I’m waiting to go get Damon from school at 9 PM…This semester is already a hurricane of WHAAAAT?!!! I’m taking 17 credit hours. So is Damon. I’m alone with my three kids; 3, 21 months, and 4 weeks. I have no idea what the ef I’m doing, people.
The dishes are piled up, but the three stooges are fed. The house is messy, but it could be soooo much dirtier. We all had a nap today. Things are okay. I should be studying right now. But it’s been over a month since I’ve written on my blog, and I miss it.
There’s a list of crap that comes with the territory of being a parent. Here’s a list of assumptions that I make about a person when they say that they have kids. Yes, I’m aware that not everyone does these things for their children. Some parents suck, but this is what comes to mind when I think of most parents; biological or adoptive.
You’ve waited a long time for someone to show up
You’ve lived for months, years, or decades on only a few hours of sleep
You’ve changed over 10,000 diapers
You’ve rocked back and forth for days or weeks trying to get another human being to sleep
You’ve taken care of someone when they were puking, coughing, or feverish
You’ve signed someone else into the doctor’s office
You’ve checked someone else to make sure they were still breathing
You’ve fed another human being over 20,000 meals
You’ve listened to whining, crying, or/and complaining for 25% of your day for as long as you can remember
You’ve never been so happy to see someone else smile
“Thank you” is one of your favorite phrases
You’ve forked out tens of thousands of dollars for the well-being of someone who has screamed at you for something that was not at all your fault
You’ve literally torn your body apart for another human being
You’ve made financial decisions that hugely impact another person
You’ve had to stand up for yourself to others
You’ve been criticized by other people in the most personal way possible
You’ve learned that the world doesn’t revolve around you
You’ve learned that you can’t change another person
You’ve learned that so much of life is not in your control, but you do the best that you can anyway.
You love said person anyway because you really just can’t help it.
Aaaaaand the toddlers are getting into the kitchen sink. That’s my queue to wrap it up.
I had two things that I wanted to do on December 13th; finish finals and have a baby.
Picture this! 37 weeks pregnant; balancing a biology textbook on my belly and scooting a rolling chair down the crowded hallway of the testing center. Sweating. I’ve told people that there is a change that happens near the end of pregnancy. People go from looking at you like this:
After finishing up my chemistry final, I waddled from the testing center to the science building to study with my peeps. Most of my classmates are dudes; all joking that I was going to go into labor during our exam. Ha…ha….SOOOOO FUNNY!!!! I told them to pray that I’d go home and have this freakin’ baby.
I took my exam, finished first, and left; feeling an immense weight fall from my shoulders. Done with this semester. Done done done. Nothing left to do. No more homework. No more essays. DONE!
I’d been looking forward to this day for months. Each time that I’d prayed about how my labor and delivery would go, I’d received the same answer: “You’ll have her exactly when and how you want to have her.”
Only being 37 weeks though, most people’s chances of spontaneously starting labor are pretty slim (statistically 1% on that day). I shivered to the car and started for home. The smog had been disgusting lately, so I needed for her lungs to be resilient enough to withstand the horrid air. On my way home, I said another prayer:
“I want for her to come when she’s ready, but if she could be ready today….that’d be great.”
My first contraction started then. It was around 2 PM. I attributed it to the stupid bumps in the road which ALWAYS set off my contractions. While there was no pattern, they didn’t go away.
Plan for after finals: sleep and make Damon wait on me with food. Well, my kids tried their darndest to keep both of those from happening. Damon and I usually eat standing up by the counter to prevent toddlers from stealing our food. Why not get them their own food, you ask? Ha…ha…well, funny thing. WE DO!!!! But clearly, only parental food is good enough for them.
Contractions weren’t going away. This was absolutely nothing new at all whatsoever. Having gone through two pregnancies prior with an irritable uterus, I knew better than to time my contractions or really think about them. BUUUUUT, because I was 37 weeks, I decided to solicit my husband for his semen.
I’ll leave it at that. It’s potent stuff.
Anyway, I was able to lay down for a few hours; not sleep, but at least rest. Ty and Haven took turns busting into the room. Haven colored a picture for me and wanted to snuggle. Normally, I would say yes because tomorrow she’ll be sixteen and hate me. But snuggling means her squirming around and talking, neither of which were conducive to contractions or sleep.
Contractions still weren’t going away. Again, no pattern. I knew better than to time them. My grandma was coming over to do dishes and clean, much to my relief as my children are allergic to having a clean house.
