Tag Archives: Motherhood

To Baby #4?

Standard
To Baby #4?

It’s been almost 3 months since I last posted…January 6th, to be exact. I know this because the post, Dear Baby #3, was a dedication to our miscarried baby who was supposed to be born on that exact date.


When I published Dear Baby #3 a few months back, I already had my next post written, planned to be sent out a few weeks later on January 29th. I am also certain of this date, exactly. It was going to be January 29th. Why? Because I was supposed to be 15 weeks pregnant.


It was my rainbow baby, my beautiful ending, the blessing I couldn’t wait to share. Unfortunately, I miscarried again, and found out about it on January 6th, the very day we chose to share the painful experience of our first miscarriage.


Coincidence? Ironic? Whatever it may be, it was CRAZY.


So it’s been awhile since I wrote because I didn’t even know where to begin. I was somewhere in between “let’s just get something on paper” and actually agonizing over it. So today my hands are up, I surrender, and I’m simply going to post it, certainly not because someone is making me, but because once again it’s all a part of the crazymaddening journey, embracing the ups and downs of life while struggling with mental health.


We found out we were pregnant unexpectedly, but we were thrilled nonetheless. I remember that first ultrasound, the anticipation (there’s just ONE this time, right?!) and that heartbeat. What a remarkable, miraculous sound. The nausea, the throwing up, the constant sickness (not just “morning” this time around) – certainly no fun. But it’s so worth it, and as I write this, I’m reminded that I would do anything to get it back if it meant I was still carrying our baby.


Things were running smoothly. Being pregnant during the holidays is quite lovely as I didn’t think twice about the extra sweets and treats, although I mostly craved all things salt and carbs. Christmas was different this year celebrating in Florida but still very special. I was getting the ultimate Christmas present and nothing could top it – another baby!


My next appointment and ultrasound was on January 6th, our 3rd baby’s original due date. I thought, “How cool are you, God? Today is a sad day, a day that we could think about death, and yet I’ll get to hear life today (in the form of the baby’s heartbeat). I was 12 weeks pregnant.


So today is the day, and I sit in the waiting room forever (don’t you always at the doctor?) Meanwhile, I’m receiving an abundance of emails and private messages from people who read the blog post and want to share their personal stories of miscarriage and suffering. I’m reading these heartfelt messages feeling honored, and yet also a little bit guilty, because they’re pouring out their hearts and also giving condolences about something that happened several months ago, and now I’m actually pregnant.


Until I’m not. Present tense to past tense, just like that. I wait forever in that room only to find out there is no heartbeat. The baby measured at 11 weeks, and had died.


WHAT? Seriously? HUH? Shock. Utter shock.


I’m still kind of shocked. Acceptance, mostly. But shocked? Yes.


This pregnancy made sense. It was different, a complete surprise, totally natural and unplanned and from God. Although I’ve never spoken of our infertility struggle on the blog, Miles and Norah received the help of science (and yet still just as much God – my infertility warriors just said “Amen”) to come into this world, as well as the pregnancy from spring of 2016.


So you see, it seemed perfect. It made sense. I had no doubts that this pregnancy wouldn’t result in a healthy baby. Chris and I were beyond excited. And then just like that, in a split second, everything can change. I leave the office with nothing except 10+ extra pounds and nothing to show for it.


Very few people knew. Some family, some close friends, a couple neighbors. I just got around to sharing with some of my new Florida friends the NIGHT BEFORE. And so I’m kicking myself and saying why couldn’t I just have waited a little longer? Why did I do this?


But wow, was I wrong. I was instantly reminded of the important of fellowship and community as that group of women provided flowers, cards, and a meal for my family every night the following week. Relatives came for appointments and sent food.


Side note: I wish I was one of those “I don’t eat when I’m sad or stressed” people, but I’m not. Quite the opposite. So the food was a blessing.


