Sunday, December 29, 2013

First workout after Wren

I finally started working out again yesterday. You would think seeing as this is the third time I have begun this journey postpartum that I  would be a pro. After the birth of Bean I got myself into better shape than I had ever been in, and after Tadpole I had gotten myself into the best shape of my life. Last year, I had the most muscle mass I have ever had, the least amount of body fat in my entire adult life, a visible 6 pack, and I  was stronger than ever before.  I can't say I am not a little discouraged, at the moment, trying to get back to where I was. It isn't as exciting as when you first accomplish a goal, but I need to get back to where I was.

For one thing I love to workout. I love the challenge, and compound lifting gives me an awesome challenge. I also need to get back to where I was, not just for me, but for the people I love the most.  I  need to exercise for my health. Being de-conditioned makes me so much more symptomatic with my POTS which makes my daily life a lot harder, and leaves a very exhausted Mama to care for 3 little ones. Mentally I feel so much better when I exercise which makes facing the physical issues I deal with a lot easier to cope with.

 So people ask how I make time to exercise so often (which is there way of politely trying to really ask  how I don't feel selfish as a mother working out so much), or how do I workout with all the health issues I said I have. All I have to say is that working out makes me a better mother. It helps me physically accomplish what I need to do to take care of my children, it gives me a time out from everyone needing something from me, and it teaches my sons and soon my daughter that women are strong and capable.

So where I'm  at currently:  Wren is 10 weeks old. I have about 10 pounds to lose, give or take. I don't focus as much on weight as I used to as muscle mass can easily change the scale. I did some circuit training in my house yesterday and worked out for about an hour. I did squats using an exercise ball, reverse hyperextensions on the exercise ball, overhead band pull downs, chin-ups, push-ups, single leg bridges using my couch, a bunch of other exercises I do for my hip issues, and I jump roped for quite a while. Overall I was discouraged by how weak I have become after being so sick this pregnancy, but I was also pleasantly surprised with how much I actually did do yesterday. I didn't keep diligent track of my workout yesterday like I normally do, because basically my goals yesterday were to do anything in the realm of exercise to assess where I am at. I am pretty sore and the idea of sitting makes my quads cringe, so all in all I think this is a good start.Pin It

Monday, December 23, 2013

Santa Magic

I guess you could say, it  has been very hectic around here this December. How about we all agree now, that we have been very behind this holiday season. At least we have an awesome excuse, Wren.  The people that matter will understand...

Unless of course, the people that matter are 4 and 7 and still believe in magic...

The boys have decided that they want pokemon figurines for Christmas. Pokemons that don't exist as figurines or are really rare and difficult to acquire. 

"Which Pokemons do you want boys?"

"The dragon types. You know, the green one with the three heads.  I don't remember his name."

"No, no I don't know that one and I don't think they have that one at the store."

"That doesn't matter Mommy, Santa will make it."

Tadpole from the third row "Santa doesn't make the toys, his elves do!"

"That's what I meant Tadpole! Santa will tell his elves to make them. He is magic, he can figure it out."

Um... I'll update you all on how Christmas morning goes.

At least we made it to see Santa right?!?

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Not to Bum Everybody

I don't feel like writing. I don't feel like bumming out everyone and writing about how I feel like shit today and can't focus. I can't focus because I don't feel well and writing is hard when I feel like this. But, I don't want to close my computer and find out the last post I wrote was almost a year ago. So I am writing.

 I am in some pain today but what I am feeling is a lot of strange neurological sensations. Pain, pain I am used to. Pain doesn't scare me. I have had migraines since I was three, and pain is just another part of my life. Everything has it's positive side. The pain tolerance I have, made it so that I did not fear the pain of giving birth.  Experiencing all three of my children being born, made all the pain worth it. I always felt like "well at least with this pain, I get a present at the end." When a migraine is over all I get is a migraine hangover.  Some women have babies with no pain, I have seen it, and in my next lifetime, I want to be you. The body I was blessed with, does a lot of pain, and other bizarre things.

The neuropathy, exhaustion, weird sensations that is another story.  I am drained and tired. Several people told me how good I was looking today, I said thank you, but truthfully I don't care what I look like today, I just want to feel good. That is the curse of chronic illness, it can be invisible to the observer. The things my body does from time to time, give me anxiety, as I am still waiting on the cause to be determined. It was such a relief when I was sick this pregnancy and the obstetrician said to me "It's ok to be anxious right now. I am anxious about you. Who wouldn't be anxious with what is going on?" He gave me permission and space and I needed that. He has empathy and that can be hard to find in health care.  The blessing of all of my health issues, is that it has given me a great deal of empathy as well. This is the empathy I take with me as a doula, yoga instructor, mother,  when I was a nursing student, and when I fulfill my dream of becoming a midwife, I know my empathy will follow me.

