Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I. am. dying.

Or not.


Anyway, I feel like I might be. Does that count? No?


Allright, I LOVE BEING PREGNANT. I love my baby. I would do anything to get him here safely.

But holy moses in a floating basket, can't these brilliant doctors make a cold medicine pregnant women can take? Huh?

Nooooooo. You can come in, actually hack up a lung on the table, and they will calmly inform you that you still cannot take anything that remotely will help you with your symptoms. Or, they will tell you that despite the lung you have lost, you have only a virus. Then they will bag up your lung, ask you for your co-pay, and call cheerfully after you- "Make sure to drink lots of liquids!!!"

Trust me...I have been thru this 4 times in the past 3 months. Four doctors, one script for Z-Pack, and 3 times of walking away with no answers, despite hacking, runny nose, hacking, wheezing, hacking, and did I mention hacking?

Today I went, after having a coughing fit this morning that left me breathless, sweating, and with a pounding heart. What did I walk out with? NADA. Oh wait- "Feel free to go to the ER if you have another coughing fit that causes you to feel short of breath and panicky. Oh, and drink lots of fluids!!!"

Yeah, thanks. So I have to be actually kinda dying to get relief. Awesome.

So, yeah. Here I sit, hacking over my laptop. My daughter has watched so much Noggin today that she insists her name is Pinkie Dinky Doo. This means that I am Mr. Ginuea Pig, and must answer to this at any times she deems necessary. Which is often.

But I digress.

Anyway, I want all of you to realize that I am a whiny baby. Yes, it's just a "cold, virus, Tuberculosis, Black Plague" or whatever. But when you are preggo, about all you can do for the worst of colds is take Claritin (which is a med that SUCKS mightily, I must add), take Robitussin (which won't even get you a good buzz because it is alcohol free, of course), and...well, drink lots of fluids. None of which can be vodka or rum. I checked.

So, if you could spare a prayer for this very whiny, snotty, and hacky preggo lady, I'd appreciate it. And if you need to find me, I will be laid out on my couch, coughing, and...drinking lots of fluids.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009


My past has always been something that haunted me. I have written about it several times, and I am open about it to friends. I try very hard not to talk about it in a way that inspires pity, because I DO NOT WANT PITY. Everybody has something. Everybody. My something is a mountain I am continually climbing. I have chosen a life that will drag up ALL of my baggage every single day. I know when I wake in the morning that I may encounter a situation that takes me back to childhood. I know being a mother is going to cause me the pain of my own memories flooding back.

I know all this, and I choose it. I embrace it.

I cannot delve into my childhood for remedies to simple childhood illnesses. I cannot call up a recipe for chicken soup that was made for me when I was sick. I cannot use any of the words that were said to me for my daughter. I cannot think of any family traditions to pass on. I have no recollection of holidays that I care to pass on.

I am creating my journey into motherhood from scratch. From nothing. Everyday I MAKE motherhood work, despite the memories that call to me.

I could write here that I am a victim of horrific childhood abuse, but I won't. Because I will NOT accept the victim role any longer. I have lived under the black cloud of my past before. I have been gloomy and ugly and pessimistic. I have allowed it to color every interaction in my life. I wore VICTIM like a name tag. It was as much a part of my name as anything else.

It is so tiring to live like that. A bone deep weariness. It is a spiritual attack bred in your most formative years. Imagine this- the person who plays God in your world alternatively ignores you or makes you bleed. You look up into the eyes that are supposed to be filled with love and see only rage. You are 3..4...6...9. You are helpless.

And even when you escape, it still follows. Even when you find God, and reach for Him. You are still reaching up to a power, to a father figure. The deepest struggle of my life has been in trusting God not to wound me or leave me.

He has been faithful. He has been FAITHFUL.

A few weeks ago, I read a passage in a book that floored me. I had to actually set the book down because I was shaking.

"I am not a victim of abuse if I do not perpetuate it. I AM A CONQUEROR."

I have never labeled myself in this way. I have never totally thrown off the victim label. I have worked hard at overcoming, yes. But labeling myself as a conqueror, no.

But I am, and I have. Despite the endless roundabout of memories in my head, I am nothing like my abuser. When I doubt this, Mark reminds me. When I pray, God tells me. When I look at my daughter and she looks at me, there is only love. NO FEAR. With God's help, I have created motherhood for myself. I have found a path that takes me past victim, past PTSD, past flashbacks, past bruises and bleeding and tears.

I have created for my daughter what I never had. From dust and ashes, I have created love from nothing.

I have conquered abuse. I have conquered what alcohol, bipolar disorder, and family madness had stolen from me. I am a CONQUEROR.

And now, I picture that little girl I was. I see myself, nursing bruises and broken bones as I stare out of the window into the night. The house is quiet and lonely. My stomach is empty. My mother is gone. When she returns, I will run to bed and cringe in the dark and hope she does not see me. My soul cries for affection and just be SEEN.

And then I picture my Lily. She sits, right now, in her playroom. She is surrounded by light and toys and books. Her stomach is filled with eggs and fruit and milk. Her mind is filled with the books we have read and the memories we have created. When she sees me, she lights up. She smiles. She comes to me for help to wrap her baby, to fix her hair, to help her find a book. She sleeps every night secure in the knowledge that when she wakes, she will find me there, ready to love her.

In between the child I was and the child I have, there is God. There is my will to do better and not to harm. There is a vast river of selfishness I have left behind. There is darkness I closed the door on. And in every loving action I take for Lily, and every memory I create for her, I heal myself.

Conqueror, not victim.