I laid on the couch with my contractions, which still weren’t painful. I had my radiating backache, but that had been the case for the last two weeks. This was nothing out of the ordinary physically.
But emotionally, I was drifting into “my zone”. Something in me retreated from my surroundings. Something in my mammalian code drew me in, craving isolation.
Ty kept climbing onto the couch, mashing himself against my uterus, setting off another contraction. I wanted my kids out of the house. I wanted to be alone. I texted my midwife how I was feeling. She said that she would pack her car and head over to check things out.
My grandma headed home. I laid on the couch and prayed that this would finally do something. The answer that I got was “Quit worrying. I’ve got you.” Damon drove the kids to my sister’s house after giving me a blessing, telling me that I’d get good news.
The midwife arrived at around 6:30 PM with her gear. At my last appointment, I had been dilated to a stretchy 3 and effaced 80% last Friday (23rd birthday) Remi was on the side on my uterus, which is optimal labor position. She was super low in my pelvis, less than a fingertip in.
She took the Doppler and checked Remi’s position. To my complete and utter shock, she was moving towards the center of my uterus. Meaning, she was getting ready to come out. The midwife said that we could blow up my spa tub. I squatted on the floor and just breathed. I started shaking, even though the house was plenty toasty. Adrenalin.
My contractions weren’t coming in any consistent pattern. They didn’t feel painful. But Remi was obviously up to something. The midwife suggested that she check me just so we wouldn’t jinx ourselves. I laid on my bed and dropped my legs into a diamond. I was dilated to a 4-5. Again, wtf. I was amazed that these contractions were finally doing something. She went ahead and gave my membranes a sweep.
Looks like I was having a baby that night. This didn’t feel real. This was actually happening. I called Damon and told him that we were having a baby that night. He left the kids at my sister’s and starting heading home.
Only one problem; my favorite doula, my mom, was still on an airplane flying home from Boston. I walked around the living room, contracting more. My lower back was radiating again. I squeezed Damon’s hands.
I finally had my “Oh sh*t!” contraction half an hour later. Again, it wasn’t painful. But with each labor, I’ve had “the contraction of no return”; the “You ain’t leaving this without a baby” contraction.
While perusing Google Scholar a few days prior, I found numerous controlled studies showing that drinking a tea made from dill seeds had a significant affect on shortening “active labor” if administered when dilated from a 4-5. Damon prepared some, and I drank a mug full. Whether this contributed to my labor or not, I won’t know. You can’t have a test group of one.
The tub was ready. I climbed in and ahhhhhhhhhhh!..It was blissful. My contractions were coming about every 3 minutes (according to my midwife) and were manageable. I told my midwife that I was in my happy place and waiting for the other shoe to drop. She checked my temperature and checked Remi’s heartbeat with the Doppler. Both were looking good. I drank two bottles of water.
I had to pee, expecting for the terrible intensity to start from leaving the tub. Nope. Contractions were still manageable. Were these even doing anything?
I had the midwife check me. I don’t even know how much time had passed, but I was at a 6. These pulling feelings were doing something. Remi’s head was farther down than my cervix was, so it needed to open and pull around her head. I wasn’t in a hurry. I was in my happy place.
I left the tub for a little bit to sit on the ottoman. It’s good to change positions, and the tub was feeling a little warm. Damon put a protector over the ottoman to keep me from bleeding onto it. I sat there with a towel draped around me and discussed the different education levels of each type of midwife and their varying degrees of liability. I learned so much about midwives during this labor. It was awesome.
We kept conversation going while I talked through my contractions. I climbed back into the tub and just relaxed. I loved this spa tub. It had a built-in seat that I pressed my back into. Damon refilled my water bottle probably five or six times.
I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. I kept waiting for that intense labor to start. I asked my midwife when on Earth it would happen. She said that this labor was unusual enough for me that anything could happen. She offered to break my water, but I wanted to wait for my mom. I knew that breaking my water would automatically intensify everything. I wasn’t in a hurry. It was probably about 11 o’clock when she checked me at a 7-8.
Damon was tired. This labor was boring for him. He hadn’t needed to do anything but add more hot water to the tub and refill my water bottle. I told him that he could go to sleep on the couch if he needed to. He said that he’d wait for my mom to get here.
