Thursday, August 23, 2012

A New Day

Aug 23 2012
So I’ve decided to make a life change. In just about every aspect of my life, I’m not happy with what I have become. So I’m taking this time to work on myself. I wanted to document the highs and lows of this with my blog. Here are the events as they have affected my life.
I was let go of my job at Dell. It was a mutual decision between management and me, but it came down to the fact that this was not a job that I liked nor had a desire to be in. It was hurting me to get out of bed. I had lost quite a bit of my work friends during my maternity leave and it was just easier when I was single and had no other responsibilities. So I left and had a few options at hand.
While I was in my last week I started looking for other options for full-time employment I was presented with a sales supervisor role in a different company  but essentially with the same tasks and struggles. Was this really what I wanted?
So I slept on it and came to the conclusion that I wanted to go back in the medical field. Prior to going back to Dell I was a Pharmacy Tech and absolutely loved my job. I hated not making much money so decided to go back to Dell in 2011, because if I didn’t take the chance I would never know how I felt. With some research and using some resources I had from those previous jobs at pharmacies I decided to take a leap and go back to school to pursue a Nursing Degree as a RN.
This was a big step and I would not have done it without the support of my family and friends. I’m so excited in this time to go back to school and not only teach my brain how to think and study again, but also to learn a whole new field of study that I’m actually passionate about. After completing this degree I would like to move forward to be a diagnostic sonographer should that still be an option at that time.
My next task in being unemployed was my actual health. With every day that I wasn’t working I spend these days with Harper. But as the summer is closing it makes it harder to be creative on a budget. But I do make it a point to do active things. I also started a Couch to 5K app again to get back into running. Each day is a struggle with that app but I always felt so accomplished after I was done and started to crave that accomplishment. So now I’ve trained my body to run and love running again. My issue is and always has been over eating. I was finish running 3 miles then come home and make a sandwhich… and some chips and salsa… and a banana… and a sleeve of Oreos…. I wasn’t even hungry. I just eat because I’m bored or sad, or lonely, or happy. On a scale of 1 -10 if I’m not at inbetween a 4-7 ratio, I’m eating.
So I’ve taken it upon myself to join a support program for Biggest Loser that meets on Wednesday nights with weigh ins and homework to redesign how I eat and how I think about eating. I’m hoping this will be all the right steps to get me back to my happy place.
Dating on the other hand has been one devastation after another. So I’m going to take a step back in the dating scene. Whether platonic or not, I have enough to distract me with and I think that it is not a priority for my life right now. Granted last time I said that I met a guy I dated for over 2 years. So I’m really going to try to stick to my guns with my rule here. I think it will redirect the way I treat men as well.  So here goes nothing….

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January Catch Up

So I condensed this to a Video Blog. I hope this helps sum up the past few months.
The video is obviously a little screwy but the audio is good.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Moving Day

So the time has come to flee the coop. I've spent the last 2 years with my daughter living in the extra room at my parents house. A lot of people think this means that my parents raised my daughter. Unfortunatley TV shows can steer people to imagine that. And if I was 16 that would make sense, but I'm not and they didn't. I like most other single mom's leave a full time job at 5pm - ish, steam with my road rage in traffic accross town for an hour to walk into a house with all 3 people there, my daughter, mom and dad. In some cases I get lucky where my mother would make a home cooked dinner for all of us, but in most cases it was as follows.
5:45ish pull into the driveway and collect all things to go in the house with. Including my purse, gymbag, laptop and whatever toy/doll Harper brought in the car that morning when I dropped her off at daycare.
5:50p - open the door 1/4 inch to hear Harper yell "MOMMY HOME!!!" and come screaming my way a full steam ahead speeds. Usually with no time to drop all of my things I just add her to the 30 lbs of stuff I've already got weighing me
5:55p - Parents give me the update on the poops/pees, attitude and food intake within the last hour and I don't see them again other than a pass by in the kitchen.
6p - At this point, I've put everything up and am attempting to get comfortable. But I've already started my 2nd full time job as a "one person parent team".