Monday, October 12, 2009

The secret place

In this house, there is a secret space. In Lily's room, in the bottomost drawer of her dresser, there are tiny outfits. Green, blue, red. Firetrucks and puppies. Tiny blue hats. The clothing had been laid out carefully, the reciepts placed diligently beside the purchases. All the tags still attached, the prices still visible.

It is the only place in this house where signs of a little boy can be found. Without my ever expaning tummy, you wouldn't know another child was anticipated. There is no nursery for him. No baby gear. I am six months along, but this house does not show it.

Every day, I go to Lily's room. I get her an outfit. I lay it out on her floor. And without really realizing it, I open his drawer. I look at the evidence of expectation. I look at the colors, the small sleeves, the tiny feet. But I close off that part of my heart that allows hope. I haven't allowed it in. If you ask, I will tell you it's a boy. I will recite how many weeks I am. I will tell you I am feeling fine, thank you. But something has been missing- hope. I have faith God knows what He is doing, yes. But God's plan is His own. It is for my good...but is it the outcome I want? I don't know. My humanity screams for my baby, but my faith allows me to see that what I want is irrelevant.

So until this weekend, this house showed no sign of Samuel. And then, yesterday, I opened his drawer and it was...different. I could see him in his clothing. I could imagine washing the tiny t-shirts and holding them to my nose to smell the baby detergent. I could imagine doing the same after he had worn them, smelling them to catch his scent. I looked around this house and I saw 2 children. I saw my boy. I pictured him in my arms.

My soul is starting to believe he will come home.

I sat on Lily's floor and methodically removed the tags from his clothing. I pulled the hangers out, I threw away the receipts. I sorted them according to size. I pressed every article of clothing between my fingers, feeling the softness. I held up tiny onesies, and I allowed myself to picture him in it. It was a beautiful moment for me as a mother. I allowed the joy and excitement to seep into me. I felt what I had with Lily- a breathless joy of anticipation.

Then Mark, Lily and I went out and bought Samuel his bedding. We chose paint colors. We moved things around to clear out his room.

So here, in this house, there is is a drawer full of baby boy clothing. There is a bedding set in blue and green in plain sight. His nursery is soon to be painted, his crib to be set up. Diapers and lotions and creams will be bought and stocked into his changing table. His room will be ready when he arrives. His swing will be placed in the living room, his bassinet beside my bed.

Because I believe. I believe that 3 months from now, I will hold my son. That he will come home. That there will be sleepless nights and marathon nursing sessions and spit up and colic. There will be tiny toes and fingers to count, lullabies to be sung. There will be moments I will wonder why I ever did this, and times when I will cry just because of the beauty of his lips and ears and coos.

But I believe there will be a little boy in this house. He will come home, he will grow and laugh and drive me crazy. But he will come home. I believe.

Friday, October 9, 2009

10 random things about me

1. My little toes look like cashew nuts.

2. I have a very twisted sense of humor that not many people get to see, because I am afraid nobody will "get" it.

3. I wash my face with olive oil. Yes, seriously.

4. Sometimes I give my daughter a lollipop just so I don't have to hear her talk for 10 minutes.

5. I still have the pillow I have had since childhood. It is gross and smelly, and I like it that way.

6. I also have been known to punch Mark just for touching my pillow. Yes, seriously.

7. I love this stage of pregnancy, not for all it's "magic", but because I don't have to suck in my stomach for the next 4 months.

8. If I could choose to be anything, it would be a writer.

9. If I could live anywhere, it would be the Colorado mountains.

10. I look like I have aged about 10 years since I had Lily. And it really, really bothers me.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Where am I?

All day I am surrounded by the people I love. All day my job is to take care of those people. I do it willingly and I love it, but today I am tired and weary.

In the world of the stay at home mom, you are surrounded by need. Your child needs care, meals, clean clothes, affection, attention, entertainment...and so on. Your husband needs companionship and love and attention and sex. The house needs cleaning, organizing. The laundry needs done, the meals made. Heck, even the dang dog and fish need food.

And in all of this meeting of everyone's needs, mine get lost..alot. It's nobody's fault. It's the order of the universe. But at times it really...well, it sucks.

There used to be a time I only answered to myself. My life belonged to me. I know my life now is richer and more full, but at times I look back and wish I would have lived more fully THEN, instead of waiting for the next thing to come along. I could lie in bed and read a book all day. I could go to the movies when I pleased. I could spend my money as I wished. Getting out of the house wasn't a production. Planning a vaction wasn't a war council. Now, I am the center of many people's universe. My life and it's demands leave very little room for me. And with the impending birth of Samuel, my world and it's needs are going to grow exponentially.

Sometimes I feel that I am just mommy, or just wife. And I know this was what I choose, but if I am painfully honest I have to say I really didn't realize I would lose all of myself in the process. There is no ME in me anymore. I do what is needed, and necessary. I wash, I clean, I play, I talk, I listen. But nearly none of it is my choice. I have to justify every cent I spend, I have to make elaborate plans for childcare to go to the doctor. I have to shop and plan meals and do laundry and change diapers and feed the dog, feed the fish, turn out the lights, exercise, fold clothes, be available to everyone else and sometimes I just want to SCREAM- "STOP!!!! WHERE IS MY LIFE???!!!!"

Now trust me, I know how lucky I am. I have more than I have ever had. I know this.

But sometimes, ah gosh... I wish that somebody thought of me first. That I was top of someone's list. That I could find me, somewhere, just for a little while.

I know this is how so many other mothers feel. I feel lost in the ocean of other peoples desires and wants. I love these people, and I love to serve them- they are my family. But if I am taking care of everyone else, who takes care of me? That's a question for another day, I guess. Right now the laundry needs done, the dishwasher emptied, and the floor vacuumed.