Everyone is different, but once you experience grief you have a better idea of what to do when someone else is mourning. The “Tell me what I can do to help” or “I’m hear to listen” is great, don’t get me wrong. But it was the “I’m making a meal and bringing it over ______ day” or the “I’m picking up the kids to play one day this week – what day works for you?” that was wonderful. Also the random cards/flowers/pictures mailed. Those things helped. No one wants to ask for help. Sometimes we don’t even realize we need help, so that proactive, assertive hand was much appreciated.


I immediately went back on my Lexapro preparing for the hormone drops to come. I’ve wondered if it’s going to be enough but for right now it is. It’s so crazy to think that just over a year ago I had 4 or more meds to take regularly just to get through each day. I truly believe living in the Sunshine State over the last 8 months has done wonders for my mental health.


So in the end, to the people who messaged and emailed and sent their love on January 6th, the day of the “Dear Baby #3 post”…there are no words. Because you see, although you thought you were sharing and giving and sending love because of a painful miscarriage months ago, you were giving me exactly what I needed since another one happened that very day. Whether you knew it or not, you were being used by God. And I thank you. I thank you very much.


So, that’s that. Will we every have another child? I don’t know. Our family doesn’t feel totally complete, but yet I’m at peace with the wonderful gifts we already have in the form of Miles and Norah. I won’t do anything to jeopardize my mental well-being for another child (and in turn jeopardizing our family) so fertility help is out of the question (because it’s probably part of why I went to the hospital in the first place, a post for another day). We will just have to live life as its meant to be, adjusting our expectations but staying humble and grateful all the same.


2017 has not been easy. I’ve been at the dentist and specialist at least a total of 10 times already. They know me well. Thankfully my teeth are fixed and we’re good to go. On a more serious note, my dad started off the year sick and continues to struggle. I was in Chicago for a couple weeks in Feburary while he was in the hospital, and unfortunately he’s back there now. He has been on a challenging uphill climb, facing battle after battle, but the Lord is by his side. I see this so clearly.


I’d like to blame all of this on President Trump, but I try to keep politics out of it.


There are exciting things happening in the next month. We are headed to Disney this weekend for the first time with the kids. Some of my previous students will be there from Illinois for their band trip so I can’t wait to see faces from home! Our first vacationers arrive to visit the first week of April, we get to see Chris’ brother and awesome girlfriend in Orlando the weekend after, and then we head to Chicago to see friends and family!


There’s lots of positivity on the horizon. God is good. He is faithful. We will march on. And do us a favor – keep my father in your prayers.


I’ll end with a verse my brother reminded me of today:


“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him.” Psalm 40:1-3

IMG_0858.JPG

 

 

 

 

Dear Baby #3

Standard
Dear Baby #3

It’s January 6, 2017. Today is your birthday, or, at least, your due date. Today you would’ve been born.


Only a few days have passed in the last 9 months where I didn’t think about you. It used to hurt really, really bad, but as time went on, it got a little easier.


When we first learned of you, we were overjoyed. We prayed for you, and you came. This was God’s greatest gift. Never did I think something could go wrong.


It was a beautiful day. The end of spring was here, summer right around the corner. Something felt “off,” but I had no real concerns. First of all, who isn’t “off” first trimester, anyway? Second of all, nothing was going to get me down that particular spring day, for I had just seen you for the first time that morning. You looked beautiful – everything was great, all numbers perfection. I was in love. Of course, also in love with the fact that this time there was one child, because as much as we love the twins, the notion of another two was terrifying.


(The following is a little graphic. Do not read it if you don’t want to; no one is forcing you. I’m writing this because it’s my story, and I need to share it, desperately. By getting it out, my healing feels complete, like a chapter has closed).


It’s 12:15. Something is definitely wrong. I am bleeding, a lot. I immediately grab the kids and throw them in the bed for nap with some extra books and toys. It’s not nap time, but I need them away for whatever is to come. Ironically, I have a psych appointment scheduled for later and Chris’ mom is already planning to come over.


