One More Hug

My sister was talking with me the other day about when I go into labor and the plan for her to stay with my daughter Emma. I couldn’t even think about it without almost bursting into tears. I know it sounds silly but I’m not ready to leave her because I know in doing so everything changes. Of course this change is wonderful and a gift from God but I’m still having a difficult time.

It sounds so selfish to say that, it really does. But it’s as honest as I can get. I have so many emotions about another baby coming along and so much love for my baby girl that it’s all becoming a little too much for me (and too real with today being September 1st!).

So, I wrote this poem sobbing imagining that day not to far away when I will hug her one last time. I love you my sweet baby girl!

One more hug

I want to give you one more hug,
Before I say good bye.
Because this is the last hug,
Where it will be just you and I.

I’m going now but will be back soon,
And with me I’ll have someone new.
A baby that will live with us,
A brother just for you!

But as I look at you so grown,
With tears in my eyes.
I know this will be harder for me than you,
Having to say this kind of good bye.

So my darling sweet first daughter,
I give you one last hug good bye.
Our family is growing and that means some changes,
But I still promise moments of just you and I.

I will always cherish,
These first two years we shared together.
From you saying mama to I love you,
My heart is full forever.

And now we’ll make new memories,
With our growing family of four.
And it will be just as special,
If not, even more!

So here I go with one last hug,
I squeeze you tighter than you know.
A part of me doesn’t want to leave,
Or ever let you go.

God has blessed us abundantly,
And I’ll be back to hug you again.
I hope you know how much I love you,
And my love for you will never end.

Why I Will Always Love My Mom

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My mom and I are a lot a like. That goes for the good and the bad. Some of the good: we are passionate, caring and loving. We go out of our way for others. We are faithful, honest and giving. We are creative! We love deeply. We never give up. Some of the bad: we are perfectionists, which can cause us to become our own worst critic, we are controlling, which can be good at times but usually it tends to bite us in the butt and we speak what’s on our mind, sometimes too honestly.

Because we are so similar, we’ve had our share of disagreements over the years. As she is now Emma’s primary caretaker, I feel that’s been the biggest struggle for us. It’s not about how much she loves my daughter (which is immeasurable) or her ability to take care of her (she goes above and beyond), but about me being her mom and wanting things the way I want them. It’s hard for me to let go of control, and I think the same goes for her. But our common ground is how much we truly love Emma.

The other day I stayed at my mom’s after work and we had dinner together. We talked about our relationship and how it’s been different. Our conversations revolve primarily around Emma and we don’t get to talk the way we used to. Sometimes I wonder if someone else watched her would our relationship had never changed. However, I am so blessed to have her do what she does three days a week and the bond between them is incredible. Emma loves her MEMA!

There was a moment when my mom was hugging Emma. She told me she reminds her so much of me when I was little. She said she loves us both so much and she started to cry. She told me that it goes by so fast and one day I’ll know when Emma has a baby and she is no longer around (to me, that world doesn’t exist because my mom is going to live forever!). We hugged and shortly after I took Emma home. I thought about what she said..the fact that she now has two grown daughters and one of them has a baby. The surreal experience she feels holding Emma and recalling the moments she held me. I cried my whole ride home thinking about it…thinking about how she must feel and although its primarily love and joy, the little heartache that is there knowing that I am no longer her little baby anymore.

I never want Emma to grow up. I want her to be little forever. It sounds silly but I do. I love her small and I can’t imagine her as a teenager let alone and adult. So what my mom said really hit me. It really made me stop and think. Sure, we can disagree or even get on each others nerves, but when it comes down to it, I will always love my mom. I will always love her for everything she’s done for me and everything she’s given me. For the endless amounts of unconditional love and support, for never giving up on me in my most difficult moments and for all the things she’s done for me over the years that no thank you could ever even express my gratitude. And now, for the role she’s taken on with her granddaughter. There is no one I trust more to take care of her. There is no one that can ever compare.

When you become a mother, you truly understand everything your own mother has said to you over your lifetime. You get ‘when you’re a mother you’ll understand’ or ‘I’m doing this because I’m your mom and I love you’. You get it. You really, really get it because you have that same love for your child. I will always love my mom for the person she is and the mother I hope to one day become. I can’t thank her enough, but I can sure try. Thanks mom for doing what you do, you mean the world to me.

The Minute My Heart Stopped…

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It was a beautiful August day in Michigan. There was a slight breeze as the sun warmed the air. It wasn’t humid or too hot…the weather was just right. We have family in town so it was decided to go to the Troy Aquatic Center for the kiddos. Emma loves the water and I was excited to take her.

We got there and she was pretty fussy and unwilling to leave my arms. After a while she got more comfortable and soon she was splashing by the fountain pads and laughing. I took her into the water with me and we played. She takes swim classes and loves being in the water so there wasn’t much concern for me there. However, there were a lot of kids swimming and splashing around so I decided to take her out, maybe grab a snack and just sit for a bit.

I placed her on one of the lounge chairs as her uncle and cousin were saying hello and engaging with her. Here’s where the mistakes start…

I didn’t ask them to watch her for a second. I didn’t even see if they were completely interacting with her. I didn’t take her down so she wouldn’t fall. I turned away. I TURNED AWAY! I hear a scream and see her face down on the cement. My heart stopped. I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe. I wanted to cry, scream, throw up and pass out all at once. I grabbed her. She was hysterical. I was hysterical. The blood wouldn’t stop coming from her mouth. I was a wreck, I still am.

