16 months in…and counting 

Isn’t it funny when you post a who am I blog entry, then have an epiphany in the bathtub? 

It is. 

I think I’m so lost because I’m no longer the person I was. There is a pre-Lauren and a post-Lauren. The in between has been the journey so far. A journey I have not followed so gracefully.

There are moments I wish I could forget. Post partum affected me worse than I thought it would. I felt like the alcoholic who was getting an intervention and couldn’t understand why people were so concerned. 

I tried therapy. It was a no go. I finally gave in 15 months later, after I cried myself to sleep realizing I can’t do this by myself, and started medication. It was the best decision of my life. I am starting to feel happy and whole again. But I will never forget the ugly, raw life I clawed at from rock bottom, just trying to find the light. 

It will always be there. It will always be a part of me. I am not ashamed of that dark place. I just don’t want to visit anymore.

Fast forward to now. My priorities have changed. I will achieve my dreams. My dreams are just a little different now…

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Who am I? 

Seems simple, right? It’s not. 

Someone recently asked me what my hobbies are and what I love to do in my spare time.  I literally couldn’t even make up an answer. I don’t know who I am anymore.

I’ve surrounded myself with so much disability that I could damn well pass for a doctor, but I don’t feel human. 

I can’t even remember the last time I did something for myself. I can’t remember the last time I voluntarily googled something that wasn’t about diseases or disability. 

I couldn’t remember the word “familiarize” today. I’m ashamed. 

On top of that, it’s really all anyone wants to talk to me about. I don’t have much adult conversation beyond Carter. I truly appreciate everyone reaching out and loving him so much that they want to follow every step of his journey. We are blessed. But I want people to remember that I’m still a girl. 

I like music, space, dinosaurs and horror movies.

I want to talk about my day, I want to talk about ideas, I want to talk about life. I want to hear about your life. 

I’m not a mom who has a child with disabilities. I’m just a mom to a sweet little boy. He’s a little different, but what’s good about normal? 

Nothing. 

30 day blog challenge: The meaning behind my blog name

I started, or tried to start, a blog challenge a while back. Though the first post turned out well, for whatever reason I just didn’t continue. I want to try again and really force myself to complete it. I’m, by nature, a very organized multitasker who is insanely good at not completing projects. Today, I’m changing that.

Today. Day 1. What’s the meaning behind my blog name? 

I think it’s a pretty simple answer. I picked the blog name for a simple reason. I want to write about our life with my little guy. He is currently undiagnosed with multiple issues and there is this huge world of special needs that exists, I never knew about. 

Things like this didn’t happen to people like me and my husband. We have zero special needs members in our family and to be honest, we didn’t know anyone with special needs. I really believed there either weren’t that many people suffering, because I never saw them in public, or something extraordinarily tragic had to happen to cause it. 

Neither are true. 

I tend to bury my feelings. Or at least I used to. I started this blog to put my feelings on paper. I can say and feel however I want on these pages. This has been a very hard year and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon, but I want to document the journey. If anyone can benefit from hearing that they simply are not alone, I did my job and I did it well. 

So, I didn’t think long and hard on my blog name. I didn’t come up with a fancy smancy pun or catchy title. I wanted something simple that others would be able to understand if they found my blog by happenstance. 

Hopefully, it has done its job. 

Think positive, be positive

Train your mind to see the good in every situation. Wake up, act happy. Go to work, act happy. Come home, act happy. Eventually I will really be happy, right? I think that’s how it’s supposed to work. 

This week has been a little difficult on me. To whoever decided to talk behind my back, that’s fine. I’m ok. Just remember to be perfect the rest of your life. You aren’t a friend. Spreading something I said in a passing moment and personally to you just shows what kind of person you are. Especially when you know what I’m going through. But that’s fine. It affected me for a second, and I’m moving on. I don’t need that negativity in my life. 

No one will truly understand the grief and array of emotions you feel every single day, until you live what I’m living. And I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But damn, it would make it so much easier to explain. I have outbursts and deep set anger and it’s uncontrollable. I’m in therapy and I hope I get the tools I need to cope better. I need to be better at home, at work and just in general. 

We still haven’t received the test results yet for Carter’s micro array. It’s been a month now…

He hasn’t progressed much in the last month. He actually lost weight so we are having to give him supplements instead of resorting to a feeding tube which is last on our list. Crossing my fingers it doesn’t go that far. 

We have him in a little walker and he bounces a few times a day. It’s strengthening his legs so he is wanting to stand more often. I will say he is sitting in his bumbo better than he used to and eating more. 

We are keeping on! Keeping our heads up! Smiling! 

In the inspiring words of Mr. T Roosevelt: Just believe you can, and you’re halfway there!

I try to rest, but sleep won’t come 

I’m patiently awaiting Carter’s chromosome test results, and my first counseling appointment. Neither can get here soon enough. 

I’m tired tonight. Body tired. My mind is running freely even though I’ve tried to quiet it down. 

All the “what-ifs” that I can easily throw on the back burner during the day, dance back out into the open space of my mind. The open space I’ve been trying to quiet. 

Social media makes it worse. Friends having babies make it worse. Friends with kids make it worse. Kids make it worse. I’ve tried my best to act happy, be happy, but I’m at home in my bed. Alone. The one place I don’t have to pretend. I can let tears flow and let my heart ache. 

It aches for so very much. It aches to know a future, a meaningful future, with my son. I feel like a failure. I feel like I let Carter down. He’s not ok, and I can’t figure out what went wrong or how to help him. 

I feel like I let Casey down. This may very well be his only child and he prayed for a son. A son to play ball with. A son to hunt and fish with. What if Carter can do none of those things? Will Casey be satisfied if he can’t? 

