Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Just Generally Overwhelmed

What can I say?  It's April.  This is the third April that I've had a blog, and as I look back over my previous April posts it becomes very clear that April is always overwhelming.  It's always a hard month to get through.  So I'm not too alarmed that I'm feeling like a bit of a train wreck.  

The baby is a month old tomorrow.  I knew it would go by faster than, say, the last month of pregnancy went by but sheesh!  He is a lovely little guy.  Enjoys staring at things, eating, pooping, and the occasional screamfest.  Doing a fair amount of smiling.  Working on his double chin.  Oh, and let's not forget being held, which I have no problem doing. I suspect that he doesn't enjoy his crib.  Last week I was convinced that he had decided that sleep is for wussies and had instead chosen to sustain himself with a multitude of naps in a wide variety of positions.  Positions that I had to guess at. I was obliged to hold him in my arms until he fell asleep, and he always seemed to fall asleep when the tv remote was just out of the reach of my fingers. He would also just doze lightly so as to never miss a single noise his sister or father made. This week he has slept a bit more.  He absolutely rocks.  I am trying to soak up every possible second of these days.  He's so delicious.  I find myself constantly staring at him, pressing my face into his little neck and breathing him in. I would take a dozen more just like him.

Or so I say until I remember that they turn into 5 year olds who are also vying for your attention.  Having 2 kids?  It's a little....busier... than I was thinking it would be.  There's just more juggling involved, and no one really warned me that there would be a transition.  People are so willing to warn you how difficult your first child will be (a theory that I found completely incorrect, by the way.  She wasn't difficult in the least.), but when you have two at home no one says anything.  I'm really not sure how much sleep I'm getting.  I don't even want to know.  I learned in nursing school that it's usually better if you don't count how many hours of sleep you got last night.

Poor Roo is a very enthusiastic big sister, but she is a bit lonely.  The spotlight has been on her for the last 6 years and she just isn't used to waiting to have my attention or getting by with less of it.  To her credit, she absolutely adores her baby brother and pretty much finds him endlessly fascinating.  She is such a little mama.  Woman after my own heart.  Tomorrow we are hopefully going to get signed up for swimming lessons--she needs a little outside entertainment.

My body doesn't seem to be bouncing back.  I'm still in a considerable amount of pain, and I feel really run-down.  It has honestly been very frustrating for me.  I find it shocking that this c-section has been so brutal when I had two c-sections in 15 months with Matthew and Roo.  I wasn't expecting surprises when it came to my recovery.  I'm just hoping I start feeling better soon.  I need my body back in fighting shape.   Trying to be patient and gentle and all that crap with myself, but come on. 

Winter refuses to relent here in Nowhereville.  It's driving me absolutely crazy.  It snowed over 15 inches here the other day.  It really stresses me out that I'm still worrying about road conditions when Jerry leaves for work in the morning.  

Speaking of Jerry...he is working too much.  Between the commute and the long hours he is hardly ever gone less than 16 hours a day during the week.  I just do my best to make sure he eats, kisses the kiddos, and gets to bed quickly.  He is such a good sport about it all.  He never complains, but I can see how tired he is. 

We both agree that we are not living in a place we want to stay long at.  We really want to move closer to a city and ASAP.  Seriously.  I (We) hate it here.  I feel like we've given it a fair shot at this point.  It's just not for us.  I mean, the pregnancy was about 4x as difficult to get through because of the distance between the hospital and home.  If we ever want to try for another baby, we've agreed that we absolutely cannot do it 3.5 hours from the hospital again.  I've mentioned that the grocery store is the size of a gas station, right?  And that there are absolutely no stores, restaurants, etc?  No activities for Roo (the swimming lessons require a one hour commute each way)?  And my internet service is only available through a phone line? 

Now that Little Man is here safely, we are turning our attention to getting Jerry a different job that will allow us to get the hell out of here.  Hopefully quickly.  It really can't happen too quickly as far as I'm concerned.  

I'm just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the medical bills, so that's something positive.  And I can get a job in a couple months or so, provided I can find adequate child care in this hell hole.  Just the thought of leaving him with someone else give me anxiety....

I'm really glad I took Jerry's advice and only enrolled in one class for this session.  Because it's kicking my ass.  I am barely meeting deadlines, but it's no longer because I procrastinated.  It's because I can barely find time to put on a clean shirt, let alone write a paper.  

