Blogging 101: Waiting

I love tattoos.  Before I had kids I would get about one tattoo a year.  Then 3 pregnancies in 3 years and nursing put doing anything for myself on hold.  My husband of course took this opportunity to work on his own body art, for we all know how costly getting ink on your body can be….especially when finding a good artist.

When it was finally my turn to decorate my temple I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to get.  Sure I had 3 little ones that I could honor via ink but again I couldn’t decide how I wanted to go about doing that and although I have seen many good ideas I just didn’t want to be a cliche and get what everyone else was getting.

Now I am a huge Tim Burton fan dating back to the days of “Beetlejuice” and “Edward Scissorhands” and of course the most recent arts of “Nightmare Before Christmas”.  So I finally decided that I was going to dedicate an entire sleeve to Tim Burton characters.   My arm, which was bare for 41 years, is now officially in the process of being completely inked.  I made the 2 hour treck into Reno and sat for 4 hours getting most of the outline done minus a few characters.  Do tattoos hurt?  Well of course they do it’s a needle penetrating your skin, but what I explain to people is that tattoos are like child birth…it hurts while it’s happening but once it is complete you have something new and beautiful to look at and somehow the pain is forgotten.

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Here is what is done so far.  Still have a few more sessions to go but “good things come to those who wait”.  I am glad I took the time to decide what I truly wanted.  I am glad that I found an artist who is professional and good at what he does (plus he owns the shop so there is no fear of him skipping town before my arm is finished).

A Letter To My Little M

From the moment you were conceived I knew that you were going to be an itty bitty ball of fury.

First of all I gained more weight with you in the first few months then I did the entire pregnancy with your brother…hell I don’t think I even had to buy maternity clothes until my 9th month with him.  But not you….nooooo you were determined to try and stretch out my hips, although they never did so instead the weight went right to my ass which wasn’t really a bad thing considering I have always needed a little more junk in my trunk.

At 19 weeks I finally was able to get your daddy to come to the doctor with me, it was his birthday, and I could see the look of excitement on his face. (or maybe it was that look of fear that he suddenly realized that you were a girl and he had no clue what to do with little girls.  We settled into the exam room and they unleashed that freezing gel on my belly and began the ultrasound.  Your daddy and I smiled at each other while he held my hand.  The ultrasound tech looked very serious about something on her screen.  We asked her “Is something wrong?’  She didn’t reply but asked if we had received an amniocentesis.  With our first pregnancy we were told that the odds of having a miscarriage after having said procedure were higher then something being wrong with the baby and basically was adamant about not getting it done….so we didn’t…and B came out perfect as could be.  Therefore once again we had decided to take that same route.  I mean who wants to make decisions whether to abort you because you may have defects or may not live long after the birth when I have already heard your heartbeat and bought your first outfit and given you a NAME!!!  I am sure to each there own but for me this was a no brainer….I already loved you…I wanted you to be a part of this crazy chaotic family who would love you no matter what.

The ultrasound tech left the room and we waited for what seemed like hours.  My stomach wrapped in knots not knowing a thing about what was going on.  Your daddy however was cool as a cucumber, just irritated that the doctor was making us wait so long.  In comes the doctor and he tells us that in the ultrasound they found chlorid plexus cysts on both sides of your brain.   Everything of my being drained out of me that moment.  I could see the doctors lips moving but all I could hear was silence.

When reality finally came back into focus he explained to me that this condition was a marker for trisomy 18…I had read about it in my baby books and it wasn’t good.  The good news was that this was the only marker they had found and that these types of cysts were very common and usually go away by themselves around 30 weeks.  He told us not to worry which was like telling the pope not to pray.  He told us not to go looking everything up on the internet which of course I did as soon as we left the building.  And continued to do so for the next several days.

I found good and bad information…I found support groups…pictures…everything that was so overwhelming to me.  I cried to myself.  Your daddy was the strong one telling me to just stay positive because everything would be ok.  In my heart I believed him but in my mind…I just couldn’t shut it down.  We decided together that we wouldn’t tell any family because why worry them too.  So we waited….and waited…at each ultrasound they would measure the cysts and tell us that they were getting smaller or they had remained the same.  One of them had finally disappeared around week 30 and I felt a wave of relief for the first time in 11 weeks until I remembered that the bigger one (still quite large in size) still remained.

