Home Life & Grief
By now, most of you know that Oliver, our sweet boy with Downs has passed away a mere four months ago. He was a tiny beacon of hope in what seemed a super stressed life.
Since his passing, Ryan and I have been getting help with a therapist individually to work on some issues. I've started school and Piper is spending more time away from both her mom and dad. Its a lot at once, but if not now, when?
Trying to keep things maintained after Oliver passed was hard. And boy am I still thankful for those who brought over meals and donated to our fundraiser. We still have at least one more meal in the freezer. When I say I had no energy and was full on depleted after Oliver passed, that would be an understatement. I really feel into a void of sadness and depression. I kept thinking "how is it that I lost my father at 44 years old after only spending 20 years together, that I loose my son that I named after him". I can't help but picture that day in my head at least once a day. Its hard to get past that. I've been connected with a few people in the world of Facebook who have lost their children as well. Some older than Oliver was and some younger. I can't help but become thankful for the time we did have with him. We got to go home, which most NICU babies take a while to do. We got to enjoy moments with him at home, in our "normal" routine when some moms, don't get the luxury of going so far with their children. I also hate feeling this way, but I'm thankful it didn't happen later. I couldn't imagine the pain of seeing your sick child grow up and then suddenly pass after a lot of life experiences.
I'll be honest, one of my favorite memories of Oliver is when we were on the way to the fourth of July celebration and I looked back at him and he was just looking out the window. Shortly after that, he vomited everywhere and experienced car sickness for the first time. But I won't ever forget his eyes being open and looking out the window as we drove down the road. I also love that memory because the whole night, he slept on my chest in a carrier and I covered his small folded ears from the firework booms
But thats all I have now; memories that bring sadness and joy. Its hard to find that balance between the two. One minute you're thankful and the next you want to scream and cry and punch something really hard because life is really fucking unfair.
Piper, however, has been making it easier. She's learning more and getting to this point in her life where she's imaginative, crafty, and shyness. She's singing, she's dancing, she's making up her mind and driving us slightly insane. But thats what we are thankful for; we would rather have it than not at all. Ryan and I were talking about how when she was born, we used to drive ourselves insane with watching her breathing every second. Every parent does. What we never expected is to have gone through laboring our son and having him in the hospital for three weeks and get home, to go back to the hospital via ambulance and lose our son and never return home with him. Its crazy how drastic you can think something is but in reality, something way heavier can happen to you at any point in time.
Massage Therapy School
I've finally bit the bullet and re-registered myself for school. I started in Late September and it's been interesting. Between coordinating baby sitters, studying until the ends of the night, having finals what seems like every damn week, and doing homework that requires coordinating and communicating with massage clients and documenting out work with them, I am literally spinning. I don't know if its because I'm older and life has already started for me, but DAMN is it hard to just seem to slow down.
Thankfully, I found a baby sitter that works part time and my mother in law watches piper so I can go to school. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't be able to go. Being a parent makes things ten times harder. Ryan works everyday so I primarily watch Piper. When I have things going on, in the past, I had to find a sitter or take her with me. It seems that in society, men can continue their lives post baby and careers while woman stay home and take care of a household and a tiny person. This has been the stigma for literally ever, I understand that. But for someone like me who really wants a career outside of photography and yoga, its tough. I am now responsible for finding her childcare and make sure her lunch is packed, her diaper bag is fixed, and she's safe for the 8 hours I'm in school Monday through Thursday.
Ryan helps where and when he can, but that doesn't make me feel any less stressed about the situation. I'm only in school until July 1st, so it's not long, and he has assured me that he does see that it'll be worth the small sacrifice now to have my career later, but I still can't feel that stress.
Good think I get weekly massages in school, right?
Work, work , work
I've still been working with Monica and doing my own sessions. That isn't nearly as bad. It's picked up quickly and I can't complain. I love what I do and I love being able to provide for myself and my family with this being a primary source of income. With that being said, its super hard between school and baby sitters. I have to make sure Ryan is home for the weekend when I have a full schedule and if not then I have to find a sitter.
As far as planning between Ryan and I, it needs work. I feel like I can't work because he has things on the weekends but that isn't fair. So I keep working the weekends but then when we need a sitter, literally NO ONE is available most of the time so we rely on my in laws. But even then, they can make it stressful by arguing with Ryan about it; making it feel like a burden. Outside of feeling completely separate from my husbands family, I feel like they expect me to not work and not spend money on one time things ( like a concert I really want to go to). Childcare is beyond expensive, damn near as much as rent would be for a very small apartment, and I don't make that. I currently work to be able to pay bills that I have. But if I add my child to daycare on top of my bills, Ill be working for her to go to daycare. Its tough and they seem to not understand what it means now to have a child versus back when they had their child. Im assuming their parents helped them plenty when it came to them having their careers and having children. I don't know, theres a lot of pent up frustrations surrounding everything.
I'm hoping that once I'm done with school, I can start a career, maintain my business and home life, and create some sort of homeostasis in my life.