Speaking of getting comfortable, there are a lot of things that creep me out about how much I'm like my mother because of the fact that I see us as 2 different people. I remember my mom used to come home from work and within 5 minutes she would have her makeup off and some sort of moo moo on. I remember thinking why does she get in her pajamas so early. Well now, I totally get it. The only thing that is usually my priority when I walk in the door is, 'i just want to take this bra and these heels off'.

Anyway, back to the point. Last weekend was rather overwhelming. I was so excited to move. I would have a place to organize my shoes and a walk-in closet. A bathtub! Not just a bathtub (which we don't have at my parents house, just showers) but a garden tub! Harper has her own room and bathroom where I let her pick out the decor, to a degree. My own washer and dryer. My own designs and pictures. Finally I would be able to walk from my bathroom to my closet without covering my lady bits! I just was so relieved and thought that day would never get here!
But that day did. Friday, I moved a few things that I bought brand new and just got it all out of the boxes and put up. I couldn't wait to get the furniture in and start decorating.
Saturday morning I wake up at 7am, start packing a little. But I go to pick up my u-haul with my brother and then stop by Mattress Firm to get Harper's new mattress. I got her a queen size bed because it was the same as the full size bed that I was originally looking for.
I drop off the mattress with my brother and head over to my parents to start packing. As I'm packing I realize how much stuff I had, and how much stuff I didn't have anymore. I sold a lot of stuff when I moved back in with my parents to make ends meet when Harper was born, but also to make more room for us there too. So the initial cost of getting up to living standards was WAAAY more than I had planned for. So the fact that I felt like I was bleeding money I didn't have yet was weighing down on me a little.
Once we got the truck and cars packed we headed over to the new place. As my brothers start piling things in my empty dining room I start delegating each thing to them. "That goes in my bedroom, thats Harper's bathroom". I slowly started getting more and more overwhelmed. What if this doesn't fit. What if Harper doesn't like it. What if all she does is ask to go home and scream for Mimi and Poppy (My parents). It just became way too much.
It got to the point where I was sitting on my patio drinking straight out of the bottle Pinot Grigio and sobbing to my brother (the glasses were still packed). I had to call my mom who was really the only one that could calm me down. She also eventually showed up and helped me. It was really hard for me to unpack and organize Harper's room. So she did that and it helped tremendously.

Needless to say, the day Harper came home with me (she stayed at her dad's during the move). I took her to the pool, which she calls the "ocean". She loved it. We skyped all the grandparents that night to which she was so excited to show off her new room too. But a few times she did say "Mommy, I go home now". to which I would reply this is where we live now. She only did it for a couple of days. Now as soon as I pick her up she immediatley says "Mommy, I go new house". It warms my heart to hear it. I definetly am enjoying my time with her more. We are getting in a routine and she continues to amaze me everyday.

I couldn't be happier, other than if I weren't in so much debt now. Either way, I wouldn't change anything about where we are.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thank You Thank You Thank You

So I have to first apologize for asking Teddy to feature my blog, then getting so wrapped up in my own life that I never took the time to actually come back and check out what was going on.
With that being said, I got a new phone and I figured out how to link all my email accounts together. When all the responses popped up, I was shocked. Not only at the amount of responses, but your kind words soothed my chaotic soul this morning.
I feel horrible for taking so long. But I hope that you accept my apologies. But I also want you to know that it means the world to me for you to read my blogs. It is therapy for me and your reponses were overwhelming for me. Just simple words and the smallest things go a long way.
I really appreciate all of you and keep reading.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The One Person Parent Team

