Have you ever held your baby tightly in your arms, scared to death that you might not get to hold her much longer? I have. It is the worst feeling in the world. Instantaneously, prayers go up to God. When the doctor explains how serious the situation is, you turn to your spouse for comfort only to find that they have the same worried look on their face.
That was Stud and I Sunday evening, after spending 6 hours in the ER with Roisin and finally discovering she had meningitis and was being admitted to the ICU. Little did I know earlier that morning, even while she was running a fever, just how serious things were going to get.
Before we could get her settled into her room in the ICU I had only spoken with my mom, my cousin and my best friend briefly about what was going on. By the time we had her settled into her room, unbeknownst to Stud and myself, people across the world had already begun prayer chains for her. WOW. I am still amazed and deeply touched, and I want to say once again on behalf of both Stud and I, thank you so much for everyone's thoughts, prayers, and encouraging words.
That's all I can really write right now. I can't even focus enough to pour my heart out like I normally would. Just thank you, everyone, for the prayers.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
I discovered something at 3:45am this morning, during one of TuTu's many (many, many, many) feedings....
I am NOT Super Mom!
I am NOT Super Mom!
Okay, admittedly I already knew this about myself. However, this is the first time I am coming forward publicly with my confession. Now that the cat's out of the bag I guess you'll all be looking at me a little differently; perhaps not taking me as seriously as you did before.
The first 2 weeks after TuTu's birth seemed to go so smoothly, and then I "recovered" from my cesarean. I'm kind of kicking myself in the butt for recovering so quickly. If I were smart I would have acted like this was the worst c-section ever and that it would take me the full 3 months of my maternity leave to recover. But no, instead I had to be hard headed and determined to heal quickly so I could jump on the Super Mom bandwagon as soon as possible. Well as much and as wonderfully as I have healed I keep trying to conjure up some really great excuses to be able to lock myself in the room and sleep all day.. if only for one day!
"One of my stitches came loose and oh, the pain! The agony!" ...Nah, that won't work. They were dissolvable stitches and had all dissolved before I even left the hospital.
"My incision is badly infected!" ...No, I just saw the doctor on Tuesday and she told us she couldn't even see the incision because it healed so well.
"I'm sick?" ...if you're not running a fever the family still needs you.
"My back went out on me?" ...take some of your leftover pain killers and suck it up!
"I'm tired?" ...Nope.
"The dog ate my homework!" ...WHAT??!
"I'm dead." ...............................................................................Liar.
I guess there's no way around it, I am officially an ACTIVE member of the Mommy club again, and this time I've been promoted to Level 2 (as in, I now have two children instead of just 1). This is much more challenging than Level 1. I have so much more respect than I ever did before for my friends who keep spitting out a boat load of children. Now these women are ingenious! They have it all figured out: the more kids you have, the more "help" you have (the term slaves would be politically incorrect). Also, the more recovery time you get! DUH! It's almost worth the 9 months of hormonal roller coasters, followed by the worst pain you've ever had to go through in your life.
If I could have some extra hands to delegate my daily obligations to I'd say that would bring me very close to being Super Mom:
"Thing #1 (of course, one downfall to having a lot of children is keeping track of their names), you are cooking dinner tonight. I'd like some 3-cheese pasta with steamed garden vegetables drizzled in a sweet balsamic vinaigrette dressing and a side of garlic bread sticks. Thing #2, here is the mop and vacuum cleaner... you missed a spot. Thing #3, hop online and pay all of the bills for me. Thing #4... Thing #5... Thing #6... blah blah blah... Hey Thing #12, your sister's hungry! While you're at it, pump another bottle for me! Oh, wait....."
I guess I got carried away with all the daydreaming. Back to reality, Mediocre Mom!
I'll get there some day.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
The second eye opener I've had with TuTu's birth is the power of love between a daddy and his little girl. I've understood clearly the strength in a bond between mommy and son as I've lived it with Ninja, but I only could understand "Daddy's Little Girl" from my own point of view growing up with my wonderful dad. I have recently witnessed the other side and have been deeply touched by the love that has already fully bloomed between Stud and TuTu. I can honestly tell you she knew her daddy from the moment she was born. He is the only one she spends forever staring at, focusing on his face. She turns his way as soon as she hears his voice. She fusses for me but coos for him and even gives the closest to a smile that we've seen so far... to Stud. Sometimes it seems like I'm the milk maid while daddy is the knight in shining armor.
I'm not saying this to complain because I wouldn't trade it for the world. And yes, of course, TuTu and I do have our own precious bond. First of all, I can understand the love between them because my daddy has always been my hero too. Likewise, I know the opposite end of the spectrum; the love between me and my son. There are no favorites in this household, that's clear. It is evident we all love each other equally and even Stud has explained to Ninja how he loves him just as much as he loves TuTu. But just as I guessed, this little princess has both of the boys wrapped around her finger. Well played, my darling girl!