I call the doctor and she says not to worry yet. Everything looked good that morning. Bleeding can happen. Just wait and see.


I pray and pray and pray. Cry and pray some more, hoping it will stop.


Around 12:45 I use the bathroom, and I know this can’t be normal. It’s not okay. This isn’t okay. When I look down, I see it. I’ve never been in this situation and I don’t actually know what to look for, but it doesn’t matter.


My knees fall and I hug the toilet, desperately holding on for one more moment with my child. No, it doesn’t look like a baby; it’s still early. But it doesn’t matter. I can see him or her lying there and I just can’t bring myself to flush it away yet, here one minute and then gone in the blink of an eye.


So I pick it up. And I hold it in my hand. And I can hardly see through the tears, the tears that cover me from my cheeks down to the floor.


And I say, “It’s okay, baby. It’s okay. You’re in a better place now. You were not meant for this world. And that’s okay. Go be with Jesus. I’ll see you again one day.”

01f3cacef6258e8fbc718b25a99a9aa4

I immediately see him or her in heaven running towards my Mema and cousin Carolina. Carolina just passed away the month before. They both loved babies. Carolina was my age, and I was and am glad she has a baby in heaven to take care of right now.


I place it back in the toilet bowl and pull the trigger. Flush.


I go to the pysch appointment knowing I need it now more than ever. There is no ultrasound tech at the doctor’s office so it is decided I will go to the ER for official confirmation, but I already know. Chris is on his way.


I didn’t know we would be in the emergency room for almost 7 hours because of a shooting (our HMO only covers the hospital, which happens to be one of the major trauma hospitals in the Chicago area). I didn’t know a person could be in so much pain and feel so numb at the same time. I didn’t know I’d spend the next few days in my bed, that a simple song like “Rock a Bye Baby” would cause rapid tears, that I would sleep with Miles’ stuffed animal shark for the next 3 weeks.


I didn’t know that I’d grieve today, your due date, as if it just happened.

14a4915c802f5d376612df77d6e6a9e4


It takes time, but after awhile, the pain lets up. You continue to put one foot in front of the other. The hurt starts to hurt less as you cling to your faith and unite with others in the same boat. Someone shares her story, and you gain the courage to share yours, and that bond helps the healing.


I can’t hear the word “January” without thinking of this baby. Truth be told, I can’t get through most days without remembering. At church, I can’t sing the bridge to “Blessed Be Your Name” without a lump in my throat, hearing the words “You give and take away / You give and take away/ My heart will choose to say / Lord blessed be your name.” I can’t comprehend why it happened, and as much as I like answers, I’ll never understand, not on this side of heaven.


There were a lot of “didn’t knows,” and there are still some “can’ts.” But now, many months later, we can see that we still held on to several truths amidst the doubts and unknown.


I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Get through all the hurts. Still be a functioning, capable mom even when I don’t think I can. Phil. 3:14

God will never leave me nor forsake me. I am not alone, even when I feel like I am. Deut. 31:6

I will still trust in Him with all of my heart, and won’t lean on my own understanding. Prov. 3:5-6

No matter what, God is good. He will work all things out according to our good. Rom. 8:28


Holding on to these promises got us through the hardest thing we’ve experienced in our marriage to date.


So Baby #3,

Thank you. Thank you for making us stronger. You’ve strengthened our marriage and our faith. Thank you for making us better people, people who can empathize with others who hurt. You’ve helped our friendships grow deeper. Thank you for making us grateful, appreciating everything we already have.

Today makes us sad because we wish you were in our arms. But, it also makes us happy, because we choose to believe you’re in a better place. 

See you one day,

Mom and Dad

miscarriage-baby-in-heaven

Target Tantrums

Standard

Earlier this year Norah had her first major toddler tantrum at a public park. I wrote about it here, in Terrible Twos – Norah Style. I thought that was bad. Until I experienced our first toddler tantrum at a public store – enclosed, with echoes and shopping carts, where strangers abound.


