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Unconventional ~ Part 2.

I heard the sweetest little “Wahh!” …

April 24, 1999 … 7:15 am … Trying to place an epidural, in a spine, on a body that has gained over twenty pounds of water weight in less than three weeks, is proving to be near impossible.  I was “stuck” in the back about five or six times, before the anesthesiologist said,

“If I can’t get it this time, we’re gonna have to put you under, and do the c-section while you sleep.”

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Photo creds: Memegenerator.com

“Ummm … there is a chance that my son won’t live … You WILL get it this time, because I want to see him alive, even if only for a minute!” (Wow! Look at me! Haven’t even met my son, and I’m already a Mama Bear!) With that, the epidural was inserted properly, and within minutes, the doctor who delivered my son, Dr. Yvonne Thornton, entered the room, and said …

“Now, please remember, that his lungs are just now developing. You will probably not hear him cry, when he is born.  This is normal.  We were only able to give you one steroid shot to help his lungs, versus the two shots, that you would normally get.  We are running out of time … for you, but I assure you (in her most sympathetic voice), even though you probably won’t hear him cry, technology has come so far …”

She continued on, but that’s all I really heard …  Technology?! WTF does technology have to do with MY SON, and his premature lungs … Actually, I remember a nurse saying that he was so early, that it wasn’t even considered premature, but rather … immature.  HA! A title he still holds dearly, to this day!!  (I joke … sorta)

April 24, 1999 … 8:54 am … I heard the sweetest little “Wahh!”, that I have ever heard in my entire life!  “It’s a boy … One pound, nine ounces, 12 1/2 inches long, apparently with a better set of lungs, than we anticipated!”

I will never forget that sound.  I have it on lock down in the memory banks of my heart, and my brain … I will never forget his first, tiniest of whimpers, and the thoughts that scattered through my brain …

That’s my boy!
Stronger than even the doctors thought!
A fighter from birth.
Strength you didn’t know you had.
YOU HAVE PURPOSE!
You got this, kiddo!
I will never leave your side … EVER!
THAT, is my promise to you.

 July 30th, 2000 ~ One year “corrected” age ~ When you have a child that is born three months early, you learn a lot of new jargon that you’ve never heard before. You also become super acclimated to the NICU, and you start to believe that you could be a nurse, with all that you have learned.  Especially when your child is there for 12 weeks.  Today’s word is “corrected age”.  He’s 9 months old, 6 months, corrected age. For ONE YEAR, and three months, I had to use this term.  It was frustrating.  Unless you know, you DON’T know.  To the mom who has her babies when they’re supposed to be born, it may sound silly to you, that I complain about this … It seems minimal, in the grand scheme of life, however … it’s ANNOYING … just another way to point out that my kid is different from yours … like I said … ANNOYING, and perhaps, dare I say “judgey”?! The only positive, is that if someone overheard me saying “corrected age”, it brought on the conversation, and I was happy to talk about it.  Knowledge is power, right?!  Getting back to my point … In August of 2000, I had to bring my son for a developmental check up.  I had noticed that he was favoring one side of his body, over the other.  When he crawled, at nine months, he would over use his left side, like an army crawl, but the left side did the majority of the work.  After a three-hour evaluation, the results were in …

“Your son has a condition called Hemiparesis, which affects his right side.”

In layman’s terms please …

“Your son has Cerebral Palsy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Unconventional ~ Part 1.

“I was dying, and didn’t have a clue!”

Not everything in life is always done the conventional way … Sometimes people have to take their own path, their own journey, different from that of the “standard human”.

When our children are born, you look at them, and think they can be anything they want.  The world is in the palm of their hands.  You have big hopes, dreams, and aspirations for them.  However, what happens when your child comes into the world three months before they are due to be born?! Well, all of those hopes and dreams you thought you had for your child, become different hopes and dreams. You truly just want them to make it to the next minute, the next hour, the next day.  You live from moment to moment.  Every ounce gained, is a party.  Yes, I said one ounce. My son was born at 711 grams. That’s ONE pound, NINE ounces, 12 ½ inches long.  My whole pregnancy was a “problem” from the get go. From how I found out that I was pregnant, to almost dying three months before he was even due to be born.  

