Thursday, October 23, 2014

I Want To Remember

There are so many things that—as a parent—you want to hold onto and remember forever. The way your baby smelled after a bath, the way she said ‘elphanant’ for the longest time, the way he will stop what he’s doing just to give you a kiss. 

These are bright moments that we hold onto. Why wouldn’t you want to remember those moments of happiness and joy? It makes sense. 

But there will inevitably be moments that are darker, scarier, more somber. Those moments are less bright, but to me they’re no less important. They tell the story, too. The moments of fear after Eden was born when the nurses were trying to get her to breathe, the minutes after Adaleine fell into the fire when the realization sunk in that we might have a very different reality now, or when we had to take our little four-month-old boy in for surgery to repair a hernia.

This is Eden right after she was born. So tiny and fragile at less than 5 lbs.

You see that smile?? The ONLY time this girl cried about her burns was when they needed cleaned. She is so amazing.
Judah with Sergio, the bear they gave him at the hospital after his surgery
We had some of those harder times last year here at the Bug household. Something I haven’t shared here in this place up until now simply because I couldn’t think quite how to put it out there. But I decided that I want to remember, so I’m writing it down here.

Last May, we had a brief love affair with our fourth child and then had to say goodbye a week later.

On May 2, 2013 I had a positive pregnancy test that left me numb for about 12 hours. Once the numbness wore off, I realized I was actually excited! This was a surprise to both Mr. Bug and I considering my reaction to the news that I was pregnant with Judah.

For one blissful week, we talked and we planned. We texted and called each other with ideas for names and ways to tell our families. We started brainstorming new sleeping arrangements, figuring out where the baby should be. There wasn’t a cloud on the horizon. This was a bright moment!

Then on the 8th, I started to bleed. I knew immediately something was off because although I knew spotting is common toward the beginning of pregnancy it had never happened with my other kiddos. I made an appointment for a blood draw the next day but wasn’t terribly surprised when the nurse called afterward and said it looked like my levels were dropping. I was losing the baby.

And I cried. I cried for the little person we wouldn’t get to hold. I cried for little Judah who wouldn’t get to be a big brother. I cried for the girls who wouldn’t get to help with their little baby. I cried for me. For the baby I couldn’t carry.

We had agreed on the name Cora for a girl, and that is the name that comes to mind still when that little one is in my thoughts. 

Cora. It means ‘filled heart.’ Filled with love. Filled with pain. Filled with loss. But also filled with gratitude. I didn’t get to hold that baby in my arms, but she filled my heart to the brim. 

God let us have her for a week. I don’t blame Him for what happened. I never felt He ‘took’ anything away from me. He never promised me that baby but He was there when I couldn’t keep her. And I trust Him and what He wants to do in our lives, even when it doesn’t seem like it makes sense.

One of the things that people say when they hear someone has had a miscarriage is “You’ll get over this eventually. After some time, you’ll forget.” Well, that’s unacceptable to me.

I want to remember. My kids know they have a little brother or sister that they didn’t get to meet and they know that it’s okay to be sad about it. They know that sometimes things don’t work the way we want them to, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong. I feel the ache from time to time for the baby that we lost, but my arms are never empty with my three beautiful children here with me. 


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

It's Just a Freaking Shirt, Kid!

“Eden, do you want to wear the grey shirt or the red shirt?”


“Okay. Adaleine, do you want to wear the grey shirt or the red shirt?”

“The red shirt!”

“Alrighty then! Looks like Adaleine’s wearing the red and Eden’s wearing the grey!”

Weep and gnashing of teeth.

This was the beginning of a thirty-minute meltdown about how the boys will make fun of her for wearing a grey shirt and they will say it’s a boy’s shirt. Then further into the abyss of tantrumdom when I suggested she splash some water on her face to help her calm down. Then the world almost stopped turning when she explained to me – while staring at her red and teary face in the mirror – that iiiiiittttt waaaaaaaaassssnnnnnn’t heeeeelllllllpiiiiiiinnnngggg.


Then I lost my cool and shouted at her that I wasn’t going to listen to my seven-year-old daughter throw a fit like a little baby about a shirt. Then she cried some more and I noticed a little stream of snot flowing from her nose. Isn’t it funny how my daughter was throwing a royal tantrum in the bathroom and all I could think was I need to add tissues onto my list for the store.

The problem is if she had just freaking told me that she didn’t want to wear the grey shirt because she thought the boys would make fun of her, I probably would have listened! I would have told her that boys are stupid and they have no idea about things like that, but if she didn’t want to wear the shirt she didn’t have to. But then she threw a fit.

Tough choice here, folks. The logic is sound(ish) but the attitude was all wrong. 

I’m torn between being a tough mom who won’t take crap from my daughter about a shirt and being an understanding mom who doesn’t want some dumb boys making fun of her. 

Rock, meet Hard Place.