The obstetrician my midwife took me to, also said something to me that brought forth a great reality. He told me while I was pregnant with Wren
"Something is obviously wrong, and what that is, I do not know (not his speciality, because in obstetrics he is awesome), but you need to find a doctor that goes above and beyond. The kind of doctor that in medical school, already knew they had an A on the exam, but had to answer question 50 right, because that doctor wanted all the answers right. You, are question 50 and you haven't found the doctor who cares enough to figure it out."

I believe in life, pieces slowly come together, and sometimes you have to be patient. After my encounter with that obstetrician,  I met another health care provider, who gave me the name of a neurologist and I believe I  have  finally found this doctor. When I met him last month, he said to me. "I have seen you before, you are a complicated case, but you are going to get better. How much better, I can't say, but better" I never knew how much those words would mean to me until someone spoke them to me and tears streamed down my face. So now all of the testing and waiting, but the answer is there. I am certain, and at this point, no matter what it is, I just want to know. The knowing will bring me peace. So hopefully this is the last set of lots of testing for a really long time.

I went for extensive blood work yesterday.  Fasting labs, which isn't exactly fun when you are nursing your baby all night. Today I had more allergy testing to figure out what is causing my bronchospasms, and well, it has been an exhausting week. So that is where I am today, and if you read all of that, thank you for giving me the space to just be me today. Hopefully, I will be feeling better and can finish some more of the posts I have been working on and share some things a little more upbeat with you.Pin It

Monday, December 16, 2013

Yeah-Yeah-Yeah-Yeah-Yeah... What Was I Writing About?

 "Image courtesy of digitalart /"

I used to think my Grandmother had lost her mind when she started repeating something she had already told me or when she went running around the house searching and asking everyone "Have you seen my glasses? They're on top of your head Grandma. "Oh (insert profanity here)....."

You are probably visualizing an old woman, but she was not old at all. She was in her early sixties. The child me, just thought she was old and crazy.

Now, I realize it had nothing to do with her losing her mind because of age, and everything to do with motherhood.

Yes, motherhood. It is the end all of ever making sense again.

She had six children and that is why she repeats things, and that is why she forgets where she put everything. Years of sleep deprivation, multitasking, forgetting what you were doing because of all the interruptions, and repeating and repeating, and... repeating yourself, because no one is listening.

You always think you are doing better than the women before you. Like somehow you will never do the things your mother, your grandmother, or any other mother on this planet did that made them look ridiculous.

 Well, with how sick I have been we have had a lot of house guests, and my Aunt was here for a week helping me out. She mentioned how it was cute that Bean doesn't just say yeah when he sees you are getting something he is explaining, but instead says yeah- yeah- yeah -yeah -yeah like it is one long word spoken as quickly as possible.

Fast forward a week later, and my mother is here and I am repeating what my Aunt said about Bean to  her, and she says to me. "You know why he does that right?" No. "Because you do it all the time."

I look at her perplexed. I have "perfect" self-awareness. What the hell is she talking about?

Now, thanks to their observations, I am annoying myself.

It's sleep deprivation dammit!

I swear it is.

 My brain can't keep up with their actions. I repeat myself over and over.

Just today, Bean was across the street about to open up someone's garbage can to see what they were throwing away.  I was holding the baby trying to calm her, as the boys rode their bikes. I looked up and see his hands about to touch this disgusting garbage can.

I couldn't even form words. That was all that came spewing out of my mouth a hundred miles an hour.

Then the brain starts to form sentences, "That is dirty, and not ours!"

So I catch myself all day long, "No-no-no-no-no-no-no like an auctioneer only my salary consists of being handed boogers and other unmentionable things.

"Wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait" when there is something I still need to say but I can't even remember what that is and I need to think.

 I can't even process what I am seeing fast enough, to have anything that makes sense come out of my mouth.  I am really just trying to juggle breastfeeding while reading over homework assignments while preventing my children from hurting themselves or others.

Or "yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah" When I am listening, agreeing, or suggesting something

Oh, and while we are on the subject of crazy shit my grandmother did, now I too have been cursed with this motherhood disease, because  I am constantly looking for the shit I just had in my hand. Sometimes I can't even remember what that shit is, what I was doing with said shit, or why I even want to find said shit, but dammit I need that shit and I need to find it now, because it was probably very very very important shit.