It was Thanksgiving time, 1998 … I had been married for just over a year.  I wasn’t necessarily trying to get pregnant, but I wasn’t NOT trying, either.  I had also, just moved back home to New Jersey, after a short stint in Charlotte, NC. I was home sick, and just wanted to go back home.  

Everything happens for a reason, right?!  Right.  I didn’t know at the time, but I had moved back home, because I was about to experience the ride of my life, and needed my mother.  Sure, I was most definitely homesick, but within months of being home, I found out I was preggers … in the Emergency Room.  Like I said, it was Thanksgiving time, the day after actually, and my belly HURT! Too much turkey, maybe … But Damn, OUCH!!! Sharp, stabbing pains to my abdomen … literally doubled over, on the floor, dying in pain.  

“IT’S APPENDICITIS!! Get her to the ER”, my mother was screaming.  My then husband, listened to his mother in law, and took me to the ER …

“Any chance your pregnant?”, the nurse asked.

“There’s always a chance, but I doubt it,” I said quietly.

20-minutes-later

“Well … YOU’RE PREGNANT!”, chimed the nurse.

Of course, we weren’t expecting to hear this news, but oh my God, I was going to be a MOM!  I had just turned 23.  We truly didn’t know how to react. I kid you not … the first thought that went through my head … “Thank GOD I’m married!!” … You know, Irish-Catholic girl, doing it the conventional way … you date, get engaged, get married, kids, etc. Conventional.  But wait … why am I in pain, if I’m just pregnant …

“Oh my God … Am I having a miscarriage?!”

Long story short … My cycles back then, were very unruly, so at the time, going by when my last period was, I would have been considered 2 ½ months pregnant, but my “numbers” from blood work, were telling another tale … So they, in fact, thought I was having a miscarriage.

Moving forward, it was determined that I was about 3 weeks pregnant, at the time of my ER visit.  I had a bunch of problems, from profusely bleeding in my 3rd month, to high blood pressure and bed rest, for the remainder of my pregnancy.

It’s funny … when you’re young and “dumb”, and all you think is (or at least me)  “All I ever wanted to be was a mom!”, no one tells you that you might die during labor (or before) … No one tells you that your child could potentially die inside of you, having to give birth to a stillborn … NO ONE FUCKING TELLS YOU THE COLD HARD TRUTH of being pregnant.  Back then, everyone made it out to be all butterflies, unicorns and roses … They didn’t tell you how rough the morning sickness is going to be … I say “they”, referring to every female in your life … Back then, we didn’t have Google to tell us ANYTHING.

I had been on bedrest for 3 weeks, when I had asked my doctor if I could go back to work, just to get out of the house.  I have ADHD, and sitting still for any length of time, sucks. My doctor and I had a wonderful rapport (God rest his soul), and I was knees to the ground, begging to go back, and he finally agreed to part-time … Not even a week in, and my blood pressure had skyrocketed through the roof …. Again … You guessed it … bed rest!  

April 23rd, 1999 … Still on the couch watching the coverage regarding The Columbine Shooting.  I had woken up feeling okay.  By 10am, I couldn’t keep anything down … nothing, at all … I didn’t feel sick, like the flu or anything … I just couldn’t stop throwing up.  My baby daddy came home from work, to take me to the dr.  Everything was fine in the office, but they needed to send me to the hospital, to get hydrated.  While at the local hospital, I was about to have a seizure, and the dr’s there, decided to send me to the hospital that could handle premature births, better than the one that I was at.  I was red-lighted from Newton to Morristown … A trip that would normally take 45 mins to an hour, took them 33 mins from door to door.  