This labor was weird!!! Instead of fighting each contraction, I talked through to my uterus and cervix: “Pullllll over her head, please.” They didn’t hurt. Some were more intense than others, but no pain. I just talked through them, telling my uterus to hurry up and bring me my baby. My mom had landed and was on her way over. I was at an 8 when she finally arrived with my younger sister. She came in, jokingly asking if I was dying.
“Naw, Mama. I’m good,” I chimed from my reclined position in the tub.
Everyone happily got settled. The room was calm. I was at an 8 and feeling just fine, but I wanted to meet my baby. The midwife had me lay back in the water while she reached in and broke my water. The first layer of the amniotic sac broke easily. The second layer was thick and much harder to break, but it did. It was about 12:15 AM.
Like I predicted, contractions intensified. Gradually still. I had reached in to feel her head a lot over the course of labor. She was so close to being out. My cervix was trying her darndest to pull around her head. It was probably a 9 when I reached it, bunching up around the bottom of her head.
This was the first time throughout my labor that I couldn’t talk. I turned over onto my hands and knees and leaned on the seat. I breathed through these; one at a time. The midwife told me to look for that pressure. My lower back was starting to radiate. I felt that pressure, all right. Someone asked if they should wake up Damon. I told them not yet. I wanted for him to sleep. It would be a few more minutes.
Suddenly, it was like a rubber band snapped. I quickly said, “Wake up Damon” before I started roaring.
The most intense, massive pressure hit my butt and vagina simultaneously. I screamed at first, forgetting myself. The midwife reminded me to make low sounds. Unlike my past two births, there was no break between pushing. The urge to push didn’t come in waves. It didn’t stop. The pressure didn’t relent.
Her head was out. Unlike the past two, baby didn’t just fall out. I gave two final pushes, feeling her whole body come out.
I turned around and picked her up to my chest.
“I just had a baby!” I smiled, “Holy crap. I just had a baby!”
My first thought when I saw Remi was “Holy crap. You look just like your brother.”
I sat there, just holding her. My butt still reeeeeeally hurt, but it wouldn’t go back to that place again. It wouldn’t hurt like that again. I just held my baby. The contractions to move the placenta out hurt A LOT (and the ones that came for the next few days). They hurt more than about 95% of my labor did. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing before Damon cut it. Her umbilical cord was super thick. It took a few minutes to get it cut.
The midwife came over and massaged my uterus, coaxing the placenta out. I wanted the dumb placenta out sooo badly. It finally came out with a push. It seriously looked like a purple sea squid.
I was nervous to climb out of the tub, as I knew that I had torn. The midwife and Damon helped me out. Or my mom. I can’t remember. The midwife held a diaper and a protector underneath me to catch all of the blood. We made our way to my bed. Someone handed me my beautiful baby.
Remi latched on like a snapping turtle. It hurt for a few days until I figured out that I was overcompensating the amount of boob that would fit into her mouth. She’s latching much better now.
The midwife checked our heart rates. She checked how Remi was oxygenating. This made me hold my breath. My little boy had flunked this test. Remi’s numbers were perfect. No NICU for her. I had the midwife check her again half an hour later just to be safe. Again, perfect oxygenation.
The midwife weighed her. 7 lbs even. 20.5 inches long. Her head was 13 1/2 inches around. Small baby, but sizable for a 37 week-er. And the biggest baby that I’ve had yet! Her “How old am I?” development stuff would show that she was actually 38 weeks old. Apparently, I just cook babies like a pressure cooker.
Damon drove to my sister’s to pick up my other kids. I was excited for them to meet her. They were both tired and disoriented when he brought them in.
I took a shower while my new little person was loved by everyone. Ty would spend a few hours later following my mom around exclaiming “Baby! Baby!!”
It had been the labor that I’d been hoping for. I’d secretly been hoping that it’d just be me and Damon for most of it. It was. It was the easiest of my labors. Pushing felt like freakin’ Godzilla was breaking out, but it was only for seven minutes. My mom was there when it got harder. Remi came exactly when I had wanted her to come.
I didn’t get to hold Ty very much after he was born. I didn’t get that bonding week. I didn’t get that new baby smell with him. I never got that first best week with my son. It was spent in the hospital; waiting for him to breathe, watching monitors and machines, sitting depressed in a chair. I had been terrified of repeating that experience; holding my baby and feeling no connection. I eventually did find my love for Ty, but it took awhile.