There isn't anything wrong with my brain.

 Let me sleep.

Let me sit and think for a moment, and I might form a functioning sentence. After a decade or two of this, I might not have any brain cells left, but I swear currently there are still some floating around in there.

"Yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah, I am coming just let me finish this post first...

"what the hell was I going to tell you all about?"

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Happy 7th Birthday Bean

 Yesterday, was Bean's 7th birthday. Where the time went, I am not sure. I definitely agree with the many people who say that having kids makes you aware of how quickly time goes by; another birthday sneaks up on you and you feel like you just celebrated the last one. Then you see a photo from the year prior and realize just how much your child has grown. 

This year, his birthday was very low key for us. Usually we have a party, go on a trip, and celebrate his birthday several times depending on where we are and who we are with.  However, with the year we have had, we are keeping it simple this holiday season and I am very happy about it. I am just so thankful we are all here and healthy enough to celebrate as a family. 

I can't say, that I don't get a little teary-eyed as I feel the bittersweetness sweep over me, as my son matures and grows, just like he is supposed to. I just can't help but hold on a little to my baby. Last year, was the most difficult birthdays to celebrate, and probably one of the birthdays I will never forget.

 I went to his school and helped pass out cupcakes to his kindergarten class at lunch time. I am thankful I had not known about the Sandy Hook tragedy then, because I would not have gotten through that.  When I started getting news updates about what had occurred, I was devastated and crying and all I wanted was my kindergartener in my arms. 

 On the drive back to school for end of the day pick up,  I made a very quick decision: not to let him know about this tragedy on his birthday. I was so upset by what had occurred and as I walked up to the parent pick up area, there were parents talking loudly and candidly. Some were even telling their children all about it in great detail. I saw my sweet and innocent 6 year old's face smiling at me as he sat in line-up, excited as could be on his birthday. As he walked up to me, I hugged him like you wouldn't believe, and then without stopping to chat with anyone, got him in the car and took him home. We had a lovely evening with him. We took him to the movies with two of his friends to see Wreck It Ralph and the next morning, he had a pajama pancake party with more of his friends. He had a great birthday!

I didn't make this decision to be self-centered, but instead, I decided I wasn't going to let my child's innocence be taken away on that day either. His birthday was still going to be a day to celebrate in our home. We caught the flu last year, and so we spent the whole next week home, which for once I was grateful we were all sick. He didn't end up going back to school until after winter break, so when  I did explain to him a few days later that something very sad had occurred and that children were hurt badly, by a person who did very bad things,  and now those children are in heaven, that is really all he knows about that day. Having to explain that to a 6 yr old  bothers me enough and takes away enough of his innocence. Or why I won't let him wear light up shoes to school. 

"Bean you know when you practice code red at school and you have to be quiet and in the dark in case someone bad comes into the school? Yes. well that is why I won't let you wear light up shoes, so that you can't be seen in the dark!"

But, the association with his birthday is not a compromise I am willing to make with the evil things that occur in our world. One day I know he will realize that this horrible tragedy happened on his birthday, but for now I am giving him what I believe all of those parents would want their angels to have; their childhood and their innocence. I will never forget what occurred as every birthday my son has, reminds me that their are 20 families without little ones to ever blow out another birthday candle. So even though I want to slow down how quickly he is growing, I am feel beyond blessed to be a witness of it all!

This is how he looked by the end of the night. I'd call going to bed a super hero and a warrior viking, is a success! Happy 7th Birthday Bean!!

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Bean's birth story

In honor of Bean's 7th birthday tomorrow, I decided to share his birth story with you all. It is amazing how much I have changed and grown as a person, woman, and mother over the past 7 years.  Especially when it comes to birth, as this is a very passionate topic of mine, and my world now revolves around birth.

This is a very vulnerable thing for me to do, as my fingers are dying to edit and explain how differently I think now and what parts I completely do not agree with. However, I feel this is important so that many people who do know me can gasp at some of the ways I used to think. I hope it will elicit some deep thinking about how quick we are to judge, because yes, I used to be this person. I keep finding myself discussing empathy and I hope this helps some people in the birth community become more empathetic and patient with people at different points on their journey. With that said, this is where I was then and this is his story. I have lived and I have learned, and in the end I am very grateful with what ignorance I had that there was some little part of me at 23 that was either empowered enough or stubborn enough to still end up with a natural childbirth. If you had asked me when I was pregnant with Bean, finishing up my psychology degree if I was ever going to; go to nursing school, become a doula, have a home birth with a midwife, make bellycasts for women, breastfeed a child until almost four (yes, I said almost 4), and desperately dream that I will be healthy enough to go to midwifery school I would have politely yet vehemently said NO to all.   So without delay after searching through all of my old files, here is Bean's birth story and I promise I didn't change it...