This is parenting.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Being a Mom...

Being a mom is a lot of different things at a lot of different times. Here are some of my personal experiences…

Being a mom is…

…not thinking twice when you’re on the toilet and your three-year-old busts in to tell you that the green lady in the movie he watched a week ago scared him.

…absentmindedly turning off all the light switches as you walk through the house after the little munsters leave them on.

…forgetting when you last showered, but remembering exactly where you last saw your daughter’s favorite stuffed animal. (In the living room, under the yellow and green blanket in the basket behind the chair.)

…knowing the second your child reaches the ‘too tired to sleep’ point and you will be dealing with a holy terror for at least another hour.

…going over the same stupid Cinderella sticker a dozen times with the vacuum just so you don’t have to bend over and pick it up.

…going out to eat and deciding on your order and the order for all of your kids (including side items and drinks) in the time it takes your husband to find the category he’s looking for on the menu. “Hey babe, do you see the fish and chips on this menu? Oh! I found them. Never mind. Wait—two choices of side items? Do you see the list of side items?”

…knowing that sometimes yogurt with granola will be a hit for breakfast. And sometimes it will cause a meltdown of epic proportions.

…having the ability to tie one kid’s shoe, direct another one to the location of her lunchbox, and instruct the last one to grab a Kleenex for the booger he can’t flick off his finger—and is crying about—all at the same time.

…hearing the almost imperceptible noise the door makes when your kid gets out of bed again, and pausing your episode of The Killing before they come out and are scarred for life. 

…being aware of the fact that lying is bad, but knowing that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are magic and that makes it okay ;)

…having one kid wake you in the middle of the night because of a bad dream, another wake you because they wet the bed, and the last one wake you because of a thunderstorm. All in the same night.

But even though mom-ing can be hard and challenging and hair loss-inducing, I think we can all agree that it’s worth it. Here’s one from last night that had me smiling ear to ear.

…realizing that your hands still smell like Baby Magic even hours after bath time.

Go forth and mom! And maybe sniff some Baby Magic to get you through the yogurt meltdowns. :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Red Devil in My Belly

I’ve whined commented before about how being a woman is hard, but I’d like to revisit this topic. This occurred to me these past few days as I was in the throes of my ‘monthly miracle’ and I thought I’d share. Because that’s what friends do. 

If you’re a dude, I’m not really sure what to tell you. Part of me wants to recommend that you read on and learn a little something, but another part of me thinks that the less you know the better. Because being a girl is kind of gross.

The day before I ‘start,’ I’m like a raving and slightly insane bear. My kids drive me nuts, my husband drives me nuts—basically human beings in general. This last time I ended up calling my husband who was conveniently out of town at work. As soon as he picked up the phone I unloaded on him. Guys, it was kind of unfair but I didn’t care one tiny bit.

“I’m so sick of these kids! Judah won’t stop whining about every little thing! Sissy cries if someone looks at her the wrong way! Eden is mean! And as soon as one of them asks me a question and I’m trying to process a response, another one is right there with another need! ‘Mom? Mom? Mom? MOM?’ It’s driving me crazy!”

Mr. Bug’s response? A very heartfelt, “I’m sorry.”

My reply? “It’s fine. I’m getting off the phone.”

Poor dude just couldn’t win. Fortunately I knew this was probably due to the red devil in my belly (thank you, Jessica Day!) so I had forewarned him. He handled it perfectly.

So there’s the hormonal insanity/moodiness. And the zits. Dear Lord, the zits. I have two on my chin right now that I can actually feel throbbing. They’re enormous and they hurt soooo baaaaad. And of course I have a few bonus zits on my back. Because why the flip not? And they’re not the kind that you get the gratification of popping. No, these are way below the surface I’m just here to cause you pain and make you look stupid zits.

So you hate humanity which is fine because you’re not really fit to face humanity with all the zits on your face and back. Add to that the cramps. People, the cramps. Punched in the gut, heating pad, curl up in a ball, stop looking at me cramps. The ones that make you seriously consider having another baby just so you get nine months without that pain. I’m pretty sure that’s why the Duggars kept having kids. She probably just has cramps that are slightly more painful than mine.

To top all of this off…you are freaking bleeding. I know it’s not a ton, up to a cup according to Kotex (like they know) but still. There is blood coming out of you and you feel gross and smelly and you’re worried about leaking and if you have to wear a pad you feel like it’s a diaper and you wake up in the middle of the night and have to change pajamas and God forbid your three-year-old walks in on you when you’re going to the bathroom and oh, there are going to be so many questions.

If any guys have made it this far, I’m sorry. But really, I’m kinda not sorry. Be nice to your wife/girlfriend/friend/mom/random lady who looks like she wants to kill all the humans. Chances are we’re dealing with some serious stuff. But if you ask if it’s ‘that time of the month,’ you will be in the news. Because we will kill you.