Dead Hope

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They say you never truly see yourself.  You see a version of your body in a mirror or a photograph.  Everyone else around you is able to see how you truly look.  But can they see something in your soul that you are unable to see?

The version of myself that I am seeing at this time is a horrendous, ugly, tortured form of myself.

I don’t know if it’s because of all that is going on in my life.  Arguments with my daughter’s father, financial struggles, ongoing issues with my mother, possible depression…or if I know something deep down in my soul that no one else can see.

I have started to date since I have technically been single for about a year; the occasional sleepover with my daughter’s father happened, but it is now officially over and I am ready to move on.  Of course, there is always a mental struggle with dating while having a little one.  I don’t go on dates when it is my week to have her, but I still wonder if I am doing the right thing.  I have been wondering lately if I am doing the right thing – in general.

A man I went on a few dates with told me that I am amazing, beautiful, blah blah.  It was super sweet and I can see the sincerity in his gorgeous honey-colored eyes.  But is he looking at the real me, or the filtered photo version of me?

In my last relationship, I was fucked up.  He told me constantly that I was a liar, I wasn’t the lovely person he met, I watched too much TV, I use people.  In addition to that, I was betrayed by my mother who took his side, naturally, without even talking to me.  Not that this is about taking sides, I am just finally seeing that he is manipulative.  And being the type of person who doesn’t complain to everyone about everything, I never told my family anything that was going on until I finally had to defend myself.  But I felt so alone and didn’t know who to trust.

I started to hate myself.  I mean, what else can you do when your own mother brought you down your entire life?  Then the person you thought was the one you would marry berated you for years?  I am a strong person and generally don’t let anyone get to me, but no one can withstand years of hearing you’re a terrible person without starting to believe it.

So, I suppose it’s hard for me to believe Alex when he tells me all of these wonderful things.  Who is he looking at?  Is he looking at the real me, or someone with a cute little Snapchat filter?

Or maybe I am elated that someone is seeing me for the person I always thought I was.  A nurturing, caring, hot-headed, passionate woman.

I hope in the future I find someone who can tell me what I look like in person when I am looking at a demonic photograph of myself.  Maybe my daughter will be that person.  I know I will be that person for her, forever and always.

XOXO

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National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

In honor of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, I thought I would share two of the most tragic things to happen to me.  I knew it would make it in this blog one day, so I thought today would be a good opportunity to share.

In 2013 I met a man not long after I left a four-year relationship.  He opened my mind to a lot of new, wonderful sexual experiences and, boy, I could not get enough.  The relationship lasted for a few months and was intended just to be a little fun; until I realized I was pregnant in the Fall.

I dodged his calls for weeks before I knew what I wanted to do.  The thought of abortion briefly went through my head, but I didn’t even need to consider that an option.

Knowing that this man was adamant about not wanting kids and he didn’t exactly have a job or a home, I decided to tell him and give him the option if he wanted to be in the babe’s life or not.

I invited him over, we will call him Ben, and I decided just to get it over with.  I think the fact that I offered him a beer but I drank water gave it away.  To say Ben was slightly sociopathic is not saying enough.  He wanted me to have an abortion, he claimed I got pregnant on purpose.  Yes, I wanted to have a baby at the age of 25 with a jobless, homeless 34-year-old.

We separated for a few weeks until he called to, I thought apologize, turns out he just wanted to tell me he’d pay for half of the abortion.  So we went a few more weeks without talking until he called again.  He had finally come around and we decided to do this together.

Throughout the pregnancy he was just plain mean.

“My feet hurt and I am tired.” I would complain after working all day.

“You were the one who wanted this baby.”

I don’t know why I stayed.

In the springtime the baby came and I was just so proud at how beautiful he was.  The birth was pretty quick and easy, then the next day momma and baby went home.  My mother was there to help me while I healed and I am not sure if Ben held the baby more than twice in three days.  He “had to work”.

Three days after he was born, his skin started looking blotchy, his breathing was labored, and he wasn’t eating.  So, we went to the ER and I could not hold myself together.  Seeing all of those nurses and doctors hovering over this tiny baby while they tried to figure out what was wrong is the worst thing a parent can see.

Hours later, they moved my son upstairs to NICU and told us we would be here for a while.  We spent the first night sleeping in chairs while they came around the clock to draw blood from his fragile little body.

One specialist was flown in from Washington state and another from California; days later no one had any answers.  This was the time we had to sit down with several doctors in a room and decide what to do.  In other words, he wasn’t going to survive and no one could tell us anything other than he had some sort of viral infection.  I felt numb, but I could not let my little angel suffer any longer.

