Monday, November 29, 2010


Some days I just do not know what to do or where to turn.  We had one of *those* evenings with A today.  It was a brief 15 minutes or so, but quite honestly I am tired of dealing with them.  And I know I can't be.  But some days are just too much.  I'm thankful today was only a short time and she had a quick and great recovery.  But man, it is such a roller coaster.

I have been trying to do some research on the web about children & anxiety, reading books, trying to gather and try new techniques.  But it never feels like I'm doing enough.  And at times, I am overwhelmed at having to do it all myself.  The husband is not taking my discussion of the medication possibility well, and I didn't respond very well to that.  Lovely, made myself feel even more like crap then.

I do not really have anything great to say and I guess I am wallowing a bit in self pity, needing to vent.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


“Be thankful for hard times in your life. Try not to look at them as bad things, but as opportunities to grow and learn.”

This quote caught my eye and I think helps place those difficult moments into perspective.  I am thankful for my wonderful family, friends near and far, good health, knowledge, hope and magic.  

It is difficult at times to appreciate those moments that get you down.  When your child is screaming at you that you do not care about her.  When your child hits you because you said no.  With reflection, I must be grateful for those times.  I am grateful that I and my children are here to suffer through those parenting difficulties.  I am thankful that my husband and I each have our own mind with our own ideas, beliefs, and thoughts.  Even if that creates slight disagreements.  I am grateful for their love. 

I am very thankful for the good health of some loved ones who have waged war against cancer.  My dad just had another scope and got a good bill of health.  He will continue to have scopes and the treatments as bladder cancer's rate of reoccurence is pretty high.  I'm thankful our friend Laura battled breast cancer and won.  She did so with grace and bravery. 

I am unsure if I can even put into words how awesome it is to own our first home.  Sure, there are some things we need to unpack yet and projects aplenty, but that is what makes it fun, right?  Every few days or so, my husband looks at me with this magnificent grin and tells me he loves our house.  The joys and pains of homeownership are still being enjoyed here.

Magic is in our lives each and every day, from the twinkle in my children's eye to the freshly fallen snow reflecting the bright sun.  I am so very thankful for that as well. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I've tried to start this post so many times over the last week.  And each time I have given up.  The words too difficult to pour forward.  Too difficult to write without tears obscuring my vision.  And too difficult to imagine what life will be like in the future.

I've mentioned briefly before that Ari was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder earlier this year.  But I haven't written much about it since.  And my hope is to start doing so in order to just even sort out my own thoughts.

There are days we have no idea what child we will get.  Will the sweet, happy child awaken?  Or will the dragon child?  Will she be happy-go-lucky in the morning only to fall apart after we pick her up from school?  And how will the evening go?  Endless questions as to what will happen.  Each day.  Some days or weeks are better than others.  We can go weeks without a full blown breakdown.  But we can tell when it's starting to build.  And we do whatever we can to avoid it, but it happens nonetheless.  We manage.  We struggle.  We cry.  And we laugh.  We get to ride the roller coaster with her.  And it sucks.  Plain and simple.  Even though I get to ride in the cart with her, I cannot imagine what daily life is truly like for her.  Trying to hold herself together during the day at school and then feeling safe enough at night to decompress, even if that means it ends up in a trantrumatic fight.  There are days we simply do what we can to help her.  And it often doesn't feel as if it's enough.

When she had testing earlier this year, it was brought out that she suffers from low self esteem.  Duh, we already knew that.  But what we didn't know prior to that is that she sometimes thought she shouldn't be alive because she's not good enough.  We were told she didn't have a depressive disorder and didn't understand what suicide really was.  Sigh of relief right?  That's what we thought.  I've told her father that if we cannot help her along her path of life well enough, I can see her developing an eating disorder or becoming a cutter.  Suicide is not something that any parent ever wants to imagine their child thinking about, especially at age seven. 

However, that is what we have had to think about over the last two weeks.  The other weekend, she became very upset at me and during her blow up in her room, she created a card for me.  The front was beautiful with pink letters saying "I love you mom" and hearts.  The inside left page speaks of being sorry for her actions earlier in the evening.  And on the left inside page...."I'm sorry I am so stupid."  With a drawing of herself.  Putting a sword into her belly with blood dripping down, pooling on the floor. 

Yes, that is what we have been dealing with.  I had to have a discussion with my seven year old to discover if she was seriously thinking of harming herself while internally freaking out, wondering if we need to hide our knives and take her to the hospital.  Through sobbing, I managed to learn that she was not serious about hurting herself, but did think she shouldn't be alive because she is too stupid.  I made her promise to not hurt herself and told her we'd discuss it with her counselor.   The counselor believes this is just how she is expressing herself.  That she does not really understand what truly her photo meant.  I cannot tell you how every fiber of my being hopes she is right.  Trying to have a discussion about suicide with an intelligent young lady while not trying to teach her about suicide is delicate.  No other word for it.

We hear often that no one cares about her, that we don't love her.  I can tell her until I am blue in the face that I love her and she's the most beautiful and special girl and she doesn't believe me.  Makes one feel like a huge fat failure as a parent that's for sure.  It makes us wonder what lays ahead for her, for us.  And makes us wish that things could be easier for her.

It's been a great week this week.  I'm sure the high's and low's will continue.  We'll have more fights.  There will be more laughs, more awesome moments.  Those make the unbearable days more bearable.

National Prematurity Month

Eight years ago, I was preparing to finally leave the first trimester behind.  The yukkies were (hopefully) almost over.  I was a prepared preggo.  I read books, joined websites, and read all the materials my doctor gave me.  And yet, when the pain struck that day in May of 2003 I had no idea what was happening.  First, I was told it was my gall bladder and then the news came.  You will be having your baby this weekend.  What?  Um no.  We have Lamaze this weekend and she's not supposed to be here for another 5+ weeks. 

What happened then became a haze as I entered in the world of HELLP Syndrome.  Something I had no clue even existed.  Something that I have since learned takes the lives of women and children on a regular basis.  I developed severe preeclampsia just shy of 35 weeks and had to deliver my baby in order to save my own life in addition to hers.  That 4lb guppy is now seven years old and is very healthy physically.

Fast-forward three years and our son is born at 37 weeks (what my OB calls "not quite term-ish").  I had been battling gestational hypertension for about five weeks prior to D-day.  And that day, my OB told me it was a good day for me to deliver as things appeared to be heading south within my body.   He was born slightly early and while small at 5lbs 6oz, he did great and came home with us.

So many friends & family members have walked the road of prematurity.  It's a road I would not wish upon anyone.  No one dreams of having a baby in the NICU.  The dreams of the "perfect" pregnancy and "perfect" birth go quickly out the door.  And the guilt that comes along the prematurity road is horrifying.  Asking yourself daily what you did to cause this.  Is the issue your child is having now related to their prematurity?  This is not a fun or easy path to walk.

But having a premature baby allows a gratefulness for life to enter your life that I'm not sure otherwise can be introduced.  You cherish the small things and are so damn proud of the accomplishments your child makes.  You know and have empathy for the road that others travel with difficult pregnancies, birth experiences, and issues with your child.

Please visit the March of Dimes to learn more about prematurity and how to help us fight it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Week of Hell

I haven't been able to come up with an adequate post to describe this last week, but I do need to ask for good thoughts please.  We could certainly use them as we figure out some things.