    I am disappointed with the way childbirth is discussed. Most of the time people wait until you are a glowing mass of fertilized joy and apprehension to unleash their horrible stories They figure you are pregnant so they can tell you things such as
"it is the most unbearable
, unimaginable pain EVER"
"I was in labor for a week
"After 24 hours of excruciating pain they did a C-Section anyway."
the worst, no explanation just, "Trust me." "Get an epidural honey!"
If that isn’t enough most pregnancy books don’t tell a much better story.
Don’t they realize it is too late and that this baby is coming out one way or another? Does anyone stop to think that this makes pregnant woman SCARED?

I am not saying that some people don’t have really horrible experiences. Childbirth is not easy and lots of things can happen. However, what about the positive side to all of this? Like the fact that a woman’s body can grow and nurture a baby for nine months, bring this baby into the world, and then provide everything this precious baby needs to survive.

So here is my story, it is not too exciting a little funny, hopefully not scary, and as truthful as my mind remembers.
I went into my first obstetrician visit and announced my decision for a drug free birth. I told everyone who asked and even people who didn't and in return, I was told I was crazy by everyone except a few women who had already had children naturally. Some people suggested I go to a midwife, but I felt that if anything did go wrong because of some of my health history, and it was in my baby’s best interest to intervene, I wanted to know who was cutting me open. That is why I ended up with an obstetrician who kindly kept suggesting that I stay open minded and possibly meet the anesthesiologist when I check in at the hospital.  I had made this decision before I was even pregnant and I was convinced I could do this. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t scared. Doing anything for the first time will bring apprehension.
As my due date approached, all I wanted was to have this beautiful baby. I was really having trouble doing things. Yoga was getting difficult to teach and practice, it took two hours to paint my toe nails which I was capable of doing thanks to all the years of yoga (didn’t want ugly toes in labor), I couldn’t sleep, and hormones were turning me into THE mega bitch. SIDE NOTE: ONLY THE PREGNANT WOMAN CAN REFER TO HERSELF AS SUCH. Most of all, I really just wanted to meet my beautiful baby boy. At 38 weeks, the doctor started talking induction, but I wasn’t going to let my impatient feelings get the best of me. I didn’t feel like this was anyone else’s decision to make except Bean’s. So I negotiated and told him I wanted to wait.  So I waited and waited………. and waited. On Monday December 11th, my due date, I was 90% effaced and 2 centimeters dilated and still I wasn’t having consistent contractions. I bargained with the doctor some more and because Bean was doing well, he  said you have until Friday and then I would need to be induced. I was not letting him decide when Bean would be born. Did I mention I can be stubborn when I decide to do something? I was really praying Bean would get bored of his home so I tried to help some. I continued to walk like crazy and bounce more on my birthing ball. We tried the sex thing again and still nothing. My theory for everyone who has one is the baby comes when the BABY IS READY.
 Two days after my due date, I knew I was in labor when I woke up. I sat in front of the computer not moving, anxiously waiting for Rock to get home from Police academy orientation. When he got home I walked and walked and the contractions got stronger and stronger. I called the doctor around 5 and went to the hospital around 7pm. I had the most amazing labor and delivery nurse. She was really encouraging and she respected my wishes and helped me get through this experience. The worst part of birthing Bean was the five times they tried to get an IV in. They finally listened and used a smaller needle. That is seriously my biggest complaint. Yes, that is what I said, the IV bothered me more than any of the pain I experienced through the ENTIRE labor and delivery.
 In the beginning I covered myself up and walked with one hand holding the back of the gown closed. As the night went on, and the contractions got stronger, I didn’t really care. I was sick to my stomach a lot. I was in some serious back labor, so I paced the floor. Rock says I left a path where I wore the floor down. I would only sit down or lie down when I absolutely had to be hooked up to the monitor. The best feeling was standing under warm water in the shower.  Even though I was in a lot of pain, I was so excited that I was doing this and that Bean would be here soon. I was in labor for a LOOONNNGG time. In fact, Rock and Kirina, my best friend actually fell asleep.  HMMMMM…. Note to any man who was brave enough to read this: If you are privileged enough to experience someone’s natural child-birth, DO NOT FALL ASLEEP. That woman will remind you often, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE THEIR HUSBAND. Deep deep down inside, I find this humorous; I said deep.
The doctor came in to check on me around 5 in the morning. I was about 8 centimeters and he told me that he was impressed I made it this far. The doctor informed me I was going to be his first patient to deliver naturally in at least over a year. I really believe my nurse helped me a lot, she suggested the shower and she also, kept the anesthesiologist from ever meeting me. I was getting ready to deliver Bean right around when the nurses change shifts. By the time the new nurse came in, I was in a lot of pain, and 9 centimeters dilated and my water still had not broken. I was walking around very exposed and this nurse kept trying to cover me up. I was so oblivious and I guess annoyed with her that I took my gown off. Thank God I was wearing a bra because when the doctor came in I am pretty sure that is all I was wearing. That is why hormones are awesome they help you forget, and at that point you really don’t care whether you are naked, how your hair looks, if your toe nails are painted or even who is watching. I am sure most people don’t even care if they poop on the table. I still cared and am very thankful that it didn’t happen.  I finally let the doctor break my water when they told me I couldn’t get out of the bed.