So amongst all of the tough mother stuff that was physically draining and emotionally trying, there is the fact that I was single that made it even harder. So this would be the post that explains the hard and fast details of being a one person parent team.
I am lucky to say that I realized quickly that the “happy family” thing, where we were together, wasn’t going to work. We both decided that when I was pregnant. So it was bittersweet. I got to experience the pregnancy without the hormonal overloaded fights that I’m sure most people are aware of. The sad part to me was not having that person there for the first time she moved or kicked or anyone for that matter. Or having that person to talk to about how I was feeling, or how was he feeling? I will tell you that if you are pregnant and single, that this phase passes by quickly.
My faith in God grew tremendously. I kept saying that God would never give me more than I could handle. However there were times when I questioned that as well in the pregnancy. But if it weren’t for my faith in God and my family, I don’t think I would have the strength to be the mother that I am.
Back on the subject; It is physically degrading. You’re body gets bigger all over, while your friends and family are losing weight, while drinking a margarita, and jumping on trampolines. All of which we can’t do for almost a year! You’re body gets stretched literately to the limit of what you can only assume is the biggest it can go, but then another week goes by and you get bigger. Being pregnant you deserve to have someone tell you that you are beautiful and that you are special enough to be growing and harboring this amazing being. So if no one has told you that, then you need to know that. And I hope that you truly understand that a lot of women go by and think that it isn’t. So soak it in. If you were or are with someone that didn’t understand that about you, then you have to question the relationship itself as well. However this is my opinion. Be a big and beautiful momma!
So skip forward to the birth of your child. Some women are lucky enough to have that person there. I was. I can tell you it had to be one of the most awkward feelings in the world for me. There I was experiencing one of the most exhilarating feelings in the world. Looking at this human being I helped create. And to my left was the man that helped create her as well; A man that I literately hadn’t talked to other than quick details about the baby and maybe what was said at our doctor appointments, for the last 7 months. Every woman wants that overwhelming feeling of love and to share that emotion with the father of your child. But for me, it was adrenaline but a silent kind. I didn’t know what to think. Since I had a C-section, I was the first to hold her, but I was so numb from the chest down that I asked him to take her because I was afraid I was going to drop her from being so light headed. I asked her father to hold her for the remainder of my operation. In that moment, I realized that this wasn’t about us. It wasn’t about what other people thought or rumors I had heard. It was about me and this baby that had just been born.
I have to say, I didn’t immediately fall in love with her either. Most women don’t say that, but I think that most women actually know what I’m talking about more than they will admit. It took about a whole day for it to set in for me. Then I was hooked, I was addicted to her every move. It was like falling in love again. She was perfect to me. From her grunts, to her crooked toe, I just couldn’t stop looking at her. Her father was there a majority of the time during the hospital stay as well. It was nice to have that experience together, but once again awkward most of the time. A lot of the time I felt like everyone that came in from his side, was holding their tongue, almost like I wasn’t wanted in the room. Most of the time I wanted to leave, but due to the fact that I had just undergone surgery, my motion was limited to my room. Also consider the amount of overwhelming hormones that go through a woman’s body after having a baby. I’m pretty sure I was over analyzing every word and motion. So the hospital stay was great, but very awkward trying to put a finger on what I was actually feeling and what I was thinking I was supposed to feel. Keeping in mind with what I just mentioned, there is nothing that could’ve been said or done to make it better. So as a single mother, a lot of moments will arise where you just deal with it. This was my first one.
