Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Making it through.....

I always knew that I would love being a mother. I just didn't understand how much I would love it, until I became one. I'm sure I had dreams of how motherhood would be.....but I'm quite sure my dreams were far different than my reality!

Motherhood is all encompassing. Nothing is the same after you become a Momma. You might have ideas of how you will do things and you might have ideas of the "perfect" life of being a Mom.....and then you become a Mom.

I love this job!......And, I despise this job! Don't ask me how you can both love and despise something, but trust me, you can! Being a Momma is THAT AWESOME!

I felt this way even before I had Gavin, but when Gavin came along.....WOW! The emotions and feelings were even tripled! I may have felt somewhat in control as a mother before, but after Gavin, that sense of control was GONE! Not to mention those dreams that I had for me and him.

I finally finished a book that I have been reading off and on for the last several months. And, I wanted to share some of the things that I read.

The book is called, You Will Dream New Dreams, by Stanley D. Klein Ph.D. and Kim Schive. It's a book filled with a collection of writings that were written by parents of a special needs child.

One of the chapters in the book had some of the following:

It talked about how good chicken soup can make you feel when you are feeling ill and how the ingredients, all put together, make for healing nourishment. The author decided that there are ingredients that are needed when you are raising a child with special needs as well. Here they are:

Chicken Soup


2 cups of support

Generous servings of information and resources

Dreams, dreams and more dreams

Substancial amounts of perseverance (Never say never! Don't take no for an answer!)

A dollop of tears (Those filled with saddness and those of joy)

A dash of humor (Gives emotional stability)

I thought that this was quite clever! I believe that this is so true! But, the more I thought about it, I realized that we probably all need these ingredients to help guide us through life, not just parents of special needs children. I also thought that she left out a VERY important ingredient.....God!

I, for one, know that I couldn't make it through my days without this very important ingredient!

Each day I wake up and I usually want to cover my head up with the blanket and go back into dreamland. My dreams are usually a whole lot better than my reality! I often struggle, thinking that my day will hold most of the same things that every other day holds, and this is often a difficult thing to wake up to each day!

Each and every morning I wake up to the fact that Gavin is severally handicapped.....and this is not a fun thing to wake up to. Here is some of my morning routine:

I have to carry my almost 4 year old out of his crib, unhook his feeding pump, change his diaper, hold his head up and make sure he is comfortable, give him many medications through his feeding tube, give him his morning breathing treatments, help keep his head in a position that hopefully prevents him from violently gagging and try to catch the mess when I and he have failed to prevent this from happening....again!, Change him again since he had his dieuretic, change him again because he probably spit up all over his clothes or filled his pants and it leaked all the way through....again!, Oh and I have 3 other boys to get on their way as well!

I could go on and on, but I won't. The point to all of this is that I really don't think that I could make it through every day, without my most important ingredient....God! Somehow, I am given the strength to get through my days, even though they are all filled with saddness, because my sweet boy's life is not as "perfect" as it could be. In fact, I even find lots of pleasure thrown into each and every day!

Of course, some days I am feeling so down because I have to do all of this day after day and feeling sad because I can't just easily take my son to the grocery store and have him sit in the shopping cart or walk beside me.....(for some reason, the fact that Gavin can't even sit up on his own, is maybe the most difficult thing for me to accept each day. In my head, if Gavin could miraculously begin sitting up on his own, then all would be right with the world!) Those that have a child that can't sit up on their own, you might even agree with me.....having to physically support my son at all times is a VERY trying thing!

But, like I said, somehow I am given the strength to do my duties each day and even enjoy a lot of them.......and this is TOTALLY a God thing!

So, I would put Him as the first ingredient on this ingredient list!

Another chapter in this book spoke about how caring for a special needs child is like having emotions like a roller coaster ride.

There are:

"Lots of ups and downs!