IF YOU MADE IT THIS FAR THROUGH MY LONG STORY HERE IS THE GOOD PART. What happened next is why I would NEVER EVER not have a natural childbirth by choice. It was time to push and I truly believe this is one of the most memorable moments of my life. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like not being able to feel your body birthing your baby. It was empowering and amazing. Yes, it hurt, but at that point, your body knows what to do and endorphins are incredibly capable of getting you through this. I was so focused on pushing that when the doctor kept saying he could see Bean’s head, I wasn’t even getting excited. I was in the zone. I didn’t realize at the time, that I had my eyes closed; I wish I had realized this and opened them even just for a moment to get a peak.  Experiencing Bean coming into this world was by far worth any pain. He came out and started crying and they placed him on me. He was so healthy and beautiful. My stubborn little self even managed to tell the doctor, that I told you I wasn’t going to let you decide when this baby was coming.  Afterwards, I was exhausted and had a few complications but, I still felt empowered. My doctor by the way was absolutely amazing when I had Bean. He really was a lot more supportive and helpful then I thought he was going to be. He stepped in when I needed help and truly respected my wishes. I really feel I did what was best for me and Bean. I was happy that I made choices for myself and I really have a better understanding of life and how miraculous it truly is. I have definitely set new limits for what I am mentally, physically, and spiritually capable of doing.
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Feel Free to Call Me... Bubble Girl

Image courtesy of njaj /
Today was supposed to be catch up day. Rock was home recovering from a throat infection after being at an urgent care facility all late afternoon yesterday, and I had no doctor appointments scheduled, so I had plans to finish some great posts I really want to share with you all, straighten up around my house, and finish the rest of Bean's birthday stuff.

Well, those plans were obviously not on THE agenda, just on my very hopeful agenda. So, because I am determined to keep this blog active, I am instead posting about what happened today. I thought I was off to a good start, cleaning the baseboards and trying to get the nursery together. We are a little behind with all of this after how sick I was.  Wren sleeps with us anyway, so she isn't in a hurry to have a room for sleeping purposes, but who knew, that when you have a baby girl all the amazing amounts of precious little girl clothes!

So, apparently I am very allergic to dust and dust mites. That's a little hard to avoid, and after emptying my office all out to turn into her room and cleaning, I started feeling bad. I have never had anything like this happen, until this past year and it has only occurred when I had bronchitis. But, my airways started becoming compromised. I have had a lot of bizarre health issues in my life, but this whole thing where you can't breathe-not cool.

Breathing is my stress reduction, after practicing yoga for 15 years and teaching for 13, I can hear myself in my head when I am trying to de-stress; "Inhaaaaaalllllle.........exhaaaaaallllleeee." Yeah well doesn't work in this situation very well.

It is scary!

I am new at this and even with nursing training very novice about what to do, my triggers, and my early symptoms. I don't even have asthma per se, the allergist so far is saying I am having bronchospasms caused by an allergic response.

Let's just say all of this does not help reduce stress and anxiety, and I am so empathetic to all the people out there with asthma especially children.

 Luckily, my allergist is pretty awesome.  He is an old school doctor, wears his lab coat and everything. He actually takes care of you in his office. None of this go to the ER for everything while I cover my ass crap! No, he comes from a different time.

He gave me another steroid injection but at least this time it isn't in the ER with way more drugs than my body really needs, and I am thankful for that. So for my goals for the rest of the year, I managed to stay out of the ER,  As for the prednisone, well he didn't give me prednisone but another corticosteroid so that is pretty close to failing, but I am breathing much easier.

