Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I Made It

Yesterday, I made it through my first day back at work after maternity leave.  It took some horrendous mental prep, a great group of work people, and my husband being Super Dad, but I survived with minimal tears.

Without meaning for it to be so, my blog has many times been all about my status as a bereaved mother.  If you're new to me, you can read a good example of that here.  It is truly a huge part of my soul.

As I gathered clothes after my shower yesterday morning, I sat down on the edge of my bed.  I cried and told my husband I didn't know how I would make it through the day.  What he didn't know was the thought stream that proceeded through my head.  "At least I get to see him at the end of the day."  "I get to come home and hold him."  "It's been over 5 years since I held Olivia." " I should be grateful."  This devolved into bleak territory when I started playing the what if game....What if something happened to Emory?  What if he gets sick?  What if he died?  

Normal people don't think this way.  People who have children and see them healthy and living don't think this way.  At least, I've never heard of anyone mentioning it.  I realized how dark it seemed and quickly pushed those thoughts back into the deep recesses of my brain.

I got to work and felt so loved and missed as several of my friends welcomed me back with big smiles and hugs.  I tried to figure out the ins and outs of pumping at work and scheduling that.  There weren't a lot of needy families for most of the day.  Luckily, Kelly kept sending me text and photo updates of his and Emory's day.  That got me through until he brought sweet boy for a dinner date.  

Before the night ended, a new admission reminded me of how incredibly blessed we are with this precious baby.  It also reminded me why my thoughts drift to those dark places.  I came home and couldn't get my boy in my arms fast enough.  

I'm home with him today enjoying each blissful minute.  Peace and love to all of you.  I made it.

I know that's a song...I'm hearing it faintly in my head.  Ah, yes, with Lil Wayne...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Procrastination of the Worst Kind

I am a procrastinator.  I believe I could do it professionally if there were such a thing.

Over the past eight weeks, I have procrastinated to extremes that even impress me.  Tomorrow, I return to work after doing very little other than loving my baby for two months.

There are all of these things I had planned to do while on leave.  I wanted to organize closets, finish decorating the nursery, deep clean my house and car, etc.  I think you get the picture.  It isn't necessarily that Emory wouldn't let me do things because he's so needy.  It's much more that all I wanted to do was hold and kiss him.  I kept thinking I had plenty of time to do the other things.  Alas, the time is up and I did mostly none of them.  He'd be in my arms right now if he hadn't fallen asleep in his swing.

I have already shed tears today just thinking about tomorrow.  I am afraid I will be utterly useless to the families I'm there to support.  Emory and I talked about my going back to work.  I told him his daddy loves him very much and they are going to have a great time together.  I told him I will miss him.  I told him it will be ok.  I think I need to hear that much more than he does.

I am trying to put a smile on my face and fake it.  I'm trying to think that I'm simply blessed to be able to go to work because he's healthy enough that I can.  Can I keep that thought in my head for a 10-hr shift tomorrow?  I wouldn't make any bets on it if I were you.

Who'd want to be away from him???

Now, I'll go back to thinking of nothing but him until 9 am tomorrow.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Disappearing Parent

I can be very judgmental.  Ask my husband.  He'll agree.  The thing I think I'm most judgey about is parenting.  No, I do not think I know everything or that I am superior.  There are simply some things I've come across over the past five years that can't seem to escape that black-robed mouth in my head and her finger wagging.

When we have a child, we take on a huge responsibility.  It isn't just about feeding, clothing, and safety.  We take on the responsibility to love and nurture that has no expiration date.  We bring this child into our family by choice.  A pregnancy isn't planned?  Tough.  You have the baby, you've made a choice.   If you aren't sure you can handle the responsibility, there's adoption.

I no longer have the option to hold and care for my daughter.  For a good while after she died, my arms physically (perhaps that came from mental roots) ached for her.  No, in her short eight years she did not commit crimes or injustices in this world.  She never disappointed me either.  Yes, I was angry with her from time to time.  There was this one instance when she learned to bite.  She pretended to try to kiss me on the cheek but bit me instead.  She smiled, hugely proud of herself.  After my anger diffused, I admit I was even proud of her since she was two and biting is kind of typical for a two-year-old.  She didn't have a long list of developmental milestones she met on time, ya know?  I digress.

I know of so many parents who have adult children whom they choose to dismiss from their lives.  I call them disappearing parents.  They all have their reasons.  I think there is very, very little a person could do that would truly justify a parent's absence from the life they purposefully brought into their world.  You know what?  Adults make decisions other adults don't like.  I feel absolutely certain that this precious, innocent baby boy who has me wrapped around his tiny finger will do something at some point that I will not like.  I may even hate it or be embarrassed by it.  I will never cut him out of my life.  You may say, "Oh, you just wait...".  No.  You wait.  You wait until a child you love with every fiber of your being is yanked from your arms forever.  You wait until you cry yourself to sleep at night because you miss your child and there is nothing in this life that seems worthwhile because that hurt is so deep.  Your adult child has done something you disapprove of?  Ask any one of us who has lived this grief if it is bad enough to cut them out of your life.  I wager none of us would say 'yes'.  

If you have children who are alive, they deserve you.  You don't have to like what they do with their lives.  I'll wager they don't approve of you wholly either.  You know what?  It doesn't matter.  Be thankful you have them and do whatever it takes to keep in contact.  One day, the choice won't be yours anymore.