Never a dull moment around here.

The truth is that these are all pretty great problems to have.  Sleep deprivation, job options, school overload.  At least I have my wonderful little family to make the days brighter.  I've been behind on commenting--I'm still reading!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

To My Son on His 7th Birthday

Dear Matthew,

I usually feel almost silly writing to you, but I feel compelled to do it today.  I believe you know my heart and that nothing truly needs to be said in writing.  I believe you know exactly how much you are loved, how much you are missed.  Yet today I find I want to say these things.  Out loud, on paper, from the rooftops. 

Your baby brother screamed for a good portion of the night, a testament to his fully-formed lungs.  So I was awake at the hour of your birth yet again.  It seems something always wakes me up on this day.  I told your sister that today is your 7th birthday, and she asked if you were coming down for it.  I think you are almost as real to her as you are to me. 

I cannot believe you are 7 years old today.  I cannot believe that in a few days it will be 7 years since we held you in our arms.  It seems unfathomable.  After 7 years I still catch myself picturing the way things were supposed to be.  It's not difficult; I don't even have to concentrate very hard to see you here with us, what life would be like if we got to keep you. 

After 7 years, it hasn't gotten any easier.  It seems to get a bit harder.  Every time I have to add on another year that we've been without you, another year that I've missed out on with you, it hurts a little more.  People think we are used to it by now, that we've "healed" or something, but that just isn't true.  Grief can still completely pull me under with its random cruelty, the same as it could in the months after you died. 

When I look at my children, I want you to know that I always see 3 of you.  You are always there with them.  You will always be my first baby, the child of my heart.  There will never be a day that goes by when I don't think of you, miss you, wish you were here with us. 

Happy 7th Birthday, Matthew Chase! 


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

15 Days

Today very hard.  Tanner is 15 days old today.  It's gone by so fast.   It's such a short amount of time, but there has been so much love crammed into the last 15 days.  It's hard to remember a time when he was not woven into the fabric of our lives.  He fits right into our little family, and I spend huge portions of the day just soaking him up.  Sometimes he'll be sleeping and look so sweet that I just have to stop what I'm doing to hold him in my arms.  We've been missing a little boy in our lives for such a long time. 

But all day I was thinking of Matthew, and the 15 days we had with him.  And I don't feel gratitude today.  I feel terrified.  What if 15 days is all I get with Tanner?  What if he slips away while I'm sleeping (obviously using my little apnea monitor tonight) and not watching him?  For that matter, what if something happens to Roo?  I've had nearly 6 years with her and it's STILL not enough. 

Today I can't find that place where I can say, "We are grateful for the time we had with him.  I know it's more than many people get."  On good days I can find that place.  But it's April, the month of Matthew's birth and death.  And my newborn son is 15 days old.  So today, I'm angry.  I mean...what a fucking rip off.  Am I the only one who sometimes looks at people who lost children older than our own and wishes that they could've had as much time?  It's ridiculous, really.  It's not like anyone who's lost a child has won the time jackpot.  We ALL got ripped off.  We ALL have gaping holes in our lives where that child once was no matter what age the child died at.  Why do I have to console myself with crap like, "Oh, at least we got 15 days with him?"  If my child had lived I could just bounce around halfway taking my children for granted like the assholes you run into ALL the time do.  Like healthy babies grow on trees or something. 

I don't mean to sound ungrateful.  Actually, scratch that.  I hate that I feel guilty for sounding ungrateful.  The truth is, 15 days really does suck.  Am I a bad person for saying so?  

If Matthew had lived, I'd be done having children.  My pregnancy and recovery from this one were so hard, I honestly don't think I'd do it again if he was with us.  If he had lived my family would be complete now.  Two boys and a girl.  Wouldn't that be perfect?  

Sigh.  I guess it really never does get easy to get through these anniversaries and landmarks, does it?  I don't want to feel angry when I wake up tomorrow.  I want to be back in the warm little place of gratitude that I've been in since my little guy was born safely.  So as usual, I just took advantage of my blog and dumped all my emotional baggage.  I promise I have a few more cheerful posts on the assembly line.  With sweet baby pictures.  In case that helps.