Monday, April 13, 2009

Looking back...

Tomorrow Larry and I will be celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary.  I cannot believe it has been 7 years already.  I remember when I met him. It was, I think, sometime in 1993.  He was sitting on top of one of those blue mail drop box things in 5 points with dredlocks (or a white boys early attempts at the same) and a green shirt.  He was swinging his feet and smiling.  I was with a friend who knew him so she stopped to say hello.  I remember him just looking at me and then saying "you look like a model".  It was a few years before we started dating but he certainly had me intrigued and feeling quite flattered.  When we finally did begin to date it was several years of on again off again.  I was a fickle young thing (not just with boys) and when he didn't behave how I envisioned I would dump him cold heartedly.  However, it never lasted very long as we always seemed to run into one another at random parties or shows and were drawn to each other.  We would end up sitting and talking for hours and inevitably we would begin dating again.  The road that led us to our marriage was long and adventure filled.  We both did some much needed growing up during those years.  I knew that.  Yet, yesterday when Larry was helping me get myself together after a day filled with tears over a baby who always seems to be in pain, he reminded me of something.  He reminded me of all we've been through the last two years and all the craziness we have survived. Together.  If I thought we'd done some growing up during our dating years, it was nothing compared to the last two.  If I thought we had made big strides in getting married and buying our first house, I was mistaken.  Yes those things were what grown-ups do and we did them successfully.  But they are nothing compared to battling cancer, fertility games and then baby.  I feel like the last two years of our marriage have both flown by and crawled at a snails pace all at the same time.  Is that even possible? Who knows, but that's how it feels.  I am so thrilled to be celebrating this anniversary with my sweet husband this year.  While we likely will not do much of anything different than our normal night at home (considering we have a bambino that still isn't happy with his eating situation) and we aren't getting one another some big elaborate gift, it will surely be the best anniversary yet.  We have more to celebrate this year than any other.  We have survived more than many couples do over the lifetime of their marriage and we did it mostly with smiles and hugs for one another.  I was thinking yesterday how lucky I am to have a husband and father for my little boy.  I am not sure how single moms do it when they have a little one.  His support and encouragement are often the only way I get through a day.  Here's to Larry and here's to us.  Happy Anniversary to us.  Seven years is nothing to shake a stick at, that's for sure.  Larry, you aren't itching are you?


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Everything is alright.

I know you will all be blown away at me posting twice (that's right, TWICE!) in one day, but folks, today has been one of those days. I was just sitting in the nursery enjoying the fading light that is dusk rocking my sweet baby and listening to the sounds of my home. I heard Larry cooking up some of the wonderful goodness he so graciously prepares for us on a regular basis. I heard my puppies walking around the house going from kitchen doorway to kitchen doorway hoping Larry would drop something and they could sneak in and grab a taste. I heard James Taylor singing a wonderful cover of Up on the Roof. I heard my sweet angel boy breathing the breathes of one who has felt icky and finally has fallen asleep and feels better. I heard my soul saying that all is right with the world. Today I have been able to make the toughest decision (see previous post) in my life and for once I know it was the right one. I feel better. I feel calmer. I feel right. And I also feel love. Sitting in that nursery that was built/decorated/designed by the hands of many wonderful, loving, amazingly supportive people in anticipation of the arrival of a miracle baby, I was overcome with the feelings of love. Again I am engulfed with the knowledge of how incredibly lucky I am. Love. All you need is love. The Beatles knew exactly what they were singing about.

thanks for listening again.

Decisions, decisions...

So if any of you have read my "about me" section you know that I am not so great with making decisions.  I tend to waiver, waffle, go back and forth, weigh the options, make a list and check it seventeen thousand times.  It really is a painful process to watch (and experience of course).  Painful because after all that I often doubt the decision I finally made.  Is it the right one? Am I sure it is best?  I tell you all of this because I have been in the process of making the most difficult decision yet.  I thought that deciding to harvest my eggs before chemo was tough.  I thought choosing whether or not to move to Utah when I was 21 was tough.  I could go on and on about all these things I was unsure of in my past but none compares to this.  So far, in my lengthy 6 weeks of parenthood, I have realized that every decision I will make pertaining to this beautiful little boy who recently entered my life will be painstaking and I will be riddled with self-doubt.  I am used to that feeling - the self-doubt deal- but now it is even worse!  I have known for years that I am the essence of a Libra (as a general rule I follow this stuff only when it suits me or has some interesting insight that I like) in that we are the scales.  We weigh everything.  We try to make the best decision for all involved and often forget about ourselves in that process.  That is what I am facing these days.  I feel incredibly selfish for thinking of myself.  Oh the libra guilt.  What a pain in the arse that is.