I was dying, and didn’t have a clue!

April 24, 1999 … 6:30am … The nurse comes in to check my foley bag.  I was given a catheter, due to my weakness, I was unable to get up and go to the bathroom.  The bag was empty.  She asked if someone had been in to empty the bag, when we told her no … the look on her face, I’ll never forget it … “Ummm … I’ll be right back”, she said.  Upon her return, with the doctor, they explained that my organs were now shutting down, starting with my kidneys, and they had no choice, but to deliver my son via emergency c-section, in order to make me better.  I had developed preeclampsia / toxemia, and in order to save me, they had to deliver him … My poor, helpless, little boy.

Wait? WHAT?!  “But his lungs are just developing now, how will he breath?  Will he survive? Why is this happening to me?”

We didn’t really have time for answers.  Not at that moment in time, anyhow.. Thinking back, I was so sick, that I really wasn’t scared.  I had faith (or optimism) that everything was going to be okay.

All I ever wanted to be, was a mom. I was so close. Fourteen weeks away from meeting my son.  Fourteen weeks away … from being someone’s mom.

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Everyone has a story. Story 2.

This is the last time.
Just tryin’ to survive.
One day at a time.
One second at a time.
They don’t know
What it takes …
They don’t know
How my heart breaks.
I’m honest,
But I lie.
If I stop, I’ll die.
If I stop, I’ll die.
However, I try.

I try.

Stupid pill has a hold on me.
Stupid pill needs to set me free.

This is the last time.
Just tryin’ to survive.
If I stop, I’ll die.
However, I try.

Gotta be up
Can’t be in bed
On my shoulders
Their lives depend
Can’t be sick
Gotta be fine
Need that pill
Just to thrive

Not even high,
Just gotta get by.

ON MY SHOULDERS
THEIR LIVES DEPEND!

No time to be sick.
No time for self will.
Gotta be up.
Just one more pill.

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Everyone has a story … Story 1.

Last Friday, on my Facebook page, I asked people to submit their story to me.  Optimistic me, was hopeful for at least one juicy story … Pessimistic me didn’t think I would have any response … Boy was I wrong … and BOY am I glad I went out on a limb and asked!  I have gotten some pretty spectacular stuff to work with, and I couldn’t be more grateful! Thankful to everyone who has taken part.  All stories are anonymous. That being said … Here is what I have done with my first story … Short and sweet!

The door closes …
She fumbles for her phone …
She texts him.
It’s time.
She drives.
She thinks.
And thinks …
And … just like that…
She’s there.
The door agape.
He’s there.
Not a moment passes, when their lips are locked …
Tongues caressing each others mouth.
High school sweet hearts.
It’s been three, very lengthy weeks, since their last nuzzle.
You see time is not their friend, because their time belongs to another.
Yet, they can’t stop.
They try, but they can’t imagine life without the other.
At least some part of their lives.
She was supposed to marry him …
But circumstance had promised her to another.
A baby was growing inside of her.
And him …
He is getting what he needs at home.
There’s just something about her.
He cannot let go.
They tear each others clothes off ..
Propelled to feel the feel that takes it all away …

Well, at least for the moment …

Bodies thrashing, voices moaning …

It’s comfort, it’s familiar …

It’s what makes them, them

and because of that …

It’ll never end.  

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Hi.

Hi. Hello.
Have we met?
Once or twice.
A million times, I bet.
However, you don’t know me.
You may think you do,
but truly,
You haven’t a clue.
What are my dreams,
My wants, my goals,
My deepest desires,
What’s in my soul?
Have you thought
To take the time
To know what drives me
To write my rhymes?
No? Oh. Cause i
t’s you …
An ungodly beast,
That drives me, motivates me,
It’ll never cease.
You were the one
Who tore me down,
You were the one
To make my heart drown.
To never feel a feel
That’s warm, that’s soft.
Instead to feel feels
That are callous, and rough.
Will you inform me
Why “just me”, wasn’t enough?