If you’ve ever read this blog around the holidays, you know my infatuation with the holiday assorted Trader Jo Jos, at where else? Trader Joe’s. I’m a little surprised I haven’t been paid for my incredible (and FREE) advertising, but I guess I’m not Ellen, and to be honest, they move fast anyway; that’s just how delicious they really are.


So, although the nearest TJ’s is a little over 30 minutes away, I decide to make the trek because of course, the cookies. Need I say more?


I remember we need wrapping paper so decide on a whim to go to Target first. That way, the kids can walk around a little and stretch their legs. I knew they would want to see the toys and that would be okay. We’ve done the toy thing a few times in the past couple months and they usually leave with nothing, although sometimes with something from the dollar section. They know they are “waiting for Santa Claus.”


In fact, Miles and Norah continued to repeat this phrase throughout the toy section, which many shoppers (soon to be victims) thought was cute.


Norah: “Look at the baby!”

Miles: “We have to wait for Santa Claus.”

Miles: “I wanna T-Rex like this one!”

Norah: “We have to wait for Santa Claus.”


You get the gist.


Unfortunately, that T-Rex had quite the hold on little Miles. I could tell pretty fast it was going to be hard to let go, but I had my faith in him. It would be okay. He could do it. The other day in Publix he wanted to gum. I said no. He cried through the checkout line but then got over it. I handled that, now I can handle this, and so can he.


Nope.


It started with tears, following quickly with blood-curdling screams. I begin walking away from the toy section with Norah, looking back at him of course, and hoping he follows. I tell the people looking at us that “he’s not mine – just this little good girl here” but they don’t get the joke, and in the 10 seconds of me walking a different direction 5 people are surrounding him thinking he’s lost. So I say “Gig is up – apparently he IS mine. Whoops!” and no one thought that was funny, either.


See, I try to find the humor in these situations.


I pick him up, thrust him into the cart, but he’s jerking recklessly (and still screaming), doing anything to get out of my arms. He knows how to detach the cart belt, too. Knowing that wouldn’t work, I pin his body down on top of our goods and we roll to the checkout, his body half on and half off.


From there I set him down nearby and talk very stern, saying it is NOT OKAY TO SCREAM LIKE THIS and YOU ARE IN TIME OUT and CUT IT OUT.


I try to put our items on the belt but then a little old lady gets hit with a shoe (I wish I was joking) and another shoe ends up hitting our cashier. He has thrown his shoes and socks and he is full-fledged, spread eagle on the ground. And the screaming ensues.


I apologize profusely and walk back over to him. This is quite the production, and our audience is growing. At this point one of the workers starts unloading our things on the moving bed (because of course I have more than wrapping paper – I’m at Target for goodness sakes – the store sucks you in.)


As I try to move him from the ground he is screaming “NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO” over and over and over. I have never in his almost 3 years seen him like this. Ever. I pick him up more forcefully and he hits me, hard.


It gets quiet. He looks at me wide-eyed. Our audience waits, wondering what I’ll do. So I just give in and give him the toy. It was all too much.


Just kidding – NO WAY! What did I do? I yanked those pants down, rounded the corner, and popped that butt hard. More than once. This behavior was absolutely unacceptable.


In Chicago, I would fear a dreaded DCFS call.We may not have snow for Christmas,  but I will say one thing we got going for us – I don’t think anyone is afraid of a little spank in the South.


If our no-gum-at-Publix experience was a high school One Act show, this had to be a Broadway musical, a Hamilton at it’s finest. At this point Norah is also crying because when one of them cries too hard the other one usually starts to cry as well. Twin thing?


I put him in the cart and buckle the belt, knowing he won’t try to get out because he is sensing defeat. I announce to our viewers that I’m sorry for the racket, that we will have to continue to hear the awful screams until I leave because the child wants a toy and he isn’t going to get one.


