Parenting woes.

21 October 2012

This topic has been on my mind a ton lately so I figured I'd write out my feelings for others to relate to or maybe learn from...Let me start here...

I have two healthy, amazing, fun young children.  When Asher was a baby, he exceeded  nearly all of his "milestones" until he started missing his speech milestones.  He was my first that I got to watch grow.  I was a stay at home mom and I'm a bit neurotic about teaching.  So I worked with him a ton.  We read everyday...all day.  He loved to read.  We used flash cards at an early age and he learned how to sign.  Of course he spoke, but not a ton.  At the time, a woman was in my life that I had considered a friend, though she truly wasn't and looking back I realized that her tearing me down was a way for her to feel better about herself.  But she would, nearly weekly, tell me how delayed my son was.  She would talk about her speech therapist friend, how she talked to her about my child, how she agreed that he was severely delayed even though she never met him.  She told me how brilliant her son was, and how severely lacking mine was.  

Though I stood my ground and knew deep down that my child was fine, her words stung and I continually questioned my parenting.  But I watched my child.  I saw how he was running and jumping at an early age.  He rode a 2 wheeler without training wheels before he was three.  He potty trained himself at two and a half.  This person, who was so hurtful, broke me a bit.  But then I started watching her son as she was watching mine.  He didn't jump when Asher jumped...he didn't didn't run when Asher ran...he still wasn't potty trained the last time we spoke which was nearly three.  None of which was bad or delayed in my eyes, but honestly, it felt so good to see her child not do things my child was doing. 

I hated feeling that way.  I felt like I was stooping to her level.  I would bring things up to her in a way to defend Asher.  And it troubled me.  I was judging her son, just as she was judging mine.  I justified it at the time by telling myself that I was just letting her see that all children grow in different stages...but in actuality, I was trying to hurt her as she had hurt me over and over again.  

We split ways a while ago and I have since realized that she was a person in need of help.  She was trying to make herself feel better.  She was trying to, and probably still, putting people down to build herself up and I'll probably meet another person like her in my lifetime.  A bully really.  Which I've never dealt with before, so it's taken me awhile to put it all into perspective.  And in the meantime, I've had Greyson who also, is a late talker.  And for awhile, I let her words creep back into my mind.  I keep worrying there's something wrong.  I feel like I have failed...again...even though I have tried so hard to bring him up and teach him.  But all of a sudden, just in the past few days, I've realized, that her hurtful words were just that.  Hurtful words.  Spoken by a bully who needs help.  And though I've always felt that children grow and learn on different time frames, and thankfully, most if not all of my friends feel the same, those words that were spoken over 3 years ago, still crept in and took root.  

So this is what I'd like to say...You can't put a child's development in a box.  They are literally all different.  And another thing is that it takes a village to raise a child.  It takes the help of our family and friends, their encouragement and love and support.  Not judgement. 

I believe that growth milestones are horrible things for the most part.  My childrens height and weight have been nearly always in the 90-100 percentile.  Luckily their doctor rocks and even in their more girthy stages, she never labeled them overweight.  I have friends with children who are barely registering on the milestones and some of their doctors have labeled them as too little...but they eat like horses and are super healthy.  Yes, there are those who are actually too heavy or too thin...but if your child is eating and healthy...they are probably fine!  and vice-versa.  Some kids are just tiny....some are giants...hence my children.  

I also believe that developmental milestones are nearly the same thing.  I think they are awesome in a way...I like to see what my child will start doing within each particular month...but what if they don't start doing it?  What if they don't start for months and months.  What if people you know start labeling them as delayed?   How would that make you feel?  I think these milestones are a good gauge and you should pay attention to your own child.  Watch what they're doing and if you're concerned, talk to your doctor...but follow your instincts too.  

We have just recently had Greyson checked with Early On for his speech.  He's still not speaking, but does use signs.  He passed all milestones but speech.  So he's getting therapy.  And I love it.  We are learning new techniques to help him speak.  But the more I research his milestones the more my concerns melt away.  He is doing physical things that far exceed his expected milestones.  Things like jumping and pedaling and running.  He's super active and super physical.  And all of a sudden I've realized that those hurtful things said by that hurtful person so long ago had crept back in and made me feel inept and scared for my child.  When in reality, my child...my children are awesome.  They are fine.  

So here's the thing.  Love on your family and friends.  Encourage them, so they can be empowered to listen to their own instincts.  Don't judge other's children, instead use that time to love on and listen to and observe your own children.  Raise your child in love and show that love to your family and friends.  Let's focus on our own families as well as supporting our friends rather than breaking them down.  Words hurt.  And they last, no matter how much you justify your responses.  

