Posts Tagged ‘hope’

And babies make six.

December 21, 2010

In my heart of hearts, I would love to have another set of twins. There. I just had to say it.

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Again.

December 8, 2010

Just took a six minute walk at a very slow pace.

Sometimes it feels like I’m starting over again…and again….and again.

But I guess life can be like that. I’m lucky I have the chance to begin again – and maybe one of these times, it’ll be the last time I have to start from scratch.

Choosing the miracle.

August 12, 2010

Life is sometimes a series of extravagant miracles; sometimes they only have meaning to you. Imagine what it feels like to be told you could be permanently disabled. A life bound to a chair, a life dependent on only taking short range walks. Imagine two years of being unable to walk, and then imagine today.

Three miracles.

This morning I went into town with my family, with no thought of being disabled, unable, or anything other than ordinary. The pleasure of waiting in line at the bank. The joy of waiting outside the health food shop, dancing on the pavement to the delight of my clapping and appreciative son and daughter. Casual walking through this street, to that store, across a bit of lawn.

And this evening, plugging music into my ears and choosing the direction that includes a hill, rough ground, space and peace.

Each step I take is a courageous choice to reclaim my life.

I’ve been told now it will be another three to four years before I recover, but this evening I chose to believe I could do it, to treat myself with compassion and love and trust.  I chose to give it a try.

I walked along the path that took me to work a couple of years ago. Down the road sparsely populated with houses hundreds of years old, extensive flowers lush and thick in their front gardens. I turned down a deserted lane, the hedge flashing green and red in alternate stripes as I walked along….and stopped to take pictures.

I got lost.

Even that was a pleasure, standing suddenly on the corner of a busy road and wondering where the hell I was and how I was supposed to get home. Cars whizzed by, I looked around, I chose the way I thought was right, and I walked.

I walked.

I walked.

My feet moved along the concrete, a breeze wafted across my face, and I moved of my own volition and will. This time last year I required gas & air, as well as morphine and a host of other drugs, just to get myself on or off the toilet – to or from the confining seat of a wheelchair. I had not freely walked for months and months and months, and I thought I would regain the ability quickly after giving birth.

Instead I was unable to walk at all, lying on the couch as my newborn babies lay on my tummy, on the floor, on playmats. Months went by and as they learned to move around the room, so did I. I took hesitant steps, hooked up to a TENS machine on full blast, tears streaming down my cheeks.

And now as they learn to walk with the help of my hands, as they learn to stand on their own, I echo their progress. They are brave, they take risks. They don’t realise things are impossible or a challenge – so they do it all, and they take joy in the learning. Growing is play to them.

Growing is play to me, too. Never again will I take for granted the simple and complex pleasure of walking. Of being alone on a country lane in the gloaming, pausing to watch a stream as it twists and turns. This is the miracle, in these gifts we have been given but forget to notice because they are just always there.

Maybe this is my gift – in having my legs taken away from me for two years, my life has been coloured with a richness and a gratitude I would not have had otherwise. Because as my children learn to walk, as they widen their lives into bigger and bigger circles, so do I.

I choose hope. I choose persistence. I choose to forgive myself when these choices seem too hard, because along come these moments of sweeping grandeur, alone on my feet, walking on the road.

Miracles can happen, but sometimes you need to help them along.

And the beat goes on.

August 5, 2010

I’m getting closer and closer to being a ‘real mom.’ I don’t mean to discredit the mom I am now. Being disabled does not make me less of a mother, but it sometimes feels like I am able to offer Snort and Coconut less then they deserve. Not on the love side of things, but on the ‘there’s a whole wide world out there’ front.  I also think I will feel happier if I get out with them every now and then, and that’ll certainly make me a better parent.

Enough with the preamble.

Snort woke up from his nap this morning, and Coco’s not taking one, so I thought I’d take them for a little walksie. In the back of my mind was the 0-5 playgroup around the corner, but I decided to just walk down the street and up the hill to see how far I could get. I’ve got a friend with newborn twins up that road and was curious to see if I could make it to her house. I couldn’t, but turned around and saw the path leading to the place I thought hosted the playgroup.

