as I let the tears fall, "That's my Grandmother's name and yes, Ruby is a name we are seriously considering. One of two names actually. But we were just waiting to meet her to make the final decision." Tean and I talked for the next hour and had an incredible conversation. She's twenty seven and in the process of adopting two boys. Her sparkly eyes and incredibly open heart made me want to stay at The Gap all day and chat. The bottom line explanation, according to Tean, for this 1 in a billion moment happening is that she has always had spirits hanging around her and that the words, "I hope you name her Ruby" was said by "someone" and she just blurted it out.

Whether it was my Grandmother, who I worshipped with all of my being and who taught me card games, manners and the proper way to snap and prepare green beans, or the little spirit that's been hanging around me for so many years and is now in my belly, or the both of them conspiring and imploring us to choose the name that we've always had in our hearts, Lord knows I don't need much more convincing than that moment with Tean to know that Ruby it is.
Jason agrees.

At the end of our chat, Tean and I hugged for a very long time, and we actually said that we loved each other as I left. Who does that? The profundity of this moment will never leave me. It's a story I will share with anyone who will listen and especially with my daughter. It's a story of perseverance and never giving up on a dream, facing the incredibly difficult challenges that life throws us as best we can, and to always be open to the miracles around us, big and small, everyday. It's a theme I've written about, even when I wasn't quite sure I believed it. But now, I'm a believer, and in my darkest moments, I will always have THE GAP.

Note to Self: Expect a miracle. For reals.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR -- IT'S 20 (GULP) 12


WIPE THE SLEEP FROM MY EYES, STRETCH OUT THE HOLIDAY COBWEBS, TURN OFF THE IOWA CAUCUS RESULTS, AND LET'S DO THIS!!!!

LET'S MAKE THIS YEAR ONE OF:

RADICAL LOVE.
JOYFUL DAYS.
PEACEFUL NIGHTS.
AND PLENTY OF TREATS FOR EVERYONE.

MY 2012 NOTE TO SELF:

WHERE YOUR ATTENTION GOES, ENERGY FLOWS --- FOCUS ON WHAT'S GOOD.