I've heard of some women getting jealous over their husband's love for their daughter and (unless the husband is truly unfair with the way he treats his wife) I don't understand it. Seeing the pair get twinkles in their eyes when they're together puts a smile in my own heart and makes me fall in love with them even more. And to be honest, I don't see it getting in the way of my relationship with either of them. If anything, it has brought Stud and I that much closer to each other.
More than discovering the special bond between these two, it has made me reflect on my own relationship between me and my dad. I have always known how blessed I am with the two amazing parents God gave me, and I have always cherished them. But I sit here tonight specifically counting myself lucky for the relationship I always had with my daddy. From the quality time he spent with me as a child, playing games with me and my brother that encouraged us to broaden our imaginations, to the time he spent helping me with homework and practicing my lines for plays and songs I would perform. He has always been my biggest fan. After a hard days work, he wouldn't just come home and plop himself in front of the television expecting everyone to let him rest for the evening. Even though my dad has always had "his chair" in the living room, he didn't rest in it until he knew he gave his family enough attention and love first and foremost. Whenever we needed him he was there. In the middle of the night if something scared me he would be in my room by my side before I even had time to finish crying for him. When I went through my divorce he took the time to talk to me, cry with me, and even get on his knees and pray with me for direction and strength. Even after some of the hard times I put my parents through (it's true, believe it or not, I haven't always been perfect ;) both of my parents have never stopped loving me.
My dad's wisdom and advice, whether I wanted to hear it at the time or not, has always made a greater impact on me than anyone else in this world, with the acception of my mom. I may not have always taken his advice when I should have but what I discovered is no matter what choices or mistakes I have made, my daddy has always been by my side.
I was watching the beautiful video my best friend Jenn made for me of the day TuTu was born, and something stuck out to me. Everyone was there to see me and the baby, and I got plenty of attention from the whole gang but while most of them were dying to catch a glimpse of our littlest addition my dad was anxiously waiting to be by my side. He wanted to make sure his grand baby was okay, definitely, but he also wanted to make sure his baby girl was safe and sound. And that is evident in the video.
My friend has the youtube video listed for only friends invited so I can't post the video but I encourage you to follow this link and watch it. It has been known to make grown men cry: Roisin Ruby's Arrival .
Seeing Stud's love for TuTu has shown me firsthand the love my dad felt for me from the moment he laid eyes on me. And knowing what an incredible daddy I've had since the day I was born assures me of what a wonderful daddy Stud will always be to his very own "Daddy's Girl."
On Sunday, July 29, 2012 we celebrated Ninja's 6th birthday. We had friends and family over to swim in the pool with us both Saturday and Sunday, and we took him to dinner both nights as well (I guess it's safe to say he isn't deprived of love!). While we were out dining for Ninja's birthday with our friend's, Pete & Kristin, I felt my first "real" contraction (or at least the first one that I noticed) but I still thought nothing of it. The following morning we went out on our boat to do some fishing with Ninja and, again, our friend's Pete and Kristin, which is nothing out of the ordinary for us. But this time around I started swelling up like a balloon, getting overheated and nauseous, and the sun had not even begun to truly beat down on us yet. I knew something wasn't right and made Stud take me home, but I still was in denial that the baby was actually coming because according to my due date (August 24) and my scheduled c-section (August 17) I still had at least three weeks to go. Well I am very pleased to tell you that I was wrong.
On Monday, July 30th, 2012 at 5:15pm we gave birth to our newest little miracle, whom we shall call TuTu. Of course, we, along with the rest of the world, knew she would come a bit early simply based on how huge I had gotten. However, I didn't really accept the fact that she was planning on making her entrance into this world that very day until we were already in the hospital for a "checkup" where the nurse looked me in the eye and said, "you're in early labor and we are doing an emergency c-section as quickly as possible!" Since that very moment life has been a bit hazy, filled with wonderful, unforgettable moments mixed with a tad bit of painful, also unforgettable moments. But every piece of it has been well worth the arrival of our beautiful little girl.
I'd love to sit here all day and share every detail about the day of TuTu's birth (don't worry, I'd leave the gross parts out). I would start by giving my version of the story, and follow it up with Stud's version which is more comical since he remembers the goofy parts during my anesthesia. But this is the first chance I've had to even focus on writing the blog I've been dying to write all week long so perhaps I'll save the elaborated story for another time.