On the day that I was to go home from the hospital was probably the most overwhelming for me. I knew it was coming. I was scared to death, I was tired. I was ready to go home and I was more ready to sleep in my bed with no IV. (Seriously, if they could just take that line out of my wrist it would make sleeping a lot better in those beds.)  So we loaded up all the balloons, flowers, plush animals and such in the car. Then we get home. My dad brings in Harper in her car seat. As soon as I go to lift her up it was a wave of emotion that hit me. It was more than I could handle. All of a sudden it was really just me and her. I had carried her for over 9 months in the womb and now she was here in my house and she relies on every single thing that she needs from me. A thousand thoughts rush through your mind when you realize all of this.. There’s no one else that can take the place of what you do. Can you do this? Can you do this by yourself? Maybe I can try to make it work with him again? What if he wants to as well? Am I going to be single forever? Will anyone find me attractive again? Am I going to have time to date? I’m so ugly! How does this work? Why is she crying? What did I do? What do I do now? Oh Shit! Support her head it’s going to fall off! Ouch my boobs hurt! Man, I’m so tired!.... That is just a glimpse of how I was thinking. I just remember having to close my eyes and breathe. Just exhale all of these crazy thoughts out of my head.
Somewhere and somehow I calmed my “crazy” and just started one step at a time. That’s all you can do. You can worry about everything from how to ease your aches and pain to world peace, but none of it matters when that baby needs something. You are the only source to that baby. You are all she relies on. It is only you and that baby. But here is the good part. You can do it, and you will have to keep telling yourself that. It goes without saying that we are great mothers.
So the thing I realized that I would like to help other mom’s understand is that by you fighting or holding a grudge against the father of your children, benefits absolutely nobody. Think about it this way, if all you want is to be back together, there is a very good chance one of you is going be unhappy the whole time. Why would you want to be with someone that doesn’t make you happy? I’ve seen women literately answer when I ask ‘why would you do that’ say “to make him miserable!” What!?! Why? Because he left you, because he has someone else now and you don’t, because he has more money. It doesn’t matter the reason! What is the benefit? How is that affecting YOUR life? Take a step back a think about if you got everything you wanted from him, would you be happier. In most cases, no. So why waste your time and energy. Time and energy that could be spent in helping develop and raise a happy baby. More than 50% of kids are in “broken homes”. So when you say you worry about your kid being made fun of because they’re parents aren’t together, reality check! This is reality. If some of these couples would put as much effort into raising a strong and independent child as they do arguing or planning some sort of revenge, these horrific statistics would be dramatically different.
My goal in telling my story is to hopefully start a small support group. I want to give people the support and hope that they need. Single parents are definitely a different breed. I somehow think we literately have thicker skin. I want to have developmental meetings with parents that are currently, or have had these feelings. No one will ever have the same situation I have. So I want help with my experiences and also learn about new ones. Like how to cope with your feelings and even just providing some needed advice or just an ear to listen. I’m very lucky to have a spectacular situation and a rare “broken home”. But I want to start this way of thinking with more people and then have those people reach out to others. In my mind, I would love to start a business with this in the future. However, even if I help out with just a few people that would be more than sufficient for me. It soothes my soul to help others, especially if I can do it through my past experiences. This is one of the greatest mother qualities that I possess.

