Sunday, February 28, 2010

Baby Time!

To start, NO, not us! But I got you to click on my post didn't I?? ;)

(Ryan holding newly born Zane)

John and I were both young parents. He was 15, I was 20.... yeah, go ahead and chuckle a little...

(Birth of Izeah)

I think we both struggled a little at those times in our lives, him more so then I. We were YOUNG parents. We had babies before any of our friends did. We went backwards in the "life cycle".... He stopped after 1 and I had 3 by the time I was 25.

(3 by age 25... then marriage... duh, don't you know that I've always been ass backwards!?!?)

Now we're both at the cusp of turning 30. And we're both at that time in our lives when most of our family and friends are either A. getting married or B. having babies... and it's a very tough time for both of us. It's joyful, yes, we are so very happy for our friends and fam but it also has it's down sides as well...

We're past this point in our lives. We've had countless people ask us if we're going to have more. All though neither of us have taken the permanent step, I do have an IUD, which has worked for the last 5 years, and will hopefully keep working for the next 5 too. We've talked about it quite a bit and we are 99% positive that we are done. Like, DONE DONE. Zane (the youngest) is almost in kindergarten and the idea of starting over doesn't so much scare me, but doesn't sound appealing either. At this point we can take the kids out of the house and it's awesome to not be carrying a diaper bag of crap that you virtually never use! (OK, that's a fib... by my 3rd kid I had it down to an art form... 1 diaper and an emergency bottle, that was pretty much all I ever took.... everything else you can improvise). I still LOVE the idea of being pregnant and I LOVE LOVE LOVE babies (who doesn't?) but for the last few years, my little biological clock has stopped clicking! It's a weird feeling for me.... not wanting one... but every time I'm holding someone else's baby, or babysitting my little niece or friends kids, I haven't had the urge to have one! After accepting my internal feelings, I can now say that it feels GREAT to not have that feeling... I am happy to hold, and happy to return :)

(Little Kayla '04)

The down side? It's a rough point in life with our friends. I felt the little "rift" before... When I had my babies, I lost some friends so to speak. I was never upset or mad though, I always understood how and why, but you still FEEL it. It's the feeling that our lives are all different. My friends didn't have babies so they had freedom to do what they wanted, when and where they wanted. It can kind of be a deal breaker in not so many terms. Yet I still had faith in a few of these friends, and it was good... I knew that once they started having their babies, they would get it. They would understand where we were coming from all those years that we couldn't make it to things because we had children. They started understanding the constraints of a family, the limits you now set for yourself, and the fact that your couch and a movie are more appealing now then going and getting shit faced every weekend. I have some of my friends back now and it's great! I'm really very happy that I held onto some of these friendships because I just knew in my heart that at some point in the future, our lives would coincide again :)

(John and Kay Bug... Daddy Daughter Dance '04)
Until this point... Now the tables are turned. We're the ones that have more freedom now. Our children are older. We have the ability to leave them for a weekend and it's OK with all 6 of us. They know we're coming back, and we know we need the break :) We live with less restraints, and we don't have to worry about going places and making sure things are baby friendly...

(Baby Zane)

It feels odd to be on this side. It's hard. I don't want to drift away from any of these friends... I love them very much... but it seems to be happening a little bit. I think my whole post is actually just a way of me talking out loud and reminding myself of how it felt for me when this happened, so that I don't do it to any of my dear friends now.... I hope they also know that I am always here for them as well... with advice, childcare, whatever ;) Even if it's just to come over and visit for a bit because I still remember my lonely nights sitting at home, feeling like I didn't have very many friends.... I don't wish that upon any of my friends... :)

(Little Zak and Ryan sleeping :)

Soooooo.... now what do I do??? Well for starters, I have 5 baby showers coming up in the next 6months... time to start knitting and sewing! :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Score 1 Karma Bank

Actually.... I should have titled this post, "I must be getting older".

I'm turning 30 this year!

Yep. 30. BIG news in my little world.

With out even trying, turning 30 is starting to affect me... I've noticed in little ways I suppose... I'm even going to write a post about turning 30 and health at some point...


Tonight I felt older in a different way. I went out for a few drinks with a girlfriend havin a rough patch in life.... Nothing big, just us 2 in jeans :) We went to 2 different bars and had a few beers and a few shots. Both of us were relatively sober leaving the 2nd bar.

We come up to this intersection and I see a woman fall down standing on the street corner. She's all by herself, very obviousley drunk. So she tried to get up and falls again. (mind you she keeps falling into a pile of snow too) So I see 2 other girls walking in her direction. Both these girls looked in their younger 20's, obviousley "out" for the night. They both see the woman who fell down... they look at each other, smile, and keep on walking!

So go over and ask the woman if she needs some help. "Yes, please" she says.

SO I grab her by the arm and help her stand. I ask her if she's driving tonight (thank god she said no!) and turn around to ask my friend to grab her other arm...

