Never give up on hope.

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in what needs to be done, what the end result has to be, that I forget about the process. I’m looking so far ahead that I lose sight of where my feet are planted on the ground, and I trip and fall on my face. Those are the times that I break down and bawl my eyes out. I know that I have portrayed this tough, go-getter, never-doubted-my-decision-once, kick-ass-forget-the-names-’cause-they’re-not-important-anyway kind of mom (because that’s who I WISH I was) but I’m really NOT. No matter what I let people see, I am falling apart on the inside. This “put together” facade that I am showing the world and my family and my friends is just that–a facade. If you find yourself in the same boat that I happen to be rocking right now, you have to know that that is okay. I started this blog for myself–I wanted to be able to show my baby one day that he/she was ALWAYS wanted from the start. That we fought like Hellcats to get him/her here. And if the worst happens, I need to REMEMBER this. I need to be able to look back and say that YES, I did every single thing that I could. I left no stone unturned. But it has turned into so much more. This has turned into I guess some sort of inspirational story–people tell me that they are reading my blog every day and that AMAZES me. What started out as something of a diary for myself has turned into so much more. But I feel like I am almost lying. I feel like there are things that I can’t (or shouldn’t) put in my letters to the baby. So I feel like, to “keep it real,” I need to inject a little realism here.

I cry every single day. This hasn’t been a walk in the park. This isn’t as easy on me as I let people believe. Every single day I try to balance being a good mother to the kids that are already here with what could kill the baby I am carrying. Every single day I wake up, take my temperature, check the (copious) amount of fluid that comes out of me for color and smell. I use my fetal doppler to check the baby’s heartbeat. And then I give myself a shot in the stomach. And I usually cry before, during, and after the shot. It HURTS LIKE HELL. I have to stick myself in the stomach, and the medicine itself burns like the Hell Fires of Hades are under my skin. I get those shots twice a day until I deliver. And I do it because I refuse to give up on this baby. I do it because I refuse to give in, give up, or give out. But believe me, it’s wearing me down.

After my morning shot, I get up, take my prenatal vitamin, make sure Jeremy changes Cayce and walks Beau, give Cayce her breakfast (usually a banana and applesauce, her two favorite foods in the world). I look around at my house (which is a horrible mess and I am embarrassed at its current state) and feel helpless. This usually prompts my second breakdown of the day. I want to do my dishes (that are so stacked up I can’t even see the bottom) I want to do my laundry pile (that is probably approaching critical mass) I want to scrub my floors (which could probably feature in a laboratory for new and unusual diseases) but I can’t. I guess hypothetically I could, but it was be to the serious detriment of this baby’s health. And that makes me feel helpless.

This isn’t the only thing going on in my life. My daughter, Cayce, was diagnosed with a heart condition. She has a large Atrial Septal Defect (a hole in her heart) with Pulmonic Valve Stenosis (meaning that too much blood is flooding her lungs and could permanently damage them) and Aortic Stenosis (meaning that the biggest artery in her body is getting hardened). This is going to require surgery, but she’s too little to do the surgery right now–if they did the surgery NOW it would have to be open heart surgery. They want to let it go until she is five years old and do the surgery through the artery in her leg (femoral artery).  My husband needs me too. Everyone apologizes to me. Everyone asks me how I am doing. Nobody ever thinks about him. He is going through the same things that I am going through. He may not be physically going through them as I am, but his emotional involvement is the same. At the same time that I am trying to deal with my problems and sort out my feelings, I feel like I should be there for him too.

Plus, I hate my mom. I don’t have a very good familial relationship with…well, really with any of my family. There are some family members that I dislike less than others, but as far as my family goes, it is the picture of dysfunction. I don’t trust my mother, most of all though. I feel like the one person that should always be there for a child is the mother. And I feel like my mother has betrayed me more than anyone else in my life. She has hurt me more than any other one person in my entire life. I think that her horrible parenting has guided how I parent. I may not be the softest mom around (I yell at my kids, I do spank, I don’t believe in this new parenting crap) but by God, my children will always KNOW beyond a SHADOW OF A DOUBT that I have their back. The whole world may be against you, but I have your back. I didn’t have that from my parents (either one of them) and I feel like that is why it is so important for me to give it to my children. I feel like even if I am not the perfect mom, the one thing that is the most vital piece of parenting is that they know they always have someone to lean on and someone that they can trust.  My mother was the absolute definition of a mother. She gave birth to me. (moth·er ˈməT͟Hər/ noun: a woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth.) I am a MOMMY. I kiss boo-boos. I clean up puke and crap and pee. I wipe tears. I do the inglorious jobs. I don’t just swoop in when all of the hard work has already been done and say, “Ta-Da! I’m here to be your Mother!” I don’t turn my back on my children when they need me. But I digress…

After I break down for the second time, I usually settle in to write my blog for the day. It’s (almost) always a letter to the baby. I feel like this is important. Then, Cayce is usually ready to get down. I let her down. I can’t really pick her up much right now, but I can get down on the floor and show her different toys and I can watch her and enjoy her playing. Around lunch time, I generally forage something for me and Cayce to eat. Usually, she eats a healthier lunch than I do. I generally just snack on carrots or something, because at lunch, Jeremy is at school and not home to make me eat. After Jeremy gets home, I am able to relax a little bit. I help with homework, I talk to my kids, I do Mommy stuff. After the kids go to bed it is time for my second shot of the day. This is usually breakdown number three of the day. I hate these shots. They hurt. They hurt like there are little miniature people inside of my stomach lighting my skin on fire from the inside.