The following responses were a pleasant surprise, super helpful for this tired Mama. “Don’t give in!” and, “You’re handling it well!” and, “The worst is when they give ‘em what they want after the tantrum– don’t do it! You got this.”

I suddenly had a support group of all ages cheering me on.


On the way to Trader Joe’s (It was the last thing I wanted to do, but now I needed the cookies more than ever) Norah told Miles that Santa and Jesus were mad that he was bad.


Miles replied with, “Sorry Santa, sorry Jesus.” We need to work on our priorities; OBVS Jesus comes first.


“What about Mommy?” I asked.


“Sorry, Mama, “he said.


Didn’t make it all better, but certainly helped. Thankfully today was a new day, and it makes me appreciate the new mercies we get everyday from our heavenly Father. As parents, we want to do our best to model that to our children, even when it’s hard, even when we feel like holding a grudge.


Merry Christmas! Here’s to little tantrums (from both kids AND adults) and lots of LOVE as we celebrate the wonderful gift of our Savior. 


Here’s our pic when I said “Smile for the camera.” Notice the absence of shoes and socks.

376587ec

Independence

Standard

IMG_4422

Less than 2 weeks ago, millions of Americans celebrated Independence Day, a time to gather with friends and family and appreciate the freedoms of this great nation.

Independence….such a loaded word. We pride ourselves on being independent – self-sufficient, self-governing, fully autonomous – yet we were built for relationships and community, made to love and rely on one another.


This idea does not come easy for many of us, myself included. We like the feeling of independence…less vulnerability, smaller chance to be disappointed by others. (I mean, who can forget Destiny’s Child? All the women, who are independent, throw your hands up at me…) 


I seriously just YouTubed the video and took a dance break, a tribute to my high school years.


Anyway…behold below, a reflection on my journey from independence, to dependence, and back again.


When I originally recognized some of my “struggles” for what they really were – not just a weakness or character flaw, but a true CrazyMad medical issue – you would think I would naturally feel better. “Yay! It’s not me; it’s the chemical imbalance, a mental battle that will not resolve with the mind over matter concept.” Relief, right?


Sort of YES, but mostly NO. Accepting my anxiety to be more than a personal error meant I had to depend on something bigger than myself to get better.


As a Christian, you would think this idea of dependence would be easy. I know God is great and powerful and my need for Him is unquestionable. There is nothing we can do as human beings to be truly fulfilled apart from Christ; this is the foundation of my faith. In various seasons of my last 29 years (yes…the 3-0 is coming!) I’ve wrestled with God, stubbornly refusing to let Him into situations where I needed Him the most. But however cheesy the mantra “Let Go, Let God,” it rings truth. When I surrender and depend on Him in the day-to-day, life isn’t necessarily easier (it’s not supposed to be), but it sure is more peaceful.


I digress. My whole point is that the idea of dependence should have felt somewhat familiar because of my faith. So I have to depend on a counselor or a medicine to be “normal;” who cares, right?


Wrong. I cared.


At least at first. Although I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression for a solid decade, I’ve only embraced it in the last couple of years (and honestly finally accepted it when I outed myself with CrazyMaddening World this past fall), and for a lot of that time, it only made me feel more dependent and less fully…me.


Then 2014 comes kids. Immediately any independence I had left flies out the door with a big smack in the face. Nursing twins and simply keeping them alive was a full time job. I felt chained to my house and literally imprisoned, sometimes crying in jealousy when Chris got to leave and go to work. Even if I wanted to go somewhere, I had to be back in time for a feeding or pump while I was away.


On a sidenote, I’m aware the breastfeeding was my choice, but it was one way I could feel a little less dependent on Chris. For the first time in my life I wasn’t working (or getting paid at least) and nursing was a way to save money and contribute.


You would think the fact that Miles and Norah were solely dependent on me would bring some sort of validation, but it rarely did. For the most part I felt completely dependent on everything, all independence gone, and It. Was. Terrifying.


