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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Coming Full circle.

I woke up at 4:30 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep.  In just 24 hours I will be heading to the hospital to have a baby, via cesarean.  I've spent the last 9 1/2 months preparing for this moment, mentally, physically and emotionally.  I know I have trauma from Miles' birth.  It was the best and worst day of my life so far.  It was the birth of my son, the one who has brought me so much love, joy and enlightenment.  But the way it all went down was not joyous at all.  The operation itself went great, it was the hour after when we were told Miles might have Down syndrome.  At that very moment, every ounce of joy I felt got crushed by a sadness so deep that my whole being went into mourning.  I was already in an altered state from the anesthesia wearing off and the pain medication kicking in.  My body was shaking, my teeth were shattering, but my mind was healthy.  And then the news.  The news sent my mind reeling.  I went deep, deep into a black abyss from which I never knew if I'd come out.  As the anesthesia wore off, I felt like my mind was melting away with it.  Was I shaking from fear and sorrow or was it really the drugs wearing off?

I try to find the good memories in my birth experience with Miles, but they are all tainted by those words, "Your son may have Down syndrome".  I can't find one clean, clear, fully happy moment.  They took that away from me an hour after he was born!  I wasn't allowed to savor it and now it's hard to find.  So yes, going back into the same hospital, to an OR, to have another cesarean birth is freaking me out.  I know this time will be different, my heart knows that, but my mind keeps getting flashbacks to the last time.  So I couldn't get back to sleep.

It's now almost 7am, the sun is up and I can hear Miles in his bedroom.  I believe everything will be all right.  Baby Girl's birth will be perfect, she will be healthy, strong and beautiful.  She will have all her fingers and toes and breath well and will have no extra and no less chromosomes.  She'll be just right.   And I will be happy and recover well from the operation.  I will feel extreme love and joy for both my new baby and big boy Miles and nobody will take that away from me.  I will have come full circle.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Different Sort of Chaos

Miles has been acting very unlike himself in the last two weeks.  Well, it really all started about a month ago, when he got an ear infection.  He didn't want to eat, he was irritable, waking up at night, crying for no reason.  We took him to the doctor, got him on antibiotics and he started being more his charming little self.  His appetite came back and he stopped waking up at night, but then his stomach got messed up.  Probably from the antibiotics.  He hasn't wanted to eat much, not even his favorite foods (brown rice, eggs and toast).  He's been a picky eater for the last year, but we never had a problem with breakfast....until now.  All of a sudden, he doesn't even want breakfast.  And he's been whiny and clingy.  If Zach and I are around, he wants us to hold him constantly.  And then, this morning, for no reason, he started crying and wouldn't stop.  Miles is not a crier.  Even when he was a little baby, he barely cried and when he did, it never lasted more than a couple of seconds, maybe a few minutes.   So this morning was a first, because Miles sat there and cried for at least 15 minutes and he was inconsolable.

He wanted food, but when we gave it to him, he wouldn't eat it.  He wanted to be held, but then he didn't.  He wanted to sit down, but then he didn't.  He was crying with emotion more than pain.  Zach and I tried everything to soothe him and it broke our hearts to see him so frustrated, so out of control, so much in need of our help, but unable to communicate it.  I finally grabbed him in my arms and took him outside into the cool morning air, to see the sun and the trees and the birds and the sky.  And we talked.  I reassured him that I loved him and that he was okay.  I told him what we were going to do today and that it was going to be a good day and he stopped crying.  He relaxed, he held me tight and eventually we went back inside and got him ready to go, because of course, he has a full day of therapy and daycare and music class.....

I don't know!  Zach and I are at a loss!  We're not sure what's going on with him and we are just as frustrated as he is about our inability to communicate.  Sign language only gets us so far and we just don't know what else to do.  I look at his little crying face and it kills me.  He wants something, he needs something, but he might not even know what it is, let alone communicate that to us.  It's heart wrenching and exhausting and completely frustrating.  I know that "this too shall pass" but I am hurting for my son because I don't know how to help him.  Am I doing everything I can to try and understand him?  I'm tired and sometimes I lose my patience and then I feel horrible.  It's a challenge!