I thought, ‘What the hell’ and took off down the path. I ended up at the backside of what appeared to be a deserted building, but saw a lot of cars in the parking lot so went round to the main entrance. A little sign was up reminding people that this group was for kids 5 and under….so I knew I had the place.

I went one step braver and decided to go inside to see if they had a leaflet with a schedule on or something. I managed to yank the buggy through the first door without scraping off too much paint (shh!) but could not get the double buggy through the second door, and also couldn’t figure out how to open the adjacent door. At that point I decided to give up – and as I turned around to leave a worker ran at me with a santa claus’ elf smile and asked if I needed help.

I got to chatting with her and found out their schedule – and she also mentioned a baby rhyme time I would need to get the bus for….and that they would come to my house, help me get Snort and Coconut on the bus and to the place, and then back home. WTF. Awesome, no?

I also got a kick ass goody bag (what it’s all about) featuring a keychain, magnet, pen, leaflets, the awesome bag itself. GIRL. I felt like a celebrity. Back stage. I was high on life, motherfucker.

But of course this means that once a fortnight on Thursday mornings I am going to go along with the babies to this place. It’s during a nap that I think might be able to be dropped once in awhile with no dire consequences. Coconut was so pleased to be there; she was flirting with the two workers, smiling, waving at them, chatting. Snort was happily just kicking his legs.

The big room looked to be half a harder floor filled with those cars toddlers can ride in, and half soft carpet filled with playgyms and stuff for babies. I’m pretty excited. Just to be able to get out of the house of my own volition, with nobody’s help, and get to a playgroup is like some sort of fucking miracle.

There was also a fierce looking squeezy toy shark in the freebie bag. I’ve named him Sharky the Fierce Shark (you see what I did there?) and may adopt him as some sort of ornament for the buggy.

Because I can do it.

I may not be able to do the things other moms take for granted, particularly those who are able bodied and only have one baby, but I can do this. Considering I was in a wheelchair full time about ten months ago, this is pretty fucking good, you know?

Authoring my own story.

June 4, 2010

And so it began: the longest, hottest, most challenging (and rewarding) summer of her life: the summer she learned to walk again.

She began that day with a memory of a few days earlier, walking, pushing her babies along till she was in a road she did not recognize. Ten or fifteen minutes in the sun and dappled shade. And that morning had started with a memory as well: five minutes of walking, past the point in the road she always turned back.

These were the building blocks set tentatively on a foundation of fear, pain, unease – all these big pieces stuck together by finger thin pieces of hope. The hope was cracked in some places, stained. In a few spots there was no hope, just rough slabs with uneven edges lying on the ground. Somewhere below these months and years of pain was the earth – a fragile memory of life, an intense freedom not bound to bed, wheelchair, small diameters.

That morning, that first good morning, she walked 26 minutes.

That was the morning she realised, about 14 minutes in, that she had a purpose. Her movement wasn’t a brief escape or respite; she was walking to learn. To be.

Eighteen months of crutches, of pain pills, of swollen belly and overflowing heart. You wouldn’t think eighteen months was long enough to lose faith in yourself, to begin to imagine an ever after that wasn’t over the horizon somewhere, but one that you were living in right now. A very modified happy (?)  ending – two lovely children, one unruly body.

This morning she thought she would never take it for granted again – the smooth rhythm of her feet on the hot pavement. The possibility of turning any direction she wanted, not knowing where she would end up.

This morning it was all sweet to her, that which would have bothered her in the past – that which would have made her stay indoors because of those niggles. Sun beating down at nine in the morning. Sweat covering her just washed body. The fullness of her thighs rubbing together. She knew, today, the reality of those things, those sweet things, those little pieces of life and womanhood and exploration. Her aching legs felt good, her stiff pelvis worried her (but she walked on), and it was so real. Walking past houses, talking to the people helping others onto the disabled bus for adults, the birds so loud.

