Tuesday, August 28, 2012

When Silence Strikes

I'm off work today and other than Hunter barking in the backyard, the house is pretty quiet. It's always times like this when I'm most likely to have my meltdowns.Grief takes over and I'm just left with a bunch of "what if's"? rambling around in this crazy head. 

This house is still a wreck since we had a major leak about a week ago, and we're still waiting to get the floors installed again. All I can say is that if this leak had happened about a year and a half ago, probably I would have been bananas by now, and would be rushing everything to get it done PRONTO. I still have my episodes like that though; but they too shall pass since I'm proud to say, I have shifted my priorities. First and foremost: BLOG, then leave the pile of laundry for later or whenever I feel like it; skip the trip to the grocery store, and figure out what kind of meal can get put together with some old onion, ketchup and maple syrup. Come on, there has to be something, at least on Pinterest.

It is in the midst of silence when I still catch myself dreaming about what I'm going to do when I become a mom, is that fraction of a second when I'm half-asleep and half-awake when I have to stop myself  I retell myself the whole story: Wait a minute. You've been a mom. It's done. Then a glimpse at my stretch marks and the c-section scar confirms it. Zach happened and it's over now, the factory is closed and there will be no more pregnancies. Then I get coffee and get on with the day. 

This is now like the aftermath after a big war, and then there's silence. People has moved on, because as hard as it can be for me to digest, the world is not Zach-centered and people has lives. Thing is, I haven't really moved on. Probably I never will. I may go on and about making up new hopes, new dreams, new somethings, but you don't really move on. I catch myself bending my wrists and my index finger as Zach would. I still try to type, serve coffee or fold the laundry with my wrists bent and sometimes I walk with my feet clubbed (when nobody is watching) , kind of in Zach's position to see if he could've done that. Dubiously sane, I know but I just don't seem to be able to let go, and part of me doesn't want to.

              "Silence, what I always hear, after crying, lots of Silence" 

What's Up With the Entitlement?

When we found out that we were pregnant, just as any other couple would be, we were ecstatic. The joy just could't fit in our chests. Do you want a boy or a girl? people would ask, and I blissfully unaware of what was heading our way, would respond with the pregnancy mantra that I so much came to hate: We don't care, as long as he's healthy...

Then the news came, and dreams were shattered. Why even in the realm of disability, he would be one of the worst case scenarios. "You have to pray" would say some, "You have to think positive" would say others. Now, in retrospective, I don't believe that this happened because we didn't pray hard enough, or because we weren't "positive" enough.It's not even something that God allowed to happen. It's just now that I can pin point exactly what had set us up for added grief, and it just made it harder (at least for me) to bond with my child. One word: Entitlement.

As long as he's healthy... Well, Zach wasn't, So what?  We didn't love him any less because of that. You are a very strong woman, I don't know what I would've done if I was you. Translation: I'm so glad that I'm not in your shoes. You can't be so out of luck that it's the worst case scenario...Well, we were worst case scenario. So what? there's still that one word flying around and rubbing it in: Entitlement.

What really set us up for added grief is the false belief that we deserve the best because we are "good people". Full disclosure, I believe that I was willing to accept nothing less than an all and all perfect child with some super powers added, because I deserved nothing less; because I took my vitamins and all the prenatal testings were "normal", we've done everything by the book and I loved children. (Mind you: Perfect children that never trow tantrums and never get dirty and always eat their veggies.) The same goes when it comes to jobs, marriages, material stuff. We grow to believe that we deserve nothing but the best. I grew up in house filled with love, with all the "stuff" that me and my sisters needed and then some. Why would things be any different now? Even though I started a relationship with Christ, I became spoiled, "I praise you Jesus as long as you keep pouring down the goodies"  Until he didn't. Until our faith was shaken, until we were left with our faces on the ground praying: Make our boy swallow or breath or what have you.

Even though it's not like: Before Zach I was a horrible person and now I'm a saint. He taught me to just STOP. COMPETING. STOP.COMPARING. He was in his own timeline, so was the preemie next to him, so was I , so was David, so were the doctors and nurses. God didn't promise a life without problems. What he promised was to be with us all the way, because light and dark are alike to him. Before Zach, I never had a really big problem. Actually, I never had  a problem at all. It was all about getting as much stuff out of this world as I could get. Until it wasn't. Until life served me a big slice of humble pie that was bitter sweet to swallow.

During Zach's stay in the NICU, I also had big financial concerns about how in the world we were going to make it? but at that time, life showed me that even if I had all the money in the world, even if I had a million dollars (which I don't), this wasn't about money. None of that would've matter, it wouldn't have been enough to grant us our biggest heart desire: Seeing our boy blink.

This was about giving thanks for what we actually had. Yes, he couldn't blink, but he had a lovely face. He also had two arms, two legs, ten fingers, ten toes and he was aware of the love around him. Yes, David and I were under slept and on edge, but we were together. Yes, nobody in the world can even imagine what we went trough, but there was people around us willing to bring us lunch to the Nicu, willing to pray for us, and just to be there supporting us in any way that they could. Yes,  I don't have exactly my dream job, but they went above and beyond to accommodate me and they were extremely understanding during this tough times, my job also allowed us to cover most of  Zach's expenses and we got him the best doctors in South Texas.

I'm still learning to shift from being entitled to be grateful. To just take life as it comes, and just to appreciate what I actually have, and that sometimes include lovingly embrace what I don't have, and be grateful, since Zach is healed indeed.

About 20 weeks pregnant,
ready to teach Zach some  multiplication facts "in-utero"
Zach contempt and having a blast in the NICU
with his mobile, teaching me some life-facts.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The praise of Folly

Praising and accepting the madness that comes with a husband with a back that is not getting any better, more trips to the doctor, and a huge leak in our master bathroom that went on to our bedroom and ruined the whole wood floor.

Lots of changes in my to do list, just to give an idea this is how my to do list has changed just in a couple of weeks:

1. Last week: Get a fence for Zach's garden.
 This week: Zach's black fence ended up looking more like some creepy Halloween decoration. Totally a no-go. Get that fence out pronto, return it and just leave the whole fencing issue on the side for now. 

2. Last week: Finish the so called office Makeover. 
This week: What initially started as just a quick office makeover is now a whole house makeover. Since I'm at this madness already, I might as well go all out and paint our bedroom, change the doors and the bathroom sink, paint the bathroom, rearrange our closet space and God knows when I will call it a day.

3. Last week:Put an end to the clutter on David's desk. 
This week: Clutter in a desk? Really? Was that my biggest problem?  How about accept and live with the fact that since we are now sleeping in the office, every room in this house is now a wreck.Officially. 

4. Last week: Accessorize office to give it a "man's cave meets modern style look". 
This week: You've got to be kidding me! Let's focus on a new design concept: "make this house appropriate and safe for human living."

5. Last week: Dye my hair (Not by choice, if this goes on untouched I will end up looking like Pepe Le Pew). 
This week: Pull off the Pepe le Pew look somehow, maybe with some personality. If that fails, wear a headband or cover that stubborn white hair with mascara as a last resource. Girl you have other stuff to do.   

I'm getting used to this thing of planning one thing, to end up doing something totally different. That pretty much sums up my life sometimes. I still insist in trying to have some control; when indeed I just don't seem to have any. Things Happen. Shit Happens. Whether if I have my list or not, whether if I had planned for this or not.

On the bright side, I like to stay busy and have things to keep my mind occupied and out of grieving mode for a while. We also bought a lucky craigslist find, a beautiful wood desk that I plan to repaint, and give it a face lift and since my house is already a mess, I should just keep adding to the mess and join and enjoy the party, and get... Busy.

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