Remi’s birth was everything that I needed to heal from Ty’s; from the timing to the adoration that comes from holding that beautiful baby girl. I get to smell her head. I get to smell her milky breath. No one took her from my arms. No one takes her away. No one tells me when it’s “my turn”. She’s mine. She’s perfect.
While taking my first postpartum shower, I said a long prayer to God; thanking Him for everything. I had bawled my eyes out in my first postpartum shower with Ty. In this one, I smiled. I might have even laughed a little bit.
It’s my 23rd birthday today, and I was suicidal on my 22nd birthday.
One year ago, I wanted a baby. Yes, Ty was only 8 months old. He was still a baby. But I wanted another one. Don’t ask me why. I just did. My periods were still irregular from breastfeeding. I thought that I was pregnant, but wasn’t. I was depressed because of hormonal changes, and warped brain chemistry. I was still unemployed after having quit my warehouse job.
In my misery, I took a sleeping pill that knocked me out for hours. When I woke up, I wished that I was dead. The sleeping pill made me feel like a zombie. I wrote it in a diary entry on my laptop. I spent hours crying. Damon got me two chocolate bars from the store in an attempt to make me happy. They barely made a dent in my depressed state. I didn’t want to be alive.
It was snowing outside. The car is one of the few places that I feel safe letting loose all emotion. When things get hard, I call my dad. We talked for a long time. Well, I complained. He listened. I cried and asked why God decided to be this way. I asked why He doesn’t friggin tell us what His big plans are. Why doesn’t He tell us what He wants for us to do? I was willing to do His will. I was willing to get on board with whatever He had in store; I just had no freakin’ clue what that was.
You would think that I would stop getting pissed off at God. You would think that I would quit blaming Him for my problems by now. You would think that I’d have grown up enough to realize that His existence doesn’t mean that life is fair. I hadn’t, and I haven’t.
But I’m getting better. Life has gotten a lot better.
I’m 9 months pregnant with another little girl who is due to show up within a few weeks. I live in a house with wood floors and beautiful walls. My kids finally play (and fight) together happily. I’ve only gained 40 lbs this time due to my keto diet and exercising. I’ve been so much happier this time. School has been a wonderful distraction..Honestly, not having class over the break is going to be a huge challenge as somehow, I NEED to be mildly stressed out to be happy… idk bruh.
Husband has been growing out this beard that makes him look older and hotter ❤ As of late, I’ve been leaning on him in every way possible. He does the dishes, laundry, diaper changes, buckling children into their car seats, etc. because my irritable uterus prevents me from completing the most basic of tasks. He loves me. This amazing dude loves ME!! Despite how incredibly condescending, annoyingly talkative, and picky I am, he still feels like hanging out with me. Crazy…I’m still waiting to find out that he’s a serial killer or harboring some dark secret. Nobody is that good!!!
Our families have helped us to be okay. They’ve watched our kids, bought us food, filled our car with gas, painted our house, and a million other things. We wouldn’t be okay if we didn’t have the families that we do; especially our moms.
Today, I felt hopeful.
I visited my lovely midwife. I took Haven out for ice cream. We sat while I listened to her tinkling voice. I redyed my hair. My sister came over to play with the kids. We attended a church Christmas party. Physically, I’m tired and feel like I’ll go into labor soon. But I’m the most blessed person in all of the world. Perhaps not always the happiest; but definitely the most blessed.
God’s got some good ideas. Maybe someday, I’ll learn listen more often. Maybe next year, I’ll be smarter. But this year, I’ll settle for blessed.
Kids will f*ck up your house. The women who post the utopian garbage articles about how they got their kids to always pick up after themselves are FULL OF LIES!! They probably hire a maid to clean up the whole house or stay up until 3 AM before taking the fluffy Pinterest-y photos. Children hate cleaning. Oh, yours doesn’t? Congratulations on birthing the second Messiah!!!!
My children follow me around, demand things, invade my personal space, and generally irritate me 65% of the time that I’m around them. The ONLY time when they will ignore me is when I ask them to clean up. Win-Lose?
Since I can’t friggin bend over without feeling like I’m going to give birth or pee myself, I’ve compiled an extremely helpful list of ways to keep the house from getting messy. Out of the benevolence of my heart, I’ve decided to share it with you.
Allude yourself into thinking that you’ve got it all together. GUARANTEED!
Accept that your children hate you.
Accept that your life will be this way until they all move out of the basement at age 34.
Pay someone to rob you.
Hire a pyromaniac or kleptomaniac to house-sit for you while you go on vacation.