The driver of the disabled bus telling her how lucky she was, that she should enjoy walking so well while she was young. She felt him watching her walk away from that bus of wheelchairs and walking sticks, she imagined him thinking that the abled bodied take it for granted, and a small secret smile curved her lips.

Never again. This is not something we all have, are all born with, all keep. This miracle of walking begins today, and this is the summer she remembers her future.

Butterfly donations welcome here.

May 7, 2010

As skeptical as I am about hippy dippy things, I am also drawn to them.

When we were starting the IVF journey, I bought a fertility necklace. I kept this on from the first shot until 2 hours before the delivery of our babies. Do I believe a piece of jewelery is the reason we got pregnant? No. Do I think it helped me remain positive? Yes.

Out of nowhere I have decided to adopt the butterfly as my current symbol. Mil sent us some vests in the mail, and Coconut’s were adorned with all sorts of butterflies. I thought, Yeah. Butterflies.

Now, my previous entry (written about an hour ago) tells more than just about my medical, uh, prognosis. What is going on. I believe it says a lot more – look at the title. ‘Probably not worth a read’ ??’ The entry is also negative through and through. I refuse to be a person who subverts all her real feelings in an attempt to be positive at all costs.

I believe remaining positive, holding hope, is very important.  That being said, so is recognizing how you are feeling and expressing it. I don’t know if I am heading toward depression. I think I am merely experiencing the appropriate reaction for what is, essentially, an unappropriate and unnatural (to me) experience. The normal, expected response to becoming disabled so young – and from such a lovely thing as pregnancy – is crying. It is feeling despair. It is being overwhelmed.

Unfortunately, these emotions have been taking over. While they were once little storm clouds, they seem to be massing together into a more powerful force.

So, the butterfly.

Last summer I lived on the couch. I spent a lot of time looking out the window. There were four impossibly white and fluttery butterflies I watched (yes, I sound like an 80 year old woman. YOU live on the couch for 8 months and let’s see what ends up entertaining you) every day. They were the first thing I looked for. It was always sunny, and so blooming hot, but those butterflies swooped and explored and generally hung out. (Then my cat killed one, but we’ll leave that aside for the moment.)

Butterflies are free. They can move up, down, sideways. They take their environment – breezes, leaves, whatever – and use it to their advantage. I want to be like that.

I used to say I just wanted to be able to walk again, to live a normal life. I still want that. But right now I want to be able to get through one single day doing all the things that are necessary to care for two (almost!) nine month old babies. Sitting on the floor to play. Preparing solid meals. Being able to get up and make a bottle without crying from the pain of it. If I can’t do these simple things, life really is limited.

I guess I am getting used to a housebound life – I have been for 18 months now. And how hellish is it to know my healthy babies are housebound too, when Snort wants to go outside so badly. They should be going on walks and playing outside. But a life where even within these walls I have difficulty coping? No.

Just like that fertility necklace I had, that gave me such hope in its symbolism and comforting solid presence (I played with it endlessly throughout the whole process of getting and staying pregnant), I now need a new symbol in my life. Butterflies run the risk of being tacky, but I don’t really give a fuck if I look like a 14 year old girl.

I need some solid reminders, some visuals, of what I am aiming for. Things that I can look at when I am feeling – well, like I feel right now. I don’t feel super. And I’m not talking about the pain. I am emotionally very shaky and have been for the past two weeks. It’s not improving. So if I need to employ an artificial symbol, imbue it with meaning, and have it hanging around to remind me that hope IS worth having, I need to.

Only problem is that I own nothing with butterflies on it. Ha.

The Buddhist challenge.

March 18, 2010

You might know I’m a Buddhist. I’ve been really lax in terms of my practice since the babies were born, though I’ve not wavered in my belief in the basic philosophy. Lately I’ve been thinking I need to step it up a notch. I won’t get you bogged down in what that means, but the most basic – and essential – practice is chanting a phrase. This is ‘Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.’

