A Week In Review

I spent last week at my daughter’s house helping her take care of my new grandson. It was… different. I had a lot of mixed emotions being there. Since they didn’t have internet, I just jotted down thoughts throughout the week and figured that I could just copy/paste here when I got back home. So, here was my week last week. Friday’s will be a separate post because it wasn’t baby-related.

9/16/12

I have a baby!!! Well, not me personally, but my grandson is finally here! I shouldn’t really say “finally” because he was only hours past his due date! As you know, Jackie called me Friday to say that he was coming. I thought I’d keep track of my week’s goings on and post when I return home. There’s no internet connection at Jackie’s so I’ll be off the grid except for my phone, and that would be really tedious to post from.

I spent most of the day travelling on Saturday, checking in with Jackie when I got to the airport, when I had a layover, when I landed, when I got to CareBear’s. From Friday morning at 1am until Sunday morning at 5:30am she labored. She’s a rock star, for sure. A rock star that didn’t want her momma at the hospital. They arrived at the hospital at 9:30pm….an hour before my plane landed. I spoke with her to see if I could come down and see her but she said no, to stay at CareBear’s until the baby was born. I got the call Sunday morning that he had finally arrived and I asked if I could come down to the hospital. She said she hadn’t slept in two days and needed to sleep so come down later. I told her we’d be there after lunch. The original plan was for her to call me when she went into the hospital and I would fly out two days later since she would be in the hospital. Good plan. But when she went into labor I decided that I’d rather spend the weekend travelling instead of using a vacation day for travel. Plus it gave me a little time that I could see CareBear. Not complaining, but I didn’t think I’d get to spend as much time as I did.

I asked Jackie what she wanted me to do Sunday…come stay with her at the hospital or what. She wanted me to come visit and then go back to CareBear’s and come back to her house Monday when they were released from the hospital. So I spent most of the day Monday sitting in CareBear’s office watching my clock while I waited for the call telling me that I could head to Jackie’s house. Monday was really the only day that I felt was wasted. The weekend was awesome hanging out with my best friend.

9/17/12

The day that Jackie was released from the hospital she asked me to meet her at her condo at 5. I got there right on time, knowing that I’d have to wait. So I took a walk around the block. A trip down memory lane, if you will. When my children were born, we lived one block south (exactly) from where Jackie lives now. My mind easily referenced the houses as I sauntered past. That house is where a young mother’s heart was broken as she watched her 12 year old son succumb to brain cancer. That house, just across the street is where the old bishop lived. I coached his daughters’ basketball team. I was so fond of those young girls and yearned for the day that my own daughters would grow up to be my pals. This house just to the left? That’s where my good friend lived in her personal hell as her husband man-handled her on a regular basis before she finally found the courage to leave him. Just around the corner at the end of that cul-de-sac lived my friend who carried twins to term, knowing that she would not be raising one of them. She was able to hold her for 23 hours before she died. She brought only one baby home from the hospital when she should have been bringing home two. Right there where those brand new townhouses are was the village gossip. We learned a lot of interesting things from her. Across the street lived my bff, CareBear and then there it was. Not drastically changed in the past 20 years. The trees in the back were taller. The landlord had built a fence. But it was the same. Four units. Unkempt lawn. My chest feels tight just looking at it. I know that there were good times in that place, but it’s so difficult to remember them. So much unhappiness for me in that little four-plex. I was living the perfect little mormon girl life. I married my returned missionary. I began popping out babies. I did everything that I was supposed to. And I was miserable. When I think of my neighbors back then there was so much sadness and heartache with them, too. I don’t know why I can’t remember the happy times. The day before this after CareBear and I had visited the hospital we drove through the old neighborhood. We laughed and joked about our time as young mothers there. We both thought we should have been happier there. We reminisced on the events in our lives that brought us to where we are today…in a completely different world than this world that I was walking through.

I make it back to Jackie’s condo. One short block north. And it’s a new world for Jackie. We’ve come full circle and here she is beginning this journey as a new mother in that same perfect little mormon girl bubble. I look at her and her husband and she is the spitting image of me at that age. Her husband is the spitting image of my ex husband. And they look so happy to be living this perfect life. And all I can see is my life. Is she heading towards the same heartache that I faced as a new mom? Will she go through a painful marriage and then divorce like I did? Will she stay staunch in her beliefs or will she begin to question the validity of them? Where will she be ten years down the road? Twenty years? Thirty? Is history repeating itself here?

I have this most perfect little grandson and I’m already so hopelessly in love with this little guy and to hold him is to hold a piece of heaven in my arms. And in the shadows of my heart lies an angst that I can’t shake. A hole has been opened into the center of my being and the tears of the past choke me. I struggle to get a grip and not let this pall hover over my stay here.

9/18/12

Sleepless, sleepless night. Jackie was so exhausted that I sent her to bed at 9. I told her that I would keep the baby and bring him in when it was time for him to eat. I dozed for two hour stints at a time with a baby on my chest. So warm and snuggly and perfect! When I took him in for his 4am feeding Jackie goes, “Mom, get some sleep!” So I slept for the next few hours. I must have been tired because I didn’t hear the baby cry at all. I’ll tell you what, there is a reason we were meant to have kids when we’re young.

