Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Slow Down! What is really important?

When I first started this blog, the intention was for me to stay in touch with the sponsorship world as well as work on the brand management of a few companies, all while being able to chauffeur my children anywhere they needed to go. But things have clearly changed! A part of me stopped blogging because I haven't been doing anything on the MaxxV front at all, and I felt as if that was the essence of my blog. But I realize that Motherhood has been in the title of my blog since day one, clearly God knew more about my future than I did! So for now the blog will be more about motherhood with some splashes of sponsorship (as it is time to start planning the 2011 Menchie's SouthNashDash 5K).
I am now 19 weeks pregnant, and it is safe to say the first trimester was total hell, for me and my family. I was so miserable and although unintended, I seemed to share my misery with my family and close friends. They all stuck with me, and for that I am very grateful! We were a house divided, Sophia and I wanted to have a little girl and Rob, Isaac and Kassidy were hoping for a little boy. But three weeks ago we found out we would be having a boy. Sophia (4yrs old) was able to express what I was hiding inside as she yelled at the ultrasound tech "Stop calling her a boy! It has to be a girl!" While the other three in the room were high fiving and clearly over the moon at the thought of having a boy.
Immediately attitudes changed in our house. Sophia and I quickly got over the fact that we would not have a little girl. But Rob and Isaac (12yrs) continue to be more and more giddy about having a boy in the house. What used to annoy Rob (vomiting, getting rounder, sleeping-ALOT), has now become important to him, as I am growing his first baby boy. With the thought of having a girl, he didn't care about the name. She would be called Sarah Claire, both names coming from important people in my family history. Now with a boy, the name is a HUGE deal! Out of the blue, Rob wanted a Robert Allen Barkley IV. I did not. So for a week, I tread carefully as I suggested other names. But finally I had to lay it out there "I love you, but I don't love your name. I can't name our baby that." First feelings were hurt, then they were transferred into creativity, as Rob decided we would be unique and name him Trebor (notice what this spells backwards...). Again I tried to be creative, but loving. Suggesting we name him after our two best friends in the whole wide world Cooper Lee (after Nick Cooper and Karlee). That held for a few days, when all heck broke lose! But finally we went back to my Predators roots and we held a draft. This may sound confusing, but it is just what it sounds like... Rob, Isaac and I each put names we liked on individual pieces of paper; put those names in a bag and started the 4 round draft. Pulling 8 names first and getting down to 3 names. With three names, I wrote down variations of first and middle names and then the vote from all 5 of us began. Every family member could vote on the variations they liked as we eliminated the names with the fewest votes each time. What did we end up with? Andrew Kimball. We all love it, but we felt as if we still needed to include some family history, and after much debate about having too long of a name, we have decided to name our son Andrew Allan Kimball. Rob, his father and his step-dad all have the middle name "Allen". My step-dad has the middle name "Alan". So we have combined the two (which confused Rob at first as he kept trying to correct my spelling) in honor of them all and named him Allan. I have felt remorse for not being able to include my father in the name at all, but I hope that he will forgive me since I did fight to have Isaac's last name hyphenated in order to carry out the Estes name, with my dad being the last male to carry the name.
Along with extreme concern about the "boys" name, came huge opinions on what needed to be a manly nursery. It did not escape my attention that had I been carrying a girl, Rob would not have cared less what went in the nursery. But there has been something sweet about his new found excitement. As most know, I was unmarried when I had Isaac, and except for my mom, dad and step-dads excitement, there wasn't much to be excited about. It was a scary time, which turned into the greatest blessing of my life. My dream was to one day have a baby with a man who adored me and would share in the joys of pregnancy and infancy with me. It took a long time for Rob and I to decide to have a baby, and still I felt a little alone, as if he had just given in because he loved me. But finding out that he is having a boy, that his legacy will continue, has changed everything. And for that I am grateful. I had no idea how badly I needed him to be excited about this baby. And he is truly excited!
Yesterday, an event happened that I never dreamed would occur. My husband took Isaac to Utah for a 12 year old snowboarding man trip. Just the two of them. 9 years ago, when I was a single mom, I could only dream that one day I would be married to someone who loved my son as much as I did. Rob truly does. The two of them spending a week alone will probably change their relationship forever. I am so very grateful for that!!!!
