Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

I’ll give you one guess for the time lapse since my last post…

I am praying that I am coming out on the other side of what has been a terribly challenging, exhausting and at times excruciating frustrating rough patch with parenting.

It’s discouraging enough to make a woman wonder if she’s really cut out for this whole motherhood thing. When the crazy starts stirring up notions of how maybe you aren’t the best person to be raising two little boys, it’s all you can do to not scream.

But by then, you’re already expired most of your ability to hold yourself together so what does a mom do? In the better case scenario, she might make sure her kiddies are safe and then flee out the door to the sanctity of her car and have a couple minutes to expel her discouragement in a puddle of blubbering madness. Then, hopefully, she can practice those deep breaths she is reminded of by friends and family and collect of remaining fragments and particles of patience left within her and brave through the front door.


In a not so good case scenario…

She can yell at the cupboard as she slams it amidst the spirit crushing whining and crying from her two little ones. The words that snap from her mouth do not show her toddler how to deal with his own frustration in a healthy, effective manner, nor do they display the love the mother so deeply feels for her child. This scenario immediately instills the dreaded feeling that is nearly impossible to shake – failure.

God, how am I going to get through the next 18 years??? I’m only two flipping years in right now and I’m already losing my mind.

Something that occurred to me as I experienced these feelings is that I spent 24 years learning how to make myself happy, how to deal with letting myself down. Uh yes, now just to shake things up a little, figure that out whilst being responsible for two little people. In other words, find new ways to make yourself happy because you just don’t have the time to make yourself happy the way you used to and get used to falling short of that amazing parent you vowed to be. Others might tell you that you are but you are the one who has to let go of the times when you were anything but amazing, unless it was amazingly frustrated and tired.

Yes, I am giving myself a pep talk.

It is incredible to me how I can go from being engulfed in a sea of love for my boys one day or even one hour to wanting to jump ship the next.

It’s not rational, it’s just what happens when the brain is starved of the necessities that encourage calm, logical behaviour.

So, take some B12 (thanks Lilli;), sing not shout and do not shut yourself in.



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The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday. ~ Steve Maraboli

The view from Boat Nook, Pender Island

The view from Boat Nook, Pender Island

This is a story of the unexpected turns that life takes and the journeys that lead us to new resting places.

Pender Island was home to my husband and me for three-and-a-half years. We came as a newly married couple and left as parents to a eight-month year-old boy. The island has a timeless, unchanging quality about it, comforting and reassuring. Our days there are cherished and held closer to our hearts than can be often expressed.

We really felt we would be on Pender, well for good. We were looking at properties to potentially buy only weeks before we left. We were well established in the community, had good friends and a thriving business. Our sudden move came almost out of nowhere. Our main reasons for the decisions were feeling that running a business was taking away from our time together as a family and also thinking ahead to what we wanted for our futures (career wise, opportunities for our children, etc.). But I realized only a few weeks ago that there was another reason I was unaware of.

I want to share this story because I feel that it is a continuing of the healing process that I have been undergoing for the past two years. I have heard other people share their stories of challenges faced, pain suffered and the love therein experienced. We all have our stories and the world becomes a smaller place it seems when it is realized that we’re all on our unique journey of learning and finding joy and peace within our circumstances. I hope that my story speaks to your own untold tales in which you may be still seeking understanding and peace.

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Pender is one of those places you can leave your car door unlocked with the keys still in the car. The slower pace and small community suited Jesse and I just perfectly. After our first year there, we were familiar faces in the community. I worked at the grocery store and Jesse was one of the few plumbers on the island. We dove right in to getting involved that first year and spent every Friday night of our summer there at the pub, singing and competing in the Gulf Island Idol competition. Go ahead, you can laugh. We acted in a comedic theatrical production and swing danced in one of the talent shows. Jesse would join the Ultimate Frisbee games whenever he could and I took up pole dancing with a private instructor. There was so much to be a part of and there was a sense of kinship amongst island folk. We all had to deal with the ferries, we all hunkered down with candles and the wood stove during power outages and we all basically knew each other on some level or another.

