Why do we need one more blog?

Most of my best ideas tend to happen around 2am. This one happened at midnight, but the same general concept. I can’t sleep so my mind goes into overdrive. Or maybe my mind is in overdrive, so I can’t sleep… the never-ending cycle of insomnia. But when the idea of a blog popped into my head, I didn’t automatically get excited. It felt like it could be a good idea. But I also thought about being tired and trying to commit to one more thing. I ran through everything else that consumes so much of my life and thought “how do I fit one more thing in?” But it was those thoughts that actually made me realise why this made sense.

My life is a constant juggle. Do I wish it was sometimes simpler? Yes, but then I don’t think my type A, Virgo, over-drive personality would accept it. I’ve always been most successful when I have multiple tasks as opposed to just one or two. And I’ve always liked writing… it’s the easiest way for me to get my thoughts out without sounding like a muddled mess. Annnndddd, because I have so much stuff going on in my life, I have a lot of things to write about. So ultimately, that’s why I think we need one more blog… because I have a lot of stuff to say – some incredibly important, some of it light and trivial. But hopefully, stuff that you can connect with on some level. I’m a mama to a 9-year-old high functioning autistic son, a yoga instructor who found my calling after 16 years of corporate life, an autism advocate running a parent support group, an incredibly impatient homeschooling mom, a concerned environmentalist, a science nerd and dweeby bookworm, a recently converted vegan, a Trini / British with a passion for the beach and life… and there are lots more I haven’t mentioned yet.

I hope you’ll stay tuned, share with your friends, leave me comments and most importantly, enjoy!

Just Keep Swimming

I’m back! Again!

I wish that my crystal ball would accurately tell me when my depression is on the verge of breaking point. Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy.

For the most part, I’ve accepted this part of my life. I understand that in order for me to ride through the wave, I need to prioritize. Very often, that means only the bare minimum is accomplished. And sometimes my writing has to be neglected. Pouring your heart out tends to be more challenging when your head is in a mess. Throwing anxiety into the mix, and things tend to get a lot more complicated. Depression drains your energy to the lowest it can be. Then think of anxiety as being the most annoying and clueless person in your life who tells you that you need to suck it up and deal with it.

I’ve been on this journey for years. There are weeks when I’m great and life couldn’t be more perfect. I can cut down on my meds and still experience everything to the fullest. Then without warning, I’m struggling to bathe or get out of bed or even eat for days on end. And my meds are doubled yet I still feel as though I’m floundering.

Simply remembering at any given moment that this too shall pass! And for this very moment, it has!

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Happy Mother’s Day to me!

A few nights ago, I dreamt October 17th 2008. I dreamt the weirdly colored pink pacifier because we lost the other one in the hospital. How could I remember that date so clearly? Because it was the day that I handed my 30 day old son to doctors, not knowing if I would get him back.

My son was born strong and healthy and even though I was a single mother, I had an exceptional support system. I was at home by my parents and being spoilt as much as their first grandchild. My milk was slow to come in so I chose to breastfeed and supplement with formula. Every morning, my mom would come and take my son from my room at 4.30am… feed him, change pampers, play with him and I got to sleep late.

But everything changed when he was 10 days old and he vomited for the first time. But that’s what babies do right? My inner voice told me that something was wrong but I was a new mama, so how much did I really know? Our pediatrician’s office became our second home and as the days slowly crept by, the vomiting got progressively worse. This was vomit spewing 3 feet away from a baby only 2 weeks old. We changed formulas countless times, I monitored my diet in case there was something in my system that was passing to him through the breast milk. But there was no change. I became completely overwhelmed… I wouldn’t let anyone feed him. Even though my dad was driving me and my mom to the doctor, I held my pain and wouldn’t let anyone know of the level of discomfort that I was experiencing just days after a C-section. The doctors could not find anything wrong to cause this extent of vomiting. So it became a constant guessing game trying to rule out possibilities. My son continued to vomit and with each day that passed, I blamed myself more and more. I believed that if I was a better mother, then my baby would be well and this would not be happening; even thinking that God was punishing me for my decision to be a single mother.

When my son was 27 days old, I was forced to rush him to emergency. He was severely dehydrated after being unable to keep down anything for almost 48 hours. I held my baby for countless x-rays, ultrasounds and a barium swallow (which I would not wish on an adult).

October 17th 2008, when he was 30 days old, I handed him over for exploratory surgery. While it was strongly believed that his condition was pyloric stenosis (an abnormality of the lower stomach muscle that causes the muscle to tighten and not allow for proper digestion, thus causing him to reject all oral feed), none of the tests had definitely confirmed their suspicions. So I had no choice but to sign away my son and pray for the best.

We were waiting for the time of surgery to be confirmed, so I pulled out my phone and snapped some pictures of him. My mom was with me and she initially moved his right hand, the one with the drips attached, out of the way. I put his hand back in place and she looked at me confused and asked “why are you taking pictures of his drips?” I responded nonsensically saying “he looks cute with it”. The truthful answer, which I never said out loud was “ I don’t know if this will be his last moments and I need this memory exactly as it is”.

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The moment that I handed my son to the doctor for surgery will stay with me for as long as I live. In that single moment, I understood the saying that “to be a mother is to forever have your heart walk around outside of your body”. Physically ripping my heart out of my body would have been less painful than what I experienced.

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To this day, I can still remember that anguish as if it happened yesterday. And I can still remember the overwhelming relief and incredible joy when my baby was returned to me, full of life as if nothing had happened.

It was confirmed that he did in fact have pyloric stenosis, but with no added complications. He recovered quickly and continued thriving.

This was the first of several trials that we have had to endure. With this first situation, he proved to me that he is a fighter like his mama and with the support of his mama, will triumph regardless of the challenge.

I am honored and blessed to be your mama đź’™