In my gut, I think he realizes that things are about to change at home.  He's feeling our anxious energy and maybe even the baby's energy and he's afraid that he might not get our love and attention once this baby comes.  He's definitely aware that things are happening and I think he's got his own anxiety about how he's going to fit into the equation.  So he's acting out, he's on food strike, he's being needy, he wants as much as he can get from us now, while he has us all to himself.  I know this is going to be a difficult transition for all of us, but I also know that by this time next year, none of it will matter.  It will have passed and Miles will love his sister and will be teaching her and learning from her.  And we will be living in a different sort of chaos, one that can accommodate all of us equally. For now, we continue to live in anticipation of all the changes that will take place as soon as baby girl joins us.  Which is very soon..thank God!  Cause the anticipation is killing me!  It's killing all of us!

I keep wondering if I'm giving Miles enough attention.  Am I showing him that I love him?  Am I there for him when he needs me?  I worry that I've been too self-involved to be there for him and that's why he's acting out.  I'm doing the best I can...I just hope my best is good enough.  

Here are some pics of Miles and I lounging around, enjoying lazy time together.

I love this little man!

Friday, January 6, 2012

One Day at a Time

Happy New Year!  2012, the year of the Dragon.  I was born on a Dragon year, 1976.  My baby girl will be born on a Dragon year.  Two dragons in the house, can we handle it? Can I handle it?   I'm just 3 weeks away from my cesarean date and though I'm starting to get a bit nervous, I'm also very excited.  I can't wait to meet this little girl and I can't wait for Miles to meet her.  I think he's going to love her very much and be an awesome brother.  Anytime we take him around other babies, he is infatuated.  He can be such a caveman, but around little babies he knows to be sweet and gentle.  He touches them softly and smiles at them and says "hi" while waving.  It's the sweetest thing.  I feel he's got some kind of silent communication going with little babies.  I guess I'll find out once our baby girl is born. 

People keep asking me if Miles knows he's having a little sister.  I think on an energetic level he is fully aware that something is going on and that it might have something to do with a baby.  But it's hard to tell how much he knows.  I tell him there's a baby sister in my belly, I have no idea how much of that he understands.  I do feel like the energy in the house has been so erratic that he can't help but pick up on it.  He's been very clingy with me and has been giving his dad a hard time.  He's a handful right now and though it seems to coincide with the baby's near arrival, I think it really has more to do with the fact that Miles is walking now.  Every since he started walking, his world expanded dramatically.  He's been way more curious and independent and stubborn and less focused.  He's being a toddler, constantly exploring and testing the limits.  Our limits! So I'm exhausted and worried about how I'll manage with a newborn and toddler that I can't reason with....but I'll manage.  I've got help and can get reinforcements if I need them!

At this point, my main concern is how I'm going to keep Miles' busy therapy/daycare/preschool schedule going while I'm recovering from my c-section.  I'm the only one who really knows and understands his full schedule and what each different activity entails.  I'm his manager!  I'm the one in touch with all his therapists, I coordinate each activity, who picks him up and drops him off, what he needs to take to each class, when he eats, naps, etc etc etc.  Am I a control freak?  No, I don't think so.  I'm the mommy and main caretaker of a kid with special needs and a very busy daily life.  Zach helps a lot when he's not working, my mom also picks up a lot of the slack, but I still coordinate everything.  And I do feel like I need to control that.  I'm finding that I will need to trust the people around me a lot more and be okay if things aren't done properly.....or the way I like them to be.   I have to let go, allow others to help... in an organized manner.  Yeah, okay, maybe I am too controlling over Miles' life.  I know there's a lesson here for me and I'm trying to just go with the flow.....but yeah, it's hard.

One day at a time.  One day at a time.....