Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Sad Day

I realize that I just posted yesterday but today my heart is laden with a heaviness with which I need to make peace. Writing usually enables me to organize my thoughts and feelings so I figured, what the heck?

Only a few short days ago I found that an acquaintance, who was only a week further in her pregnancy than I am in mine, gave birth to a very tiny little boy. Unfortunately, he was way too small to survive outside of his mommy and he died. My heart broke for her and I wept as I imagined the tiny toes she would never kiss, the gentle, gurgling coos that would never sing out to her, the first smile that would never spread across his tiny lips, and a mother's heart with a hole the size of Texas where that little boy should have lived.

My heart burned as these thoughts passed through my head and I thought of the beautiful life growing and squirming inside of my belly. How delicate, how fragile this little person is. I can do everything right, taking care of myself for the sake of this frail child and still, there are no guarantees.

Tonight my mom called to tell me that a friend of our family had gone into labor today, planning a home birth, when her baby's heart rate dropped. She was transferred to the hospital but by the time she arrived, her sweet child was lifeless. She was a going to be a first-time mommy. Once she comes out of the fog of narcotics she's been given, she will go home with empty arms and an empty womb. She will have to face all of the tiny clothes, diapers, and furniture which await a baby who will never arrive.

Once again my eyes are being wrung out as the tears flow uncontrollably. It's so unfair. And what about my own baby? As I'm grieving for these women, I'm terrified of the mortality that is only a heartbeat away from stealing away the life inside of me, like a thief in the night, which would leave me emotionally beaten and defeated. How can I protect him or her? I'm already doing everything I know to ensure a healthy baby. But what if it's not enough? What if death comes skulking with razor-sharp talons and rips away all of my hopes and dreams in a bloody mess of lifeless flesh as I'm left trying to find and repair the shreds of my broken and devastated heart?

Oh, the unfairness of life. I wish there was a way I could wrap my arms around Squishy and protect him or her from harm. I want to kiss him, hold him close to my heart and reassure him that everything will be okay. But I can't. Despite my aggressiveness, my arrogance, my strength, and my determination, there are still things beyond my control and that terrifies me. I already have four great kids who have no health problems or concerns and never have. Am I tempting fate? Infant mortality, especially in this country, is as random a gamble as a roll of the dice. What if it's waiting on my back steps?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Last night as I was lying in bed waiting for sleep to overcome my exhausted body, I experienced an enlightening epiphany. It began as contemplation over what I'd like to do for Mother's Day when it occurred to me that all this time we've been doing it wrong. Household matriarchs, the country over, each year bask in the breakfast-in-bed-and-flowers scenario each year as their children and partners try to express their gratitude for the mothers in their lives. I can't help but to think this is completely backward.

Maybe my house is a bit unusual in this way but for me, most days are "mother's day". I awake each and every morning surrounded by the little people who bring happiness and joy to my life. They gaze up at me through half open eyelids still heavy with sleep as a smile dances across their lips. They grunt and then wrap their little arms around me in a soft, heartfelt hug and say, "I love you, mommy." Even my husband never lets me forget how much I am loved.

Throughout the day my kids reveal life to me through their naive and innocent eyes - things that have long been forgotten since my own childhood. Just last weekend Damian picked me a grubby handful of Dandelions out of the lawn at park. As he handed me the fistful of dying weeds, he plucked one from the bunch and asked me to bend down. When I leaned forward, he took the fuzzy, yellow flower and tucked it behind my left ear. As I stood up, he looked me over and, with a nod of approval, said, "mom, you're beautiful."

I don't need Mother's Day for that. That day held more sentiment than any Mother's Day I've experienced to date. But what I realized last night as this reflection was playing through my mind is that Mother's Day isn't about being Queen-For-the-Day. I'm the queen in my house every day. Mother's Day is about the gratitude that overflows from my heart when I look into the eyes of my three year old and tell him I'm sorry for yelling at him and he says, "that's ok, mommy." Mother's Day is about looking into the beautiful, shining faces of my sweet babes and NOT taking for granted that they love me unconditionally. These amazing little people don't care about the countless screw-ups I've made in my life, they forgive me when I make a mommy mistake, they stroke my hair and caress my face when I'm sick or sad, and they think I'm beautiful even when I look like I've been hit by a Mack truck. These precious little lives that I've been so lucky to be surrounded with give me more than I could ever hope to give them. They make being a mom worth every peed bed, every snotty nose, every broken dish, every fight, and every "EEEWWW, we're having THAT for dinner?!"

I think that, as mothers, we get so caught up in the stress of work, dinner, laundry, school and fights that we sometimes forget to notice how truly amazing these little people are. So from now on Mother's Day in my house is not going to be a greedy, self-indulgent, matriarchal party where everyone caters to me. On the contrary, Mother's Day in my house will be about showing my kids how thankful I am that they've chosen me to be their mom.