Fun thing: I got to have lunch with an amazing woman!! It was Ammon’s last day before he had to go back to work and the baby had a checkup on Wednesday when I was originally going to have my lunch date so we swippy swapped plans and met for lunch instead of trying to fit it in later during the week. I wanted to make sure it actually happened and knew that waiting till the end of the week would increase the risk of it falling through all together. She’s a member of my community that I have always been quite fond of, and I instantly fell in love with her from the very first hug. She was outgoing, funny, cute as a button and had the most amazing, piercing blue eyes. She’s a fellow grandma, ya’ll! We had a great time visiting over lunch and the time went by way too fast. It was definitely a bonus from my trip out here.

9/19/12

I’ve been forbidden to post anymore baby pics on Facebook. I’m trying to be respectful of Jackie’s wishes since she’s the momma. But I’m just so damned tickled about my grandson that I want to show him off to everyone!

9/20/12

There is no place convenient to get coffee in this godforsaken place!! How ironic is it that I call “Happy Valley” a godforsaken place!? I had to resort to McDonald’s coffee. Go ahead. Let’s all simultaneously gag. It’s a sad state in life when that hits the spot! Three days with no coffee will certainly lower ones standards.

Got a text from CareBear. She had to take her youngest son to the ER. He’s been coughing up blood since CHRISTMAS!!!! I was thinking it was the spring when he got sick, but no…it was Christmas. He’s had four stomach scopes over that amount of time and myriads of tests and they have found nothing. He had another chest X-RAY two days ago and it came out clear. At the ER they ordered a chest X-RAY. CareBear was exaspirated and told them he’d just had one two days ago and it came back clean and they must try something else. So they did. They did a CT scan and found that he’s got bi-lateral pneumonia. What a nightmare that this has been for her. His temperature was so high by the time they got to the hospital. They admitted him (finally)!! So hopefully he’ll be on the road to recovery soon.

I took a ton of pictures of the baby today. Trying to get some good ones for his baby book. Jackie rolls her eyes, but when she sees the book she’ll be happy that I’m so ridiculous about taking photos. I’ll need to spend some time Friday taking some also. I know that I don’t have anywhere near the shots that I want. The baby slept really good last night so he was alert a good portion of the day. We spent some quality time together so momma could sleep. She was so much perkier after having a nearly normal sleep. One 3 hours stint and one 4 hour stint. She said that it almost felt like a full night’s sleep. She was feeling better so we put the baby in the stroller and took a walk. That last till the end of the driveway. He didn’t care for the stroller so I carried him and Jackie pushed the empty stroller. Not a traditional way to do things, but it’s been a long time since I’ve done anything traditional.

I haven’t spoken to Mark all week. We’ve texted every day but he’s so good to give me space to do what I need to do. I’ve always appreciated that about him. While the new mom and dad were having facetime with the baby I said that I was going to go call Mark since I hadn’t spoken to him all week. Jackie goes, “You haven’t talked to him all week?” I said, “Nope…just text.” She goes, “Great relationship.” I said, “Judge all you want.” And walked out the door to call him. I was a little irked. I told Mark that and he just chuckled and reminded me that she lives in a very different world than we do. I know he’s right, but I was still irked by the comment.

After I got done with that call I talked to my sister in law to make flight arrangements home. She is one of the most awesome people I know! I can’t wait to see her next month. After that I called CareBear. She was on her way home from the hospital. Her boy was settled in enough for her to feel comfortable leaving. I hope she’s able to get some sleep.

One last thing…I spent an hour rocking the baby to get him to sleep. Laid him in his little basinette and came out here to jot down some thoughts. Within 10 minutes some idiot’s car alarm starts going off. You know how you hold your breath just willing something to happen? That’s what I was doing…trying to mentally shut the damned horn off. You’ll never guess…the baby woke up!! I’d pretty much like to find the guy and punch him in the throat!

It was a rough day!

9/21/12

Gave the baby his first bath today. My daughter asked me to do it. She was nervous. She watched very intently. When I lathered up his head I turned to my daughter and said, “Get my camera. I need a pic of his first bath.” She goes, “Your big camera?” I think she was more afraid of that than actually bathing the baby. 😉 The settings weren’t correct for the lighting and I didn’t want to walk her through changing anything so he looks a little jaundiced. Lol.

I went into the mountains today while the baby and mama slept. I can’t express how much I miss the mountains. I didn’t even go too far up the canyon but it was enough to get my soul back on track. It’s been a little rough being here amidst the demons of my past. With all the joy of my grandbaby there has been this black cloud hounding me. Difficult to explain because it is such a happy time but…I don’t know. It’s just weird being here. I’m ready to go home.

OK. Kinda funny story. My son in law’s mom stopped by tonight to drop off some things for the baby. I was glad because I needed pics of the baby with his mom. We got a “grandmas & baby” shot, so that was good. Well the baby needed to be fed and instead of her son staying out here to visit he goes back with mama and baby, leaving me alone with his mother!!!!! I heard the birth story of all her seven children. I heard all about her getting her tubes tied after the last one. I heard all about the endometriosis that led to her hysterectomy ten years later. I heard about her 24 year old son that still lives at home and all the reasons she hasn’t forced him out of the nest. But by far, my favorite line of the evening was when she was telling me that her 24 YO son would like to find a girl and get married and that he was, “sexually ready for marriage but not emotionally ready.” Gotta love happy valley. It’s just a different sort of people here. Here’s the really funny thing: I was telling my community about this and one of the girls goes, “You know he’s pulling himself like a second hand chain saw!” I was about choking on my own spit trying to keep from laughing. Didn’t want to have to explain to Jackie and Ammon what was so funny.

Well, I don’t know of a better way to end a very long post than with a masturbation comment, so I’ll just say that I hope you’ve all had a good week.

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