I haven’t updated the blog in a few weeks. I keep sitting down to write and falling short of words.
I really want to be positive. I want to come on here and tell this small audience of people who read my blog that everything has been so amazing and wonderful, and shed some incredible wisdom about pushing through the early hard stuff and realizing you can do anything.
The trouble is, I’m not so good at always staying super positive through the hard stuff. My husband, my rock? He is an expert optimist. He always sees the best in difficult situations. The beauty of that is he always reminds me of the good, the happy, the light in our tunnel. The down side? He struggles to understand why I don’t always feel as optimistic as him. He tries, but he is just so darn positive, it’s difficult for him some days to understand.
But I know I’m not alone, I know that the way I’m feeling, and that the emotional roller coaster I am on, is just like ones before. I need to work through how I am feeling and allow those emotions some time to come and to pass. This is the part of our journey that is mine alone. My husband doesn’t experience it this way, and my sweet, incredible, smart, strong-willed baby? He doesn’t know anything different.
I struggle with each milestone that is moved up too fast, I struggle with the idea that I PICTURED it being a different way, that I WANTED it a different way.
I am appreciative of every moment along this path, and I always wrap my head and my heart around our own unique milestones, and our own unique path. But each step along the way requires digesting the information and emotions as they come.
We are 5 weeks out from our next surgery and this week we made a major step in preparation for that surgery. Drinking exclusively from an open flow cup was a goal we set back in the summer. We talked about it like we talk about all big ideas. It was general, vague, and far off in the future.
We started slow and it was a fun little game, we played with water and let him control when he felt ready to be pushed a bit, and when he needed a break. But then we felt our deadline approaching and he became increasingly frustrated with our “little game”. He began throwing a full cup of milk clear across the room, slapping my face as I tried to bring the cup close to him. He wanted his bottle. He did not want to drink from a cup. I didn’t blame him. He would cry and throw milk. I would cry and clean it up.
The days in the last month were long and difficult. They were a constant reminder of our approaching surgery and the struggles we might face in its aftermath. You see, Patrick was born with a cleft lip and palate and that means surgeries and recoveries. That is a big idea. The details of that big idea can be more challenging to face day to day.
My son is so smart, and he knows that he loves his bottle and that the cup isn’t the same. My son is strong, he fights for what he wants. My son is sweet and loveable, but he is also feisty, strong-willed and has a temper. Getting my son safely across the finish line of recovery means pushing him past what he wants to what he needs. It means fighting him FOR him.
This week marked the official end of bottles and Patrick is doing outstanding. He is drinking from his cup like a champ, the absolute best case scenario, the best I could ever dream or hope for. I am so overwhelmingly grateful for this somewhat miraculous turn of events.
But like all things, the other shoe is dropping. My mom emotions are kicking in and it feels like my baby is growing up. I’m gratefully and miraculously putting Patrick to sleep after he drinks his cup of milk and I know I should be positive now, we have gotten exactly what we have worked so hard for. But my arms miss that special time with him. I miss that time in his rocking chair, when the room is dark, and the sound machine is loud. I kiss his head and rock him as he drinks his bottle. The saying goes “the days are long but the years are short.” But our year isn’t even a year. It feels far too short, and that breaks a piece of me I don’t know how to explain.
I haven’t written in a while, because when I sit down to write in the past month I find myself consumed by a number of emotions I am ashamed to admit. The emotions make it hard for me to clearly explain how exactly I am feeling. In this small window of clarity I can tell you that I have crossed from frustrated and exhausted, to angry and bitter. I have gone from sad to mad, to relived and back through them all over again.
This stop in our journey is hard. It’s another step in accepting where we are and what life looks like for us. Accepting the differences in our journey means letting go of the picture in my head of how it should be or could be. Like each step before I am giving myself some grace. I am letting myself feel what comes in an effort to work through it on my terms.
I am so grateful that Patrick is stronger and healthier than ever. That I have the leading expert in positivity walking by my side. That I have family and friends who listen to me, and check in on me, and give me the same opportunity to move through emotions without judgment or question. Raising babies takes a village and I have the best one. Tonight I’m resting myself right there.