More hills on our tracks (The peaks are higher and harder to reach, and it takes more energy to negotiate the curves and to climb the hills until we reach a straightaway that allows us to coast for awhile. Plus, there is no visible end to our ride.....our fuel supply diminishes and our motor sputters.)

We may wonder if we have time to refuel before the next hill.

Sometimes it feels like the car may go off track.

And, there is no opportunity to get off the ride.

Those of us on this endless ride may find ourselves isolated and not in control at certain times."

The mother who wrote this section also said that we need to remember to "get support and take care of ourself." This is something that I am very bad about! I want to be able to do it all and I like my privacy, but because I don't ask for help, I struggle and I don't take very good care of myself......so this is a vicious cycle and just another part of the roller coaster ride, I guess.

This mother also said, "This ride may not end, but you may find yourself reaching the peaks more easily and find that you are enjoying the view from the top more often!"

I have found this statement to be so true! Looking back to the days when Gavin was first born, or when he was in the hospital for so long, or after he had his stroke, I can definitely see a difference in how I felt then and how I feel now! During those times I was just getting by, but the present time really does find me enjoying the view!

My dreams before Gavin have not changed. I still wish for the same things for me and him. But, reality has squashed those particular dreams. Thankfully, God has given me the perspective of seeing Gavin as a huge gift! I may have tough days, but with God and this perspective, today, I can actually say that I am more blessed than most people are!.....

.....Because I have been given this awesome boy!

And, along with Gavin, also came great things and even BETTER dreams!

"When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, 'The Lord has done great things for them.' The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad." Psalm 126:1-3


Alicia said...

I always say "I used to be the perfect mother. Then I had a kid!" : )

I'll have to track that book down, sounds very good!

I love the pics of Gavin today! He looks very handsome and I love his hair too!

Have a great day!

The VW's said...


HA! My husband has a similiar saying....."The best parents are those without children."

I usually follow this saying with, "Or, the best parents are those without 4 boys....our 4 boys in particular!"

And, I'm only half joking when I say this! I love my boys and they have some awesome qualities, but they are a HANDFUL! :)

Kelly said...

Great book, I read it not too long ago!! Love the pics of Gavin, more handsome than ever:)

Lacey said...

Jax not even being able to sit up is one of the most trying things. And I hate to say it, but its only going to get harder as they get older and bigger! Ugh!

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

That is a great book, I have read it more than once. The peaks are much easier to get to the top of these days, as my Peanut is 6.5. I remember the climbing was much harder in the early days. And the view from the top, it is simply breathtaking. :)

connie said...

I wish we lived close to each other. (We don't, right? You aren't in TX?) I think we would both do well to spell each other with the kids. And to have tea together. Or wine!

Yep. Back for the past 2 wks, and this time, I was too drained/discouraged about it to blog or even do emails. At one point half-way through, my oldest daughter sent out emails that we were going home, which was the first time people heard we were here ... but now they think we've been home a week or something.

BUT ..... GOING HOME TODAY!!! And back to work for me, because I've been out so long.

I bet you can guess why we are back, right?

Michelle said...

Alicia, I love this post. You are so right. I could not walk this path every day if it were not for my Lord and Savior. I know it is His strength and not my own. We are still in this "not knowing" stage wtih Lillian's airway but I'm just trying to stay faithful and pray for God's will. I could not go on if I didn't. You touched my heart yet again.

Amy said...

OK, first off, I LOVE Gavin's haircut! He looks like such a big, handsome boy!! Soooo cute.

Secondly, I wish so much I could help you more! If I lived in town, I could be there to force you to do more for yourself (sisters have that power and right that most do not, I like to think!)...I feel so sad thinking of those missed opportunities. Guess I'm just going to have to try harder from afar at taking care of one of my favorite (and hardest-working!!!) mama's!

What you do each day amazes me. I wish we could find a way to have someone follow you around with a camera for one day, to capture all you do and must worry about each day. I honestly think we could all learn from your virtues and dedication!! (((hugs)))

I love you, sissy!!