But while they were flying to Utah, my dear friend Shannon and I were belly up with an ultrasound check having the mack daddy of ultrasounds. This was the week they are checking for everything. Being 37, I am high risk. So we are looking for Down's, Spina Bifida, or anything else that could possible become a part of who our child is. And believe me when I say that Shannon is clearly having this child with us. When I am sick, she takes over in our house. When it is time to shop for baby, she is there. Register? It's me and her. When labor begins, it will be her making sure everyone is where they need to be and taken care of. So it is only fair that she be a part of the big ultrasound day (I clarify big, because unlike average pregnancies, I have been getting internal ultrasound's every few weeks due to my cervical cancer and surgery in 2004. So whereas most women have had to wait until 19 weeks to have a good ultrasound, I have had plenty!) But I digress...For an hour we watch the screen as the tech measures everything about our baby boy. Shannon and I count 10 fingers and 10 toes, big belly, pointy Barkley nose..But as we talk later we both comment that the tech got quiet and spent a LOT of time on the spinal area and the brain area, which of course concerns me. We don't wait long to see my OB and go over the results of the ultrasound. He lets us know all of the things which are normal, including my cervix (yeah!), he lets us know that nothing was significantly abnormal, but there are a few uncertainties in the spinal area. He says we shouldn't be concerned yet, it just means the tech couldn't get the visible confirmation and measurements where they would like. He suggest we go ahead and do the quad blood screening, which will let us know our risk percentage for certain defects and we will go from there. What that means is, if we hear from him in the next day or two, I will go in for an amnio. If we don't, I will go back in 4 weeks and continue a perfectly healthy pregnancy.
Talking to Rob from Utah last night, I am reminded about how much this baby means to him, as he asks lost of questions and then calls back 2 hours later to ask more questions. I'm not sure if he knows how comforting it is to hear his concern. I have been a medical disaster since he met me, and every time he sticks he head in the sand and refuses to come up until the doctor gives the all clear. Don't get me wrong, he is there when I have surgery, or have important appointments, but you can tell by the glazed look in his eyes, that he isn't really there. The fact that he wants every detail of what could or could not be happening in my belly, is amazing. He is not glazed over, he is fully present. I fall more in love with him every day!
So I am going to try and blog more, but as you can tell it will be about Motherhood for the most part with a splash of sponsorship and brand management when I learn something worth sharing! But for now I am a mother and I am loving every minute of it! I would like to share one final thought, it is from a book I just finished called "Left Neglected" by Lisa Genova. I could never describe as well as she does, my thoughts as I left the 8-5 (or more) work force, so I want to share that paragraph with you.
"The thought of going back to Berkley now is scary. But it's not scary like snowboarding for the the first time, trying to walk without a cane, or Martha in a miserable mood. And it's not the reason I don't want to go back. Ever since business school, I've had my head down, barreling a thousand miles an hour, wearing the flesh of each day down to the bone, pointed down one road toward a single goal. A successful life. And not just run-of-the-mill success. The kind of success that my fellow elite classmates would envy, the kind that my professors would cart out to future students as a shining example of achievement, the kind that even the exceptionally prosperous citizens of Welmont would aspire to, the kind that Bob would be proud of. The kind of visibly successful life that would in every way be the exact opposite of the broken, shameful life of my childhood.
And then I crashed my car. For the first time in almost a decade, I stopped barreling a thousand miles an hour down that road. Everything stopped. And although much of the stillness of the past four months as been a painful and terrifying experience, it has given me a chance to lift my head up and have a look around.
And I'm starting to wonder. What else is there? Maybe success can be something else, and maybe there's another way to get there. Maybe there's a different road for me with a more reasonable speed limit. Whether it's because I can't, I'm too afraid, something inside me has changed and wants something different, or a complex blend of all three, I can't say, but I don't want to go back to Berkley. I don't want to go back to that life. The same intuition that led me to Mike Green and snowboarding is leading me somewhere else. And I trust it." (ch 32)
So that sums it up. A few years ago I left an amazing job with insane hours. Working for the Nashville Predators was a chance in a lifetime. The connections, the travel, the pro athletes. I had it all. Or so I thought. I left to take a job that would allow me to be home for dinner. I started to appreciate that time. Then we had a breast cancer scare and lumpectomy surgery. Then we had another brain episode, that the neurologists couldn't explain, and I was back in a quiet, dark room 95% of the day. And then I was slow enough to realize, I don't need that type of success anymore. Would I still like an income? Of course! But more than anything, I want to be a successful wife, mom and step-mom. I love our three children and I adore my husband. I have dreams, there are a few things I still plan to accomplish in my life, but for now, I am a mom and I am so grateful for this opportunity!