Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A must read.

I never really sympathized with a person, when speaking of a book, has said, "I couldn't put it down." I've always thought that was an overused cliche someone uses when they want to sound like they read a lot. You know. To impress you with their ability to read books quickly and with haste. I've never read a book that I literally couldn't take out of my hands and put on my night stand to go to sleep. Sleep has always taken priority over reading a novel. Well, things have changed my friends.

If you haven't had the privilege of reading this book, I implore you to do so. I can honestly say I read this book in the wee hours of the morning after feeding my baby because, well, I couldn't stop thinking about it. The story was consuming my mind. A book so intriguing, I would insist on discussing its contents with everyone, including the grocer at the super market. That's a slight exaggeration. But in all seriousness, it made my top five. Right up there with Into the Wild and The Road.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is a truly gripping story of a WWII vet that survived a plane crash and 42 days at sea in a flimsy raft only to get captured by the Japanese. He then becomes a POW in some of the worst prisoner camps during WWII. Albeit a startling and horrific story, it details a man's mind-boggling will to survive, his later miraculous transformation, and his ability to forgive. Great, great book.

Protagonist, Louie Zamperini.

Friday, December 16, 2011

What once was, now has been replaced.

Our dog has inexplicably become the red-headed step child. What once was the apple of our eye, has now hastily taken the back seat in the Blackburn house-hold. One might ask how such a travesty can occur. My answer to you is a 12 pound, eating, pooping, keep her mommy and daddy on their toes, machine. Her name is Emery. And she has taken over our lives. One diaper change at a time.

Emery came to this world October 24, in true overly dramatic, movie-like fashion. After a 34 hour labor, and an hour of pushing with forceps, she finally decided to grace us through a C-section. Her mommy wasn't ecstatic about the news of surgery, but was grateful nonetheless for her safe arrival. The first words emanating from the doctor as he pulled her out of my tummy, were "Wow, she's a huge baby!" That she was. All nine pounds seven ounces of her.

Before it was time to push, Emery decided remaining posterior (face-side up)was the only way she would attempt the birth canal. After an hour of coaxing and in reality trying to force her out, we all knew it was not going to happen safely. We pulled the plug and I came to grips with the fact that I wouldn't, in actuality, be giving birth. Despite my utter gratitude for her health and safety, I somehow felt inadequate as a mother. In this situation, I couldn't by any means give birth the natural way. It was disheartening, but in the grand scheme of things, it really didn't matter. I had a beautiful, dark-haired baby girl and I was happy. Besides, I dealt with a horrendous pregnancy for a while, so I guess that in itself makes up for my lack of birthing skills.

The next hurdle was breast-feeding. Truth be told, no one informed me of the frustrations nursing has to offer. I assumed your milk comes in the day you give birth, that your baby latches on right out of the womb, and that the natural feeding system is stress free and easy as pie. Boy, was I mistaken. After attempting to throw in the towel numerous times, I decided to stick it out no matter what it took. After all, I had a C-section and was not about to fail at nursing.

The nursing plight became a thing of the past, and baby and I were well on our way to a successful feeding relationship. I was once again a well-equipped mother.

Emery is gracefully aging into a post-newborn. She is almost 8 weeks and continually shows signs of contentment such as smiling, cooing, gurgling and adorably kicking her legs. As each week passes, she miraculously develops into an older, wiser, and more mature infant. Her progression is quite astonishing and sometimes I find myself wishing she would stay just where she is. A cuddly, squirmy, sack of potatoes.

Although our dog's walks and morning cuddle sessions are no longer to her liking, we still love her and consider her an integral part of our family. Emery and Stella will one day undoubtedly become best friends.