 

 

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Grateful.

IMG_7006THIS IS MY 20TH POST!! Feeling grateful, as I’ve finally hit my first Word Press goal of 20+ followers.  Since I have taken this screenshot the other day, I have even received a few more followers, as well, and I just wanted to come on here and express my gratitude for any likes, comments and feedback that I have received, the connections I have made, friendships that are forming with like-minded creatures … It’s all been a dream come true for me.

For several years, people have told me that I should write … start off with a blog, and just write.  So I did.. and then I didn’t, but now I am, and I am not going to stop.  At this moment in time, in my own life, writing is the greatest pleasure I have.  Let’s face it, raising children isn’t rewarding in the moment. It’s after they are adults, when they can show you, that the humans you have helped to nurture, are, in fact, successful products of society … We don’t get “instant gratification” in raising our children.  I mean, don’t get me wrong … there are MOMENTS when we love love love our children, and they can do no wrong, but those moment are few … and VERY far in between.  So, for now, writing is, indeed, my greatest pleasure.

When I made the decision to Blog again, not that I really intended to stop, but life happened, and there was just so much for me juggle, so I let my writing go … BIG MISTAKE. BIG. HUGE!

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Gif from Pretty Woman

While 20 followers might not seem like a lot to most, it’s everything to me.  It’s the beginning.  I’ve only just begun!

Peace, love and happiness to you all!

 

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Son, my number one.

“We’ve already won”

Do you know what it’s like to be me
Happy, easy-going, loving, carefree
Your vision of my face
You can clearly see
I’m smiling, I’m joyful
I’m bursting with glee
PLEASE … Do not be mistaken
While I smile for you
Inside, my heart is breaking
Broken … shattered, really
Somehow I’ve failed you, my son
Somehow I’ve failed you
My number one
Tell me what it is that
I haven’t done
You see, in my head
We’ve already won
From where you were
To where you are
Do you even realize
You’ve come so far

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Photo circa Mother’s Day 1999

Dig deep, my son
For you will see
That pushing yourself
Will set you free
Can’t is a word
You’ve always been told
To eliminate from your mind
No matter how old
Remember the time
You knew how to walk
Then surgery stole it
We sat, and we talked
“Mommy, oh Mommy
This isn’t fair
Why did God create me
Just to make me wear
Braces on my legs
I’ve been casted too
Procedure after procedure
Please tell me it’s true
I’ll walk again, Mommy
Maybe one day soon
Tell me I can, Mommy
Please sing me a tune”
Sweet melodies
From my heart they would come
Along with my song
I could hear him hum
My sweet young man
You have come so far
I wish you could see
Beyond every scar
That God makes no mistakes
You do have a purpose
For heavens sake
Never give up
My eldest son
Never give up
My number one

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Senior Portrait circa 2017

 

 

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Paranoia creeps in.

“Thanks. Go away.”



Hello old friend.
YOU, are not my friend. Go away.
I won’t.
Then what do you want?
Ohhh … Nothing. Just passing through to say …

No one likes you, including your kids, because you’re a dreadful mother, wife and friend. Don’t forget … you suck at life. You’re so stupid, senseless, naive. Yes, she REALLY hates your guts. You’re weak, fragile, powerless. You’re ugly, appalling … a beast. How can you think you’re beautiful … Oh, right … YOU DON’T! You’re fat AND lazy. You never get shit done. They ARE talking about you, and YOU … you’re just pathetic.

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Photo by: JuSteph4All

 Thanks. Go away.
Where should I go? I’m stuck in your head.
JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!
I won’t, for without me, you don’t have a friend.
PLEASE … just go away.
I won’t. You can beg, but you’re fragile, you’re weak.
Fine stay.
It’s easy for me to win.
You always do. You ruin my life.
No I don’t. You do that on your own.
Thanks. Go away.
I won’t.
Then stay.
I will.
Okay.

