Friday, May 16, 2008

Things for Which I Am Thankful

You know, I just read a story on about a woman who lost her 7 month old son to bacterial meningitis. I don't know the woman, but her story made me very sad. *gasp!* I am human after all.
When my precious Golden Boy was born, there had been a complication. A major one. For days, we had no idea whether he was going to make it. Not that we'd admit doubt at the time. He was in the NICU, hooked up to many machines and tubes. We couldn't hold him, some days we couldn't even touch him because his blood pressure would shoot up. It was a horrible, terrible time. Needless to say, we didn't sleep in those weeks. Even when he pulled though it, we were told there may have been organ damage, and given a laundry list of potential developmental delays he may have to contend with.
Aside from asthma when he was very small, he's had absolutely no problems. Whew, right?
That scared the holy hell out of me. I'd never been so scared in all my life. Scared me so much that it took me five years before I was ready to try again.
That second time, everything was perfect. I got to hold my baby, keep him in my room, and take him home the next day. It was sheer bliss, I tell you. I wouldn't let him out of my sight.
Then when he was 7 weeks old, he woke up with a very high fever. Off to the ER I went, lugging my burning baby. Initial test came up negative. I helped curl him into a ball on his side so the doctor could do a spinal tap. That was bad. The news was worse - elevated white blood cells, indicative of meningitis. The moment they said that, I feared blindness, brain damage and ... oh my... it can be fatal. Then people came in with full body suits and masks to take more tests. They said the suits were for their protection. I had kept it all together until then. That's when I started to cry, when I had to call my husband and tell him what was happening. They started IV antibiotics, and called the CDC. It was a nightmare. Days went by. Again with the not sleeping. The woman from the CDC visited with him, and he smiled and gurgled at her. They pronounced it VIRAL meningitis, not bacterial. It cleared up and went away. He's as healthy as a ... ummm, well he's really healthy now.
Parenthood is not for the weak.

We had two close calls, and every day of my life I'm aware of that. Women who have lost children are a mystery to me. There's some kind of strength there that I'll never understand (and don't want to - that's one club I don't want to join) When I was just a kid, a distant cousin died when she was 14. I remember saying to my mom that it would be so hard to have a child for that long, then lose them. She said that it doesn't matter at what point you lose a child, it's still hard. *Here comes my oblivious kid nature* I said, If you lose a BABY though, you barely know him or her, so it wouldn't be as hard. (Did I mention my mother did, in fact, lose a baby?) See, the things you don't understand as a child! So, I know Mother's Day just passed, but maybe this is just a reminder that mothers who have lost children - at ANY point - are still mothers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Honest, I was going to just post the pic. Then I decided to tell you know what Belly said when he got mad at me later in the day. He crossed his tiny arms over his little chest and said, "I want to take back the black shirt that says Mom. I don't like it anymore."
This rotten treatment - on Mother's Day, no less - simply because I wouldn't drop what I was doing to take him to Blockbuster. Grrrr..... But Golden Boy came to my defense and asked his little brother how he'd feel if Momma decided she only wanted one kid. Of course, Belly assumed that meant I'd be sending his older brother away.

Fat chance, kid.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Mother's Day Story

Here's my first re-post.... Does that make me a tired old blogger??

*Mother's Day*

The day began at 10am and as it was Mother's Day I was given the rare privilege of sleeping in. I woke to the scents of coffee and breakfast. I got up, put on the fluffy robe that had been thoughtfully laid next to my bed, and walked out of my freshly vacuumed bedroom, pausing only to blow out a cherry scented candle that had been lit for me. I went downstairs into my gleaming clean kitchen to see that the table had been set for me with fresh flowers. My 2 beautiful children ran to hug meand give me hand made cards and drawings that express their love and gratitude for their one and only "Momma". I went to take a bubble bath, with only the sound of Mozart softly playing in the bathroom. I came out and effortlessly pulled on my size 4 jeans and a top that made me look adult and cute at the same time. My family was ready to go when I came out, with a fully stocked diaper bag and plans to head to the Art Institute and lunch at a trendy new outdoor cafe. After a pleasant day out, I returned to my home to watch a Disney movie with the kids while my loving husband said "Don't worry about laundry or bills or anything today. I've got it covered. Oh, and dinner will be ready in 20 minutes."

In actuality I will wake up to the shrieks of my 18 month old as he tries to escape his play pen/prison. My 7 year old will whine about not being able to play video games, not having his friends over, and not being leader of the free world. My husband will burn the coffee and my room will be covered with whatever my dog decided to shred in the 5 seconds she was left alone in there. I will get 1 Hallmark card that no one remembered to sign. Bubblebath will be replaced with showering 2 small children and then being left with only cold water for myself. And wish as I may, those jeans will still be a size 10. After an hour of standing at the door shouting "Come on guys LET'S GO we don't have all day" we will finally leave, only to get 2 blocks away and realize there are no diapers in the diaper bag, and my 7 year old has to use the bathroom. Sidewalk cafe lunch turns into Denny's, and all our orders will be wrong. Frustrated, I will walk into my house and realize I have no clean clothes, the kids have no clean clothes, and the dog has shredded my checkbook. I will have thrown dishes in the dishwasher and forgotten to start it, so there will be no clean dishes either. My toddler will be overtired and threatening to blow up, so I will collapse into bed with him, thankful that Mother's Day is only once a year.