So what is this big decision you ask?  Nursing.  Breast-feeding.  Giving my baby all the best. "Mother and baby need to be together early and often to establish a satisfying relationship..." (says the leading source of breast-feeding information-La Leche League).  E
verywhere a new mom turns there is stuff about how breast-feeding is the only and best way to feed one's baby.  Certainly there are support systems everywhere and support groups and lactation consultants and phone numbers and books and on and on and on and that is all fine and well and good, but.  But, then there are days when you are sitting at home alone feeding a baby and he is fussing and unhappy and crying with his super-cute-but-pouty-and-breaking-your-heart-bottom-lip sticking out and you just cry and cry and cry.  And you ask yourself over and over is this really the best?  Sure I guess there are more people I could call and more books I could read and meetings I could attend to see how to fix it and make feeding less traumatic for both of us but then, then I talk to Jess and she says the wisest thing she has ever told me (and Jess has told me some wise things in our 16 years of friendship).  What did she say, you ask? Well, she said "sometimes what is best for baby is what is best for Momma".  I thought about this for several days and it rings so true.  Is it really best for anyone involved (babies, husbands, co-workers, bosses, partners, friends) to continue doing something that seems painful and stressful for all involved?  Absolutely breast-feeding is great for baby and provides him the best protection against illness and allows for incredible bonding for Mom and Baby.  I won't argue that for a second, but how does one weigh that against sanity? Confidence against self-doubt? Lack of sleep against confusion and frustration?  Well friends I can tell you that I weighed it and I decided that Jess was right.  Sometimes what is best for baby is what is best for Momma.  And what is best for this Momma is to wean this baby.  Crying over nursing my baby is just not worth it.  He's had the 6 weeks that they (who, exactly?) say are so critical and it was a long road.  The bonding was incredible and I will miss that intimate and close time that nursing brings.  Being the sole provider of nutrition for a baby is both a daunting and amazingly humbling experience.  I will treasure for the rest of my life how incredible it is/was to be able to quiet your baby just by picking him up because he knows I have what he needs and wants.  Just the smell of me was/is calming and soothing and that is a feeling like no other.  Can I really give that up? Can I really think we can have that same relationship when there is a bottle involved? I am going to have to.  Griffin actually helped me make this exceedingly difficult decision last night after hours of tears and turmoil.  I was feeding him a bottle that I'd pumped (since I can't seem to fill him up only nursing him I was pumping so I could see how much he was actually getting) and he looked up at me with those big, bright, beautiful, blue eyes and smiled.  He smiled while milk was flowing from his mouth and then tightened his grip on my finger.  It was in that moment that I realized that breast, bottle, sippy cup or spoon, I will always he his Momma and how he gets his food will never change that.

The following came from an email from my yoga instructor (whom I have not seen in ages but hope to see very soon!) from her weekly reading.  At the end of each session during shavasana, which is that last asana, or pose that we do, there is always a reading to end our practice.  I received this email from Maxine who does not ordinarily email her readings but said she had a special request for this one.  How interesting that is applies so well to what I am blogging about here today.  Not directly related but it is about decisions none the less and I wanted to share it with you.  I truly believe that we decide how each day will go for us.  We can chose a good day or a bad day all by how we look at the what is in front of us.  I try to remind myself of that on those really crummy days.  So, friends, here are my parting words to you today.  From Maxine (maybe you can each come and join us for a class sometime soon, it truly is wonderful and I have missed it so!):

I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration,
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a situation is escalated or de-escalated, and a person humanized or de-humanized.  
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.  
If we treat people as they ought to be, 
we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

I wish you all luck in making any decisions you have to make.  Be it kind of pizza or life changing.

until next time,