Thanksgiving

I’m Thankful for Noah

2016 was a rough year for our country. A lot of terrible and tough things have happened and a lot of people are ready to close the books on it and not look back. For me, however, 2016 is a year I will treasure forever. 2016 is when we welcomed our son into the world.

It’s been a tough journey getting to him. It started in 2014 and was derailed by a cancer diagnosis. I had to deal with the risk that chemo brings of never being able to have kids. But I was lucky and got pregnant soon after my doctor gave me the green light this year. That was followed by a pregnancy that was anything but glowing. I had trouble gaining weight due to the nausea that plagued me for almost the entire pregnancy, I was exhausted, sore, and all of the normal pregnancy challenges. I spent several hours in the hospital when I went into preterm labor, afraid and not ready. Luckily Noah decided to wait a few more weeks. We had another scare when my midwife picked up an arrhythmia and there were also concerns about his growth. After hours spent in fear limbo, we were again cleared. Finally Noah joined our family after 32.5 hours of labor, healthy and without needing a c-section.

It was love at first sight. Even though he proceeded to poop on me twice within his first few minutes of outside the womb life. Everything I had been afraid of in becoming a Mom (what about everything I would be giving up? what if I didn’t bond immediately? ) faded away and didn’t matter at all. Being a Mom is like breathing, it doesn’t require thought. My world shifted in an irrevocable way and I didn’t even feel it happen.

There are challenges. I cry pretty much every day. I think the blog “why is my son crying” could have a precursor blog for new families called “why is Mommy crying?” Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s hard, there’s a lot of crazy emotional surge going on post baby. The struggle is real.

There’s a lot of things you can’t prepare for. I understood I wouldn’t be getting much sleep, but it’s different knowing that in theory and living with not knowing how much sleep I’ll get in a night or when I’ll get woken up. It’s really tough. Most physically tough things you have the ability to tell yourself you just need to get through an amount of time and it’ll get better. It may be years before I can sleep in my own bed and get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Luckily the reason that I’m going through sleep deprivation torture has the sweetest face and I love him with all of my heart. Once I manage to get myself up it’s all better, sometimes I sit there at 3am just looking at him as he’s fallen back asleep and marveling at how beautiful he is.

I also have an amazing partner in this that I am thankful for. He continues to take care of me through the good stuff and the tough stuff and he’s also head over heels for our beautiful son.

So thank you 2016 for changing my life in the best way possible.

img_4353

Advertisements

Thankful

I’m split on the thankful piece. About 50% of me is very thankful and about 50% is very surly (and understandably so I believe). I’m going to try and focus on the thankful part right now.

What I’m thankful for:

1. My health. This one is a mixed bag, but I’m really thankful that I’m not sicker. I could have just as easily had cancer that had spread and I’m thankful it hadn’t. I’m thankful that it wasn’t in my lymph nodes and that even with the complications, I’ve healed well from my surgeries and haven’t had any illnesses through chemo (just knocked on wood). I’m thankful that I don’t need radiation or more chemo than I’m getting.

2. I’m thankful that the rest of my family seems to be healthy for the most part. This is a doozy and I think it would be tough on all of us if we had to worry about someone else this much too.

3. I’m thankful for A. I’m not surprised by how amazing he’s been, but I am so thankful that we found each other and decided to spend our lives together. I feel very lucky. I say “we” about almost everything I go through and have to mentally remind myself sometimes to say “I” because he’s with me every step of the way.

4. I’m thankful that my parents and I have the relationship the we do. I’m glad that I have their support and that we could live with them until we got our feet back under us. I know it’s hard for them that I’m not completing treatment where they can see me every day and I’m sorry for that, but I’m glad that we already had the relationship where we talk often.

Dinner with Mom and Dad

Dinner with Mom and Dad

5. I’m thankful for the last two visits I had with my brother and getting to meet his girlfriend who’s pretty rad.

Lil bro, me, and the lady

Lil bro, me, and the lady

6. I’m thankful for my extended family who did things like send me what I needed to be comfortably after surgery, send me an impossible 3D pirate ship puzzle, call daily for a while, fly across the country to spend time with my during chemo, take me golfing and for beers after I got diagnosed, and came by the hospital when I was staying there.

7. I’m thankful for A.’s (and now my) family who we’re now local with. We just had our first New Orleans thanksgiving together down here and it was great. I’m already looking forward to Christmas when more will be here. They’ve been so supportive from recommending an acupuncturist to taking me to the pharmacy when A. had an interview. I’ve also enjoyed how much the niece and nephew scar the crap out of our cats.

8. I’m thankful for my friends. I’ve mentioned before that I’m completely blown away by all the people who have offered their support and read this blog (I have analytics on this because I’m a total nerd). The things that people have sent have been so thoughtful, some being what I need physically, and some being what I need mentally because it makes me feel like you guys get me. You guys help me get through this impossible thing.

9. I’m thankful for the Hasenkitties. Their comfort, weirdness, and inability to know anything is wrong is what I need some days.

Neo and Myles giving me love and stare downs

Neo and Myles giving me love and stare downs

10. I’m thankful to have finally made it to New Orleans. It’s been a long road to get here.

Spanish moss on a live oak.

Spanish moss on a live oak.

11. I’m thankful to have 3 Taxol treatments left and to be chemo and cancer free in 2015.

12. I’m thankful for the puppy we’ll be getting in the not too distant future. The optimistic look on life and unconditional love is going to be a good reward for getting through this.

Not my puppies and not my photo

Not my puppies and not my photo

Apparently the last time I did this was 2011, so here I go again.