Friday, March 29, 2013

Hey daylight savings, suck it!

I think I speak for the vast majority of parents with children aged 0-10 when I say, "Daylight savings, fuck you!"

Just when we had a decent sleep rhythm going, ol' "Spring ahead" had to come along and mess it up.  And guess what?  It will probably take my high maintenance kid approximately 6 months to adapt to this schedule putting us at a happy place just in time to "Fall back" and mess everything up again. 

Uhh!  Not necessary people, NOT necessary!

In other news, I have a kid!  As much as I HATE to admit it, he isn't really a baby anymore.  sob sob sob sob.  He is a wake up with his ass on fire, passionate, hilarious, absolutely ridiculous mess of curls, dirt, snot and crazy.

...and he kid loves a balloon

Sunday, March 17, 2013

She's got worms

About three weeks ago, when the shit storm of sickness and sadness began, Caches had a croup attack and ended up in the ER.  It's not much of a story.  I was home alone with him and about an hour after I put him to bed he woke up coughing.  I went to get him and by the time I got into his room he was gasping for air, eyes bulging out of his head and a look of total panic on his face.

I tried to calm him down with offering to nurse, rocking, reminding him to take a slow breath, but nothing was working.  Now he had been fighting to breathe for almost five minutes and I was starting to worry.  He was fine all day and when I put him down so I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was wrong and worried that he was having some sort of allergic reaction.  I debated the ER for a while, but finally couldn't take the what ifs anymore and decided to go.

He stopped coughing and gasping by the time we arrived and the second I walked in I regretted bringing him.  If he wasn't sick already, he would be by the time we left.  The ER was packed; Uhh, why!?  Long story short, he had what they called a croup attack and three hours later we were home.  He never did develop croup so how he had a croup attack I don't quite know, but I digress.

Anyway, the following day we were supposed to meet some friends at the Aquarium and Ryan had really been talking it up.  Telling Caches all about how neat it would be to see the fish and maybe he would get to touch a fish.  It was fishmania!  Well, we obviously didn't go and Ryan was feeling so guilty about the big fish let down that he decided to take Caches to the pet store to watch the fish swim.  I'm sure you know where this is going.

About an hour later they came back.  And by they I mean Ryan, Caches, and a fish.  Just what we need.  It was a little purple Beta fish and Caches named him Ice Cream.  I guess he is my son.  Anyway, Ice Cream lives in a bowl in the kitchen and his food, blood worms and other nasty shit, is beside his bowl.  Can you guess where this is going?

Before Caches and I left the house last week, I did my usual once over of the kitchen to make sure there was no food or anything that even resembled food to a Ridgeback, left out, locked Abner in his crate, and we were on our way.

About an hour later I came home to Easter grass spread all over the house and little chunks of chewed up plastic on the floor.  Really!?!  Easter grass?!?  What, did the kid touch one blade of it with butter on his fingers?  At nearly ten years of age Lilly is really getting desperate!  But the plastic, I just couldn't figure out the shards of plastic.

I'm trying to pick them up and piece together any information that would tell me what they used to be when I notice Abner is obsessively licking the play mat around all the plastic.  Upon closer inspection there are what appear to be little bits of dirt all over the floor.  What is this?  It's starting to come together...My brain is working...Umm, that isn't dirt, those are worms!  Abner is licking up all the worms that Lilly left behind when she chewed up the fish food canister!  And there are worms stuck to the bottom of my feet, perfect.

I'm just glad she didn't knock the bowl off of the counter trying to get the worms!  Needless to say, Ice Cream's new food is stored in a doggy proof drawer.  As for the Easter grass, you'll have to ask Lilly what she saw in that one.  Nothing is safe.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A lost love

"How are you doing today, ma'am?"   "Oh, fine thanks.  And yourself?"

...I'm not

"Thank you, have a nice day."
"You do the same (smile)."

...I won't

I start to walk out of the store, and then I see her.  A woman with a little girl about Caches' age and a newborn baby wrapped in a sling. 

...I can't

I lower my head and walk to my car as fast as I can until I'm safely inside.  I collapse in tears.  I am in the midst of a miscarriage.

Most of you didn't even know I was pregnant.  I was planning to announce it here after the appointment with my midwife last Wednesday;  I never made it to that happy appointment.  Instead I had an emergency appointment last Tuesday.  An ultrasound confirmed it.  The baby whose heart I  had seen beating just 3 weeks before was gone.  There was nothing left.  I have never felt so empty in my entire life.  It was just, gone.

I felt like it was all a bad dream, like someone else laying on the bed being told that their baby was gone.  Not me, not my baby, it couldn't be.  But it was, and it is.  I try to be rational, it happens all the time.  The baby just wasn't going to make it.  My body know what it's doing.  I try to be practical, I didn't do anything wrong.  Sometimes a baby just isn't meant to be.  But by the quiet of night all logic is gone.  My baby was real, it was and still is loved, and now it is gone.