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Head-games. (with a capital H)

“Alone from the voices, I call my very own…”

My confidence fails me,
Every now and again;
When it strays, it’s replaced with
Paranoia, not zen.

Happiness, laughter …
All my sunny rays,
Have turned to this uninviting,
Hazy shade of grey.

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Photo Edited by JuSteph4All

I’m unlovable, uncaring,
UN-everything
, it’s true …
however,
If I’m so NOT anything,
Then how am I blue?

My sense of humor,
Nowhere to be found.
It’s in there somewhere,
It’s buried deep down.

Why does this happen?
Is it only me?
I’m someone who’s typically filled
With smiles, life and glee.

I’m hideous, you say?
Right down to the bone …
If I’m so NOT anything,
Why can’t I be alone?

Alone from the voices
I call my very own …
The words are so harsh!
Haven’t I grown?!

GO! Go away!

I HAVE grown, but

To you, this I say ..

Yes, go away, however
Don’t go too far,
As tomorrow is another day …
For my head and heart to spar.

Do I really want you gone?
Why can’t you read my mind?
For there are billions of words that swirl in my head,
Go ahead … look, seek, tell me what you find.

It’s blank you say?
Whatever. Look deeper
See clearer … Dig through,
And please tell me, am I a keeper?

NO!

NO?

I am a keeper …
Of secrets, of stories,
Of money, of time,
I am the keeper of poetics that rhyme.

It’s not enough. It is enough.
I’m not. I am.
This brain of mine, is rough …
however,
For today, I AM ENOUGH!

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Photo taken by JuSteph4All

 

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Take my arm … 

Instead of hers.

Take my arm.
Instead of hers.
With each poke and prot
She winces, it burns.
TAKE MY ARM!
Instead of hers!
I feel her pain.
Literally.
Can it get worse?
I bow my head,
As a tear falls down.
I say a prayer.
I ask the Lord, why?
Why her?!
What did she do?
To deserve this misery.
To have this placed upon her.
What did she do …
you ask?
She raised two children.
On her own.
For the most part.
We had incredible grandparents.
Whom aided.
A lot.  Continue reading “Take my arm … “

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Not My Kid.

“It won’t happen to my kid!”

 


A little girl died. Twelve years young. I don’t know her. I don’t even know her family, yet my heart is crushed, overwhelmed with sadness for her. It is all I have been thinking about, since I learned of it last night.  Maybe because I’m a mom, maybe because I have a step-son that just turned 12, maybe because I’m freaking human?!

She didn’t die because she was sick. She didn’t die because of an accident. She was bullied, and she chose to die.  I can’t bear the thought of, “What if that was my kid?”. Hell … What if that was YOUR kid?

“It won’t happen to my kid!” … “Bully?! My kid?! NEVER!” … “I know my child, and he/she is fine.”

ARE THEY?! Do you KNOW if your child is okay? Better yet, do you know if your child is the bully? Have you checked through your child’s phone, tablet, etc., to SEE what they are getting in to? Do you regularly have conversations with your children about how THEIR day was? Do you have conversations about the “kid” that doesn’t have any friends?

“We’ve set our parental controls, they can’t get to that “stuff”.” … REALLY?! … They can’t?! Did you remember to set the parental controls at every single one of their friends’ homes, too?!

I remember when my, now almost 16 year old, daughter acquired her very first Instagram account. I was like a fly on shit checking in after her, setting controls, CONTROLLING who she followed, and who was allowed to follow her back. PHEW!! That’s a lot of work!! That’s a whole other job, within itself. These days, parents don’t have time to check, recheck, check again … Oh, and add on a sibling or two, or Lord help you … more, yes I fall into this category, as well, lol, who also have phones, tablets, etc., it’s exhausting to try and keep up. I also remember the ridicule I received from family members/friends regarding my daughter’s account, and how many followers she had, etc.

