I don't even know if I can pretend it's not selfish. When he comes home from work my husband, Romeo, will hold me and cuddle me and rock me over it and know that I had a bad day. But that doesn't mean he'll understand *exactly* why I'm so upset. And he won't be even a smidgen upset himself. I called my mother in tears, thinking maybe of all people, I could get a free pass with her. Nope. It was her firm reaction that made me go from thinking, "It's illogical, but it's still a big deal to me personally," to now thinking, "Wake the f^@% up, Juliet. You are the only one in the world that would even care about this, much less give it a second thought." She told me I was being ridiculous, overly dramatic, absurd, and ungrateful, and those were just the put-downs (or reality checks depending on which way you are looking at this) that I can actually remember from our brief phone call.
What's going on? Many readers of this blog know that my delivery of Tybalt was not an easy one. I had heart complications and have been told I am no longer able to have any more children. For some people one child is their goal. I say more power to them. As long as they are happy and feel accomplished, life is good. However, for me personally, I am not happy nor do I feel accomplished. I love children (every job I've had has revolved around children) and I have daydreamed about my perfect 3-4 children since I was 3 feet tall; so being told at age 26 that child bearing was over for me was a hard blow. No, make that a suffocating grasp by one who holds the Star Wars Force. I don't know the movies past some iconic clips and references, but I know Darth Vader has the power to strangle someone out just by practically pantomiming it from afar. That's what it felt like when the strange doctor hovered over my bed and gave me the news. (Against express wishes from Romeo who knew I'd be devastated and wanted to break the news to me himself, in private, once I was released from all the hospitals, but was at work that morning, so I was alone with a doctor who wasn't my normal one; and, gee, thanks "Dr. I Have No Bedside Manners and Didn't Read the Notes On the Report Before Coming In To A Room I Was Simply Doing Rounds For And It Really Wasn't Any of My Business Anyway"...)
Romeo and I have considered adoption, but for now at least, it isn't in the cards. Adoption is expensive, and we don't have a savings to even put towards it. And with all my medical bills, it will be awhile before we could even start to save. I love my son. DO NOT MISTAKE ANYTHING I EVER TYPE WHEN FRUSTRATED OR ANGRY OR SAD OR HURT. He is "practically perfect in every way" (thank you Mary Poppins). But I want another child. I won't rest until I get another. I personally feel, that as for me, as for our family, we are not complete. There is a spirit waiting in heaven that is supposed to join our family. I don't know how, and I don't know when, but I feel it. Maybe adoption, maybe surrogacy (new idea we've been bouncing around, but only during those "If we ever won the lottery..." kinds of conversations because of the price tag), or maybe I oops get pregnant even though we are on 3 types of birth control, God protects the baby and me through it, and I have my tubes tied after. Who knows? I don't. But until then, I'm mad that without either science, a miracle, or the aforementioned lottery winnings, Tybalt is an only child. And as friends and family get pregnant and then use social media to post ultrasound copies, update the world regarding how many weeks along they are, and then of course come the pictures of smiling Mommy and baby in hospital bed, captioned with date, time, weight, and length stats by a sleep deprived father, well...I go from mad for my own situation to Queen of Jealousy and an Angry Bitch.
There are some people I would be overjoyed to see have a baby. Frenchie is one. My dear friend "D" and her husband "J" (Tybalt's Godparents) have been trying for years and can't conceive--they are another example. Perhaps it's because these women are my best friends so their happiness is mine. Perhaps it's because, while entirely and definitely not necessary, they love me and would think about my feelings when announcing their pregnancy. But it's women my age that are on their sometimes second, but even more so third or fourth baby that drive me a little nutty.
**INSERT NOTE HERE: I KNOW MANY OF OUR READERS HAVE MULTIPLE CHILDREN AND/OR ARE PREGNANT CURRENTLY. I BEG YOU NOT TO TAKE OFFENSE. ALL OF YOU ARE DIFFERENT TO ME THAN THE WOMEN AND SITUATIONS I AM TRYING RELAX ABOUT AND GET A GRIP. THROUGH THIS BLOGOSPHERE WE HAVE COME TO SHARE OUR JOYS AND OUR HEARTACHES. I AM SIMPLY SHARING SOMETHING THAT IS IN THE HEARTACHE CATEGORY. AND I'M THANKFUL FOR YOUR LISTENING EARS. IT IS THE FORMER CO-WORKERS, FORMER FRIENDS, CURRENT FRIENDS, FORMER CLASSMATES, ETC., THAT I KNOW I WILL BE FORCED TO SMILE FOR, LEAVE EXCLAMATION MARKS AFTER A WRITTEN CONGRATS ON FACEBOOK WHEN I WISH I DIDN'T HAVE TO CONGRATULATE THEM AT ALL, ETC, THAT GETS MY BLOOD BOILING. PERHAPS BECAUSE THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT'S IT'S LIKE TO HURT, THEY DON'T HAVE THE SUPPORT SYSTEM WE DO WHERE WE HELP EACH OTHER AND REALLY SEEM TO CARE. MAYBE IT'S MY FAULT, MAYBE IF I TOLD THEM IT'S HARD FOR ME, THEY'D THINK TWICE. BUT I KNOW I WON'T. BECAUSE I SHOULDN'T. IT'S NOT MY PLACE TO PUT A DAMPER ON THEIR GOOD TIMES. ANYWAY, I'M JUST TRYING TO SAY NONE OF YOU DEPRESS ME, BECAUSE WE ARE ALL CANDID HERE AND KNOW NONE OF US ARE PERFECT. IT IS THOSE I HAVE TO PRETEND IN FRONT OF THAT MAKES ME WANT TO GORGE MY EYES OUT WITH A FORK WHEN YET ANOTHER NEWBORN PHOTO IS UPLOADED TO THEIR FACEBOOK WALL.** (If you are still offended, I apologize that I can't clarify further or enough apparently, but invite you to private message me so we can have a heart to heart.)