Long story short, we walked her to a bus she was on. She said the driver (her husband... hmmm, what? makes you think a little huh?) would be out in a little bit and she was just going to crash on the bus...

After all of this I realized what I saw. I saw 2 younger girls who didn't want to be bothered by a woman who was drunk enough (at only 10:30!) to not be able to stand. They didn't take the time of day to stop and help. Not to mention other people had been walking by and I'm sure others saw her too.

But it was nice feeling "older" I suppose for my sake.

I helped a woman who needed it.

I also realized that had she been driving? I might of saved a life.

(oh... and score 1 for my karma bank :) Hence the title!)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Other Side of Sadness

  • When someone you love dies, all eyes are on you. Everyone who loves you, cares for you, and all others in between are watching you. They are watching your every move. They are wondering if you're going to be all right. They give you unsolicited advice. They try to get you to "talk" and "open up" so that you start the "grieving process". You will be judged and what you do will be analyzed... trust me.
What did I do? (Well I'm most certainly glad you asked...)

  • When I was told that there was less then a 1% chance of survival, I understood. I let go. I turned off the machine. I went home and gathered my children around me and I told them what happened to their daddy. I slept in our bed that night. In the weeks that followed, I let every emotion I was feeling have it's place. I accepted the path my life went down, knowing I was powerless to change it. I went out and bought many, many books on how this so called "grief work" went down, trying to understand what steps I was supposed to take to ensure I healed appropriately. I told people I was fine.

What did I NOT do? (glad you asked that too...)
  • I did not seek out counseling. I didn't feel that telling some stranger what happened could give me comfort or resolve to what happened. I did not seek out medication to numb me to all the different feelings I was having. I did not understand all the books I read. I did not feel like I had this huge hill to climb that many, many psychiatrists call "grief work". I did not deny what happened to me. I did not feel like I was healing inappropriately. I did not make excuses for any actions or bad behavior I participated in after he died. I did not curl up into a ball and shut the world away.
  • I know death is different for every single person. The manner in which the person you care for dies causes different reactions. The relationship you have with that person also causes different reactions. I don't know if I've ever come clean about how I felt EXACTLY after Ryan died but I'm going to try to give a little insight to what I told myself...
  • I have always understood the circle of life. It is what happens to EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. US. We are born, we live, and we must die. Our bodies are not meant to carry on for centuries. I GET this. I UNDERSTAND this. On a deep level I think. Now, the next way of thinking might offend some, and I don't mean it to be harsh by any means but it was a *key part of my healing:
  • I will not trade nor give up my life for my husband.
  • That's pretty big huh? Yes, I was sad that he was gone. It sucked and it hurt inside my tiny little heart. Yet, I also believe that if it was Ryan's turn to leave this earth, then it was his turn. It was VERY unfortunate and tragic, but meant to be. I feel like I'm still here and I still have a job to do. I still have 3 children (now 4) to raise. I am still a Mother. I am still a PERSON. I will still evolve.
  • Don't ask me how I would even begin to cope if it was one of my children though. I can't begin to imagine what would go through my mind then... I believe that Ryan and I were equals. We had each lived the same amount of life, but my children.... oh my children. There is no deeper love then the love I feel inside every bone of my body for them. In all honesty, it's not the same love I have for my husband(s).... My love for my husband can not ever touch that deep place. My body has never supported the very first second of life for him...
  • And this book made me feel NORMAL.

  • This book is one that I highly recommend to anyone who has ever felt out of place or abnormal after someone they love dies. If you have ever been told you have "healed to fast" or that you might be denying your grief and it will come back to haunt you later, then read this book. YOU ARE NORMAL.
  • I love the way this book throws all things we in Western Culture believe about grieving up into the air and says, "It's not right." We are human beings and looking at our basic animal instinct, we are internally programmed to keep going. We are innately capable of accepting death. We are more resilient then we give ourselves credit for.
  • He definitely accounted for many different factors and still agrees that yes, some do need medical/psychological intervention but MOST of us don't. He even has studies that back up the fact that TOO EARLY of an intervention can actually be HARMFUL in our own, personal grieving process. It can delay the process that our bodies and minds are capable of accomplishing without help.
  • I also love the way he correlates unhealthy grieving with an unhealthy relationship with the person who dies. It makes COMPLETE sense to me. I think Ryan and I had a very healthy relationship. We struggled in the past but we made it through and we were healthy. Yet, I've seen others who have lost a loved one and if the relationship was unhealthy, they have had problems coping with the death. It makes PERFECT sense.
  • He also has studied that laughter, memories, and talking openly make it much easier to heal, and to keep that connection present but not at the surface.
  • I could talk about what happened to me and how it relates to this book for quite some time but I'd be rambling more then I already have. If your curious, if you know someone going through the grief process, or you yourself just need some validation that you are healing and that you are normal, then I highly recommend this book.
Time to go live some of that life I find so precious :)