Per our pediatrician, we took her to the ER. She was admitted, examined and released within one hour (great job Royal Oak, Beaumont!). No stitches, no CT scan. She is okay. That’s what my husband had to keep reminding me, “She is okay.” Her lips is pretty cut up and swollen and her chin is scratched up but other than that, she is okay. Thank you God, she is okay. I know it could have been worse. I know. But I can’t help myself. I can’t help but blame my stupid self for turning away. Why did I think that would be okay? What is wrong with me?!

I know she’s going to get injured. I know this won’t be the last time, but I could have prevented it and I can’t help but feel like the worst mom in the world. I close my eyes and see that image of her laying there. I cringe. My heart breaks. It makes me sick to my stomach. I want to permanently erase it from my mind.

While I realize it was an accident, I can’t help but feel angry at myself. It seems like she is continuously having these issues too. Her tooth incident at my mom’s house when she was only 8 months old, her chipping her front tooth with me in the bathtub (a week ago) and now this (by the way, her front teeth are a complete, chippy mess)! I wish I could just fix it all. I could just take a magic wand and eliminate the pain and the scars (these poor teeth!). But I can’t. This is a part of life. And as her mother, it’s important for me to stay strong which so far I have not been able to do…

The love of a parent is so amazing. It’s like my heart just jumps out of my chest for her. She has truly completed my life and if I never have another I will be okay because I have her. And that’s why I think it’s so hard for us as parents. We have this love that cannot be described until you actually experience it. And with that love comes this innate responsibility to protect. This responsibility is so strong that we would become superhuman if needed, we would do anything to protect them from all harm…but we can’t. It’s just not possible. Even if I bubble wrapped my child (I definitely considered it after yesterday), she would still get hurt. There comes a point when you need to have faith it will all be okay…whatever your faith may be. This is where I must learn to ‘let go and let God’.

Emma is okay. She’s alive and healthy with a few cuts and some chippy teeth (luckily these ones fall out!). I am very lucky it wasn’t any worse. It can always be worse…

So while I work on trying not to lose my mind when she gets injured, I think about how blessed I am that she’s okay. My advice for anyone going through something similar is this: Keep calm and ‘mom’ on 🙂 You’re a great parent. Be thankful for the blessings you have and continue to pray for all those suffering, it could always be worse!

I’m Not Cut Out For This…

It was her first accident. I wasn’t there. It was a complete accident but nonetheless, it made me think that maybe I’m not cut out for this… 

Emma has two teeth now and her bottom one had hit the edge of those plastic tables kids with all the gadgets on top that babies her age play with. While the injury was unknown of its location at the time, I was told she cried very hard. 

 She wasn’t herself on the way home. It wasn’t until I began feeding her solids I noticed her tooth had gone from upright to bent forward. I had my husband confirm it which he did. I started to sob. I couldn’t stop. I was angry then sad then angry and then sad again. While it was an accident, I couldn’t help but be upset because I wasn’t there. I wasn’t there.  

 I gave her Tylenol to ease the pain and she was back to her smiling, happy self (pictured here). She wouldn’t put anything in her mouth and it was clear why. I felt terrible. I felt helpless. I felt in the moment that maybe I’m not cut out for this… 

Maybe I’m not cut out to be a mom. 

I can’t handle the stress of knowing that these injuries will only continue! I can try my best to prevent them but I won’t be able to. I won’t be able to control it…any of it. And yes, I’m not supposed to. I’m supposed to trust that everything will work out and when it doesn’t that everything happens for reason but I have a hard time with that. She is my baby. She is my sweet little peanut. She is the joy of my life! 

I heard a beautiful homily at mass the other day. The priest (deacon who is married) talked about how you don’t really know what true love is until you have children. He said that couples who first get married are in love with the idea of love, but it isn’t until you are responsible for another human life that you realize what unconditional love and sacrifice really is.

He couldn’t have been more accurate. I love my husband but it was honestly the birth of my daughter that I really understood true love. I understood the love that Mary had for her only son Jesus. And she had to watch her son be crucified. I. Can’t. Even. Imagine. 

I can only hope I continue to grow stronger, especially when she is injured, intentionally or unintentionally. But for now, I will be a little heartbroken over her accident and how I would give anything to take away her pain. Maybe I am cut out for this after all :). 

 And it’s off to the peds dentist we go!

Will I Ever Stop the ‘Breathing Tests’?

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Since the day my daughter was born I have been doing the ‘breathing tests’. You know, the one where you either place your hand gently on their chest to feel it going up and down or listen to hear their actual breathing. Or, maybe you zoom in as far as you can on the monitor to see their breathing movements. I remember in the early months checking on her every hour or so as she laid in her bassinet next to me as well as jumping up multiple times during the night because I felt like it was too long without hearing any crying. Yes, those tests.

I still check the monitor during nap times and at night as she curiously makes her way around the crib, bouncing and babbling until she eventually tires herself out and falls asleep. And when it’s finally time for me to go to sleep, I check it once more, turn up the volume just in case (we have a bungalow so her room is downstairs and ours is upstairs) and then if I wake up randomly during the night I’ll check it again just to see how she’s doing.

I’m not sure if this is a ‘mom thing’ or I’m just a paranoid nut but all I do know is it gives me some sense of peace. I know I have no control over her life. While my job is do the best I can to provide her with love, security and safety, God has a plan for her that is out of my control. And I am okay with that…in fact, I am more than okay with it. However, there is still a part of me that worries. A part of me that thinks, what if she stops breathing? Maybe that feeling will never go away because as moms, I think we will always worry. We will always worry about the safety and well-being of our children. How can we not? They are these little miracles that we created!

So while I may be overly checking on the breathing patterns of my child, I have to say that watching her sleep is one of my favorite things to do. Seeing her curled up (the above picture is usually how she sleeps) and just quietly reflecting on how much she’s grown and continues to grow brings the biggest smile to my face. I helped make her….and she is mine, and I am hers :).