Host party with 15 small children. Tell them that they can keep any toys that they can fit into a grocery bag (distribute at end of party). Lose all parent friends forever.
Snort cocaine off of the practice potty in your children’s room using their play money. Astonish your children with your newfound ability to play pretend for 17 hours straight instead of telling them to “GO AWAY!” like you usually do.
Participate in a white elephant gift exchange. Provide entire pile of wrapped presents. Make up excuse to leave before gift exchange begins.
Threaten to sell your children to the zoo if the entire house is not spotless. Actually do it.
Research organizations accepting buttloads of toys. Donate said buttload.
Eat using strictly plastic and paper utensils. Better yet, use your hands. Cook all food over small fire in backyard.
Send your children to boarding school.
Hire a hooker to dress up as a French maid. Preface visit with “I’m into some reeeally dirty stuff…”
Drink until furniture and toys all blur together in a haze.
Spray children with garden house as they lean against car. Two birds with one stone!
Instruct children to befriend children without toys. Gradually leave behind toys. Move on to next friend when the previous one can no longer shut their bedroom door.
Frequent community pool or splash pad around bath time each day.
Move to quaint cabin in woods and enjoy idyllic tranquility. Visit main house once a week with groceries.
Harbor fugitive drug-dealer in exchange for cleaning services.
Invite family over for a Hoarders marathon, Passive aggressively hide everyone’s keys.
Claim to be a destitute widow to stay at other people’s houses for cheap. Depart in dead of night.
Hire professional clown to dish out cleaning instructions to children. Have clown snack on a “petrified deer corpse” for double the speed!
Hold up a bank teller for $1. Can’t clean if you’re in jail!
If none of these work, you are clearly a defective human being who made equally defective children. ❤
Imma go a little contradictory to some of my past posts: I am a wealthy, wealthy woman.
Everyone has seen the cover of, or at least heard of The National Geographic. Somehow, flipping through it, I’ve always though “Huh. Would you look at that. How terrible would it be to live in a dirt-floored hut?”
I’ve been known to gripe about how “poor” I am as a student. I’ve cried over not “having enough” to my mom. I whine that my grocery money comes from Damon donating plasma. We live off of student loans and a boatload of prayers. Family has to lend their help often. My net worth is well into the negative when you factor in what I’ll be paying back when I finish school.
Here’s the real deal: I’m a spoiled, privileged brat. IMy situation is luxuriant AF. Reflecting on this has caused me loads of intrinsic embarrassment.
Allow me to walk you through my cushy life…
I am seated on my plushy-A mattress and down comforter in a well-lit, air-conditioned room. I’m typing post this from a several hundred dollar laptop, using this miraculous thing called THE INTERNET. I’m blowing my privileged snoot into soft double-ply toilet paper while moistening my face with $9 lotion that I didn’t have to make myself. This song on YouTube is wonderful! It’s a cello/piano cover of “Shape of You”. The cello holds a special place in my heart because I played for seven friggin years.
Best tell the three-year-old to tell husband to check Google Hangouts. Heaven forbid I should I have to walk across my house to ask him what time we’re leaving for places today!
Oh, what’s this? I need to pee! Lemme shuffle on over to my tiled, well-lit bathroom which has a flushable toilet; whisking away my urine and poop so that I never have to see or smell it again. I wash my mits in the sink, which has a magical faucet; it springs forth clean, drinkable water of whatever temperature I want…just to clean my hands! Time to brush my teeth because I had breakfast this morning. Let’s spit into this pristine water using a minty-white substance that magically takes away the germs from my already mostly-white teeth.
Maybe I should wash my hair. After all, it’s been a whole sixteen hours. Can’t have that! Whoa! This shower thing can give me twenty-five minutes worth of HOT water on full-blast! Gotta shave the barely-there stubble from my legs using vegetable oil and a metal-handled razor blade.
All done! Time to dry myself off with a fluffy, clean towel that wraps around my whole body. Let me go put my worn-once clothes in the washing machine that can wash 20 items of clothing at once at high-speed using MORE hot water, cleans everything out, and SINGS ME A FREAKIN’ SONG WHEN IT’S DONE!
Quick! They might start to smell funny if you don’t transfer them to the dryer which can dry 20-30 articles of clothing simultaneously while blowing a heavenly smell out the vent, presenting me with warm, soft, delicious-smelling clean clothes.