Nam –  like Vietnam shortened (but not sounding like ‘am’ More like ‘om’) . Actually just  like nom – you know, what babies do to things.

Myo – uh, cats say meow, gangsters say yo, put ’em together into one syllable and you’ve got ‘myo’

Ho – like that girl you went to high school with

Renge – like ‘reggae,’ but with an ‘n’

Kyo – Like Toyko, but again one syllable

Again, I won’t explain what each of these mean, but if you’re interested in Buddhism do get in touch. (Or read The Buddha in Daily Life by Richard Causton – my favourite book on Buddhism, but be warned, it’s theory heavy. But good!! If you like a lighter read, I can recommend other books.)

So ANYWAY. You repeat this phrase out loud over and over.  This sort of Buddhism encourages chanting for ‘actual proof,’ namely, things that you aim to achieve – and then see if the Buddhism helps you. Buddhism is an humanist philosophy/religion, so you are not asking some outside deity to sort your life out. More like you are getting yourself into the best, strongest position to help you take action and improve your life.

We have chanted for things in the past and had astounding results. One being getting our twins on our first cycle!

However, I don’t find ‘things’ as alluring as how generally good Buddhism makes me feel. Every time I chant, particularly when doing it every day, I just feel more positive, proactive, creative, joyful.

Now, the other thing about Buddhism is that you don’t have to sell your soul. Chanting is for anyone to try out, and then if it works, great. If not, they may choose to move on to something else or try later – also fine. I met a man when I was working on a Buddhist magazine a few years ago (oh, there are so many things about me you do not know! I am like Phoebe on Friends!) who said he’d been introduced to Buddhism via the ‘Daz Challenge.’

Daz being a washing powder that claims to make your whites whiter, etc. Essentially, this guy was told to try chanting every day for 100 days straight – say, for five minutes a day. He was told to just give it a go and see what happened. Well, he found himself feeling more grounded and healthy.

Now, I’m already won over by Buddhism. It makes sense for my life. I like the idea of being responsible for effecting change in myself and my community. But I have decided to do a little Daz Challenge myself, to remind myself why I once vigourously practiced, and to get back into the swing of things. Buddhism also encourages you to write down your ‘determinations;’ mine is to be completely healed by 1 May. We’ll see.

All I know is that three days ago I started my Daz Challenge. And you all know how shit I’ve been feeling lately, how hopeless about my pelvis and my subsequent parenting ability. On that day, minutes after chanting, I looked outside and suddenly felt very able. It was sunny out, so I stepped out to check the temperature. Next thing you know, I was hanging out in our garden with my twins for the first time ever.

Yesterday, TMD worked till 9 (and thank you to all who left comments on the babywearing blog. She was SO chuffed and wants to make videos now!). I did some chanting in the evening, and then when the babies were testy, I babywore (is this a word?) both of them. It also just popped into my head to balance my camera on top of some stuff and make videos of how to do babywearing. I felt strong and able. I was filled with joy.

Physically I am feeling pretty good, but emotionally and mentally I feel strong. And when it comes to Buddhism, here is my proof:

Should you choose to give Buddhism a try, let me know! I’ll be curious to see what you think. There is more to it than just chanting, but that is the basic practice. I am tweeting about my 100 days at at the hashtag #dazchallenge, so feel free to follow along over there or join in!

So far as I know, there aren’t massive conflicts between Buddhism and other faiths, so you aren’t, like, pissing in the eye of your god if you try chanting. Wow, that was crass.

Now, I need to return to Day Three!!

It all happened, and it was better than I thought.

October 30, 2009

Originally posted 29 June 2008, title ‘I’ll think of you these months, while I wait.’

I’ve wanted you in my life for years, you and your sister, your brother. I will be exasperated when you ask for a dog, we will make pudding messes together, you will be allowed to fingerpaint on canvases large enough to paint our lives on.

