Something happened to me today that has never happened to me before. I was able to think back to Aurora’s birth, and our hospital stay without breaking down into a heart palpitating, sweaty mess of anxiousness and anxiety. I was able to look back and smile at how far she’s come, rather than be suddenly trapped with the paralyzing image of her little self fighting to breathe on her own.
For three months this has haunted me. I know I’m not the first parent to go through this experience. All I know is that for me…I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t strong enough.
My struggle with anxiety began the day Aurora was born. Over our hospital stay it became increasingly worse. So obvious, that the nurses offered me medication to help. I refused, but good lord I should’ve just taken the pills.
Maybe they would have stopped the constant tears I cried. I cried so much my eyes practically swelled shut and I had to lie and say I had allergies just so people wouldn’t think I was nuts.
I stopped eating. While there I got down to a weight that I haven’t weighed since I was like 12 years old. I’m not ashamed to say that I lived on a diet of pain pills and Coca Cola. Not ashamed because it happened, and I can’t change that.
To an outsider it may sound like I lost my faith. I didn’t. I prayed. I accepted. I believed. For my daughter. Not for myself, and that’s what I haven’t understood until now.
While we were staying in that little room with our baby down the hall hooked up to a machine that was breathing for her, and another that was feeding her, and an IV that was keeping her hydrated, and medicated….I lost myself.
The devil had a serious hold on me during this time. There were nights and days that I barely spoke a word. There were times I woke up to Bill holding me sitting up in bed because I was fighting and screaming and crying in my sleep.
There were days while I was alone I would sit in the shower and bawl for hours because I was too afraid to to see Aurora, and I felt like a bad mom.
It was crippling some days. And I don’t know why. The nights that Ivy came to visit were the best and worst. I suffered extreme guilt for not being there for her. When she would hug me I would immediately start crying.
Her visits kept me going. But, on the other hand when she would leave I would cry for hours. For some reason, I would only lactate when Ivy was around, and not when I went to see Aurora. This made me feel like a horrible mother. As if, in some way my body was saying that I loved Ivy more. Not true at all, but in my fragile state it made me feel so awful and guilty.
I’ll never forget holding Aurora while she was hooked up to all the machines. Watching her breathe, holding her against us so she could know we were there.
Bill was such an angel through this process. He tried so hard to make me happy, but it couldn’t be done. I was trapped inside my own personal hell. I have cringed and been frozen with fear for months every time I’ve thought about it. Even so much so that I skipped my 6 week checkup because I was too afraid to go back to the hospital.
But, today was different. Today, I smiled. Today I was happy. Today I was thankful.
Play-Doh. The bane of a mother’s existence. Like Legos, it seems like a good idea in theory. It’s not until its breaking apart and getting stuck to the carpet that you start to regret your decision.
Mother’s have been viewed as sticks in the mud for years for their dislike of this wonderful product. I mean, lighten up gals, right? Should we be scared to break out the Play-Doh and let the kids go wild?
The answer is…yes. But that shouldn’t stop us. Kids are only kids once. I view myself as a somewhat strict parent, and certain things are just off limits (stick on tattoos being one of them).
For Christmas last year Bill got Ivy a bunch of Play-Doh, and all the gadgets to go with it. How lovely. Yes, you do detect sarcasm.
So, the dreaded product has been put up out of reach since Christmas. Lately I’ve been feeling pangs of mom guilt. They were bought for her to play with and enjoy. Here I’ve been, depriving her of Doh filled good times.
Well, I decided that today was the day! I was going to be a hero! I was going to give her the magnificent Play-Doh and watch her face light up as she discovered the joy of smushing it between her fingers.
I was beginning to get excited to sit down and play with her. Helping her sculpt things and watching her imagination soar.
So, I take the Play-Doh into her room and sit it down on her table.
“What’s this?” She asks.
I’m thinking…”What’s this you ask? Only every kid’s dream!!”
“Its your Play-Doh.” I told her.
She looks at it, and then looks at me, then looks back down at her book.
Then you know what she says?! You want to know what my daughter says about this lovely wonderful gift I’m giving her. How she reacts to my self sacrifice. My unselfishness about not caring about the mess. Just thinking about her happiness!
She stares at her book and says, “No thank you. I don’t want it.”
YOU DON’T WANT IT?! I’m sorry, could you repeat that please?
What three year old doesnt want to play with Play-Doh? Mine apparently.
I’ll try again later.
I admit that usually the days pass by pretty slowly around here. Being a stay at home mom is the greatest gift my fiancé has ever given me (other than being Aurora’s father). But, there is a down side.
I’m alone with a two month old, and a three year old from sun up until about 4:00 in the evening. I try to take advantage of this time and clean. You know, do the “mom thing”. Also, watch shows I know Bill doesnt particularly care for (The Golden Girls). Even though he always watches whatever I want to watch without complaining.
Today, however has gone by pretty quickly. I have errands to run but here I am still sitting on the couch in my pajamas eating Goldfish crackers. I just put a load of laundry in the washer, and went to check on Ivy playing in her room.
What I saw is something that honestly I new. I’ve witnessed my eldest doing this before, but it still warmed my heart. There she sat, legs criss -crossed on the floor with a book in her lap. She looks up and says “Mom these are my favorite books I’m going to read.” As she indicates the stack of books to her right.
I smile and walk away to grab my phone and sneak a picture. Because when my three year old grows up to be an award winning author, or writer on an Emmy winning television series, or whatever she decides to do… I want to look back and see that little messy haired Blondie discovering her love of the written word.
You make me proud Ivy Claire! Keep reading. Keep dreaming. Keep being YOU!❤
I love days like today. The sky is gray, rain is falling lightly outside. I’m laying in my big, soft, cozy bed looking out my open window. Its all so very beautiful. Of course, I love a sunny day just as much, but every so often it brings comfort to bask in the sounds of falling rain drops.
I dont pretend to have an interesting life. But, I am so in love with the life I have now. Not too long ago I was lost. I was 22 years old, and divorced. Divorce. Not exactly something I wanted to achieve at the ripe old age of 22, but it happened.
I was now a single mother to a one year old baby girl. Ivy. To say my eldest daughter is my whole entire world would be a gross understatement. She’s everything. For so long it was just me and her. Living, playing, laughing. I was even able to take her to work with me since I worked at a daycare.
She is light. She is happiness, and fire, and compassion. She’s my pride and joy. Ivy is three and a half now. Good Lord, where did the time go? She’s blonde and spunky with my attitude. God help us all.
Last summer, I met a man who would change my life. His name is William. Well, Billy or Bill to most people. We have a daughter together. Aurora. I just gave birth in February.
Let me back track and introduce Billy. He’s every woman’s dream. He helps me around the house. Girls, I dont even have to ask! He volunteers. He’s so much more than I deserve. He’s loving, and attentive, and we are a team.
He has a two year old son. Eli Jeffrey, or “Eli Jetway” as Ivy calls him. He is with us several days out of the week, but primarily he lives with his mother. Then there is Aurora.
She’s my baby. She’s funny, and gorgeous, and frankly…she cries all the time! But, I dont mind because I can pick her up and snuggle her, and kiss her. Give her everything she needs and I’m thankful that God chose Billy and I to be her parents.
So, welcome to our world. I intend to write about parenting, family, single motherhood and how it changed both Ivy and myself. Also, funny stories concerning Bill and I, and the kids, or our other family. I hope you’ll join along for the ride and endure with me as we face whatever may come on our Leap Year Journey♥
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