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

15 October 2012

Wow!   It's been awhile!   Sorry I've been so out of touch.  I need to get back into writing.  I think I've just been so spent with the boys, I end up just chilling when the silence finally comes.  Sorry!

I wanted to talk a little bit about Infant Loss and Remembrance Day.   What does it mean, to me, that is. 

I posted today on Facebook about it.  I think I posted 3 posts.  All about loss and remembrance.  I think a day like this is awesome.  I think its important.  But does it make me sad?  Usually not so much.  

It's been nearly 3 years since I've lost Selah.  Nearly 6, since I've lost Jorai.  I still miss them dearly.  I still struggle at times with guilt and anger and loss.  I still have nights where all I can think about are the nights I birthed them and held them and ultimately had to hand their bodies over to someone who would forever take them away.  I still struggle.  But I also still laugh, a lot.  I still live, a ton.  I still love, always.  

You see, a lot of people have a hard time hearing this.  A lot of people in "my community" of loss parents, have a hard time with the expression of "feeling or being blessed" but that's how I truly feel.  If I'm being honest, if I was never given my crazy daisy boys, Im not sure I would have ever recovered.  I'm not Job.  I know this to be a fact and in a way it makes me feel horrible, but that's life.  I know, deep down, if Asher and Greyson never came into our lives, my outlook would be different.  But today it's not.

I feel blessed.  I truly do.  I birthed two amazingly awesome girls that for some reason God needed.  And though at times it pisses me off that He needed them more than he thought I needed them, I know they're with Him.  And what better place could there be?  In the presence of God.  Isn't that what we all want?  Of course I would love to have a daughter.  I would love to experience pink and all the nuances of girlhood.  I would have loved to see the person(s) Asher (and Greyson) would become with older and younger sisters...but to be honest, we wouldn't have Asher or Greyson without the loss of Jorai and Selah.  And I LOVE my boys!   They are crazy and full of energy that deplete me at times.  But they're my boys.  They are my boys, the children that God wanted me to have.  I can't ask why He needed my girls.  It doesn't matter right now.  What matters are my boys.  Raising them and teaching them and loving them.  Laughing with them and playing with them and reminding them that they have two awesome sisters up in Heaven waiting for them.  

Sorry...I'm rambling.  It was a long day with the boys and to be honest, I think the rum and coke my awesome husband made me is making me chit chatty!  I guess this is where I'm going...

Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts today.  They mean a ton.  But I have to say, I'm OK.  I don't need prayers, other than for my sanity with living with two crazy boys! What I do need is prayer for all your pregnant friends.  I need prayer for babies.  For miscarriages and SIDS and congenital defects.  I need prayers for the rare, possibly, genetic connections to gestational loss.  I need prayer for babies growing within as well as growing on this earth.  I want people to know about stillbirth especially.  I don't want people to become scared, but at the same time, I want people to be aware.  I want people to know that stillbirth has a much higher rate than SIDS, even though it's only SIDS and miscarriage that we hear of at the doctors.  Stillbirth has a rate of 1 in 115 births, which is roughly 26, 000 a year.  26,000!   What was the SIDS rate in 2008?  2,353.  

When I was pregnant with Jorai, I worried about 2 things.  Miscarriage and SIDS.  When I reached the 12 week mark, I thought I was in the clear.  Little did I know...Little did I know.  Remember, what's the SIDS rate?  2,353...and the stillbirth rate?  roughly 26,000!   

So to be honest, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day means outreach to me.  Yes, of course it's a way for me to remember my children...but I do this every day.  There's not one.single.day that I don't think about my daughters.  Not one day.  I don't need a special day to remember them.  But it gives me the box I need to stand on to reach out to others.  

So, thank you for your prayers and thoughts about me and my daughters.  But please, please, pray for your pregnant friends.  Pray for their babies both inside of them and the ones whom have graced our lives outside of the womb.  Babies.  They need our love, but they need our prayers too.  

For my girls, I love you and on this day, please know I miss you dearly.  As I do each and every day.  You will forever be missed but we all will be patiently waiting to meet you in Heaven.  We're proud of you and long to get a chance to laugh with you and hug you tight.  I miss your beautiful faces.  Your perfect bodies.  Your impact on our lives and the lives of our family and friends will forever be imbedded.  You are both completely and utterly amazing.  Give a shout out to the Big Man for us and let Him know that though we may not fully understand His plans...we're more at peace with them than ever.  But between you and me...they still suck in my opinion!

For all of you who are still reading...pray like mad for all the babies out there.  I'm so sick of hearing that another family has to travel down this road.  Pray!  Just pray.  

To all my babyloss friends out there...my heart aches for you as always.  We traveled down the road that is indescribable.  I love you all.  You are awesome and amazing and each one of your children will be forever engraved in my heart.