With all this talk of dependency, where does the independence and freedom come in?


Well, fast forward to the last 6 months. Nursing is complete. The kids are able to do more on their own. I’ve made a “working at home/stay at home” life for myself through the gym, bible study, library activities, play dates and church opportunities. I resigned from my job, albeit hesitantly, having full faith in the Lord and my husband that with sacrifices we could make it work together.


The thing is, I used to judge myself based on my career and schedule. The busier I was, the more important I must be. Watch me knock off this to-do list! These lesson plans rock! Look at all the people who need me! I could go on and on and on.


Part of me used to feel more independent then. Stronger. Really needed. Very “important.”


Truth is, I was suffocating. And it made me more sick. And I certainly wasn’t my best self.


So today, I’m here to share that although I have reasons to feel more dependent than ever (especially considering I make no income), I actually feel more independent than I have in awhile. I can actually breathe!


Allowing breathing room in my life has transformed me. Yes, I have to get over the fact that I’m not as busy. I have to shake off the feeling that people think I must have it soooo easy (stay-at-home mom, what do you do all day anyway?) even if no one is thinking that. I have to rely on God and things that truly matter for my self-esteem.


No, I don’t make money. I don’t delegate duties or run any committees. I have Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees that aren’t being used at the moment.


BUT. I can play with my kids whenever I want. I can go to the gym whenever I want. I can plan my day however I want. I can take a nap any day I want (provided they nap well that day). If that’s not independence, what is? It’s pretty awesome, and sometimes, I feel guilty.


Well, today I’m exchanging the guilt for grateful and thanking God for my independence!


For those of you feeling the exhaustion and monotony of the daily grind, I feel you. I hear you. Sometimes it seems like you’re stuck and there’s no way out, but there are choices. Do what you can to take care of yourself. Don’t get pressured by the idea that more is better. Do something kind for someone else. Give yourself breathing room.


Turns out, my full resignation and complete dependence on what (and Who) matters most during this season has given me more independence than I’ve experienced in a long time.


And I am grateful.

here’s a perfect post you will like and connect with so I can feel accepted and loved

Standard

I haven’t written in a while.

 

I think the smidgen of perfectionism in me yearns for each post to have a purpose and meaning. I want it to make you laugh and think, connect and empathize. Laugh at the highs and lows of motherhood and family dynamics in general, think about the more important things in life, connect in a way where you know you’re not the only one (in whatever capacity that means for you), and empathize with the people who walk around every day happy yet struggling on the inside because of an invisible sickness.

 

The sickness that by the way if you needed a reminder people say isn’t even really a sickness. The — c’mon can’t you just get over it already / there’s people with real problems / work out / go outside / stop complaining / pray more / tough it out / aren’t you being a little selfish / omigaw seriously dude it’s not like you have cancer / get it together — and the list goes on…

 

Now if you are struggling mentally and refuse to get help, I can’t relate to you. I could at some point but I’ve covered that bridge and I’m on a new highway. Call me out and say what you will, but in my mind, if you have emotional or chemical imbalances and decline help, you’re not only hurting yourself, but you’re hurting others, too.

 

I don’t live in a vacuum, in an empty space that affects me and only me. Neither do you, or your siblings, or your friends. So I’ll go out on a limb and say if you’re not willing to get help, perhaps you can actually take one of the hurtful statements above to heart; maybe you are being a little selfish.

 

That was a side rant. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but if I had to take a guess it’s probably because I’m working my butt off right now. As a team, my psych and therapist and I are going through a lot of digging and talking and learning so I can be healthier. And it is EXHAUSTING. But you know what? It’s important. Because golly gee I’m not cribbin’ it in some Dyson or Hoover. I have a family. I have people. Even if I feel alone, and even when I actually want to be alone, the truth is I’m not.

 

Therefore, I gotta work to be healthy for myself and the people around me.