I want to know you so well, before you are born and afterwards. I can’t wait for the moment TMD holds you in her arms, my hair lank with sweat. I will thank god for every stretch and tear in my vagina, every mark on my body from carrying your weight, my chapped nipples. Sometimes I will be exhausted, sometimes I will weep, sometimes I will wonder if I am up to the awesome job of being one of your mothers. Throughout those times there will never be a moment I wish you were not here, with me, with us, together.

I want to hold you and make up little songs in the middle of the night. I want to drop with the need to sleep, and TMD to come hold us both, even though she has to wake up in two hours for work. I want to hear you squeal as you splash water all over the bathroom floor. I want to read you the book I will write, just for you, about how you came into this world and became part of our family.

I want my heart to break when you go to your first day of school. I want my little sister to take you on wild adventures that I really don’t want to hear about. I want to buy you that camera, those ballet shoes, that baseball glove. I want to encourage you and remember what it was like to be young once, the world shining and huge and open to possibilities. I want to read you the same book again and again, to the point of skipping words or pages in the hopes you will not notice; I will be pleased, and tired, when you DO notice.

I want you to fill my belly, my heart, our life. I want to go to antenatal classes and trade endless boring stories with other pregnant moms. I want you to be there, to talk to the next one through the thin layer of skin as he/she stretches my body once more. I want to teach you how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I want to give you lots of time alone with your imagination, I want you to never doubt that I love you – even when you are fifteen and think you hate me.

I want to argue about how well you are/are not learning to drive. I want to visit you at university and take you out for really expensive meals – you and all your friends. I want to completely fuck up braiding your hair, or figuring out how to top n’ tail. I want to fear giving birth and look forward to it at the same time. I want to watch you figure out who you are, and I want to be there – in the background – when you realise that you are who you are right now…who you are does not come at 16, 18, 21, 50, 80.

I want strangers to stop and say how cute you are. I want presumptuous people to feel my belly. I want you to kick them away. I am ready for you; I’m sitting in your room right now. You get the last of the evening’s sunlight. Your window looks out onto this quiet little street, where you will ride your bike and make friends with other scabby kneed kids. This will be your first home, and every minute of looking for that home included reserving a special space just for you. Your room has rose-coloured carpet and curtains – it came with the house, but we sort of like it. There’s room for a little pop-up tent, or a chair with a blanket over it, or a rocking chair.

We’re not rich, but we’re not poor. And when you come, when you emerge into this world, I want you to know that I wanted you with every fibre of my being, that my soul has waited for you this immensely long time, that you were loved before you were even conceived.

I’ve made an appointment with your other mom, to see the doctor who is going to help us make you. It’s for the day after I turn 30, and the best birthday present I can imagine having will be seeing the day that your birth day comes.

I love you.

End of summertime, and the living is (?) easy.

September 20, 2009

Think I have emailed or facebooked everyone who wanted old blog/baby name stuff. If I forgot you, please kick me in the ass in the comments section. I’m sorry.

Things going well today – such a relief to have a day at home with TMD and the babies. I have officially decided on bloggy names for them, and am also working on a new introduction page. Exciting stuff. I wanted to unveil their blog names with an entry for each of them, and pics for each, but fuck if I have time for that! (Don’t say ‘f’, you GD idiot.)

Baby Girl (aka Torre) = Coconut

Baby Boy (aka Mano) = Snort

I am fairly certain all this name chopping and changing means I am officially crazy, but again. Who cares. I probably AM crazy. I woke up sometime last night (must have been fairly early as TMD was still in the kitchen.)…

I was absolutely positive I was holding Snort. I could feel him breathing in my arms, could feel his feet, etc. Problem? No head. I was gingerly feeling around in the covers for his face, getting more and more freaked out because it was not there, until I started keening for TMD in a panic-ridden voice. She ran in and tried to reassure me – apparently – that Snort was in the cot, and Coconut was still in the lounge. I – apparently – kept feeling for him, mumbling, ‘He’s here, I know he is. Where is his head? The blankets are smothering him.’