Hi body was swollen and his skin was stretched out, shiny, and red.  He wasn’t breathing on his own, most of his organs were shutting down.  So we had to call it quits.  I knew it had to happen and there was no hope of him recovering, but making that decision is the hardest decision I will ever have to make.

I held my son as he passed away in just minutes.  I don’t think I will ever get that vision out of my mind.  When I went home to see his little clothes and bassinet I just wanted to die so I could be with him again.  We didn’t even have enough time together.  Three days at home and four days in the hospital.  After 37 weeks of feeling his little feet move in my belly and wondering what he would grow up to be like and we only spent seven days on this Earth together.

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“I hope you are happy, you wanted him to die and you got your wish.” I wanted to say to Ben.

But that is not the type of person I am.  Clearly, the relationship didn’t last for more than a month after that.  I think the baby was the only reason we were together.  Even though I think about my son every single day, I am grateful that I am no longer with Ben.

I know my son is much happier now, he is not suffering, having tubes put in, or blood drawn hourly.  I miss him but I will see him again one day.

۞

A little over a year later I found myself pregnant again.  This time, the gentleman I was with was very excited to be a dad again.  We had a good relationship even though we weren’t together for long.  I wasn’t being as careful this time around, so neither one of us were surprised that it happened.

I was happy but I was very scared, given what happened to my son and I don’t think I was finished properly grieving yet.  I hadn’t talked to a therapist, I hadn’t really accepted what happened yet.  I was jealous when I saw other parents with their children.  But the thought of having a child gave me joy and hope.

I had made one appointment to have blood work drawn, speak about a birth plan, and confirm the pregnancy.  The next appointment I scheduled was for an ultrasound.  It was still early, but I wanted to see that little kidney bean on screen.

About a week later, we will name this man Trevor, and I went out to breakfast then we were going to look at a car.  Even though it was the morning, I had fish and chips, coffee, and shared a chocolate shake with Trevor’s son.  I was starting to have cramps, but they weren’t bad and I decided to ignore it.  In hindsight, I think I knew what was happening but didn’t want to admit it.

We arrive at Trevor’s friend’s business, he was renting a pole barn to service vehicles from a couple that he didn’t know personally.  He had a great vehicle for sale and as soon as I walked in the pole barn I felt liquid rush down my leg.  I pulled Trevor to the side and said I need to use the bathroom…NOW.  Seeing the fear in my eyes we walked into a complete stranger’s house and straight to the bathroom.  The liquid was not urine.  Then, I felt the baby slide out of me, still attached from the umbilical cord.

I pulled Trevor into the bathroom and we called paramedics.  They directed me to lie on the floor until the ambulance arrived.  Here I was, pantsless and on a stranger’s bathroom floor, but not in a sexy way.  He held the baby that was hanging out of my body while we cried.  I started to shake, I am not sure if it was shock or what, but I couldn’t control it.

On the way to the hospital the paramedic who rode in the back with me let me know that she had a miscarriage at 12-weeks gestation and years later went on to have three beautiful children and everything would be ok.  At that time, she checked me under the blanket to see that I was losing far too much blood.  I was sort of in and out of consciousness and heard her ask the driver to turn the lights on and go faster.  I was bawling by now.

I had to have three pints of blood transfused and then a D&C.  I was feeling alright, physically, but emotionally I felt empty again.  I also felt guilty; here is another innocent child, dead, due to me.

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A few months later I came to terms with everything, I knew it wasn’t really my fault, but if you’ve had a loss you just blame yourself if there is no one else to blame. I never, EVER, wanted to be pregnant again.

۞

And now, after a couple of years and several buckets of tears, I have a lovely, strong, smart, healthy baby girl.  I am glad I didn’t give up. ❤

XOXO

It’s Not You, It’s Me

I just wonder why women are demonized when we ask for financial assistance with raising our children.

And I know there are a lot of single dads out there who need help from dead beat moms.  I am writing from a woman’s point of view because I am, well, a woman.

Since my daughter’s father and I share 50% custody, I didn’t find it necessary to file for child support.  But I am the one who has to handle her insurance, schedule doctors appointments, pay for child care when I have to work.  I also have bills like an adult; I pay rent, electricity, buy my own groceries, her diapers, clothes…

He lives with his parents.  A grown man with children living with his parents.  I know for a fact they purchase all of the groceries and a good amount of the diapers and clothes.  Now, I am not saying my mother doesn’t send diapers or clothes.  But the majority of the financial burden is on me.