Jesse and I found out we were expecting at the end of August, 2010.We were among some 11 other couples who also eagerly awaited their bundles of joy. I was the happiest and fittest I had ever been when I got pregnant. We taught dance lessons while I was pregnant and spent many happy hours dreaming of our future with our little one. We would take our child to the Medicine Beach to play, he or she would be friends with so-and-so’s baby and go to Pender Elementary School.

I didn’t realize the week before I went into labour that my baby was growing sicker and sicker within me. A day or two after suffering from the flu and being bedridden with a fever for two days, I went back to work at the grocery store. The day I went into labour at 32 and a half weeks, I fretted over the phone to my mom about whether I should go on mat leave early. I didn’t want to put out my co-workers but there were many different sickness bugs passing through the store and I didn’t want to put anymore strain on my baby and my body. Too little too late. By the time I realized the contractions I began to experience following my phone call with my mom could be the real thing, we were minutes from missing the last ferry out. And miss it we did. By this time, labour was in full effect and I was hunched over in pain. We waited at the clinic on island for the on call doctor to arrive. The clinic did not have the amenities for delivering babies so it was determined that I would have to be helicoptered off the island. An ambulance raced us over to the helicopter pad and as I was wheeled out, I called for my husband.

“He can’t come, it’s too risky in this wind,” said one of the paramedics. “He will have to come on the first ferry over.”

“I’ll call your mom,” said my husband as the helicopter doors shut.

By the time I arrived at the hospital, I had gone from  two cm dilated to about six. I was not managing the pain well at all and asked for an epidural. After a failed attempt at correctly inserting the needle, I finally got my injection. But I never got to feel the relief because shortly after, my baby’s heartbeat started to dramatically drop. Amidst the delirium of pain that I believe must have been compounded by the realization that my birth plan was going completely wrong, I just figured that their equipment was just malfunctioning. To this day, I still wonder if the blindfold of denial had already blanketed my conscience as it was apparent that something was dreadfully wrong with my baby. As they wheeled me down the hall for an emergency caesarean section, I cried.

The series of painful memories that followed waking up from surgery came home with us to our island home. In the weeks that followed, I sat in our house, reliving every moment, replaying the movie reel over and over in my mind until I had compact snapshots of memories that still haunt me today. I thought about waking up from surgery and asking where my baby was. I thought about holding her stiff body for hours after, not even believing that she was actually gone. I thought about watching her being wheeled down the hospital hallway, away from me forever. I thought about that first night as the devastation of what had happened finally sank in and my body heaved with wrenching sobs and cries. It was the beginning of the heartaches that followed once life had “resumed” on Pender. I watched each of the other expecting parents have their baby. As time went on, I watched my friends with their little ones chatter about what their babies were up to. Every time I saw them, I couldn’t help but imaging that my Shaely would be be learning some of the same skills or as time went on, have little play dates with them. The beautiful spell under which we had glowed and thrived on Pender had been broken. As life began to come back to me and I experienced the birth of my son, I found a place to rest my sorrows and focus anew. But when you have a baby 10 and half months after losing one, there isn’t much time or room for healing to happen. I realize now that this is part of the reason that I needed to leave Pender. For all the beauty, good friends and enriching life we had there, it had become a place of deep sadness and depression for me.

So here I sit in my home in Gibsons. My little boy runs around the house, amusing himself with a whisk, a play station controller, a link roller, anything and everything. My belly is starting to tighten as my third baby in three years grows within me. I am happy and feeling myself finding little bits of understanding and peace with passing time. But it is that time of year when I am reminded from where I have come. This Saturday marks two years since losing our Shaely. How much has happened, how much I have changed. I feel ready to go back to Pender for a visit although I am also nervous for the feelings that might await me there. It too must be part of the process and the journey I am on to find peace and understanding.


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