Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Worry Wart

I already know the answer to this question, but sometimes I have to ask it anyway: Would I be a different mother to Caroline than I am to Addalee?  The answer is without a doubt YES!  Would I have been a worse mother to Caroline?  Probably not, but so very different.  I like to think that I would have been less…what’s the word I’m looking for here?  Uh, crazy?

Poor Addalee has a worry-wart mom.  She has this panic-stricken PTSD basket-case lady to deal with for the rest of her life.  And I’m feeling it.  The pressure of raising a baby after losing one is tough sometimes.  I know that it’s scary when things go wrong, whether you’ve lost a child or not.  But I can’t help but flash back to those darkest of days when something happens with Addalee. 

It’s been a stressful few days around our house.  Addalee had her 6 month shots last week (I can’t believe she’s already 6 months old!).  She ran a low grade fever, but seemed to feel good, and I thought we were in the clear.  Then she had some issues – a low temperature which can indicate infection just as high fevers do - in the wee hours of Saturday morning that resulted in a scary 1:30 a.m. call to the emergency line at her pediatrician’s office, and (by ped’s orders,) a trip to the Children’s Hospital E.R. 

Thankfully, she was doing okay by the time we got to the hospital.  Her daddy and I were nervous wrecks, but she was content to play with her gown and wait.

The doctor told us that what we’d seen was likely a fluke and that she was fine.  And gave us some guidelines to follow in the future.  I think he may have wondered why we seemed so upset by all that was happening, I mean he was telling us that our baby was okay (thank God).  But it took us a minute to process because I think we were both bracing for the worst news.  Yuck.  Thankfully, Arthur shared why we were a teeny bit more sensitive than many parents.  The doctor was gracious and kind, and the overall experience was as good as could be expected. 

Our nerves have been frazzled, but we’ve been making up for lost sleep and trying to stop thinking the proverbial other shoe is about to drop.  It’s made a little easier when you’ve got this girl smiling at you!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fitting In

Fitting in is something that (I believe) everyone craves.  We all want to feel like we belong.  I think I believed I’d stop feeling like I had to work for it when I got out of high school.  I really had no idea.  I mean, you’re a grown up, you don’t have to worry with silly things like this anymore, do you? 

I have to admit, there are more times than not that I feel alienated.  I don’t think it’s all me, nor do I believe it’s everyone else.  I think part of it is that I’m just more sensitive now. 

Losing a child is one of the ultimate game changers.  It changes things, like when getting married can make things different with unmarried friends; having children can change things with couples who don’t have kids.  Then there’s the whole death-of-a-baby thing…talk about uncomfortable. There are some awesome people who give you exactly what you need; a smile, a hug, acknowledgement of your precious little one. Then there are some who just act awkward.  And then there are those who just pretend like you’re not even standing there. Ugh.

I guess I’m sad because I feel like I’m really struggling to find my place.  I’m trying to fit in, to blend.  But I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so happy with having Addalee here.  She’s such a huge blessing and she’s already growing into such an amazing little girl.  She has the most adorable giggle and gives the best cuddles.  But for me, there’s always at least a little sadness in my heart.  It’s a strange balance.  I guess it’s one that I haven’t quite gotten the hang of completely just yet.

I make myself feel worse sometimes, because I tell myself that I’m the only one that feels this way.  I suppose I don’t really believe that.  Have any of you felt uncomfortable like this?  Do you feel like you have to work hard to “fit in”? 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

When you were in school, did you have kids in your class that called it “Valentimes Day?”  I always did, and it aggravated me to no end!  I don’t know why I shared, but I feel better! :)

I’m thankful that this Valentine’s Day, we have a healthy girl here to share it with us.  Last year, it was tinged with sadness because our arms were still so painfully empty.  This year, we’re still very much missing our Caroline girl, but we’re loving every second with her little sister.

Their Daddy is a really sweet guy, he bought Addalee her own flowers!  She was super interested…mostly in getting them into her mouth!

He got me some too!

Happy “Valentimes Day”!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Parenting Advice - Or Something Like That

Yeah.  You know when you ask someone what they thing and they tell you?  That’s pretty cool.  How ‘bout when an old lady walks up to you and your cart (with your 5.5 month old in it) at Target and tells you what your baby wants?  No, not so cool.

Addalee and I went to Target to do a little shopping.  That girl is getting to the point where she’ll fight sleep, no matter what.  I knew that our shopping trip would coincide with nap time.  But, she enjoys riding in the car, and being pushed in the shopping cart, so I felt good about my timing.  She’s normally a great shopping buddy (which is pretty awesome, since I love shopping), but today she was having a grumpy day.  She was asleep when we got to the store and walked in.  She woke up as soon as I got her into the cart though.  She loves to look around, so we were just going about our business and “chatting” with each other.  She was soooo sleepy though, and started to fuss some.  Because she likes to look around so much, I covered up the top of her carseat (across the shade and handle…not over her face) with a little blanket.  Just so she wouldn’t have so much stimulation.  She could still see me.  I gave her a pacifier and she started trying to go to sleep. 

Back to my shopping list.  We were rounding a corner when she lost her paci…the horrors.  So, she cried some.  Granted, this was not the blood curdling scream of a hungry baby in Wal-Mart (hate that place) being neglected by super skank parents…this was a 2 second sleepy, grumpy, “give me my paci back” cry. Nonetheless, this kind lady decided to walk up to us, look into her carseat and tell me that she doesn’t like the blanket there.  She can’t see out.  Babies really like to see out.  Wow!  Thanks for the parenting tip!  I stayed polite though, and informed her that THIS baby was sleepy and really needed her nap.  To that, she said, “Well, you’re the mother…” 

Wow.  Just wow.  Yes, crazy lady.  I AM the mother.  Thank you so much for all your help.

I was shaken by that little encounter, and decided to finish up ASAP.  With Addalee being a happy camper again, we got in line.  We were playing with her toys while we waited, and another lady got in line behind us.  She came up to the cart so that she could see the baby, and Addalee gave her a precious little smile.  She told me about her children and their personalities…being friendly like Addie.  Then she asked me if this was my first.


Slow motion… “Yes.”  Who said that?!?!??!?!??!?!?!?!  Did I just say that?!  That sounded like my voice.  I’m almost certain that I said it, but have no idea how it happened.  I can’t believe I answered yes to that question.  It was too late for me to drop the real truth on her, so I just smiled and shook my head about how much of a blessing children are and how much they change your life…for the better.  She was being nice.  And I freaked out. 

I always say that Addalee is our second, and manage something about Caroline.  Of course, I don’t always go into the nitty gritty details of our life story, but I try to include her.  Sometimes I just say that Addie is our second child, and people don’t really ask much more.  Other times, I say that our first simply didn’t make it, or possibly even that she was stillborn in the 39th week.  This time though, I didn’t.

I walked away from that shopping trip feeling pretty frazzled, honestly.  Who knew a Target run could be so exhausting?!