This is about the level we are both functioning on most of the time, but especially in the nighttime. Last night was also special because we had our first fight in about 432523 years. It was an interesting thing, happening everytime we got up for Baby Nighttime Funhouse Of Horror. It was mainly me sobbing about her mother, and being ravingly crazy lady mad that TMD had not uninvited Mil from being here.

TMD called Mil today to uninvite her for the final week, and lo and behold, Mil was already on side. She planned to ask tomorrow if we minded if her hubby came up that final week, and they would catch the train into the city, troll around our local area, etc. Essentially leaving me, Coconut, and Snort alone except when popping in so Grandpa could see them again. Hopefully she won’t feel all wounded and hypersensitive that we called her first, but jesus. I actually have had nightmares for the past two nights in a row about her being here. It’s not her, per say – though the obsessive baby winding is making me FUCKING CRAZY INSIDE – I would probably be this way about anyone being here so long.

I am officially my mother, who got freaked out about people being in ‘the family space.’ While I thought she was obnoxious and crazy, I am now a fully paid member of the Family Space Club. Emphasis on immediate family only.

Hope you all are having a good weekend. We are – Meg and Nic came to visit yesterday (we heart them hardcore), and we also got their baby passport pictures taken. Country B is reasonable about baby pictures, but Country A wants babies alert, eyes open and staring right at the camera, head straight, no hands supporting them, in a natural expression. Yeah. That being said, we got the pictures – and I managed to push their pram for the first time ever!!! My crotch is not thanking me for it today, but it felt amazing.

I also got my nicey nice gift from TMD for carrying and birthing the babies – I will have to take a pic and post it as it is gorgeous. And, actually, every mother, pregnant woman, or woman who hopes to be pregnant will want a link to the company website.

Both babies asleep now.

I am still in my nightgown (it’s 4:16pm) – I have to wear clothes as I am still leaking? Wtf? Leaking being not only my still-bleeding vajayjay, but my left boob. I had a dream last night that it was shooting as hard as a firehose. (Last night was eventful, you see.)

I think I am going to go beg a bathtime, read, and shower. Tomorrow we have to leave the house practically before dawn to drive into the city – we have to go to the Embassy to do all the Country A-related things. I am going to have to really live up my cripple status and work my crutches to ensure TMD is allowed in. Afterwards, we may drop into Operation Fingerpaint to have Joy meet the babies.

Busy, busy.

Why can’t I stop writing? I miss it.

Love to all.

19 weeks 2 days pregnant.

April 2, 2009

I just get so worried about these babies. Is the paracetemol I took after The Accident going to make them have two heads each? Did the knee ultrasound make them glow-in-the-dark? Does the maternity belt smush them? CurlyGirl laughs and tells me this is just the beginning of a lifetime of worry.

We dopplered (I create verbs in my spare time) them this morning.

Last night was rotten for both of us. I woke up twice screaming, in the sort of hip pain that I never imagined was possible. It lingered even after I got out of bed. I was in tears, hobbling around, etc. Ended up on the couch, which may become my new home during the nights as well as the days. TMD woke me up this morning (as per request) so I could attempt to clean myself before Corporate T came over, and I just started crying because I was sooooo tired. I thought my hippy hippy quakes happened early on and one right after the other, but apparently the second was around 1:45 am. So lots of sleeping-waking-sleeping-waking.

And you know what? I don’t care. Genuinely don’t care, as long as those babies keep growing and developing and getting nice and fat. And STAY IN PLACE. I will publically say I’d quite like to get to 38 weeks. I will not have these babies, however, in the next 13 weeks. That is unacceptable. I want a minimum of 36 weeks, and I’m putting it down here in black and white because I. Am. Determined.

Bedrest continues….

Countdown to due date: 145 days.

z3