What am I going to do with all of these clothes now? It might take me awhile to hang them all up in my closet beside all of my other clothes. Gah! What clothes do I want to wear on my body today? There are so many choices and combinations. It might dip below 50 degrees today, so a plushy sweater might be a good choice. What if it snows?? Good thing I’ve got my Ugg boots and insulated jacket to wear!
My stomach is feeling a little on the needy side. I’ll go open my temperature-controlled, machine that keeps ALL of my food cold for as long as it’s plugged into the wizardry outlet behind it. What to have for breakfast? My kids had their oatmeal with milk already. Or did they have Cheerios? Not sure, let’s check the FRIGGIN SINK SINCE THEY NEVER FINISH THEIR BOWLS!
Can we just take a moment to appreciate how ABSOLUTELY RAD it is that I can buy STRAWBERRIES IN NOVEMBER?!
Thanksgiving leftovers! Thank you, Mom! Let’s have some mashed potatoes with fried beans and butter. Maybe Damon will want the sweet potatoes for lunch. I have to salt my food, but where did I put my pink Himalayan sea salt? Oh, whatever will I do without it?!? Is it sitting with the 10+ other varieties of spices above my stove which cooks food to optimal temperatures simply by me turning a knob? Nope, not there! Could it be hiding behind my brown sugar, coconut flour, and ginormous container of coconut oil? No dice! Darnit..Wait, here it is! Silly, salt! What were you doing behind my fish oil capsules, vitamins, and fluoride tablets for my kids?
Dear me, these potatoes are cold. Let’s put them in the microwave which can heat an entire bowl of food in under one minute. I’ll complain if it’s cold in the center! Making me wait two minutes? So much work!
I’ll sit at my table in my also-tiled kitchen and READ A DANG BOOK BECAUSE I CAN READ!! Hoho! I didn’t buy this book. I checked it out for free in the air-conditioned, enormous library right next to the dang coffee cafe that has free Wifi for all of their students! And hundreds of computers. And printers that allow you to print as many friggin pages as your little heart desires for a small fee of 5 cents per page. 5 CENTS A PAGE? THE AUDACITY!
This book is good, but WHAT IS THAT SMELL? The nineteen-month-old has soiled his disposable diaper. Ugh! That’s the second time today! Oh, well. Thankfully, I have a few hundred more in the bedroom that has over 200+ toys for them. I’ll have the three-year-old look for the disposable wipes. Nope! She’s distracted by her 100+ outfits gifted to her by adoring grandmothers who are all still living. Finally found the wipes! Right beside the ten other packages.
Lay baby down on polished, hardwood floor to change him. This one is especially bad, but probably not bad to warrant a hot, soapy bathtub filled with waterproof toys. Best get him dressed, since we plan on going to my parents today. Even more choices for clothes! Do I put him in pants or jeans or sweats? Do I put him in a sweater, T-shirt, or a sleeper? Well, I’m too lazy to find a match for his 5+ pairs of shoes, so I’ll put him in footie pajamas.
Where is the husband? Ah, yes! He’s in his office doing his chemistry homework on a computer that cost several thousand dollars. I complain that the Wifi is “slow”. It’s taking longer than two seconds to load a single page? UGH! The struggle is real! On Monday, we’ll have to attend classes at our enormous air-conditioned university building being taught by people who also attended universities and sit with other people like us in well-lit, carpeted classrooms.
Let’s figure out what time we’re leaving for Mimi and Grandpa’s house. I can’t find my phone! Maybe it’s jammed between the cushions of my white, faux-leather couch? Nope! what about the gigantic brown armchair? Again, no dice! Here it is; on top of the bookshelf filled with colorful Dr. Seuss books gifted by my mom for my children. Now I can call my family.
Family scripture and prayer time. I’ll read from my embossed faux-leather scriptures to my family in our comfortable, well-lit living room. I like this spot on the couch best; it gives me a nicer view of my huge, green backyard. We read for several minutes on the couch and fold our arms for the prayer. We say thank you for our blessings and ask for blessings upon all of our 12 siblings who are still living, as well as ours parents, and friends. We pray that our little girl might arrive when she’s supposed to. And even if she’s earlier than expected, we live within twenty minutes of a high-quality hospital with the latest NICU technology. We’re not worried about me dying in childbirth. Amen!