So where can I get a script that forbids me from cleaning my house for medical reasons? Also, where do you go about contacting fairies that come to your house and clean it all up while you are gone? My children and husband believe in this said fairy. If you believe you receive, isn't it that time of year?

"I believe in the house cleaning fairy!"

" I believe.....

 I believe.... clicking my heels three times for good measure.

Now, if I will be living my life in a bubble, can it have unicorns, butterflies, oh and hypoallergenic magic cleaning fairies?

I believe, but most of all I am so thankful for breathing.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sleep Deprivation, Chronic Illness, and Making Light of It All

Sleep deprivation and chronic illness  are both a bitch, combine the two and you get some crazy outcomes.

 I spend a great deal of time in doctors' offices these days while they search for what caused all the bizarre health issues during my pregnancy.

Fun times.

So... I try and make them light and fun.

Many times, it is my only opportunity to have two free hands, so I make use of this time. I was texting people about life, get togethers I had to reschedule, and even my son's teacher to let him know he was sick.

One of my friends texted me "What are you up to?'

Thinking I was being all hilarious, I replied with this picture  and the caption "torture what else"

My phone fell out of my pocket when it was brand new onto my driveway and the glass shattered the entire screen, so I stopped adding contact info to it, and so I  text a lot of people old school style with the numbers by memory and I had been texting so many people, I couldn't find her number so I started typing it in.

Well, so I have discovered, sleep deprivation makes this task a little more challenging. So here I am texting a picture of 17 needles and implying some torturous activity is taking place and I press send, and then realize when my friend texts me again and her number pops up, that I didn't send that photo to her and rather I sent it to a COMPLETE stranger!

I stop and think about this for a moment.."What would I do if I received this message?" I am not really sure. Then I think what if the person is completely paranoid, so I try and make it better...

"My son FWD a text my apologies"

Yes, a little white lie but, children sometimes come in handy and it was easier than trying to explain anything else.

Then I realize "oh crap, that just made it worse. Now they might be thinking I am torturing the child with the needles."

So I quickly write back "It is a pic from the allergist."

I never heard back from this poor soul early Tuesday morning.  If you are out there, sorry Tuesday morning stranger for the startling text. By the way, those needles don't actually hurt.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Panic I did not mean to create

It never occurred to me talking to your child about when they grow up, could induce huge panic and dread.


Why doesn't each child come with their own manual? I swear, this would be a manual I would actually read.

I often ask Bean "what do you want to be when you grow up?" This frequently changes, but for quite a while it  has been the same  two answers.

" A paleontologist and a zookeeper." Do you think I can do both Mommy?"

Well that prompted Mommy brain to start talking about when he goes away to college and how much fun he will have, and how he can be and do anything he wants.

Well he gets this mortified look on his face while I am going on and on and I am getting more and more  perplexed.

"Mommy I don't want to go away."  he says to me with this devastated look on his face like I just kicked him out of the house.

 Do I have to leave home because I want to live with you forever?" he says.

My heart melted he was getting teary eyed. I unintentionally caused this.

I quickly thought this through and then spoke. " Liam, you will grow up one day and move out, get married, and have a family of your own."  I thought I had done a great job...

" I don't want to get married, there is no one better than you Mommy." Liam looked me directly in the eyes...

"Well Bean, Mommy is already married to Daddy, and" but before I could finish he interjects.

"Why did Daddy have to marry you?" ...

This all happened a while back and he is slowly giving up his mama's boy status. He now is dead set on the girl he is going to marry and the issue is now about his house. I am never going to leave this house. When (fill in the blank)  and I get married we are going to live here forever.

So because I am sick so much,  it has had an effect on my children, and so one day, Bean starts talking about if I die.

I sure do love these conversations.

So I tell him, "If I die maybe you can live near Nonnie." My Mom who was actually in town at the time and trying to comfort him says

"yeah, you can come stay in my big house and have your own room and Tadpole can have his own room."

He looks Nonnie straight in the face and says "Oh no, I am never leaving my house, you can come live here."

So I'd say this is a positive, and that growth and maturity are taking place. He no longer is a mama's boy, he just has attachment issues to his house and obviously doesn't like change much.

Seeing as me dying isn't the area of concern, but where he lives is, I feel a lot less guilty about making him cry. I am serious about those manuals though! I mean come on, hear me out, as babies come right out of the womb and into this world couldn't they just come with a personalized instruction booklet? So much easier. Just throwing it out there!

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Monday, December 9, 2013

More About David and Grieving

When my friend David passed away at 92, most of the responses I received were empathetic and caring.  However, some of the comments I found myself trying to simply ignore because they were so ignorant, and not comforting at all:
"He was old and lived a long fulfilling life."
"He was old, it was his time to go."
He was old...