In order to share this experience I must first go back in time. As I mentioned at the beginning of this entry, we celebrated Ninja's 6th birthday--that's six years that I have spent already as a mother to my handsome boy, who has always been my world from the moment HE came into my life. Our bond was a little different, and dare I say stronger, than your usual parent/child bond because it was just the two of us pretty much from the time he was born (even though his dad and I were still married when Ninja was born, his dad was sent to Iraq when Ninja was only 3 months old---without going into detail, our marriage ended before he returned).
The point is, Ninja was my angel sent from God since the day he was born. He got me through all of the hard times. He was my strength when I felt like getting depressed and giving up. He was the light at the end of the tunnel when I felt lost. He taught me to become more independent and to take care of him and myself on my own. All I cared about was making sure that Ninja had a good life and was happy. We were two peas in a pod, even for a while after Stud came into our lives because we still had our own home and our own lives together, apart from my relationship with Stud (Ninja was 3 years old when Stud and I met). But it took no time for Stud and Ninja to form their own bond, and eventually for Ninja to have the man that he needed in his daily life--to help with "boy" things that I could not do on my own.
No, it wasn't quite expected when we found out we were pregnant with TuTu but it was never taken as a bad surprise either. All three of us embraced the news with full excitement for the littlest addition, but there was still a lot of nervousness, anxiety, and fear of the unknown. Up until the day she was born, I lived with a concern that we were not ready for this. And by "we," I don't mean Stud and I as much as I mean Ninja and I; the two peas in the pod. My focus was still on him and him alone--how would this affect him? What if he doesn't think I love him as much as I used to? What if he hates his baby brother or sister? These were just a few of the thoughts that bounced around in my head quite often. And to be perfectly honest, I was also afraid that I, myself, could never love another child as much as I have loved Ninja. It was just too hard to get past the last six years of my life, where I depended on my son's happiness for my own happiness almost as much as he depended on me. Loving another human being as much as I loved Ninja, even with her swimming around in my tummy, literally seemed impossible.
The moment I heard her first cry, and saw the tears fill Stud's eyes as he choked out, "It's a girl! It's a girl! I love you so much," I knew... I knew I was wrong. It wasn't impossible. It's like I immediately grew a second heart; the first one had "Ninja" tattooed across it, and the second now had "TuTu." I can't explain why or how, but at 5:15pm I experienced a second miracle in my life; a miracle that was just as powerful as the first one. As Stud's mum perfectly worded it, "they are the closest we come to God on this earth."
Immediately, even with the morphine drip hooked up to me, it became very clear. TuTu was the missing puzzle piece in our lives; the piece that brought all three of us (Stud, Ninja, and myself) closer as a family. She is the "baby brother or sister" that Ninja had always begged me for, even before Stud was a part of our life. She is the answer to Stud's prayers--the baby that officially made him the dad he always dreamed of becoming, even before we were a part of his life. In a lot of ways, she is the closure for any pain still lingering from both Stud and I's past. Finally, she is the little girl I never knew I needed and wanted until I held her in my arms for the first time.
I suddenly find myself looking at pink things (I always HATED pink!), dresses, tights and diaper ruffles...... things I could have cared less about two weeks ago. I get excited at the thought of us doing girly things together as she gets older, talking to her about boys and teaching her the same important lessons in life that my mom always taught me.
Yes, TuTu, without any warning you came waltzing into this world and stole the hearts of three people who promise to love you and take care of you for the rest of your life. Thank you for being our little miracle.
This song was dedicated to me from my mom, and I now pass it on to you. I can now understand and appreciate the meaning behind it much better...
And for Ninja, my FIRST angel. Don't think mommy has forgot about you. I have a song for you too, my handsome little love.
Monday, July 16, 2012
I had such a lovely baby shower, thank you very much to my cousin Heather and my mom for making it possible. The amount of work, heart and soul they poured into it was evident by the decorations, food, and the smiles on everyone's face.
The theme was Ireland, considering our baby will be 50% American & 50% Irish (daddy was born and raised in Ireland). It just seemed appropriate and all of the decorations were perfect!