Time to leave! Where on Earth did we put our electronic key that can unlock the car from sixty feet away? Sitting next to our wallets which holds our plastic money dispensers. Damon helps me load the clean, adorably-dressed children into their car seats which cost $300+ each (thank you, Mom!!!) Darn! I have less legroom in my air-conditioned, leather-seated Mercedes Benz. Only half a tank of premium gas?! We’ll have to fill up soon. It’s a little nippy out. Let me press this button that heats my back and butt with three different degrees of toastiness.
Let’s check the mail before we head out. Bills…oh great! Coupons for even more deals less than a ten-minute drive from our house. What do you mean I owe $1 for my flu shot? Shouldn’t I be able to get life-saving vaccinations for free at my local pharmacy that has every kind of medicine that I can think of living their shelves? What greedy people! At least my kids got their flu shots for free at their last well-child visit with a qualified pediatrician. But ugh! I had to sit for half an hour in the quiet waiting room to be seen! Don’t these people know that I have other things I’d rather be doing?
Oh yes, the car ride.
Thankfully, I brought snacks for my children. Heaven knows they might starve to death on this thirty-five minute long car ride to their grandparents’ 6000 square foot home in a gated community. Stupid people driving stupid! This trip is going to take FORTY-FIVE minutes instead?! BAH!! How could I be subjected to this well-built freeway filled with tens of thousands of other well-maintained vehicles reasonably abiding by traffic laws? Ugh.
I probably left out a ton of things, but do you get my point? I’m living the life that the kings of Persia would envy. I’m living better than 99.9% of people who have ever walked this Earth. And if you’re able to read this blog post, you probably are too.
Having two kids can be chaos. The kids are fighting over a torn cardboard animal book, despite there being like thirty books scattered around the living room.
I remember before Ty was born. I was terrified. I hated being pregnant, but having two kids? How in the heck would I logistically do the things?! So many diapers. So MANY FRIGGIN DIAPERS!!! Two people needing stuff at the same time!! How would I do it all?
Then I did.
Then I blinked.
And he’s eighteen-months-old now. He and Haven play together and fight now. They’re at the age where I don’t feel bad if they’re screaming outside of my room while I’m trying to do homework. They’ll get bored and go find something else to do…eventually.
Having three kids will be hard too. But I feel like it’ll be easier in some ways. I’ve already done this twice before. With Haven, I could sit and hold her. Nothing else could get done if the baby needed me. I sat in a rocking chair and nursed her for hours. Sometimes, I could type with one hand with her nestled into my other arm.
I can nurse a baby, read, and eat at the same time. I’ve developed selective hearing with cries. I can distinguish a “I’m bored cry” from a “I’m hungry” cry in a baby. I can soothe a pissed off infant and pretend like I’m reasoning with a three-year-old; the one who tells me everything that I’m doing wrong as a parent. She enjoys being Ty’s other mom and even changed two diapers this morning (with supervision, because…duh)
“Mommy. That does not make any sense!”
Ohhhhh boy! I’ve got an eldest child. I know how this goes; I’m one myself. How many times did I make a point to tell my parents everything that they were doing wrong with my younger siblings? SO MANY!!! Forgive me, Mother. I have sinned.
I’m less nervous for three because my brain is wired differently now. I feel comfortable leaving my kids at home with Damon all day while I go to school. I honestly don’t think about them a whole lot while I’m gone either. My whole brain does not revolve around “the baby” now. I’ve somewhat compartmentalized my brain to help myself function better. I can enjoy being a mom without being obsessed with my children.
But I’m still not a pro at this though. Nobody is. Maybe they’re a pro with their kids.
But I enjoy it more because I’m not obsessing. It goes by in five minutes. They’re newborns for like a whole second. They have popcorn poop for a day. They’re fat and crawling around for a day. It really feels like a second; not in the moment, but the moment after.
They’re holding hands and jumping on my bed right now. Ty started to talk in the last few weeks. It makes me a bit sad that I can’t remember when Haven started talking.
Haven: Ty!! Say “poop”!
Repeat like 50X
I’m afraid to blink. I’m so afraid to blink.
Third child assaults my abdominal wall like 80X an hour. “Count their kicks!” my foot. Does my belly look like someone vigorously shaking a bowl full of jelly? Yes, she’s awake. Am I grinding my teeth during biology while she grinds her knees and feet against my uterus? Yup. It hurts. But that’s just what she does. It’s her personality. It’s Remi. I’ll be meeting her in two months.
I’ll blink, and I’ll be in labor
I’ll blink, and Remi will blow out the candles on her third birthday.