Nevertheless, I previously haven’t brought any of that up.  I guess it never bothered me before now.  Since I am having to pinch pennies, I decided to ask for some help. This is something I never do, maybe I am too prideful.  I wasn’t asking for much, maybe a pack of diapers and a gallon of milk.  Some fruit even.  Anything that he could afford.

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Of course that turned into an argument.

How in the hell did me asking for some damn milk turn into an argument?!

So, I didn’t hold back.  I brought up all of the points I mentioned before as well as the fact that he just purchased a motorcycle.  In addition to that, he eats out almost every day.  $10 a day for Stromboli adds up.  Even if he only ordered take-out four times a week, $40 could buy my daughter two weeks of groceries and a pack of diapers.

After saying that, I did regret it.  I felt bad.  I know he is a good dad and that is why I never wanted to use my words to cut him.  But I think it was about time I let him know what I think.

Being the 12-year-old that he is, he then tried throwing money at me like I am a cheap whore.  “How much do you want?  You want $200?  Would that make you happy?” And, again, I explained that I just wanted some damn milk or help once in a while until I get back on my feet.

When we lived together he had no problem taking my money to buy weed and random items from Home Depot.  But now that I might need maybe $15 a week I am a gold digger.

There are so many women out there who take all that they can get and more; they tend to use the money for anything but supporting their children.  They give women like me a bad name.  I don’t spend all of my money on getting my nails and hair done then turn around and claim I have no money to feed my daughter.

I mean, I have been eating ramen noodles and cereal, saving the fresh meat and veggies for my daughter. I haven’t had hair conditioner in almost a month.  I have been using those little samples you get in the mail and old tubes that come in hair dye.  And I really didn’t care because my daughter ate healthy, had clean diapers, and clothes that fit.

With all of that being said, I truly did need a little help, but I wonder if I am just salty that he bought a motorcycle when I don’t have a car at the moment.  We aren’t together, I am not his problem.  But deep down was that my real issue?  Or do I truly want him to step up and realize all that I have to pay for?

The jury is still out.

XOXO

 

 

Grubhub, Hulu, and Scotch…for Warmth…

I was recently offered a new job that starts in November and I decided to take my PTO from my current job after giving notice and just take a little time off.  I still have quite a bit of time, but this is not going as planned.

I had hoped to get more writing done.  Maybe organize the closets and get all of the fall/winter clothes out.  Donate clothes that are too small for my daughter.  Clean the gutters.  Sew a wedding dress.  Meet someone to marry.  The usual To-Do list.

So far, I have:
– Started a book, then scrapped the book
– Started another book, scrapped that one too
– Finished six seasons of The Sopranos
– Started Sex and the City
– Finished a large pizza
– Tried all of the flavors of Doritos that I have never tried before

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The furnace went out and I can’t get a technician out here until Monday, so I sent my daughter to her father’s house.  It’s not that cold here, but it’s a little too chilly inside for a toddler.  I thought “Great!  I can spend the entire weekend writing, uninterrupted!”  Her father invited me to stay at his house until the furnace was fixed but I used my writing as an excuse not to.  That, plus I would rather chew on a lightbulb than see him for more than five minutes.  Just for the moment; that will change tomorrow.  We are a teeter totter.

I have been sitting in bed covered up all day with my laptop sitting next to me.  I have had a few ideas, but every time I go to start writing I distract myself with green olives or plucking my eyebrows.  Plus I am so very comfortable!  The last time I was able to stay in bed I had a migraine and it wasn’t long before my daughter found the kitchen knives.

I have even watched two hours of the local news.

Sure, with a toddler sometimes us parents do need time to just lie in bed without getting peanut butter in our hair.  But the more I sit here the guiltier I feel.  Is this what us parents do to ourselves?  We can’t lie around for one afternoon without this sick feeling in our stomachs nagging us to get one chore or another done?

So, with all of that being said and I am sure a little rambling, I have decided to call it quits on this day and just succumb to Hulu.  Oh, and the Ultimate Cheddar Doritos taste like vomit after a night out.  You’re welcome.

This toast is for you, all you working parents, stay-at-home parents, single parents, smelly parents, helicopter parents — I hope you all follow me and lie in bed for the rest of the day.  Not my bed though, I don’t think there is enough room.

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XOXO

Call me maybe…Unless you’re ill.

I know I am not the only parent who has had to take care of a child, or children, while being sick and I certainly won’t be the last.  But I would like to know how some of you manage this?  And, not to be sexist here, I love men just as much as the rest of the world, but men are SUCH BABIES when they are sick.  Us mothers have to go on and take care of everything as if we weren’t dying to take a 12 hour nap.  I don’t know how I managed to live through today.