Some days there are more break downs than others. Some days I spend most of the day crying. So if you are reading my blog, thinking how strong I am…don’t. I’m not strong. I’m just as weak as you are. I just might happen to lie better than you do. I don’t wear mascara because it would be a tell tale sign that I am not “dealing” as well as I like people to believe. If you are going through this (or anything else for that matter) and you are wishing that you were as “strong” as I am…don’t. Because I am NOT strong. I am determined. But I feel like the determination was more of a coping mechanism than anything else. Like I can’t accept the fact that anything bad can possibly happen because to do so would BREAK me. That doesn’t mean that I believe it any less NOW than I did at the beginning of all of this. I just means that I have a little more perspective now. We’re still going to make it. We’re still going to go all the way. And I feel that DEEP in my bones, in my GUT, in my HEART. But at least now I have more of an idea of WHERE that determination came from.

I feel like this post is completely disorganized and I feel like I rambled on and on about the same thing over and over. But…it’s HONEST. And that is what I needed to get across. Thank you all for reading this very long, very unorganized post.

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Comments on: "Some Thoughts (Not A Letter To L.B.)" (4)

  1. You are so very strong! Crying and breaking down doesn’t make you weak. You are standing up for your baby and what you believe in even when the doctors are not on the same page as you. That makes you strong. You are doing everything in your power for this baby. That makes you strong. Crying and breaking down just makes you a human being deal with a difficult situation.

    I’ve been reading this blog every since you posted about it in the BCBC, and it is inspirational to me. I could only hope to be half as strong as you are if something like this happened to me. I feel like I would crumble and accept whatever the doctors said. But now I’d hope I might respond differently if something god for bid happened to me and my baby. I’d remember you and hopefully be as strong as you and stand up for my baby. So thank you. Even if you don’t feel that way, you are so very very strong.

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  2. I really loved reading this post. Although our situation is different, there are similarities. I am on strict bedrest due to continuous regular contractions. They started at 16w4d and here we are at 19w5d. The Drs can not pin point why I am getting them and more concerning, they will not do anything to stop or prevent them because I have not had pre-term labor. I have been in contact with the three hospitals up to three hours away and it seems that unless you have already had one or two losses, they will not intervene. So here we are, counting down the hours. Every day that my cervix remains unchanged and my water doesn’t break is a milestone. But the days are long, and the joy of getting through one day can often be overridden by the over whelming enormity of getting through another 5 weeks (until viability) and on. I resonate with your comments about having to appear strong and be strong…but how weak you feel in those low moments. I also have a 18 month old who is so confused why mommy can not play and run with her outside. The guilt can be immense sometimes. I think it is beautiful that you recognize the toll this is taking on your husband. I get all these well wishes and it does not seem like anyone ever turns to my hubby and asks how he is holding out while trying to work full time, go to school full time, run a house, and play mommy and daddy to a very busy little girl. I really appreciate that you put into words so much of what I have been feeling these last couple of weeks. I think you are very brave to lay it all down on the table. You are incredibly strong and I love reading your blog in the morning. Fight little baby fight 🙂

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  3. I can only imagine what you are going through. I was only on temporary bed rest for a week and my house looked so so bad. Especially the pile of dishes. I asked my husband to please pick up some paper plates and bowls, because it took the some of the pressure of him to do the dishes, cook and his version of cleaning and I didn’t have to see the mess. I know you may not feel strong, but in you I see strength, because you continue to fight for your baby, when many others would’ve accepted defeat. Hugs and prayers from me.

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  4. You ARE strong. You cry, you brake down, but you KEEP GOING. You KEEP FIGHTING. THAT, is what makes you strong. Your little baby couldn’t do this without you. YOU are a true mother.
    I am completely there with you about the mom thing. My mother has betrayed me more than anyone in my life. She wasn’t there for my wedding, and she doesn’t know about the baby girl I am carrying. She has taught me what kind of mom NOT to be.
    You are the kind of mom every one deserves. No one will ever have a “perfect” mom, but we can all hope to have one and be one who cares as much as you do.
    I wish so much that I could be there, that I could do your dishes, your laundry, make you food, because what you are doing is beautiful, and you deserve help.
    I wish everyone valued life as much as you.
    I can’t wait to see you reach 23 weeks!

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