|A perfect cake for the Irish shower!|
|The cutest diaper cake I've seen, hand-crafted by my cousin Heather!|
|Even the bathroom was decorated for my Irish party!|
Also, I want to say a special thank you to everyone who came to my shower. Because of the wonderful gifts we received I was finally able to put the baby's nursery room together! I spent all of the following day (Monday, 7/2/12) fixing things up. Poor Stud and Ninja did not see much of this nesting mother while she worked away at the room. Of course, I'm still not quite finished but as soon as I have the time to invite my life-long, crafty friend Heather over she has been patiently waiting to help me paint and put some finishing touches on the room! In the mean time, take a look at what I have so far:
|We are going with neutral colors because we aren't finding out what we're having!|
|Note the "Kiss Me: I'm Irish" onesie; that will be the baby's first outfit!|
|A lot of reused things and hand-me-downs that have come in handy!|
|As you can tell, I'm unable to part with my diaper cake still|
|Instead of a regular dresser I chose to go with the baskets; a very convenient way to get to diapers as well as to store bibs, toys, pacifiers, etc!|
|I hung all of the cards that we've received so far on a line with bobby pins, and centered them with a drawing that Gabe made for his "baby brother" (both daddy and him are set on it being a boy)!|
The whole day and this whole experience has been truly a blessing for us. Even though I've been through a pregnancy before with Ninja, unfortunately my experience was nothing like this. I lived miles away from all of our friends and family and the support I was getting was nothing compared to the love and support I have received this second time around. You could easily say I was on my own for most of my pregnancy. But now I can honestly say the man I am raising my children with has been a blessing from God above (he is currently cooking me lunch right now on his day off -- one of my favorite pregnancy meals: fried egg sandwich with french fries and curry dipping sauce -- Mmm!). I am thankful every day for my best friend, which may seem funny to some who are reading this and know our history. But I've often believed what doesn't break you, makes you. There is no doubt God has tested our love and our strength but only in order to prove to our own selves that we could and will survive!
My song for my love, my best friend...
Once again, thank you to everyone including those who could not attend the shower, for all of your gifts, encouragement, support, and love. We would not be where we are today if it wasn't for all of our wonderful friends and family, far and near.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Let me begin this journey by giving you a little more background on myself. I am a very proud mother to a handsome 5-year-old boy who has encompassed my life and turned me into a puddle of liquid in his hands. In other words, he has me twisted around his finger I love him so much.
For most of our time together, I was a single mom to my son, who we'll refer to as Ninja (because he often wishes he could be one). I don't pity myself; I look back on all of that time with pride and joy in my heart for all of the valuable lessons it taught me. Each stepping stone is what made me who I am today, and most importantly the devoted mother that I am.
A turn of events changed our life entirely almost 8 months ago, when my boyfriend of 3 years and I received the news that we were expecting a little one. Of course, it was unexpected, but all three of us (Ninja included) embraced the news with pure excitement. Now, what was once a household of two (just me and my little one) has grown into a home of 3 and one more on the way -- all of us couldn't be happier. This unexpected bundle of joy has helped bring a family together, officially.
Ninja has begged for years to have a baby brother or sister, not understanding what all it entailed for me. But he is finally getting his wish. Because my fiance, who we'll call Stud (because he's my little stuff muffin!), and I have dated for more than half of Ninja's life, they already have a pretty good bond which helps tremendously with our transition into becoming an official family. Their relationship is more like a father and son, or step-dad and step-son if you prefer. I couldn't ask for a better man to help me raise both of my children. His dedication to our family is 100% and his love is pure and genuine; he loves my son like his own. He is a hard worker and he doesn't stop when he gets home -- he is very tentative to both me and Ninja, even after a hard day's work. Stud is a wonderful person and truly our best friend.
My boys doing what they love most - fishing and driving boats!
I'm sure there will be times that I will write more about my personal experiences as a mother but my main goal for this blog is to help promote my plans to earn money while staying home after the baby arrives. I will have worked full time up until the little one is born but Stud and I decided we didn't want me returning to a full-time job after. It is time for me to devote more of my attention to my family, which is where my heart belongs anyway.
But of course, raising a family in today's economy is next to impossible based off one income. So I can't just sit home all day, doing nothing to contribute to our income. That is where this blog will hopefully become useful. I have always loved to write and I found a great web site where I can finally pursue that passion on my own by writing articles! Likewise, I already took a job online as an editor of transcriptions. I haven't had much time to invest into either, quite yet, because I am still managing an office full time and growing a rather large baby in my belly, on top of making sure that I spend enough time with my guys once I finally make it home in the evening.
However, my plan is to pursue these transcriptions and articles to the fullest within a few weeks of the baby's arrival. Meanwhile, you will see me add posts, articles, etc. as often as I can get around to them; in order to get my feet wet before the day comes that I really need to dive in!
I also intend to help with any side work I can accumulate. If anyone local knows someone that is wanting a house-cleaner, let me know! In a few months I will be willing and able to babysit for people from time to time. I may also check into Personal Assistant work online, since I have many years of experience in the clerical field.
My main focus here is to prove to myself that I can generate as much income while spending more time with my children than I was before. Say a prayer for me that this works, and please feel free to share any advice and tips you may have. The more the better! This is a complete learning experience for me and I plan to take you along for the ride. Perhaps I can also be an inspiration to other parents who are interested in pursuing the same goals.