Monday, April 11, 2011

“Yeah, it sucks, but you’ll get through it”

So yes, the first few weeks were hard. But I quickly learned that probably couldn’t survive without the help of my mother. As Harper got older, I began to bond with her and just fall in love with her. I still to this day look at her and am absolute amazement at how awesome she is.
What felt like an eternity at the time, was only 4 months of colic. As a mother you are helpless to wrath that belongs to being colic. There isn’t really one specific moment I remember other that a lot of little ones about this period of her life.
To those who aren’t familiar with colic it has the most unexplainable, vague, ambiguous definition I’ve ever read. So to sum it up for you, it’s when the baby cries all the time and there is nothing that will really soothe it. As a new mom, single or not, you will get advice from veteran moms. This came true especially with a colic baby and my good friend Facebook. Most of the time I welcomed all advice and I usually tried most of it. But those who’ve had a colic baby understand that it usually works the first time and the first time only. It’s like you have car and something is always wrong with it. But to repair it, it will only cost $50. Awesome then as soon as that gets fixed something else breaks, which is only a $75 repair, and then that gets fixed and that $50 repair breaks again. Then all that gets fixed and something new breaks, and so on and so on; every day for 3 months straight. It gets a little tiring. For mommies out that are enduring this I would recommend a DVD to watch called “The Best Baby on the Block”. I watched it and thought I would never do this. Then I reached the breaking point. Back to what I said earlier, this is my advice, doesn’t mean it will work but it might. To that note I don’t want someone to comment to this about how much they hated it and how it was a waste of money. If there’s anything I’ve learned from my 2 years as a mommy, it’s don’t get in the way of a mother and her opinion. I’ve been on both sides of that argument and it never ends. Which is also one of the benefits of being a single mother.
Ok, back to the subject. Harper being colic felt like it would never end. For a short time I thought it was me, I was doing something wrong. It was me that was making her upset. We used to call her cries the dragon-cry. She would cry so much that she would lose her voice. It sounded like a dragon that ran out of fire breath. She hardly slept for more than 2 hours at a time. But luckily my mom and I had somewhat of a schedule down after the last super mom incident (see first post). The only point at which I realized this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, was when I took her to the doctor for probably the 5th or 6th time in her first 2 months of life. I came in and there were 2 nurses in the exam room. Harper was crying at that point for probably 2 hours straight at that point. I know you are thinking, 2 hours? That’s not that long. Do me a favor, try to clap for 2 hours straight or just listen to the sound of someone clapping, same beat and tempo, same volume. It will make you want to stab screwdrivers in your ears after about 10 minutes. So imagine the dragon cry for 2 hours. So as we finally get into the exam room. The nurse asks me, “What seems to be the problem?”. To which I had another red moment. I mentioned that my child is broken and she won’t eat enough to stay asleep for more than 2 hours. She shits like a goose though. She doesn’t like to be swaddled, she just turns red. She doesn’t like to do anything but be rocked and I was all rocked out. At this point I had burned out a vacuum cleaner and a blow dryer to produce the white noise effect to soothe her. I actually paid $20 for a CD of white noise that we played all around the house, which of course worked for about 2 days. I hadn’t brushed my teeth in days. I barely ate because all I could do was rock her. The nurse looked at me like I was crazy, which at that point I thought I was. Then she asked me “Do you want me to take her?”. I handed her Harper and she did some sort of magical blanket-wrap-swaddle and then Harper stopped crying…. So then I sat down in a chair in the room, and started crying (it’s going to be theme for the first few posts in case you haven’t noticed). At this point, if Harper wasn’t crying I was. The doctor noticed she had thrush. To which he prescribed an anti-fungal that took another 5 days to work (yay).
I can honestly say it was 3 months of living hell for me. But in those rare moments that she would fall asleep and I would have enough energy to stay awake. I would look at her and just memorize her peaceful face. Everything about her was perfect. Her face, her hands, and the way she breathed. It just taught me patience. There isn’t an “ah ha” moment I can remember. I just know that I always thought to myself. This too shall pass. Every time I would get frustrated I would close my eyes and take a breath. And that sweet solitude face would appear. All the chaos around me just faded. It’s like a gift that God must give moms.
So now I’m one of those moms that says “Yeah, it sucks, but you’ll get through it” as the mom I’m talking to uses her finger to brush her teeth and is wearing her shirt inside out. This lesson is more about patience. These are the moments that make you a great mom.

Friday, April 1, 2011

To start off with....