 

Why are we currently working harder than normal? (Oh the word “normal” and all that it brings…)

 

1) I’m on meds – and I believe that for the most part if you’re on some type of behavioral meds you should be seeing someone at least every couple of months.

 

2) As I shared in my last post, I resigned from my teaching job. Instead of going back next year, I’ll be home taking care of the twintastics.

 

Notice I didn’t say I’ll be home raising the twins. I specifically opted out of that verb because I’m aware that working moms raise their kids as well. No reason to start a working mother vs. stay at home mother rant because a mother is a mother and a good one works hard regardless of the location, inside or outside the home. So yes, ladies, let’s Lean In and uphold equality but let’s also not be the first to throw stones and judge one another.

 

That all sounds good, right? Except for the fact that I’m judging myself, already feeling less competent, professional and important.

 

My mind tells me that it’s ludicrous. What is more important than keeping infants alive? Spending all day with children in their formative years, building their character? I mean, that is a pretty cool job. And I believe one day it will feel rewarding. But right now, there’s no doubt that I don’t feel as validated or rewarded as I did when I was in the classroom, which makes the resignation all the more frightening.

 

My first time in the anxiety program unearthed the fact that I find my worth and self-esteem in my job (or any type of progress and achievements), and I’m so thankful I started working through it then or I would be in a lot of trouble now. You don’t see much progress in the day-to-day of spit up and dirty diapers TIMES TWO.

 

So here I am, for the first time in my life (at least since preschool) I’m not headed back to school this fall. And I know it’s far away, but it scares me. Don’t worry, I’m going to enjoy the heck out of this spring and summer – warm weather cometh! Bring on the heat! But, we’re doing a little more work now to give the “fall” (in both aspects of the word) a little more cushion.

 

Speaking of cushion, my butt has been sitting on this one far too long because this post is too long and I’ll be surprised if anyone makes it to this point. If you did, congrats! Go eat some leftover Easter candy.

 

Apparently “I haven’t written in a while” comes with a lot of random, verbal vomit.

 

My original point – I want to write inspiring things; I want to be a voice you enjoy listening to, and because of that, sometimes I don’t write. I mean, it’s not like I have an invigorating story ready to burst each week from the Crazymaddeningworld. I don’t write because I don’t think it will be good enough or to a high enough standard (which I just spoke in an English accent, Downton Abbey style).

 

And I’m coming full circle to say that’s just crap; the idea of perfect words and stories, the thought that I’m subconsciously seeking acceptance through this blogging outlet? Appalling. I can’t control the thoughts, but I can bid them farewell when they arise.

 

Crazymaddeningworld started as a therapy assignment and it’s evolving, just like me. I fear that not working in a classroom next year will make me less useful to you and the rest of the world. And that there will be nothing left to say, no stories to tell.

 

Bahahahahaha. Who am I kidding? Once a talker, always a talker! So I’ll be back, sooner rather than later, if I can just get over the fact that I should be able to post whatever the heck I want whenever I want and who the heck cares who reads it.

 

If y’all don’t judge me, I’ll try not to judge myself.

 

I’ll end with words from the best Author of all.

Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

 

Let’s not forget to be kind to ourselves, too.

 

Until next time,

Rachel

I Didn’t Like You Until You Were Three Months Old

Standard

I’ve never been a baby person. Kids in general tend to get on my nerves, until around the age of 12; hence my degree in secondary education. In fact, when we first got married, we lived in a duplex next to two little girls. They were sweet in their own little girl way, I guess, but everyday they would wait at the fence for me to get home from work so we could “play.” And everyday, I would pretend to be on the phone so I could simply wave and say hello. I know, I’m a horrible person.

But back to babies. I’ve never had the aching arms syndrome that many women experience. Ladies around me swarm at new babies like flies to honey, but I happily keep a safe distance, thinking they are cute, sort-of. Mostly when I looked at a baby I saw a lot of work and no more “me time.” Go ahead and call me selfish; I know you’re thinking it.