I know a few women who have had miscarriages and I always felt such a sadness for them, but I never fully understood their pain until now, how could I?  I naively thought I was fine, the baby was fine.  We saw the heartbeat, I'm healthy, I had a perfectly uncomplicated pregnancy with Cache, not a worry in the world.  I has already spent hours daydreaming about this baby, planning for this baby, expanding my heart for this baby, that is now no longer coming to curl up and sleep on my chest. My chest instead feels heavy with loss.

I will never hold this baby, never nurse this baby, never get to watch this baby sleep for hours on end, it's tiny chest rising and falling with each sweet breath.  I will never get to know this baby and all that could have been.  I can't stop thinking of everything that could have been.  That should have been.  It still doesn't even feel real

Every time I see a pregnant belly, or a newborn baby it takes my breath away.  Why do they get to have their babies?  Why did my baby have to die?  I am angry.  I am sad.  I am empty.  I know this is all part of the grieving process and I am allowing myself to feel every emotion that comes.  I know that in time I will heal and I feel confident that we will be blessed with another baby in the future.  I know it will be okay, but not right now.  Right now it is not okay.  Right now my heart is as heavy as my belly longs to be.

I am taking it one day at a time.  One moment at a time. I am trying to lose myself in my perfect, healthy son.  I am trying to heal. 

*I had a D&C on Tuesday at the very same hospital that I was excited to deliver my baby at.  Heartache came home this time, next time a baby.  Everything went well.  I am trying to take it easy, but the toddler waits for nothing.  Thank you for all the love, prayers, flowers and kind words.  They are a great comfort on this rocky, unfamiliar road. 


Friday, March 1, 2013

The three headed freak of nature

Today at our playgroup, one of the other children's parents asked me if Caches was a good napper.  After I finished choking on my cracker, I answered, "Ehh, not good or bad, he just has never slept for long stretches day or night unless he is being held.  He's typically a 30 minute napper."

She looked at me as though I had three heads and sheepishly told me that she was about to complain about her daughter only napping for 1.5 hours when she used to nap close to 3 hours a day.  Three hours!?  You know what I could do with THREE child free hours!?  Just thinking about it makes my heart pitter patter.  Anyway, I just kinda smiled and nodded, something I have damn near perfected over the past year and a half, and went back to my cracker.

But she wasn't done.  "He must sleep great at night then, right?  I mean if he only naps for 30 minutes he should be exhausted."

Here we go.  "Um, he is pretty tired come bed time but again, he just isn't what most would consider a "good" sleeper.  He takes a while to relax, needs a lot of parental help and still wakes up a minimum of six times a night to either nurse or be comforted."  Now it would have seemed that my three heads were expelling toxic fumes by the look on her face.  "It's okay though, he is in bed with us so it only takes a moment to resettle him.  I'm tired but I get much more rest this way than if I tried to somehow force him to sleep."

KABOOM  my heads exploded and got goop all over her uncontrollably horrified face.

I just looked at her, smiled, helped Caches eat some of his cracker and smiled again.  I could physically feel the judgement, feel her wanting to say something about my parenting, just dying to offer advice, but she didn't.   A year ago I would have been sweating, anxious inside about what I would say to defend my parenting.  I would have made a joke about Caches' sleep, or told a lie to avoid "the look."  But I have come a LONG way in a year.

It simply does not phase me anymore.  I could listen to hours of unsolicited parenting advice and anecdotes now without batting an eye, because now I KNOW it is bullshit.  All babies and all parents are different.  We all have different goals and desires for our relationships with our children.  We all have different thresholds for sleep deprivation, different coping skills, different ideas and different support systems, and that's okay,  there is no one size fits all.

I am not necessarily pleased with how my son sleeps, no.  And I don't think I'm some wonderful mother just because I choose to respond to him at all hours of the night.  I'm not trying to be a martyr, or make you feel bad because you have chosen not to, or don't need to parent your child at night,  I am just being honest.  Something I think a lot more of us mothers should do.  So many mothers feel like they need to lie about how or where their children sleep.  About how much their children "know" or how well they are doing with milestones.   As if admitting that your child sleeps in bed with you will cause the unveiling of ALL your imperfections as a parent.  Because everyone else is so damn perfect, right?  And somehow everyone just lying makes it better?

I urge you to resist lying, I did it for a long time and let me tell you, it is exhausting!   Of course I would still TOTALLY shove dirty dishes in the oven if unexpected guests arrived, and I wear concealer, but I will not lie about my son or how I parent, I refuse.  I have been given a challenging child but I am proud of how I am parenting him.  I just do what I feel is right in my heart, not what some book, pediatrician, stranger at Target or internet message board says is right.  And I challenge anyone to question it; seriously, ask me a question.  I won't lie.