family, parenthood

Expectations VS Reality

I’m following someone from my past who just recently had a baby. She had a difficult birth and since her first wasn’t the ideal birth she envisioned, the second was a bit harder to handle it seems since she had all these expectations of what and how she wanted it to be the second time around. She’s very much immersed into the whole motherhood and body thing where she’s all about being in tune with her body during her whole pregnancy and is very into the whole natural birthing wonder of the human body. Her baby had some difficulty after birth and had to spend a few weeks in the NICU. I know she’s probably just venting on Facebook, a space where she’s surrounded by friends and family and a wonderful support group, but as an acquaintance who also went through some difficulty after birth, it’s a tad frustrating to read through these comments of what she thought things would be like and how they are supposed to be and how disappointed and frustrated she is with reality. Like, we get it. You can’t spend the time you want with your older son in this beautiful weather because your little one is taking up so much of your time. I get what it’s like to be cooped up at home and not get some fresh air because you’re just busy with a baby whose sole mission in its little life so far is to make you miserable and hate yourself with inconsolable crying. I get that life was difficult and disappointing and nothing like you imagined it when your baby was in the NICU and whisked away from you after birth. BUT YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE. I think I’m more sensitive to her postings because I went through it too, but never venting about it on Facebook and only a few close people know about Shane and his struggles. I think I’m just annoyed because I feel as though she has all these expectations about how motherhood should be – the adorable hours of intoxicating baby smells and cuddles, the dreamy closeness you get when you’re breastfeeding, and the magical feeling you get when you’re baby wearing and able to function in public with the use of both your hands. BUT THESE ARE NOT EVEN REAL EXPECTATIONS. THESE ARE EXPECTATIONS CULTIVATED BY THE MEDIA AND SOCIETY. YOU AREN’T DOING ANYTHING WRONG IF YOU’RE SPENDING DAYS AT HOME WITHOUT SHOWERING BECAUSE YOUR BABY WON’T STOP CRYING FOR LONGER THAN 10 MINUTES IN STRETCHES OF HOURS. YOU’RE NOT GOING TO MISS OUT ON BONDING MOMENTS IF YOU DON’T BREASTFEED. YOU DON’T NEED TO FEEL LIKE SHIT IF YOU PUT YOUR OLDER CHILD UP IN FRONT OF A TV WHEN YOU’RE CARING FOR A BABY OR IF YOUR CHILD FALLS IN THE PLAYGROUND AND YOU’RE NOT THERE IN TWO SECONDS TO PICK HIM UP BECAUSE YOUR HANDS ARE FULL WITH ANOTHER BABY. YOU’RE NOT A FAILURE BECAUSE OF ANY OF THIS. WE’RE ALL JUST SURVIVING. WE’RE ALL JUST TRYING TO GET AS MUCH SLEEP AS WE CAN WHILE WE TRY TO FIND OURSELVES IN THIS NEW ROLE AS A MOTHER (OF MULTIPLES). WE’RE ALL TRYING TO FIND A SWEET SPOT WHERE WE TEETER ON THE BRINK OF HAPPINESS/SANITY AND COMPLETE, UTTER MADNESS.

I’m just tired. And annoyed.
All I really have to do isĀ UNFOLLOW.

I am actually really happy for her. She has a wonderful social media following and feels comfortable enough to share all her worries on her page. Some days I wish I had that. Others, I am just grateful for the support system I have now.

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Marriage

This Is For Real

I’ve got emotion, dripping out my pores, and I thought I would let you know

This song always takes me back to when I was a freshman in college sitting in the laundry room with some dude who was also doing laundry at 2am. We would meet every week or so in the wee hours of the morning as we were both night owls at the time. We were exchanging emo/alternative music selections, discussing the endless possibilities we had for our futures. We would philosophize. We would laugh. We would banter. Ah, the simpler days.

