Thursday, August 19, 2010

Seven Years Ago

Seven years ago on Aug. 19th, my youngest daughter was tugged into this world. It was a planned c-section and I was told it would take a mere twenty minutes or so. For days before my scheduled surgery, we had a huge blackout in the city where I lived. "Elective" surgeries were cancelled, so I wasn't sure if I'd even be going in that planned day. It was hot, I was near my due date, and hugely pregnant. The idea of not having her arrive was not very welcome. Luckily, arrive she did.

As they went to pull her out, they realized she was wedged in there very well. Apparently, I have no room in there, something I should have learned with my first daughter. They got out the vacuum (yes, on a c-section) and still she wouldn't come out. The twenty minute counter came and went. They tugged with several pairs of hands, alternately pushing and pulling. Still, nothing. Finally, they got out the forceps. You would think with all of that, she'd be some massive baby girl. Nope. She was delivered into the world all 19 inches and 6.12 lbs of her. I thought my eldest was a small baby, and here was a second baby even smaller.

When they brought her over to me, all wrapped up and clean, my first sight was dark blue eyes framed by a crop of dark brown curls. She was quiet and calm and honestly, looked like a doll. Even the nurses would tell me that in the days following.

The difference in my birth experiences was incredible. My first delivery was thirty plus hours of pain resulting in an emergency c-section. Then, from there, it took weeks of healing for swelling to go down and to figure out my eldest had fractured her skull during the whole process. Despite that whole horrible train of events, my eldest was the easiest, most calm and quiet baby. It kind of made up for the loud, difficult path prior to her birth.

My second pregnancy should have been my first hint that this child was going to be VERY different than my first. It was still a relatively easy pregnancy, but I had horrible heartburn. I never got sick, but I felt like it off and on for the first months, almost daily. While I had to drink oj and lie on my side to make sure I felt enough kicks in pregnancy number 1, there was no doubting the kicking and punching with this one. Then came the easy recovery after the birth. Within hours of delivery, I felt awesome. I was begging to be up and about, disconnected from all of the tubes and wires that limited my walking and even going to the bathroom on my own. I should have realized that these were all signs of what was to come.

After leaving the hospital, we spent a week or two with a sleepy, quiet baby. That quickly changed. My youngest had colic that lasted all day, every day. The only time she wasn't crying was when she was sleeping. She could be the sweetest, most shy little girl, or the loudest, most intense. She was happiest in my arms, and within minutes of anyone else holding her, wanted back with me. Once the colic made an exit, I realized that her personality wasn't going to be that different.

To this day, she is the child that loves me hard, and rails at me just as strongly. She can't be dissuaded when her mind is set. She knows what she wants when she wants it, and will persevere until she gets it. Sometimes that's to my detriment, but sometimes it makes me beam with pride. She can still be shy and clingy, whispering in my ear rather than saying what she needs out loud. She can also be entertaining for a crowd, putting a smile on everyone's face and making us all laugh at her antics. She enjoys math and will spend hours doing addition and subtractions on a paper at the table. She carries a bag full of books around the house, and owns more journals and notepads than anyone I know. Just this past weekend, a relative commented that you always know what she's thinking because her eyes say it first. She's expressive and loving and silly and funny on the one hand, while also being stubborn and fiery and feisty and demanding on the other. She's that juxtaposition of sugar and spice, of sweet and sour.

Her Daddy says she reminds him of someone....but I still can't figure out who he's referencing. Something about apples and trees, I hear.

We're seven years into this journey and it's been quite a ride. She's brought so much laughter and fire and joy into our family, and I'm so excited to see what she does in the future. I think sometimes that the expression "larger than life" fits her to a T. She's small in stature, but huge in heart and personality. I worried my heart couldn't hold more love than I had for my first baby, but I have learned that what Moms around the world say about "loving equally, but differently" is universally true. My daughters are what make getting out of bed worthwhile every day, and on their birthdays, I reflect on who they are, and what they've brought not only to my life, but to the world. What my youngest brings is special and unique to her, and I love her wholeheartedly for it.

Happy Birthday DollFace.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm Still Alive....Sort Of

So, it's been awhile. A loooong while. I'm sure you'll forgive me if you could take a wee peek into what has been my life for the last month!