So I’ve had a few people tell me for the past 2 years that I should write down things about my daughter when they happen because the time goes by so fast and I won’t remember it. Boy, were they right. So I thought I would incorporate that into a blog type post. So here goes.
To get everyone up to speed this is how and why I’m a single mother. I was in a relationship and it just didn’t work out. We tried giving it another shot a few months later and decided that we just weren’t meant to be. However a short time after our second spilt it turns out we had a little “souvenir”. Due to the circumstances we decided to stay separated and I was single the entire pregnancy. Needless to say being single and pregnant was hard, but not as hard as being single with a newborn. Most people that looked at my overwhelming large belly and then at my finger or the fact that I probably had my sister or parents in tow, I would just smile or growl at them depending on the hormones. Either way I got the same reaction which didn’t bother me either way. I’ve never actually been embarrassed to be a single mother until recently, which we’ll get into later.
So fast forward to one of first days of me and my daughter’s life when Harper was born; February 11, 2009 at 8:38am. I remember little details about the actual birth due to a little miracle drug called morphine I’m pretty glad there were tons of pictures taken that day because most of it is a little blurry.
There are a lot of things people don’t tell you when you have a baby (applies to all mommies).
It is normal not to fall in love with your baby at first sight. I can honestly say. Harper looked like a wrinkly old man when she was less than a day old. After she started to “air out” a little she was amazing and this perfect little cabbage patch baby you see in movies. So from experience and working in a nursery at a hospital that births the most babies in Middle Tennessee I’ll be the first to say, some of them are not the cutest. But what makes it special and miraculous is that you and one other person created this being. This living, breathing, screaming, being that has a heartbeat and eyes and fingers and toes. That poops and pees and lives for your every move. However, I didn’t realize this until about day 3 after she was born.
For the first couple of months, I was up every 3 -4 hours with feedings. There were times when I felt like throwing in towel. The following, being my very first memory of single mommyhood; My third day home, Harper was 5 or 6 days old. At this point I was overwhelmed with all the visitors we had from our 3 night stay in the hospital so I only got to sleep at night when everyone went home. But I was so hesitant to let Harper stay in the hospital nursery because I was afraid she would get neglected (I learned my lesson on this one as well). I enjoyed all the visits and I was ecstatic of all the support I had as well. But at night, Harper was wide awake! So I stayed up with her until I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. Every night at about 3 am I would take her to the nursery along with the 43 other babies in there at that time too. Each night walking back to my room with tears of exhaustion, only to have the nurse bring her to me 2 hours later ready for her to eat. So consider roughly 2-3 hours of sleep for the first 3 days.
When I got home I realized as I was taking her out of the car seat, there were no nurses. There was no nursery. I didn’t want to rely completely on my parents so it was just me this little creature relied on. I wasn’t producing enough milk to pump at the time for a full feeding so I was just this scheduled milking cow. At least that is what it felt like. Day 1 at home. I was so afraid of all the things I read about SIDS and how kids stop breathing in their sleep. And anytime she would move in the night I would wake up walk over to the bassinet and make sure she was ok. So I accumulated about 1 hour of sleep for the first 2 nights. At the point of the 3rd day, I had reached a limit of auto pilot. I was absolutely exhausted. I wasn’t hungry, I wasn’t producing milk. I was functioning. I could move off the couch. I could barely hold the baby, or feed myself. And just at that moment. Harper started to fall asleep. And I slept. She was asleep and I don’t even remembering how we got in my room but she was swaddled and I believe when I woke up I still had my robe and house slippers on under the comforter.  Either way, it was 1.5 hours later and Harper woke up hungry.
 I feed her and it was 3am. She unfortunately did not want to go back to sleep. I began to cry. Not sniffle sniffle, But snot and tears, hyperventilating on the living room floor. I had failed as a mother. My precious perfect baby wants to stay up and check out the house and coo and caa, and all I want to do is sleep. My body was in the process of shutting down I felt completely selfish and compromised. Just then, what looked like an angel swooped down by a bright light appeared. It was actually my mom in the hallway and turned the hallway light on. I remember trying to get out words to tell her that I couldn’t do it, that I wasn’t cut out to be a mom.  But I’m sure it sounded a lot like “MOM, I….. CAN’T…..” and then something that was probably sounded like a Cling-on in distress. Just like the graceful woman that she is, she helped me off the floor and escorted me to my bed and told me, “Baby, I’ve got this. I’m here to help you. You can’t do this by yourself all the time.” Or something to that nature. She could’ve recited the Declaration of Independence after that who knows. Either way, I realized I had to let go and take care of myself.
I slept for 6 blissful hours. My mother stayed up all night with Harper and I slept. I had come to the realization. I’m not super mom. I don’t have super mommy strength. I need help just like everyone else. That was probably the first real moment as a single mother I had.