The first time I had to take care of my baby girl alone while sick was when I had the flu.  I am not the type of person to go to the doctor over a silly cold or flu.  But I wanted to see what I had and if it was contagious to see how far I needed to stay away from Baby Girl while still changing her diaper.  The dad was absolutely no help whatsoever.  I was crushed that he couldn’t even get me a Sprite or hold the baby while I puked.

Several months later he had some sort of panic attack, was driven to my friend’s house where I was at the time, and whined.  I was babysitting her two kids aged 18 months and 2 years, along with my six month old baby.  Now I had a 32 year old baby on top of that who demanded way more attention than the other three children.

“Can I get you some water, soup, anything?”  I asked while silently rolling my eyes.  The two older children getting crabby, over-ready for lunch.

“Maybe just some yogurt…” He whined while covering up on the couch.

“They only have Greek yogurt.  You won’t like it.  What about chicken soup?”

“Just yogurt, please.”

I sigh, I only scoop one spoonful of yogurt because I know he won’t like it. I sit next to him on the couch and stroke his hair while I hand him the yogurt, listening to the other little ones waiting patiently in their high chairs for food and my Baby Girl starts to fuss, she’s waking up from her nap.

“I don’t like this.  Can I have some soup?  Is there any tomato soup?”

Ugh…I get the other kids settled, warming up food for three kids while my 32 year old kid yells from the living room for a heating pad.  I get everyone settled and attempt to wash some dishes while everyone seems content.

“Can you come sit next to me?  I want to hold you?”  He whines, not even touching his soup.

I wanted to say “I am trying to do something here and you really aren’t sick, ” he may have had a panic attack and I know those are serious, and he needed me.  We hadn’t been together in over a month.  “You said you hate me,” I kept remembering those words, burned in my mind.  But all the times I needed him and he was skeptical and said “you’re always sick” when it really was only like twice a year that I had a migraine or a cold, I remembered feeling abandoned and just wanting love.  I needed him and he brushed me off.  But I am not the type of person who could do that to someone I loved.  So I went to sit next to him and scratched his back until he fell asleep.

Fast forward seven months and I texted him early in the morning to see what he was doing because I had woken up with a migraine.  Just like panic attacks, migraines are no joke.  I couldn’t keep my medicine or water down.  I did my best to try and act normal around my daughter, I tried to make scrambled eggs but kept dry heaving into the sink.  I had to feed her a Pop-Tart.  Lunch didn’t go any better either.

I called her father to see if he could take her for the day, or just a few hours.  He was working.  Which I understand, you can’t just drop everything and leave work because I have a “headache”. I knew my daughter would be ready for a nap soon so I thought I would nap too and see if I felt any better after that.

Waking up from our nap, I almost felt worse if that was even possible.  It was now 2:00 in the afternoon and I had been battling my migraine for six hours.  I was thirsty, tired, clammy, and desperate.  I felt bad because i wasn’t really paying much attention to my daughter, I sort of just watched her from the couch with one eye open.  This isn’t good.  So, I called my mom.  Mommas are always there to help.  So nurturing.  I know that is a common trait among women, but can’t a man even text “how are you?” or bring some damn crackers?!

I am feeling much better now and I can’t wait to pick my daughter up in the morning.  But along with not feeling well, I feel guilty for waiting so long to have someone take better care of her today and I also feel rage that I never received the same level of care from someone who claimed to love me.  Maybe I am the one being a big baby. However, at least now I know who I can and cannot count on.

XOXO

Pizza, Boo-Boos, and Poo…

I have been outlining some topics to write about next, but I realized they are sad and I don’t feel like that is a good introduction.  While, just like in real life, we have to deal with the sad eventually, I would rather start this journey off on a positive note.

That being said, let’s talk about the first time we had the brilliant idea of changing a toddler’s poopy diaper in her crib.

Or when we were busy doing the dishes so we give the child a breadstick so she will leave you alone for two seconds.  Only to, days later, find it shoved behind the bookshelf after a two-hour-long search for ‘that smell’.

I have to laugh.  Mostly at myself.  I made a mistake, OK, I get it.  But it is pretty funny.  How do they think of these things?  Who just abandons a breadstick?!  I’d abandon it in my belly.

Most diaper changes are somewhat drama free.  Until there is a really weird colored, bad smelling, huge deuce.  She flails, kicks and her foot ends up in half of the poo so I try and wipe her AND keep her foot from touching anything else until I can clean it.  Then, I just decided to wash her, take her out for fro-yo, and burn the house down.

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But we all know that is not an option.  I clean the baby, change her clothes, wash the sheets and blanket.  Then take out the diaper pale bag because the entire house smells like shit now.