Since I'm still largely incapable of stringing together a coherent sentence, I'll just give you a brief synopsis of ONE day in my life, currently. This is just today. I'd like to say I'm kidding-but I'm sadly not.

August 17th, 2010:

-My 14th Anniversary. Marriage is a weird trip, dudes. It's full of highs and lows and happiness and struggle and pushing away and pulling close. Every marriage has it's share of obstacles as well, and I think the important part is really in the recovery. That said-HELLO, could someone have given me a head's up on this stuff when I decided at a mere 22 years old that I was solid enough to deal? In those 14 years, however, it's been more good than bad. We have been extremely blessed and even though we've been "going steady" for 17 years total-I'm still not sick of the guy. In fact, I still really (well, mostly!) like him as a person. THAT's got to say something right there because frankly, I don't like most people for that long. So, happy anniversary to me. Sorry, us.

-My youngest daughter's early family birthday party. Yep, hubby and I decided to give up any sort of 'romantical" plans so that we could celebrate my daughter's birthday a few days early. Her Dad will be gone on the actual day, so we did it up tonight. We had a nice dinner I cooked up in record time, cake, and her presents. She got so much from family and her friend party that there really wasn't much left to get her that she wanted. That being said, we "managed" to get her a dress, pink Converse, ('cause I believe all human beings deserve at least one pair in their lives!) a book in the series she loves, (written by Madonna but not crap! Imagine! I like to read it in a fake, really bad, British accent. It just feels right) and some Webkinz Hamster thing. It was a nice time together after what can only be described as a hellish month.

-Got an email my Dad had another stroke. Yes, it's now by email that I find these things out. Oh, not even sent to me. My Dad's wife sends them to my sister, who then forwards to my brother and I. That right there is a whole other blog post. I guess he is being released soon enough, but as I've said in the past-he's just going to continue having these strokes until one kills him. It's hard to just sit by and wait for that to happen and the myriad of emotions this all brings up is a struggle as well. However the news was delivered, it's not something you ever want to hear, nor keep hearing. Sigh.

-We also had an exciting day today of a showing, realtor paper signings and an inspection! Fun times! We have another inspection on Thursday (don't ask) and the girls, the dog and I need to be gone for 4 hours for that to take place. Really??? It was a long day today, and that will be one more long day. The end is inching closer though so I'm just barrelling through one exhausting day at a time. Did I mention it was my anniversary today? Ya. Party!

-The good news of all of this is.......We SOLD our house today. It went up on MLS on Friday, we had offers going back and forth all weekend, and finalized today. By "finalized" I mean conditionally on her financing, and inspection. (see note ie Thursday) It's great on a few levels. My husband's company bought the house from us. We get our "close" with them in two weeks. In that time, we can go and house hunt and put an offer down for that time frame. It also means though that someone bought the house from the company, and we don't have to do any more showings or anything else from here on in! We have to now buy there, get a close date, register for school showing proof of a home address if we aren't in by then, yada yada yada. My husband, if you can believe this, is likely going to go and put an offer on a house, this week, THAT I'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE. Scary stuff. We know the area we want, I've seen the house online, it's in the school district I want.....but I've never actually stepped foot in it. My husband did and we both feel like it's a "go." It's not going to be our forever home by any stretch-but to get us used to the city and be close to everything-it's a good choice. The yard is going to be a big shock. We literally have a park for a yard now. This is going to be waaaaay smaller than that. We feel okay about it all so let's hope once I see it I still feel that way. He'll be back in a few days, and we'll get out there and live in temporary accommodations until our stuff arrives and the house closes. We're hoping by mid-September that we are all settled in to our new home and life. It'll take time for doctor's and dentists and familiarity and all of that......but we're getting closer to just actually getting there and starting our life-and that feels good.

So, like I said, that was just TODAY. I'm trying to live taking each day as it comes, stressing out and freaking out but then refocusing. I'm not great with stress, really. I can hide it super well from the "outside world" but inside I'm a mess. I get really bad stomach pains, acid reflux that knocks me to my knees, and I either eat like crazy or don't eat at all. I've been joking that once this is all done I'll either be 20 lbs lighter, or 20 lbs heavier. So far, it depends on the day.

I figured you all deserved some sort of update. Now, you probably wish I hadn't. I promise in the next week or two I'll be back to myself and to blogging and hopefully with some more positive, upbeat, exciting stories of my adventures in a new city! You'll see!