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, the part where I explain what prompted this Tuesday morning rant. Today is August 21st and it is Tybalt's 2nd birthday! We are celebrating with a small party on Saturday, but today is the big day. Every birthday is hard on me, as I found last year's was as well. It should be noted that amongst other things, I have the usual birthday anxieties--I am simply bummed that my little baby is growing up so fast and already turning 2 years old! And I do think most moms experience those sorts of feeling at some point. So in that regard I'm not crazy or highly unusual. But where the rare (and perhaps crazy) kicks in, is that at his birthday I am reminded of while pregnant my high hopes for an easy scheduled c-section, cuddling him in the hospital for a couple of days, then taking him home and making him mine all mine (oh, and Romeo's too, lol) as we became a tiny but perfect family. Instead I have flashbacks of glaring lights in hospital "bulletin board material" ceilings, hallucinations from IV drugs, not being able to talk due to a tracheotomy, only seeing my son to feed him a bottle when my MIL brought him by, and even then being forced to wear a mask and scaring myself that I was scaring him because all he could see was my eyes. Then being released when he was 3 months old but in rehab in the basement for bedsore complications and not being able to help my MIL with his care, even for the few hours I could stay awake due to meds, until he was 4-5 months old. Not exactly the birth story you want to celebrate yearly. *SO* many people (aka practically everyone I know) tell me I just have the wrong attitude about it. That I truly should be celebrating--being alive. And not just "alive." But "alive!!!!!!!!!!!" as in with as much jubilation and as many imaginary exclamation points as possible. I'm not knocking being alive. But what the world doesn't seem to understand is, in celebrating being alive, even just knowing and recognizing that I am, I still have to see the memories. It doesn't make the pain go away. Flashbacks are flashbacks. I don't choose to dwell. They pop up whether I like it or not. A smell, or a word will do it while I'm awake. Other times they resurface as nightmares during the little sleep I do get. And for a few weeks around Tybalt's birthday both years now (and Thanksgiving which is the week I was finally released from the last hospital, but that's a separate side note) it just seems to happen more often. So even recognizing I'm alive and thanking God for it doesn't make it any easier to grin at Tybalt's birthday party. And it definitely doesn't make those eternal optimists that keep popping out babies, like I wanted to, like I dreamed I'd be doing, any easier to stomach.
So, I DO want to enjoy today, I want to make it all about my wonderful little Tybalt, yet I can't push the storm clouds away. So, I've simply been doing my best to ignore them. Realize they are there, but not focus on them. It hasn't been easy, but I'm trying. Honest to God, I'm trying....I WAS trying...
.....Then IT happened. The 365 to 1 chance I prayed wouldn't. (I even said out loud to Romeo and Tybalt last night, "Everybody pray that 'it' won't happen for the next like 24 hours. Just 26 hours to be exact! Then I'll be fine.") See, last March I found out Romeo's cousin, "CD" was pregnant with her second child. CD and I have been passively aggressively competing since I met Romeo. CD and her husband "ND" started dating right around the time Romeo and I did. The big Hispanic family's attention steered off of us and on to them. CD and ND got married 3 months before we did. Family members low on cash went to the first wedding (theirs) and not the second (ours). I announced I was pregnant the following February. Guess who announced she was pregnant in April? There went any pomp and circumstance I had coming. Beyond that, "LD," CD and ND's precious baby boy, has been achieving developmental milestones weeks if not months ahead of Tybalt. I am not concerned about my son, as all children develop differently, but try explaining that when ND's accomplishments are practically blown-up billboard size on social media sites like Facebook for all the extended family to see! If I have one more "Aunt" ask me whether Tybalt can do what LD is doing in his latest video, and then give me a concerned look when I admit he can't yet-----I'm going to lose my already bat s#!% crazy mind! So, since the big announcement that CD was expecting, and due sometime in August, I've been praying, hoping, and just sending as much positive energy into the universe as I could muster...but...as I'm sure you already guessed it--guess who gave birth to her beautiful bouncing 2nd baby boy today, August 21st, and what dad already has pictures plastered all over both of their Facebook walls?
So not only am I jealous of all healthy women who have healthy babies, not only is today hard because a) I don't want my baby to grow up, and b) it also throws me into a panicky tailspin of awful hospital and rehab memories, not only am I already in a personal funk because her 1st kid is so much more advanced than mine, but now...oh, now...she had her baby on my baby's birthday.
Okay, I'm done now. Done ranting. Done possibly annoying some of you with my pessimistic views. Probably not done with, but trying to forgive, my mother and the rest of the world for not understanding what I'm going through and calling me selfish, illogical, and a weirdo. But on the other hand, how *can* anyone understand? Show me someone who's gone through the *EXACT* same things I have the last two years with my health and my disappointments. I mean exact to a "T" and I'll show you someone who might possibly relate. Moral of the story? Maybe I am being selfish, but walk a mile...