I’ve been avoiding blogging for a while mostly because I tend to be pretty honest in my writing and honestly, I’m in an ugly place right now. I didn’t think it was necessary to go online and tell everyone how bitter I am. But realistically, if you know what I’ve been through in the last month and you think I’m fine, you’re sadly mistaken.
On April 6th, I gave birth to my precious baby boy Matthew, after a grueling 40 hour labor. I’ve been trying to write my birth story to share what we all went through, but honestly, it’s been a tough road for me to go down again. You may not understand why, and that’s okay, but it was one of the darkest times of my life as I struggled to cope with reality of the experience I’d dreamed about my entire life. I will post my birth story, I just need time.
Being Mattie’s mom is the best title I’ve ever had, and I am blessed beyond belief to have the privelege of staying home with him. He is beautiful and healthy and absolutely perfect.
Just when we thought we were adjusting to life as parents, on April 16th, we got the call that my Dad had passed away. I haven’t yet been able to put into words … not written, spoken or even thought … the way this is and will affect my life. My Dad and I were very close, and I am the epitome of a Daddy’s girl. I’ve always strived to make my Dad proud of me and being a stay at home mom was one of those things that made him proud. I wish with all my heart that Mattie would have been able to meet his Papa, and that I could see my Dad hold my son. It breaks my heart to think that I will never see his smile as he sees me as a Mother.
I can honestly say I have not grieved my Dad’s death yet. It hasn’t sunk in. It’s not a reality yet. I don’t know if it’s a natural coping mechanism so that I can continue to function and take care of my son. But I do fear that when it sinks in, it’s going to hit hard. When I think of the breakdown that’s in the future, it scares me. My life without my Dad is not something I can, or want to, picture. I need my Daddy, I always have, and I always will.
The weekend after Dad passed away was Easter. Easter is normally my favorite holiday, but this year I let it pass without a second thought. I really couldn’t, and didn’t, care that it was happening. I managed to find a “First Easter” outfit for Mattie, take photos and pick myself out of bed and put a dress on to go out to breakfast, but I have to say I did it mostly for the sake of others, because being in bed would have sufficed for celebration for me.
The following weekend Scott and I headed up to Crestline for Dad’s Memorial Service. We were blessed and honored as the local Little League named the ball field after my Dad and celebrated his dedication to the league and the sport. I wish more of his players came, but so many did and it was great to see them all. The memorial service felt more like a reunion than a funeral. I wished it would make my Dad’s death a reality, but it did not. I had more people come up and say “Congratulations” on my baby than “I’m sorry” for my loss. I also was mildly distracted by the anxiety I had over bringing Mattie around all those people. 200 people who I love, and who loved my Dad, were there and most of them wanted to hold him. I knew that would be the case, so I put him in the Moby Wrap (a tie-on baby sling) so that no one could hold him. I know that people mean well, but at 3 weeks old Mattie’s immune system was not prepared for the germs that he would come in contact with being passed around a huge gathering. In addition, having Mattie close to me, on my chest and in my arms really has been a HUGE relief of my sadness and I didn’t want to give him up on a day where sadness had the opportunity to take over. I was not surprised by the amount of people who asked to hold him, but I was surprised however by the people who were upset at me for saying no. Maybe I was just redirecting my pain, but I left feeling like The Baby Nazi because I wouldn’t “make an exception” for everyone who asked.
While I was up in the mountains, I was in continual pain from my ongoing gallstone problems. I had a bad attack at 1 am on Saturday morning, and the pain never quite went away. While I was taking Vicodin every 6 hours to cope, it left me tired and unemotional. I guess the pain medication allowed me to detach myself from the situation, and focus more on the physical pain than the emotional. When we got home on Monday, I hadn’t been able to eat since about noon because every time I did the pain shot up. Tuesday morning I called my surgeon who told me to go the ER.
I had a surgery date of May 20th scheduled, but I didn’t think I could last that long. I went to the ER and had my surgery on Wednesday. During the surgery they found out a stone was lodged in the bile duct, and I needed another procedure on Thursday to get it out. I literally ate nothing from Monday until Thursday around 3pm. I was hungry and sore and tired, and I wanted to go home. I will write more about my hospital experience later, this blog is long enough.
Now I am home, recovering from the surgery. I have three small incisions under my right breast, and one in my belly button. It makes holding and nursing Mattie difficult and painful. Using my ab muscles is tough, so sitting up or stretching is painful. Also, due to the air they put in during surgery, I get a shooting pain in my shoulder when I lay flat, so sleeping is difficult. Needless to say, I am not in a very good mood most of the time. I’ve had several breakdowns just because hearing my baby cry and not being able to jump to his needs kills me.
I feel like this month Scott and I are just basically surviving. We haven’t even had time to talk, let alone nourish our marriage or deal with this stress we are both experiencing. I day dream of being able to go away, even for just a long weekend, where the three of us can bond as a family, we can turn off our cell phones and just lay in the sun. We can talk and laugh and eat…
But I know that for now, that is just a day dream. I know that “this too shall pass” and “every thing will be okay” and “I’m so strong” (please sense the sarcasm)… because yes, it will pass, but it won’t be okay and I am not strong. I am weak, and tired. And don’t take that away from me, because I don’t want to be strong and I don’t want to pretend I am. I am bitter. And I am jaded. And I want this damn black cloud that is hanging over head to go away and for something to go right. I want sunshine. And a cheeseburger. And I want to feel okay again, both my body and my spirit.
Like I said in the beginning, I know I will sound terrible writing this blog. But I needed to get it out, and I needed to express the truth that is inside right now. Hopefully, now that I am beginning to express my feelings, I can begin to deal with them.