Sunday, January 23, 2011

Feeling cheated

Hunter was born almost 5 months ago exactly. The time leading up to it as we all know was a stressful one and even afterwards it didn't seem to get much better for a while. We did seem to think we were getting lucky with just a two week stay in the NICU. We meet people who had been there for months! So we figured this was our "break". Maybe our luck was changing. After all I sat in bed for 6 weeks our son was almost 6 weeks early and had to be taken to the NICU. Not a way any woman I know wants to spend her pregnancy or the birth!

We knew the day we came home finally our luck had finally changed or so we had thought. We had just minor issues upon coming home. Some we were well aware would happen and others just sort of snuck up on us catching us off guard. The six week break we had before I was to return to work was just what we all needed. I know that everything I was doing was giving Hunter benifits and doing what it could to make him bigger and stronger, or was I?

Since he was going to be a premie I made it clear that I would strickly breast feed because I knew that would give him a much better shot of leaving the NICU sooner, gaining weight and making him over all just a healthier baby. I firmly believed this when we saw after 2 weeks we were going home. I believed that staying home with him till he was a little over 2 months old would also benifit him by letting him get just a litter stronger and a little more quiet time with rest. I was thrilled to go back to work, I had been out 3months! 2 months longer than I had planned!

Now I did not go into this blindly or nieve to that fact my child would be the picture of health and we would have no problems and my life at home with the kids would in fact be just smooth sailing. I did think well I have been raising the girls alone during the week what is one more chid? I can totally handle this. And I did and I still have been. A month later things started changing. Hunter finally got sick right around Thanksgiving, I started second guessing if my choices of being back in Dallas were wrong. I was hoping the kids didn't start resenting me because of all these changes I have imposed on their lives with really no question to them if they were ok with it. Even when my place was falling apart before our very eyes I thought " I can really do this, I am just being tested!" Around the middle of December Hunter started getting sick again! Ok I am really not surprised but still I thought he would at least give me a break in between. Finally after much debate we took him on Christmas Eve and he was diagnosed with RSV. We were waived a hospital stay since after all it was the holidays who wants to spend time in the hospital for observation when you have other children depending upon this grand holiday?! We also were dealing with other issues and it was really packing on the stress.

Earlier in the week unbenknownst to most people I had slowly been making the decision that would infact inpact our families lives. I don't really even think the people closest to me knew what was coming. Right at the start of Christmas break I finally spoke with Jason and told him our situation and how I felt it would best be rectified if for the remainder of Chris' enlistment I moved to Abilene. I cried about how I was not ditching the children or giving them up and how absolutely agonizing this was. He clearly understood and supported what I needed to do. Most don't know this but there are only a few people in my life whos approval means the most to me and even though he is my ex his still means a lot.

After the break I made the news public to everyone. And with Hunter not getting much better I knew it was the right thing to do but I started feeling cheated. I felt like I was cheating my kids. Here I was told that BF was the absolute best way to keep your child strong and healthy and it would be the best way for him. Here I am at the doctors office every weekend. No I don't exagerate please verify with the nurses they have pretty much seen us every weekend since November! Hunter is being cheated out of a the benifits I should be giving him leaving me feeling guilty. Then there are 3 children who have been cheated of their time with me because not only am I tending to a sick baby, but I am working, and preparing for a big move which sadly does not include them. I am cheating them out of their mommy.

There has been so much sadness in guilt these last few weeks. It is the worst emotional roller coaster I have ever been on. I debate with myself regularly if what I am doing is for the best. I beat myself up because Hunter can't get well. A friend from the NICU and I were speaking last night. Her daughter was a micro premie they had a much longer stay and a longer road ahead of them then we did of course. I felt almost stupid bringing up this but she reminded me he was in the NICU and those babies have a bigger battle to fight. We both agreed that we wondered how long we would worry about our babies and keeping them healthy. These worries are none that I really have dealt with before. Even as a first time mom 10 years ago I don't think I agonized this much. Now I feel it consumes me! So much infact I am taking time away from my other children and my family. They again get cheated.

In exactly 6 days I will be entering my new life and leaving this behind for now. I have felt myself emotionally closing off away from everyone. Even the party I am having to say goodbye seems like to much of an effort and would be best left not doing. I think deep down having those people around me Friday will make it more real to me what will be happening the following day. I think if I just played it off like any other Friday I could possibly cheat myself out of the guilt I am feeling. Even when Sean left tonight I didn't do anything extra special that would indicate to either himself or mine that this was infact our last weekend in the place together. That the next time he would come see me it would be a different dynamic. Not till I sat down and spoke to his step mom did I really realize " Oh wow this is it!" I sent her a message making sure I could still have him spend the night next Friday so I didn't cheat him out of our time.

I think about all the "last times" I will be having for a while and while at first it was no big deal to me they are coming as just an emotional wave! Who knew that it being the last time for a while that I would take the girls on Sunday night and prepare them for school for the week, or my last week of waking up early to coax and prode the girls to get ready for school, my last week of spending the short amount of time I get with them doing their homework and making dinner for them hearing them fight over who will tell me about their day first. This seem so mundane and not even a big deal but they are to me because lately I feel like I have cheated them out of that time. I have been so occupied with a sick baby, work and packing that I feel that they got cheated out of the special time with me in the evening and I feel so jealous that now Jason will have that with them getting his undivided attention.

I know this is only short term and that really I am not cheating them out of anything but they are and I am gaining so much more in the long run. That it is what it is and we can't always have things that we want when we want them it has to come with time. So I am forcing myself to embrace this change and know that it is for the best and while I fight the thoughts of cheating everyone including myself I know that I am actually gaining so much later on. I just have to stop beating myself up and feeling guitly for things that must be done. If those around me don't seem to understand and think that I infact am cheating my family and myself then to them I say please walk a mile in my shoes, live my life day by day and see that this is cheating them. They are loved and will forever be loved. Nothing lasts for ever and nothing ever stays the same. I will believe that until I have seen otherwise.