Saturday, August 13, 2011

Being grateful.

I have a tendency to approach life negatively.  I have never been a glass half full kind of person, although I have often wished I were.

Some days, it's like a black cloud hanging over me.  I have battled depression for many years now.  I went un-diagnosed for many years, was finally diagnosed after Monster Boy was born, felt I was on the road to recovery, was at a GOOD place for the first time in I can't remember how long.  And then Miss Sunshine was born.  And we found out about her cleft.  And I spiraled nearly out of control with grief and depression.  I blamed myself.  Let's all be honest here - any mother of a child who has any kind of medical issues, be they visible or not, blames themselves in some way.  Whether it's a "What did I do to cause this" or a "What didn't I do enough of to prevent it?", those thoughts creep their way in.  I had a very hard time dealing with Miss Sunshine's cleft, for a long time.  I latched on to the inability to breastfeed her and manifested all of my grief, my pain, my anger, everything, in to that.  I cried myself to sleep so many nights I can't even begin to count them for you.  I didn't even FEED my own child for nearly three months.  Honest truth here - I couldn't.  I was not strong enough to do it.  Well, and for the first three months, every time she ate, I was hooked up to that stupid breast pump and literally couldn't feed her myself.  And I cried, bawled, so hard the first time I gave her that bottle.  I lost what little sleep I could have had over her weight, the way she ate, her hearing, her ears, her surgeries, everything.  I hate, despise, that aspect of her cleft.  See, with Monster Boy, I went through a rather intense emotional journey during my pregnancy with him, and I never really got to enjoy my pregnancy.  I still feel robbed of that.  But his infancy.  Oh, how I reveled in being a mother, in holding him, nursing him, everything.  He was a joy and in some small way that helped make up for the strain of my pregnancy.  With Miss Sunshine, I was able to share in my pregnancy with Daddy Mac.  We were both able to be excited, and enjoy, my time being pregnant with her.  But her infancy.  I still feel robbed of the excitement of that.  And then, I feel guilty for feeling robbed.  But, I'm being honest here.  Nobody wants to watch their child struggle, to deal with surgeries at such a young age, to know they hurt and that you had no choice but to willingly put them through pain.  It's heart wrenching.

But today.  Oh, today.  Today, I found joy in my child.  It was nothing spectacular, or exciting, or even new.  But today, after work, after nap, Miss Sunshine was running around in all her totally-excited-crazy-two-year-old glory.  Talking up a storm, laughing, playing with the dog, with me, with anything and everything she could get her hands on.  And I looked at my little girl, and I realized, she's not my baby anymore.  She's growing up.  She's beautiful, smart, funny, and only TWO!  And oh, how much I feel I have missed out on, being depressed, and stressed, and sad, and unhappy.  I don't want to waste another minute being that way.  Logically, I know, I will.  But for now.  Oh, for now, I'm going to be grateful for this journey.  It is one I never would have imagined I would have taken, but I am all the better for it.  And so, today, I sat Miss Sunshine down on my lap, and I played with her hair (it is amazing how I can't get this child to sit still for a simple pony tail, but an intricate design involving a dozen teeny tiny hairbands and ponytails and she sits like a statue) and I painted her nails (Thank you, Piggy Paint, for an all natural, non toxic nail polish safe for small children!) and her toes, and I laughed and I giggled, and I hugged her, and I held her, and I loved her.  And tomorrow, it will be Monster Boy's turn.  Well, not the pony tails or the fingernails, but you get what I mean.  I'm going to strive to be grateful for what I have, instead of worried over what I don't.

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