It felt like they were saying "why are you even upset?" I know I am not the only one who has experienced this, but it was as if they were telling me at 92, what did I expect?

 I wanted to say to them, "I am not old!  And, my mourning isn't about how old he was. It is about my loss and it's my mourning and if the amount you are allowed to mourn is centered around age, well then, I am only 29 and completely heartbroken to let go of one of my best friends!"but I was too drained.

 I wasn't ready for him to go and I used to tell him this from time to time. I even said to him 3 days before he passed away, coming from my ego-centric selfish mindset "You can't die yet, I'm not ready."
 Yes, we were that close.
Yes, we talked about these things.
Yes, I was selfish.

And yes this time when I said it to him, I knew it was coming. There was just something different about him that day. Things that he said to me. He was done, and ready to go. He didn't reply when I said you can't die yet with what he always told me, "I want to be the oldest WWII vet, I'm not going anywhere."

 I took that conversation for granted. I was really upset that day and in a bad place, and surprisingly David was too, which was completely out of character for him. I wish I had known it was really the last time I would talk to him. I would have listened better. He was trying to tell me something. He wanted to talk. I could tell, but I was overwhelmed with the kids. I really thought we would catch up more the next day when we had a date for chocolate cake and good conversation. Oh, did David love his chocolate cake.

He had a major stroke sometime after that late evening conversation and the next morning.

I wonder if I was the last person he spoke to. If my ranting was the last human connection he had and I hate that thought. I don't beat myself up for it, I just don't like it. David knew me and knew how much I loved him and cherished our friendship. I guess I selfishly wanted a "proper" goodbye. I found out later, the chocolate cake was in his fridge, still waiting for me. I was too upset to go get it.

He was one of those once in a lifetime kind of friends, and while I stood there and held his hand and stayed with him the day that he passed, I tried my best to let go of my wants and my ego and I pray that I succeeded. I hope that I  made it easier for him to leave, but maybe he was just making it easier for me to let go...

I felt humbled. Really really humbled as I drove home from the hospital. Of all the people he ever met over his 92 years on this earth, why was I one of the few people who stood there and held his hand as he took his last breath?

 Yes, I still would make the selfish choice. I still want to pick up the phone and call him and hear his wisdom and write more of the awesome things he told me down, so this time, I wouldn't forget so many of them.

I  helped clean up his apartment,  and it was hard because I was just a friend and I had no say in anything. I helped as I watched my friend's life disappear into boxes and some of it even into the trash. I was fortunate enough to go through all of his photos from his life and make a slideshow. It was one last time to witness the stories he told me and the life he lived.  I listened to the voicemail I have saved on my phone from him.

I watched an interview he did about his experiences during WWII. In the wee hours of the morning curled up on my couch listening to David one last time. I had never watched it before and I probably never listened to him more intently than I did that night. It was a great gift. Bean, my oldest son woke up while I was watching this video and said to me "Mommy why are you so sad, is it because your friend died?"I said "Yes honey, that is why Mommy is so sad, I miss my friend a lot." "Well, maybe I can sit out here with you and then you won't be alone while you are so sad." WOW, the 5 year old, got it better than most people.

He was ok with the fact that I needed to grieve and cry and I still cry, especially when I am having one of those days. You know, the ones when exhaustion has set in and you feel like the world has beaten you down one time more than what you can handle, and I just want to desperately pick up the phone and hear him say, " Well hello my dear, hold on a minute so I can prepare myself to listen to you." I'd hear him set down the phone.  His footsteps moving across his floor as he turned off whatever he was listening to. It was usually one of the three; classical music, Frank Sinatra, or a book on tape. I'd hear it get quiet and then I'd hear his feet as he walked back towards the phone.

 Then he'd get back on the line

 "Ok, I'm back now go ahead and tell me how you really are "

And the peace would just flood over me, because when he spoke I knew it was real. I knew it was from the heart. I knew how temporary what I was feeling was, and how fleeting life was.

I remember one conversation, when I was so over being told what feelings I could and should have, and I asked him quite direct, "Where the hell these optimistic positive, smiling people come from?" "You know David, the ones who are always upbeat, not the ones that fake it for a show, but the ones that can't help themselves but be that way." He said something to me I will never forget. " I think those people are just born that way, and the rest of us,  like you and me, well, we have to spend our lives working really damn hard at it."

 He made it ok. He made it ok to be pissed, rotten, angry, frustrated sad and he made it ok to cry. He also made it ok to be way too happy, smile too much, laugh too loudly.... because he made it ok to just be. No matter how I showed up in that moment, he was completely ok with me.