I’ll blink, and Haven will be boarding the bus for her first day of school.
I’ll blink, and Ty will be fighting with Haven over use of the car.
I’m so afraid to blink.
This is why they say “Enjoy every moment!” It’s such crap to hear, because you either think “How the actual ef am I supposed to enjoy sleep deprivation?! This is considered a form of torture, ya know!!!”
Or you think, “I know. Now I feel guilty for sucking as a mom today. Thank you for reminding me that tomorrow, she’ll be graduating….”
Ty is ripping at the hole in my sheets. Haven is making up a song and pretending to drive. They’re making each other laugh and singing the tune in unison.
Haven: Lemme turn on some mommy music! Mama! I turned on some mama music! Imma turn on some yummy music! I’m a gummy bear gummy bear gummy bear..
It’s been a good morning. I’ll try to keep my eyes open, and not blink.
Shootings aren’t a political issue. They’re certainly not a gun-control issue.
The bodies of the victims are torn apart like hyenas. A devastation for some; ammo for others to push their agendas; yet another chance for more finger-pointing and outrage that goshdarndit people won’t get on my side about this!!!
The root of the problem has nothing to do with the guns. It has nothing to do with who the victims identified as. Every tragedy stems from the exact same source: someone felt that what they were doing was more important than another person’s life.
People are going to kill other people. People are going to rape other people. People are going to scam, rob, and screw each other over. Why?
Because there are seven billion people bustling around on this planet who don’t know that they matter. People behave differently when they know that they matter. They give freely to others, instead of shrinking away like terrified rats guarding their nests. They love others, instead of fearing betrayal. They live without feeling the need to attack others. They don’t perceive arbitrary differences as gross attacks on their existence. The choices of others become a sad reality instead of a threat to their own well-being.
Children who know that they matter blossom. Children who don’t know that they matter suffer. Study after study. Lecture after lecture. Attachment. Teach them that they matter. Don’t hurt children, they say. They need to be loved even when they do bad things, they say.
We grow up and think that adults are different.
Somehow driving a car, working a job, using a plastic card to pay for food, and wiping our own butts granted us the delusion that we aren’t children anymore; that we don’t need that same constant adoration that a parent bestows a child.
I don’t love my kids because they earned it. You can never earn what your parents do for you. Love is the one thing that people always deserve that they haven’t earned. Love is not a career to climb. Love is not a reward. Love is not a prize.
Love is a condition required for every human being like food and water. Love is the sleep of mankind. It’s a retreat after the fight against yourself and the world. Sleep deprivation turns you into another person. Love deprivation makes you ugly. It hollows you out.
There is nothing that you can do to earn love from another person.
You’re not God. You’re not an angel. You’re a hairy creature who expels waste every day. You’re a lung-sack with a bad attitude. You’re a fleshy bundle of bacteria. You’re run by a spine, two eyeballs, and a grey lump of fat smaller than a head of cabbage. Yet, somehow you’ve gotten this idea that you’re more than dirt.
One day, you’ll be worm-food. Everyone goes into the ground or into the air. What matters between the moment that you’re lifted from you’re mother and the day your bag of bones shuts down?
If you don’t matter, then what you do doesn’t matter either. This is why people commit crimes. “Greed”, “Lust”, and other sexy, literary buzzwords gloss over motives, allowing us to ignore the true motive behind each and every ill. People who don’t know that they matter, behave like nothing that they do has any consequence. Why should it? They have no consequence. They’ve received no answer to that cry from the ditch. They’ve learned that they are their only means of survival. People starved of love behave like animals.
What is war then? War is nothing more than a group of children using metal to hurt other children. How often do we scoff at the squabbles between two children in line at the grocery store? How often do we berate the screaming toddler for demanding a treat, something “better” than what they’ve been handed for dinner?
How often do we go home and conduct ourselves in the exact same manner? But we’re sitting in front of a glowing box! We’re behind the wheel of a grand hunk of metal! We drink milk from another animal’s nipples! We’re so grown up! We know better!
Better than what? We still exist in a world where people invent philosophies to evade responsibility and need reeeeeeally compelling reasons to give a crap about other people.
People are going to hurt other people for as long as people feel like abandoned children. People are going to hurt other people for as long as people treat love like blood-money; only to be dispensed with cautious scrutiny. People are going to hurt other people for as long as people forget God.
Without the existence of God, you wouldn’t be. Without the existence of God, we’re all breathing bags of worm-food.