Finally, on my 34 week ultrasound, they informed me that the cyst had completely gone away.  Happy, relief, grateful, overjoyed….there wasn’t a word to describe my feelings in that moment.  And now I only had to wait to meet you. Your coming into the world was no easy task either.  First the doctor who delivered you decided he wanted to go on a vacation when he was supposed to deliver you by c-section.  And you of course stayed bundled in there until he came back and was ready to deliver you.  Then here you were for me to lay my eyes upon.

Your daddy and I were so happy to see you but you had problems breathing due to swallowing some fluid on your way out so off to the NICU you went.  Luckily for me I was still in and out of consciousness from the aftermath of drugs but your poor daddy had to witness every poking and prodding of your tiny little arms as they tried to look for your veins to place the IV into.  I had never seen him so upset.

When I was finally coherent I was able to visit you in the NICU.  There were so many tiny babies in there.  Such a mixture of sadness and joy all stirring through the walls of this place.  Parents so happy to meet their little ones but watching them take every little breath through a machine.  Then there was 9 pound 7 ounce …YOU.   Imagine the looks I got from people when I am in the NICU with an over normal sized baby.  It was hard seeing you laying there with all these tubes running in and out of you and listening to the little wheezing noise you were making.  I managed to make my way around the tubes and wires to hold you in my arms for the first time.

You were mine…you were perfect…and no one could have told me otherwise.  You were there three days and I too stayed in the hospital even though my doctor had discharged me long before that. I wanted to be where you were…or as close as I could be.

Three months after you were born you had to have surgery to remove a skin tag on your ear.  The doctors said it was a common thing and of course not to worry.  But of course I had to research it on the internet.   Your daddy was away for work so it was brother B and I to get you to the hospital.  I had thought about just leaving it but then one day while visiting a friend and her children asked what that was on your ear and I knew then that it needed to be removed.  The world is cruel and although I know you are going to be strong I decided you wouldn’t even remember having it and I wouldn’t have to beat someone up for making fun of your “extra” skin.

Now you are a healthy (and usually happy) 3 year old.  You find every way to push the envelope with me and I see more and more of myself in you everyday. You are growing so fast…please slow down…cause I just know that I am not ready for the “teenage” years with you.

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Joyful Mother???

Joyful Mother

As a mother I always question myself whether or not I am doing a good enough job?  Could I be doing more? Am I hovering over them too much? Am I raising them to be good people and make good choices?  Truth is being a mom has been the hardest but most rewarding job that I have ever endured.  A very common phrase used by many mothers.

I have a sign that hangs in the hallway to my toddlers bedrooms which reads “be a joyful mother of children”.  I bought it when I was pregnant with my first because I loved the statement.  And everyday I read it and remind myself all the reasons that these little beings, with a mix of me and their father in them, bring such joy to my life.

But what about the days that I don’t feel so joyful.  Do they notice? Are they aware that mommy just isn’t feeling up to par today because it seems to me that sometimes they like to see just how far they can test my patience.  Even at such a young age they know how to strategize with each other to see just what they can and cannot get away with.  On these particular days I try to remember the little things that are of big importance.

Their laughter

I love to hear my children laugh, especially at the simplest of events.  I am the outsider watching them in their little world of wonder.  The communication between them that only they understand.

Their innocence Their minds haven’t been corrupted by the ways of the world yet.  Their only disappointment is that the fruit snacks have ran out and mommy isn’t running to the store to get more.

Their youth Oh to be young and have no major responsibilities.  The plans of the day are to eat, play, and sleep.  Your role of the day is maybe helping mom fold some laundry or picking up the toys.

Their minds The little wheel is constantly turning.  Little sponges, gathering as much information as they can comprehend.

Their health Not only that they are healthy but that they have so much energy.  The kind of energy I would like to bottle up and use when needed because at my age that kind of energy doesn’t come along without a massive dose of caffeine or B vitamins.

Being a “joyful” mother might have different meanings to different mothers.  But for me it’s just finding the moments that remind me why I decided to become a mother in the first place.

Joyful Mother (most of the time),

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