Some days I wish the days were simpler like before. Some days I wish all I had to do was fend for myself, think for myself, and plan only for myself. But when I think about the person I was then and the person I am now, everything makes sense. I couldn’t have possible become this (though it may not seem it to you) strong, moderately confident and optimistic, sometimes hopeful person I am today if I didn’t go through the trials and experiences I had then. I could not have become this person if I didn’t struggle through my insecurities. If I never went through the self hatred and the depression, I could never had realized the depths of love I was capable of. Without the ridiculously overwhelming self awareness, almost crippling fear of being in public spaces, and conversing with others, I would never haveĀ found this new self awareness of not giving a crap.

But some days I do wish I could go and stay in a hole at home. Some days I just really do not care to converse with others whether those “others” be friends or randos. Other days, I crave human interaction so badly that I’m willing to make a day trip out to the mall or Target. This balancing act is stupid hard. I think life just really changes so drastically as a parent. It just gets harder and harder to keep up with life outside of kids. And I know there’s a whole “Make sure you’re taking a little me time” or “Make sure you’re having regular date nights with the hubby without kids so you keep your marriage okay” or whatnot. But.. honestly, I think we’ve been without the kids a total of five times since Dominic has been born. And that was to attend weddings and a few mini trips out for errands. I don’t mind having babies with us when we’re out. Definitely much harder, but I don’t mind it. I spend enough time with the hubby at night before bed. I force him to spend time with us on his precious weekends off. I think I have enough of him for now. I think we’re doing okay. For now. I feel like I’m finally filling into my role as a parent. I think we’ve gotten a little bit of a (very loosely stated) routine down in regards to our schedules. I’m finally in a bit of a better mental state. I think I’m at an age where I’m finally owning up to what I want to do versus what I need to be doing.

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Uncategorized

Hallelujah

Praise the Lord!

Sometimes I forget to take time out of the day and thank God for everything.

So.. here is a public thank you.
Thank you for the roof over my head.
Thank you for the extra money for the Taco Bell we indulged in today.
Thank you for the endless support and love our family doles out for us.
Thank you for our daily breath.
Thank you for the food in our pantry.
Thank you for the clothes on our backs.
Thank you for our Internet and TV.
Thank you for Netflix.
Thank you for the wonderful blessings of the hubby’s job.
Thank you for our friends.
Thank you for your love.
Thank you for your patience.
Thank you for hope.

We trust you with our lives.
We love you for the guidance and patience you provide to us.
We pray that you continue to watch over us and be patient with us as we struggle with the temptations of the world.

He makes me want to be a better human. He makes me want to be the person He made me to be.

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Uncategorized

I think I’m going to start a blog.

“How am I going to get through this?”

“Am I going to be able to do this?”

“Am I strong enough for this?”

I know it’s not like I have a choice. This is happening. Shane Young Jae Kim is 19 days old today. My sweet baby was born on November 4, 2014 and has been in the NICU since November 5, the day after he was born.

He was transferred to the NICU due to hypoglycemia. He had a glucose level of 26 when they took him over. I told every healthcare professional that came into my room his symptoms, but they were not abnormally uncommon for newborns to show so they did not worry about them. He shook sporadically, but babies get cold quickly and the room was pretty cold. He did not take to latching or breastfeeding, but some babies take a few days to figure that out. He did not move too much or cry, but some babies are naturally just quieter and are not as fidgety. It took about a full day for the staff pediatrician to come in and ask for a glucose test, which showed an extremely low level. After one day, his levels went back up to normal, which we were so excited about. The doctors then did their assessments to figure out why our baby boy showed low muscle tone, poor sucking reflexes, and not very much eating habits. After ruling out the results from the MRI, EEG, and other such muscle enzymes labs, they began testing him for genetic/chromosomal issues. Ultimately, we were given the diagnosis of Prader-Willi Syndrome. We spoke to a geneticist and found out that this is a rare deletion in the baby’s chromosome 15. “Out of all the issues that could have happened to our baby, we were handed a random genetic deletion in our baby’s DNA,” we thought. “How could this have happened? Of all things, who could have ever thought that this could have happened to us?” We were so baffled. I was merely feeling so blessed that our baby boy had pulled through from his primary hypoglycemic episode. He is medically healthy. The only issue he has is his poor sucking reflex and his inability to eat as much as an average 19 year old baby is supposed to eat. The nurses are wonderful people who have been working with him in working out his facial muscles so he can suck better which eventually makes him eat more. I am spending Monday evening at the hospital so I can spend the night with him and get used to feeding him and taking care of him. Rumor has it that we are able to take him home on Tuesday! He will be coming home with an NG tube and medical equipment company states that we will be coming home with a kangaroo pump as well.