As this year has progressed, I can't tell you how many times I was told how I should feel, and what I should think. So many people passed away from last October to this one. I started to become numb. I would pick up the phone and start to expect it; David, my Aunt, my Grandmother, my friend's Mother, my friend's Father, my friend's husband. One of our dogs even died. I was pregnant and sick during a great deal of this time(in case you missed the last post), and the fact that it felt like someone was passing away every other day, just made me more anxious about how sick I was quickly becoming.

I needed to grieve.

I needed to process.

I needed David.

David's daughter and son- in- law gave me his dog tags from the Air Force. The one thing of his that I have.

I held onto them a lot this year and thought about David.

I thought about all of the bomb missions he made as the navigator during the war... and they gave me comfort.
David said once, "You know what we did a lot up in the air?"

" We Prayed."

I thought about how those tags were with him on every flight. Having them with me helped me through this year. I  had told him he could come to Tadpole's birth which I mentioned in my post, Happy 90th Birthday David and I never called him. So, when I became pregnant shortly after he passed, I felt a lot of sadness that I would never be able to make one of his wishes come true; to actually witness the birth of a child.

I think we all need to be ok with allowing others to feel what they feel. Yes, there is something to be said for positive thinking, but there is also something more to be said for possessing the ability to be present with someone. That was a gift David had. I don't think any of us need someone to tell us how we should feel and think. What we need more, especially when life gets hard, is empathy.

I learned real quick this year who those people are in my life and I am very thankful for everything they did for me. I am especially thankful for them granting me the space to just be me. I didn't need anyone telling me how to grieve my losses or how to do sick, like there is a right and wrong way to grieve and be sick. I think everyone has moments of doubt and weakness and the ability to process them is what brings us to a more positive place.

I prefer to think David was here for all of this in some way but,

I still miss him.
I still grieve the idea that I will never hear his voice on the other side of the phone.

 On what would've been his 93rd birthday, Rock and I went to dinner, and ate chocolate cake.

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

New Year's Goals, More Important (at least in my mind) Where Have I Been??

So instead of New Year's resolutions, I have made New Year's goals. I know I am blogging about this late, but I am going on 30 days of being sick...

And, that is where this blog post ended last January, along with all of the goals I had in my head.

So where have I been?

 I guess the simple answer is sick, pregnant, sick + pregnant, and sick some more, in that order.

I have spent more time confined to the four walls of my bedroom than I ever wanted to and ever want to again. I do prefer my room over doctors' offices, hospital rooms, and most of all the Emergency Department (hate that place). I must be fair and acknowledge that the five trips I took to the ED this year were all great experiences.  I am extremely grateful for the awesome nurses(some of whom I know personally) and doctors in the ED, that took really awesome care of me.

The one very awesome update, is we welcomed our beautiful daughter into this world in October. She is healthy and definitely made this all worthwhile!

So... I may not have felt well enough physically and mentally to post anything that was worth reading, I am here now and aren't all 4 of you so excited to have me back?

I did feel well enough to watch every episode of Call The Midwife -so want to read the books, and I  became a HIMYM (How I Met Your Mother) follower, to the extreme. Not sure I should even admit on here that I never saw an episode in my life before this year, and am totally caught up and I don't watch tv ever!

 I did have time to make some awesome crafty things- I  had a great deal of help from my mother when I just didn't feel well enough to make the things in my head. So get ready for a lot of creation posts.

I will most likely be posting a lot about my experiences over this past year and what is going on now. You can follow all of it when you open up my blog or just specifically under my Life Uncensored tab.

If you come here only to look at the awesome crafty creations/crap, (depending on your interpretation) I make, skip on over to My Creations. All the awesome stuff I made sick will be up soon and some new stuff; my baby needs her own beach cottage snowman.

If you only come here to read about my exercise endeavors, I'll get there eventually. Putting the slipcovers on the couch did me in yesterday, but it is better than when I couldn't stand for more than a couple of minutes. I will warn you now, the first thing I am posting under Warrior Woman, will be about my daughter's birth, because there is nothing I have ever done more warrior woman style than bring her into the world. Hopefully my awesome weight training/ gym rat days are coming soon!

Now for those New Year's goals, let's just call them end of the year goals now, and severely modified, but better late than never. For the rest of the year I would like to stay out of the Emergency Department, off of prednisone, and enjoy my newest lil Rock and the rest of my family. Everything else is extra credit at this point! Happy December everyone, feeling so blessed to feel well enough to write again!

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