Blog Feature

My guest post for And Nobody Told Me on March 7, 2011

When you’re pregnant, you have so many hopes and dreams and wishes for that little being inside you. You want to protect him from any harm.

Neither of my pregnancies were easy. You hear some women say that pregnancy is beautiful and perfect and the best time of their lives. They are complete liars; being pregnant is hard. My children are beautiful and perfect and the best things in my life; that much is true.

I won’t bore you with the details of my labor with Gabe. I am a wuss when it comes to pain, so it was long and arduous. After hours of contractions, it was suddenly time to push, and then…suddenly he was born. I was so exhausted and emotional that I didn’t grasp that there was a problem right away. The nurses had him in the bassinet and were cleaning him up when they noticed that he was having trouble breathing. They had the neonatologist come look at him, and they took him to the NICU for “observation.” He had sucked in some amniotic fluid on his way out, and it went into his lungs, which led to further complications.

Gabriel Joshua was born on December 3rd, 2009, and spent the first 12 days of his life in the NICU. He was on a C-PAP machine at first, then later a nasal cannula, and was being tube-fed breast milk that I had pumped. We spent as much time with him as we could. I would go to the hospital to be with Gabe after spending the morning with my daughter, come home for supper with my mom, daughter and husband, then my husband and I would go up to visit Gabe after putting our daughter to bed. Thank goodness for Grandma Jan, who came to stay with us and cared for our 3-year-old daughter Bailey during the whole ordeal.

One of the most difficult parts to deal with before I was discharged from the hospital was when I was alone in my hospital room at night. I’d lay there after my husband had gone home to help put our daughter to bed, and just stare in confused fury at the empty bassinet where Gabe should have been sleeping…not in a covered bassinet, with tubes and wires attached to him, in the NICU. I sat in my room alone and cried. When I was discharged without him, I was in agony. It felt so wrong to be coming home without him. I told myself that I was going to wear my hospital name band with his name on it until he came home. I joyfully cut it off the day he was discharged.

I look at him now and I marvel at how perfect he is. At 14 months old, you’d never know that my wild and crazy little man who challenges my patience and my sanity on a daily basis, had had such a rocky start in life. I consider myself blessed with the crazy chaos that is life with children.

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She’ll Be Fine

I know that everyone and their sister is writing blog posts about the start of school, but, you know me…I write what is on my heart and mind. 🙂

Miss Bee starts Kindergarten next week. This fact fills me with pride, but I’m finding I’m also feeling a little bit of trepidation, sadness, and dare I say it, doubt.

She’s ready for Kindergarten; we know that. She’s BEEN ready. As advanced as she is, we feel like adding the challenge of Chinese Immersion Kindergarten won’t hold her back. In fact, I think she’ll thrive. 

It’s just that… She’s MINE. You know? 

Our first day at home with our sweet girl

She’s been in preschool part time for the past 2 years, so I have had sort of a cushion of time to prepare me for letting go, but I’m finding it’s still breaking my heart a little. As a stay at home mom, I’ve had the privilege of being her mama, her teacher, her cheerleader, her shoulder to cry on, her playmate, her snuggle partner, her hand to hold. As her mama, I’ve seen her first words, her first steps, her first haircut, her first ABC’s, her first chapter book, her first forray on her own on her bike, her first loose teeth. 

Putting her on that bus her first day of kindergarten is going to be excrutiating. I’ll put on a big brave smile for my big brave girl, but after the bus drives away, taking my baby girl with it, I give no guarantees I won’t be a complete mess. 

A teeny tiny seed of doubt in my mind has me quietly pondering, though. Will they be kind to her? Will they see how brilliant she is? Will she miss me?

I can hear my husband now, saying, She’ll be fine. She’ll have a blast. Her teacher will guide her. She’ll make friends. Yes, yes to all of that. Before we know it, she’ll be asking for the car keys, and rolling her eyes when I tuck her hair behind her ears so that I can see her pretty blue eyes.

But for just a little while longer, I want to keep her to myself.

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Our little girl playing dress up in my wedding dress

Monday Ramblings

I’m totally going to brag right now.  Just forewarning you.

As we were waiting for the bus for preschool to arrive this morning, my 5 year old (gah! She really is 5 already, isn’t she?!) was counting to 100.  By tens. Then by fives. She’s in preschool.  Knock it off, kid, you’re growing up too fast! 

We went to an ECFE class last week, as is required for families who are receiving tuition assistance through our district. It’s a parent/child class once a week, and we went, not really knowing what to expect. But guess what? We had fun!  It was totally the perfect place for us to do something different together as a family, and holy crap, I got to have an uninterrupted conversation with another mom! I’ve started to forget what that’s like!

(In a side note, if you are a family who is struggling financially and could use a hand up, don’t be afraid to ask for tuition assistance for your kiddo to attend preschool. If you get the paperwork in soon enough, you can get the assistance you need. Preschool is expensive, and you have to pay for it, even at a public preschool…that’s one of those things I didn’t think of when Bee was getting close to school-age.)

I didn’t get around to doing Stream of Consciousness Sunday this week, but maybe I’ll try for next week. 

Have a great week everybody.  Thanks for reading!  xoxo