Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Like My Normal

I recently read a post from another blogger that perfectly describes how I am feeling right now. I wish I could express with my words the same eloquence but I lack the story telling skills so vital to this type of writing. In all honesty I had already discussed this with my counselor and to an extent in a previous blog post. I now know the phrase that sums up my experience...I am not normal.

I am not normal because I am not having a normal pregnancy ending with a normal baby.

The reason I am so hesitant to be around people and talk about the baby is because everyone assumes that all is well and good. And really, there is no reason why anyone would assume anything different. I look like any other normal pregnant person. However, when faced with questions/comments such as "are you getting excited for the baby...it is a girl right?"...the answer lays stuck somewhere between my logical brain and my constricted throat. I end up stuttering or mumbling same lame answer. The end result is always the same, I am unfriendly. And I get to do this every day.

But, do I lie? I feel such the hypocrite.

Or do I tell the truth to a stranger, casual acquaintance or a friend who does not already know what is going on?

Do I shock the hell out of them and say...no, I am not at all excited about the delivery of this baby and here is why. Right now I can protect the baby to an extent. Once delivered there is not one damn thing I can do. Nothing. Pure powerlessness. I can only sit back and watch while my tiny infant is poked, prodded, stuck, tested, hooked up to machines bigger than her tiny form, has her chest cut open, her heart operated on, go through more at one week old than most people will ever experience in a lifetime. She will not understand what is happening and I can do nothing but watch. I will not be able to hold her or nurse her, the two basic ways to reassure her in the way babies understand with touch and smell. She will only know sterility, discomfort, pain. For at least 5 weeks. And this is just stage one.

I believe in prayer and faith. I believe in God. However, right now, it all seems inadequate somehow. Too little for me to do when faced with such huge tasks.

And it sucks. And it is not fair. And I am resentful. And I am selfish. And to be truthful...I don't want to be positive right now. I hate this and I hate the way I feel.

I do not want to be a "heart" mom. I do not want to have a chronically ill child. I do not want to rack up ridiculous medical bills. I do not want to have to come home with an oxygen tank, feeding tubes and heart monitors. I do not want to be scared all the time. I do not want to miss Kyle's birthday. I do not want to miss Halloween and quite possibly Thanksgiving. I do not want to miss the Gator games. I do not want to be away from my boys when they need me. I do not want to miss out on Friday kids nights. I do not want to miss the boys laughter and silly antics. I do not want to sleep in a bed without my husband. I do not want to have my husband two hours aways when I need him to take care of the details or hug me. I do not want to adapt to a new normal.

I like my normal just the way it is now.


Keysgal@QuietWater said...

You said it very eloquently and on point. There is no way anyone can understand how you feel or know all the emotions you are feeling. It's a hard reality which no one would want to face into. All I can tell you is how much I admire you and Kevin for your decision to give this baby girl the chance to be. Nothing in this world is harder than seeing your child endure pain or discomfort,I know, because I am watching you and I hurt with you. Remember: a few years ago I lost my "normal" and it has been a struggle to accept my "new normal" so I can understand that feeling completely. There are no magic words I can speak, no magic wand I can wave. I can only offer my love and caring and you have both.

Laura said...

Oh, Ashley, all that you said is perfectly understandable. You have every right to raise your fist, shake it at the sky and rant and rave against this unfair hand that you have been dealt. I do not pretend to know what you are experiencing, but I do so respect you and admire you for taking on this situation and giving this sweet baby a fighting chance at life. You and Kevin are heroes in my book and I know that someday, your little girl and the boys will all see what heroic and brave parents they have. When they are old enough to realize the magnitude of what you are doing, they will be as proud of you as I am.
♥ Aunt Laura ♥

Kristi said...

Keep writing what you are thinking. It surely has to help. We love you.

M said...

I do know exactly what you are going through. And reading this post really brought it all crashing back into my consciousness. I will never get over it, I don't think. It sucks and nobody who has not been through it can possibly understand. Not even family. I have felt cheated and terrified and helpless. We were even advised to abort one of the twins because there was such a small chance that she would survive and lowered the odds for both.

Kari and I both were on the verge of an absolute break down at several times. My therapy was to write about it on a blog too. I think that really helps, just to get it out.

Don't lose hope, trust in God, prayers do work. The best advice that we got was from one of the NICU doctors. "There are going to be some bumps in the road. Don't get too high and don't get low."

If you need to talk email, FB, or call. Anytime. Same for Kevin.


Anonymous said...

Ash, I'm glad you're opening up and getting alot out. You've got so much on you right now and I worry about you. I know you are so scared! Please keep the faith and know that something good always comes from something bad. We just can't see it yet. I am still praying everyday for you and yours. My love is with you every minute of everyday!

Aunt J