More About This Momma

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mediocre Mom

I discovered something at 3:45am this morning, during one of TuTu's many (many, many, many) feedings....
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

Daddy's Little Girl

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."

Me & My Daddy at the Tallulah Gorge in GA when I was 7 yrs old -- 1992

The Missing Puzzle Piece

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.

Slowing down long enough to appreciate the beautiful things that keep me busy!