He has rounds of meetings with specialists; neurologist, geneticist, urologist, special education teachers, speech therapist, PT/OT, nutritionist, and endocrinologist. Will I be able to do this? Will I be able to keep up? Will I be able to keep my patience? I love him so much, but will I be able to keep my cool with him? Will I be the mother he needs me to be? I have such doubts in myself. I always thought we would have a child then I would be able to go back to work in a few months and just hire a babysitter, but the more I think about the situation and my family, the more I realize I don’t want to. I don’t want to leave my child’s side. I want to make sure he has everything he needs. I think this is what every mother goes through and it makes me respect working mothers that much more. Never in a million years did I think I would be a mother to a special needs child, but now that I am, I am freaking out a little bit. Along with this baby, we have a one-year-old golden/lab puppy at home who gets a bit destructive when he gets bored or feels neglected. We also have a one-year-old tuxedo kitten who we rescued from a bush since he was a few weeks old. He gets extremely needy when he feels neglected.

Between the energetic pup, the needy kitten, and the special needs baby, my life has flipped completely upside down. Shane isn’t even home yet and I’m already having mini panic attacks. My husband works around 11 hours a day. He is hardly home all day and when he does get home, he has practices with his CounterStrike team online. I’m trying to organize myself into a schedule for doing the laundry, dishes, making breakfast/lunch/dinner, pumping, feeding, Swiffer-ing, vacuuming, walking the dog, feeding the cat, and a little me-time. Will I even have any me-time? Being a workaholic, what will I do? Being a workaholic, I felt independent and relatively proud that I could be self-sustaining, but how will I measure my self-worth now? I can’t bring in any money if I don’t work. How am I supposed to contribute to this family without working? Will I be a stay-at-home mother forever? Will I ever go back to school? Is a SAHM all I will ever amount to? I need to rethink who I am and who I am going to become. I am so worried that I am going to be so overwhelmed. The parents and in-laws say they’re here for us, but there’s nothing really they can do. My friends also are here for us, but there’s also nothing they can do. I don’t know how anyone can help. Everyone has their own lives and it’s not like I can call upon them every second of every day for assistance. I know they are there, but this is something I feel like I just need to figure out.

Is it rude to ignore everyone for a few weeks until I get into a routine? I am going to be an over-obsessive mother and wife. I think I will embrace my obsessive dark side. I am always worried that I will fall into that spiral and never come back out and just become insanely obsessive about everything, but I think my husband will pull me back out if I get in too deep. I have been blowing up on people closest to me recently due to the stress and frustration. I feel smothered, even by the parents who are just offering a helping hands. All I want is some peace and quiet with my son to figure out what is going through my head and clear my thoughts. Instead, I receive phone calls and texts every few hours about how Shane is doing, if they can come over with food, if they can eat with us, how we are doing, and not to worry because “Shane is going to be okay”. I have gotten so annoyed with everyone who has told me that “Shane is going to be okay” or “I have a feeling that Shane is going to be totally normal”. He is not. He is not normal nor is he going to be. And that is totally okay. He is going to have learning disabilities and he is going to have some issues, but that is okay. I am just glad he is alive and healthy. He is not “okay” and there is not any amount of prayer or wishes that will change that. My husband’s entire church is praying for him, but I just wish that they would be praying for peace, patience, and strength to continue on the path that God has for us rather than “supernatural healing”. Shane is in this world just the way God made him, and we cannot be happier. We are a bit overwhelmed, but he is perfect. He is ours.

I am hoping this blog will help me vent and think things through before I say things I regret to the people who are here for us. Feel free to share this journey with me if you want to. We all need someone.

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