I also feel like I let my family down. Carter is the only grandchild they have close to them, they also wanted a little boy. He isn’t learning and growing like he should be and I feel terrible that my parents don’t get the satisfaction of a child that engages or returns their love. 

What if he never engages? If all the therapy is essentially doing nothing? What if he never knows me or how much I love him? What if. So many what ifs. 

Tonight is hard. I’m sure I’ll bounce back and this will happen again and again. 

I just want to sleep. 

Now we wait! 

How long, I’m not sure. Im so proud of my dude. His blood draw was simple and easy and he did so well. Not to say he was calm by any means. Nevertheless, he did beautifully. 

The chromosome array will probably take weeks or months to come back. But it’s done. The blood is out and gone. I’m happy to be in this moment. 

He is growing…slowly. Still following his own curve. His head is, and always has been, on the chart and growing. Something the pediatrician is very happy to see. It means his brain is growing at the right rate. Small dude, big brains!

We have started to brush his two very small, not even grown in teeth. He likes it, so I like it. He has also increased his food intake with no more gagging, which is great. 

His check up noted how very floppy he is in his trunk, but his hips and legs are perfect tone. So though he cannot sit up or reach to hold anything, he will stand forever. 

That’s where we are today! Hopefully we will have some updates soon regarding his testing. Prayers all will be well are always welcomed. 

Life is tough my darling, but so are you 

I’ll give it to man, he may be super delayed, but the child loves him a crowd. Today he attended his first of many crawfish boils at his granddaddy’s house. 

We hung out in the grass and put our feet in the pool. Dude loved it. 

I think the number one thing I need to start working on is my reaction to people’s comments. We are starting to bring him out more and when people see we have a baby, they automatically want to interact. And he doesn’t. He won’t even look your way when you talk to him. We know that and we understand that. Others, not so much. 

I can’t tell you how many times I get comments about his eyes. It makes me sad because I love him so much and I think he’s beautiful. It hurts that others might not feel the same about something that isn’t his fault. 

People are also surprised when I say he will be 12 months old in 2 weeks. He just started fitting in 6 month clothes. So with his size and delay, people assume he’s around 3 months old. Which is FINE, but they always get a pitied look on their face. I hate that look. 

I tend to just smile because I have no idea what to say back. He’s delayed? He can’t see well? He has a condition and we don’t know yet what that condition is? Ack. 

This is difficult and unknown territory. I’m working on it though. I can do this. WE can do this.

Ophthalmology update

Today was not the day I was wishing for, but we will make the best of it! We are getting a cute pair of glasses for my dude to hopefully correct his strabismus. He only started crossing in December, so the doctor thinks he shouldn’t be in them for long.

He is also a tiny bit farsighted so we can adjust the lens to help with that as well. 

That’s the good part. 

The ugly part that I didn’t want was her push for genetics. She explained how, although his MRI is clear, that doesn’t mean there isn’t damage. 

She mentioned mitochondrial disease and storage diseases and all kinds of nasty stuff I didn’t want to hear. 

I know all these things, but I HATE when doctors point them out.

With his delays, she wants us to see a neuro-genetics doctor on top of the already scheduled geneticist appointment. 

In September. So this year is shot. Tomorrow is a developmental ped, then I have to hold my breath until May for the geneticist, THEN hold it again until September. And these are early dates! We are getting in early! 

I don’t know how these doctors think I’m going to just move ahead with life. I don’t know how that’s possible. 

At least man got to see the Houston zoo. Or didn’t see since he was super dilated. We had a good time though. Something to take the edge off. 

Oh, and this free glass of wine. Mama needs a break. 

Secret survival strategies

Every day at the Williams’ casa is a surprise. You never know how little’s schedule will work or what mood he will be in or how much sleep he will let us have.

Some days, it’s obviously a struggle. Some are pretty damn delightful. On those days where I feel like the world is going to end, I pull out some survival tactics. 

Cleaning. I know, that doesn’t sound fun to you guys. But to me, my need for control is satisfied. With Carter, I have no control. He is making his own path and we are helping him along. Sometimes that sends my body into a state of confusion. In order to regulate, I clean. 

Dessert. Normally, I’m not a huge sweets person. Carter has changed me. Once man is askeep, I dig deep into whatever delectable dessert is in our fridge, freezer or pantry. Life’s short, eat the cookie. 

Closet space. Or the little nook in the corner of my closet where I find relief. Sometimes, I need a break. A short break to breathe, scream into a pillow and just collect my thoughts. Carter needs me to help him be the best he can be. It’s overwhelming at times. I need to channel my sadness and anger in more productive ways. I break, collect and move on. 

Dance. We like music in our house. Carter is a verified Eagles and Pink Floyd fan. My man. I promise, if you are ever feeling down or done, dance. Smile. Sing. Your heart will lighten. And sugar bear might even laugh. Worth it. 

It’s all worth it. Struggle or no struggle. He’s my sugar bear. So sweet he makes my teeth hurt. 

The anticipation is KILLING me

We are ONE week out from some very important appointments. Neuro ophthalmology in Houston on March 28 and Developmental pediatrician in Katy on March 29.

I’m both excited and scared. I have extremely mixed feelings. What if I get an answer? Or what if I don’t? 

Then to top it off, we have the geneticist on May 4 that is going to leave that ball of anxiety in my throat until it’s here and done. It’s funny how days fly by until you are anticipating an important event.

I think I’ve thought it through. Maybe not. Half of me says I’ll handle an answer well. The other half, not so much. Half of me says that I won’t feel guilt or blame if I did this to him, unintentionally. Half of me has no clue if I’m strong enough to handle that. 

I feel like I’ll always feel a sense of guilt and blame. I might be able to one day break free of the sorrow, but probably not the guilt. 

But you know what they say… oh look, Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.