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Journal Entry: November 11, 2016

The First Four Weeks


4 Weeks

My body has kicked into a deep, primal, survival mode feeding and caring for my newborn baby. Being a Type A personality by nature, I usually have all my ducks in a row and keep an extremely clean and organized house. However, in these first four weeks that part of me has taken a major back seat, actually, it’s more like that part of me got parked and covered in a garage like a convertible car in a Midwest blizzard.

To be honest, I wouldn’t have had such an easy time letting everything go two years back. This side of me was learned and cultured during my time as an invalid after the accident a year ago. It’s weird to think, really, that this time last year I was in a wheelchair with a busted pelvis and alone all day and every evening for months on end. It was a very solemn time physically healing and learning to let go of all external value systems that I had relied on to define myself. Taking care of my home, cleaning, and being organized got thrown out the window and replaced with daily achievements of being able to get from my bed to the bathroom. The essential, basic human needs of sleeping, eating, and relieving myself was all I was capable of doing day after day until one day, I made it to the sofa to watch television. Then another day I made it to the covered porch to get some fresh air. And soon after that, I was wheeling around the house picking things up and sitting at the computer for 15-20 minutes, followed by using only my walker to get to and from the mailbox on the front porch, then a cane to meet an Uber at my front door who took me to the doctors and the grocery store for a few items. Then one day four months later, I walked unassisted into my bathroom and stood up in the shower all by myself. I got out of that shower and collapsed on the bath mat sobbing in tears praying and thanking God for allowing me to live through the accident and learn such extreme life lessons, mostly patience.

Now, this time of long sleepless nights and days are filled with an infant who is completely reliant on me for every need, including that most important gift of patience. My pelvis, which once prevented me from walking now holds my body upright as I carry, bounce, and entertain the most precious gift I have ever received as she cries, whimpers, and wails through the night. The trips to the kitchen are now to prepare a bottle to feed her or to prepare a meal to feed myself, and walking into the bathroom I kneel down on that same bath mat I once cried in thanks to God to now place this tiny being in a little bathtub as she discovers the relaxation and joy of bath time.

As these days and nights blur together, I look around my house which has become more disorganized and filled with baby toys, half-filled bottles, stashed of wipes, clothes worn days on end before finally being discarded on the floor, piles of clean laundry needing to be folded and put away, stacks of unopened mail, work at my desk that isn’t going anywhere, and I grab a spoon from a sink overflowing with dirty dishes run it under hot water then stir sugar and cream into my cup of coffee. I hold my baby in one arm, grab my coffee in the other and walk out into my back porch. The house can wait. This morning spending time in the fresh air with my daughter talking to her as she opens those bright blue eyes listening inquisitively, cannot.

And a new day begins.

Portrait Photographer, Writer, and Consultant LaRae Lobdell is an environmental portrait photographer, host, and instructor with over 20 years of experience photographing, directing, producing exhibits, and speaking in the photography industry. She focuses on providing artists, actors, models, and companies with lifestyle and conceptual imagery for promotional use and branding. Her approach is very contemporary, her work has a timeless elegance, and she represents the grace, distinction, and style that is possible in photography. Her curriculum vitae includes 21 photography exhibits of her own work, the curation of 15 exhibits for other artists’ and museums, the production of 13 private and community events, and two year’s experience as director of one of Seattle’s largest art walks. Her images have been published in The Huffington Post, Broadway World, Yale University Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine, and even aired on the Colbert Report. LaRae’s position as a lead host for online educational giants such as CreativeLive and Polaroid University gave her the unique opportunity as one of an elite group of professionals to connect a live global audience to top renowned professionals in photography, video, design, business, audio, music, software design, productivity, and lifestyle. She brought her network to BLACKRAPID as their Culture Liaison, facilitating close working relationships between influencers and organizations for promotional sales and marketing. Grateful to be a stay-at-home mom while balancing a rewarding career in the photography industry, this proud single mom enjoys a nomadic traveling lifestyle between Seattle and the Florida Keys with her daughter, Emerson.

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