This was just supposed to take two minutes!!!!!!  Oh fuck…with all of that, I forgot I was cooking chicken.  And I am sorry, but I am NOT going to pay a $7.95 delivery fee!  So, here we are, clean baby and I sitting in the rocking chair, eating instant oatmeal and a blueberry muffin for dinner.  She is smiling up at me, that’s all that matters.  I sigh and kiss her forehead.  It’s all soooooo worth it.

Is this shit on my shirt, or blueberry…?

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Next day, I have to wash the pan that I burned chicken in and two bottles, one with spoiled milk and one that I remembered to rinse out.  That’s it.  Will take me two seconds.  Normally.

Today is one of those days she is really clingy and lovey.  I normally worship these days, just not for the moment I need to get chores done.  So…I ordered pizza a few days back and decide to give her a breadstick.  For five minutes she will love that breadstick more than me.  I get the dishes done and go back to play with her.

Later, I keep smelling this pizza and garlic that I had thrown out a long time ago.  I ignore it at first, maybe I just farted pizza.

The smell is really bothering me, I can smell it every time I am in the living room.  I decide to do some investigating.  I find her brush underneath the couch, a block behind her pack-n-play, a few dog toys behind my chair.  Nothing that would cause this smell.

Then, there it is.  A garlicky, buttery, messy breadstick shoved behind the bookshelf.  Ok, it’s not moldy yet, quick clean-up.

I move the bookshelf slightly so I can wash the wall.  Every. Damn. Book. Fell.  Came crashing down and scared the farts out of my tiny dog.  Well, this might just be a good time to dust the shelf off, I suppose.  I wash the wall, dust the books and shelf.  Cleaned up the breadstick-astrophy.  Done!  That wasn’t so bad.

Until I went to put the bookshelf back and scraped my right, big toe.  MOTHER ******!!!!!!

Ok.  Blood.  I have to clean up blood now.  What next?  Unicorn glitter?!

No judgement, but I left the blood and went to take a nap.  No worries, my daughter was with her father for the week.

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I chatted with my daughter later via video chat, and, once again, knew it was all worth it.  She gives me a lot of things to laugh about.  And a lot of reasons to buy Band-Aids…for myself.

XOXO

It’s OK, I have arrived.

I have been wanting to and talking about starting a blog for the last several months.  I have had one before, but then I had a baby.  My entire life changed forever, but for the better now that this little angel is in my life.

I want to start by sort of introducing myself.  I am a mom.  And that’s about all that I know about myself at the moment.  A lot has changed in my life and there has been a lot of drama!  Family drama, ex-boyfriend drama, ex-fuck boy drama, family pet drama, Netflix drama…you name it and it has happened.

I have a lot to write about and I hope to maybe let other moms (or dads) out there know that they are not alone.  While our lives may be different and our experiences may vary, one thing is consistent – the love for our little ones.  I hope this will be a place where we can share, laugh, cry, eat, and support.

I have had a few tragedies happen to me in my life, not unlike you, and I find that sharing them and carrying on helps me keep the memory and remain positive.  Daily, I also have stresses to deal with regarding my job, family, trying to be a good mommy.  And drinking helps that.  😉  Or writing and hugging my little girl.  There is not much I do anymore that is just for myself.  I have been craving an Auntie Anne’s pretzel for weeks and just can’t bring myself to drive all the way (15 minutes) to the mall just for a pretzel.  But if it was something my angel needed I’d be there already.  I am getting the feeling a lot of parents are like that.

Not my parents though.  My mom would go missing for days, drinking and drugging with “friends”.  My father did not meet me until I was six years old and after that never signed one birthday card for me.  I want to be the best I can for my little one and ensure her that I am never EVER going anywhere.  I will be the supportive, caring, strong parent that I always wanted.

Even after the way I was brought up, I love my parents and forgive them.  I love others and trust until I am shown otherwise.  I offer my ears and a shoulder no matter what; even though that usually bites me in the ass, I do it over and over and over because I have faith in humanity.  I hope this love is something I can instill in my daughter.  Love.  Forgiveness.  Trust.  Happiness.

At the same time, I am very strong and the extreme opposite of naive. I am quick to cut someone out of my life if they are unhealthy for me and I am sure that is a survival skill from my childhood.  Some of the strength is something I hope to pass on to my little girl. So, basically, I want her to be perfect like me.  😉  I have a feeling she will be everything and more.

I am looking forward to sharing more in-depth stories, writing as I watch my daughter grow and learn everyday, and possibly get to know some parents (human, cat, dog, ferret, or otherwise).  Thanks for reading and I will be back soon!

XOXO