As the years have passed, I see family and friends  children now on Instagram, at a younger age, than my daughter was. Which, I can go on for hours about that topic, however, my point is this:  it’s easy to point fingers, when you haven’t “been there and done that”. Well, I’m here to tell you that I’ve been there AND done that! You can monitor everything you like, but it all comes down to one thing… Yup, you guessed it … PARENTING!!  Now, I am NOT saying to never check their stuff, but the sneak attack is always the best approach, and Ohhhh SOOO much better <insert evil laugh>.  If they suspect it’s coming, they will hide and/or delete all the shit they don’t want you to see.  TRUST ME!

“Your child has a phone? Aren’t they in 2nd or 3rd grade? … Ohhhhh, you’re going to CLOSELY monitor them. Cool. Now THAT makes sense.”

NO IT DOESN’T!! Children don’t have filters. They say what they want, when they want. Until a young person has the ability to THINK about what they are going to say, they shouldn’t have any type of time, on any type of social ANYTHING! The end!  You cannot erase words that are typed and sent. Plain and simple.

Let’s not forget the kids without phones, tablets, etc.. I know these days it’s all about “keeping up with the Jones”, I get it. However, there are little people in Pre-School, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades.  These little people, hopefully, don’t have access to freely be on any type of device without the proper supervision.  It’s during these years that parents and teachers are going above and beyond to raise Bully Awareness.  It stops at a certain grade level for whatever reason.  Maybe they feel the first 6 years or so of Bully Awareness, in public school,  is enough?  Well it’s not.

As the mother of two high school age children, one middle school, and one elementary, I’m here to tell you that it stops.  I feel fortunate to live where I live.  Our school systems really do go above and beyond to raise awareness for Bullying, along with our community.

As a matter of fact, I remember when a good friend of our family, Tommy Peterson, started this “little” Organization, along with the kicker from the Denver Broncos, Brandon McManus, 2016 Super Bowl Champ (Not to throw any names around or anything) called The Anti-Bully Squad. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not so little.

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The Anti-Bully Squad (aka: ABS) has over 40,000 SQUAD MEMBERS from the United States, plus FOUR other countries! They give assemblies in NJ, PA, NY, CO & UT.  Lee Rouson, a 2-time Super Bowl Champ with the NY Giants, wink wink, is their Vice President. They team up with the NY Jets, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, The NJ Devils, and the Sussex County Minor’s, for Bully Awareness.  They are ahhhhh-mazing, and I’m proud to call Tommy, my friend.  For more information on ABS, please check them out on their website, at: antibullysquad.org .  They are always there, ready for new Squad Members!! It will truly benefit you to check them out!!

In closing, I’d like to leave you all with this ..

Kindness: noun. The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

The word KIND, always comes to mind, in these situations. BE KIND! It’s not that hard. It’s so stinking simple. Our children emulate us. They follow OUR footsteps, from the moment they are aware. When YOU are kind, THEY are kind. Communicate … Always talk to your kids.  Be involved. Be Gentle. Be Aware. Be Considerate. Be Friendly. Be Generous. Be Tender. Be Gracious. Be anything … but MEAN.  Please, just be kind.

 

Intermittent Bullshit

A beautiful piece, by a beautiful writer!

Kindra M. Austin

courtship5

You were goddamned gorgeous, and a fucking conundrum, my mother. When I think of all the men in your life who’d tried to solve your riddles, I laugh. The relics of those men inhabit a corner in the catacombs of my heart. I don’t want them, but each one retains a precious part of you, so there they shall remain. Yes, I’ll keep those tokens to remind me that I never want to be like you—insecure.

You’d always believed you required a man’s love in order to be completely happy. From the depths of my being, I am so sorry you’d lived your life on the cusp of a chasm so black. I wish you had known your true self through the eyes of your daughters; and I don’t understand why Tara and I weren’t reasons enough for you to be content.

I’m angry tonight—angry about your failures as…

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