Surprisingly, this didn’t change the fact that I wanted children. A family is something I’ve always wanted. Somehow I thought (or hoped) maybe my own wouldn’t annoy me as much. Jury is still out on that one.

But I saw the Facebook posts of new moms – “Love of my life” and “Now I know true love.” So needless to say I highly anticipated the arrival of our twins, dreaming of that first moment when I held them in my arms.

However, when our blessings did arrive, their presence did not exactly bring the heartfelt emotions I predicted. Having an unexpected labor process (preeclampsia, constant vomiting, a possible-but-thank-goodness-avoided blood transfusion, and “Oh, the epidural should work this time”) didn’t help the situation, but still. I was devastated. I wondered, “What’s wrong with me?” along with “Lies! Lies! It’s all lies!” I was flooded with emotions, just more of the terrified “O.M.G./Now-I’m-an-adult/I-must-get-my-you-know-what-together/We-can’t-give-them–back/What-are-we-gonna-do/O.M.G” type emotions.

Then there was check out process. Hilariously ridiculous in retrospect, but at the time, I’m surprised no one around me got hurt. Apparently vaginal birth means “Adios!” 48 hours later despite a complicated labor, high blood pressure and TWO CHILDREN. I continued to delay the leaving process hoping my persuasive antics would convince the doctor to let me stay longer. My shoes didn’t even fit my enflamed, unrecognizable feet! How was I supposed to go outside in the cold without shoes? Common sense, Doc! But alas, my tears did not sway anyone.

Home was hard. A dysfunctional pelvis and hip (80 extra pounds can do that to you) prevented me from walking without assistance in the beginning, so the babies were directly brought to me for feedings. When I wasn’t feeding, I tried to sleep and eat and ignore the guilt that gnawed at me that I wasn’t doing enough. I would hold “team meetings” each day, sometimes every few hours, to make sure all the “help” was on the same page. Thank the Lord for family and a husband who know me through and through and could laugh about this behind closed doors. Because let me tell you, I was taking it very seriously.

Navigating the nursing process combined with the sleep deprivation took its toll. People would say, “You must be so happy!” but I was too exhausted to even know how I felt. Don’t get me wrong; I was grateful, thankful for healthy babies, blessed to have them home. But I was in shock, scared, and unsure of my new role as Mom.

Yes, I did experience postpartum depression. After a med-free pregnancy the doctor was in fact paged with a big SOS two weeks after their birth. I thought, phew, this will get better. I will like them once I’m feeling normal again. It’s not me, it’s my condition.

Now yes sir, those meds got me back to a healthy place. But, I’m here to say that as much as I loved those kids with all of my heart, they were still the little leeches sucking the life out of me, figuratively and literally. Sore nipples, anyone? I was exhausted, and when I did have the energy to pay attention to them, I didn’t know what to do. They were just blobs. Yes, beautiful blobs, but blobs nonetheless, who cried, pooped, slept and pooped some more! Not being a baby-babble type of person, there was only so much “ladi dadi” I could do. I thrive on progress and achievement, so although I would read and sing to them, their lack of response hindered any desire for me to keep it up.

But then one day it just happened. We had just hit the three-month mark. As I finished nursing Miles, he looked up at me with those round, crystal-blue eyes, and he cooed. And then he SMILED! I couldn’t believe it. Not only was I in love, I genuinely liked him!

Soon after, Norah’s smiles came flooding in as well. I remember my husband saying, “Wow, these first few months have really flown by!” My death stare told him that on the contrary, these had been the longest three months of my life. But once the chatter and smiles began in that third month, time indeed started to fly, and it hasn’t stopped since.

Motherhood is different for all of us. There’s not one set way you’re supposed to be or feel, and don’t let social media or the people around you tell you otherwise. Sooner or later, in your own time, you’ll embrace your new role as mother and wear it proudly.

My advice? Give yourself three months! 😉