Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Words....

should be chosen carefully.  "Think before you speak" is always a good quote to live by. You never know the impact your words could have on a person.

A friend & I were having a discussion about life; marriage, kids, etc. and it's so funny because it seems as soon as a man & woman wed the 1st question that comes after they say "I Do" is usually "When are you going to start having kids?".  Most people aren't even married a week before family members begin rushing them to start a family of their own. I think people forget that marriage itself is a JOB. It takes hard work, sacrifice, dedication, and so much more to make a marriage work and adding children to a new union is not always a great idea.

I can remember when Juwan & I wed, a co-worker gave me a bit of advice. She suggested waiting at least 7 years to start a family. I was 23 years old when we got married & Juwan was 27. When you are in your 20's you aren't really mature enough to understand what "MARRIAGE" really is. Yes, I thought I knew what it was, but honestly I didn't. When the co-worker suggested waiting 7 years, I can remember thinking "I'm not having children after 30 because that's too old". Well here I am 31 & almost 7 months pregnant!  I now understand what the co-worker meant when she advised us to wait; get to know each other, work out the kinks, travel, enjoy each other's company, THEN add children to the mix. 

I remember a relative of mine would ask me all the time "When are you gonna have a baby", "What are y'all waiting for, your not getting any younger", "When are you going to give your mom & dad a grandkid". Each time this relative asked me I would cringe inside and just want to cry.  I can recall one day being asked by this person and I was so fed up with the inquiries into my womb that I said with an attitude "You know you ask me all the time about me having some kids, what if I couldn't have children and just didn't tell you?" (not knowing at the time that we would struggle to conceive) After this conversation the questions stopped.. I guess they got the point. 

When Juwan & I decided to try & conceive it was OUR choice alone, no one else. When a couple makes the decision to plan a pregnancy, most don't go into it thinking they won't be successful. Well we tried almost 2 years and it was a long emotional process.  Most couples don't disclose how many times they are having sex & that they are trying to conceive because honestly, it's no one's business.  During the time we were trying people would still inquire and it would hurt so bad because I would want to yell "Hey we are trying but it's not easy for everyone" but as I said before, it was nobody's business.

After some people found out we were pregnant (before Mylah's Trisomy 18 diagnosis) people responded to the news by saying "It's about time" which I found to be very RUDE and INSENSITIVE! What is it about time for? I want folks to know that if Juwan & I had our way, we would have conceived 2 years ago! But you know there's a man, you may have heard of him.. GOD? yeah HIM and HE had HIS plan for us.
What happened to "congrats" or "I'm happy for you"?  I got the "It's about time" response from more than one person and it really hurt me.

Speaking as a woman who at the time wanted to be a mother so bad, people should know that when you are trying month after month to conceive a child and you constantly get 1 line on the pregnancy test it is emotionally draining.  You begin to doubt yourself.  You start to feel like you are less of a woman.  You place blame on yourself & your spouse. You think GOD is punishing you for sins committed in your life.  You begin to think that you'll never be a mother and you'll always be the one borrowing kids to take to birthday parties & Disney on Ice. You'll always be the one crying inside on Mother's Day. You won't ever be able to buy your husband his 1st Father's Day card.  Each month you try to convince yourself that this month is going to be different because you calculated the days and you have the ovulation kits and fertility apps on your phone. But each month its the same result... Negative... No baby....   & each month the questions play in your head, the many inquiries into your womb and.... It hurts

The struggle to conceive has helped me to appreciate Mylah more than ever.. I'm so glad that things given to us according to our plan because honestly my marriage wasn't in a place it should have been to handle a baby.

Times are changing now as you can see. Most people are waiting to have children. They want to make sure they are established and can afford children. Most of all they are doing it when they are ready. So until you hear the news that they are expecting, some words of advice;
Keep the questions regarding her womb to yourself, When you do find out a husband & wife are expecting just express your happiness when you hear the good news that they have a blessing on the way!  I can guarantee you that those words will be welcomed

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Be Grateful....

that what we should be.  I was talking to a friend the other day & we were discussing parents & their children.  The discussion became very emotional when we started talking about parents who lack interest in being involved with their children.  She told me about a remark that a husband made to his spouse when he was asked to accompany his family to a winter festival. Having been to a recital the night before,  he indicated to his wife that their children were "in too much stuff & had too much going on". I began to cry & explain to her that this husband really needed to stop & think about what he was saying to his wife.  It really hurt me that someone who had multiple blessings from GOD would be so irritated at the request to simply do what a real man & father should be doing, spending quality time with his children.

I explained to my friend that Juwan & myself aren't sure how much time if any, we will get with Mylah. We don't know if it will be minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years. I told her that Juwan and I would give anything to be in that husbands shoes.  We are praying that we get to go to recitals, Christmas programs, graduations but we just don't know.

I think that parents need to stop sometimes and learn to appreciate what they've been given. Live in the NOW, in that very moment. When you are helping your child with his/her homework & you get frustrated because he/she isn't quite understanding as fast as you want them to, stop & Thank GOD that you have a child who is able to attend school & learn.  When your son/daughter asks for a toy don't scold them & remind them of how much you work to pay bills, put food on the table, or a roof over their head. Actually a parent is supposed to do all of these things. Be grateful that you & your child are able to have a conversation with each other.

Have conversations with your children, Hug them everyday, Kiss them every night, tell them "I LOVE YOU" every morning before you depart. Ask them "Do you know how much you mean to me?".  Have interest in what they are doing, Give them guidance, share your wisdom, spend time together, eat dinner at the table as a family with no distractions. 

The time you spend with your children is priceless & has a lasting effect on their lives.  I expressed to my friend that the father she spoke of would be very hurt if when his children got older & he started to show interest in them and what they were doing, but the feelings weren't mutual. By then it may be too late. No matter how hard he may wish he could turn back the hands of time, you may never get a second chance.

We don't know how much time we have on this earth & with each other.  Why not spend time nurturing the blessings that the LORD has blessed you with.

I don't know how much time GOD is going to allow Mylah to be mine, but I made a promise to create memories that will last a lifetime & to cherish the blessing he has given me in her no matter how long I have with her.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Filling in the Gaps.....

That’s what people have been doing lately.  I’ve always been a person to cherish the relationships that I share with others. I don’t use the term “friend” lightly, because it means so much to me.  As I get older, I’m finding out that people actually mean more to me than I probably mean to them.  I’m putting more into relationships & friendships but the same feelings are being returned. 
 
I understand that Mylah’s diagnosis has probably scared a lot of people.  They aren’t really sure how to react to the news.  People aren’t confident in what they should say. This situation has made it hard for most people, but it’s hardest for Juwan & me.

During this trying time I’m leaning on the LORD for strength and I’m so grateful for the supportive people that he has placed in our lives; my parents, friends, co-workers, & other families who have been down this road before.   When I feel like my strength is weakening and I begin to get sad, GOD sends these people in at the right time to lift me up. 
 
The other day I was kind of down, a coworker called me and stated that she had been reading the blog.  She said that the music mixed with the blog entries had brought her to tears so much that she was almost late for a doctor’s appt. We both laughed, but she doesn’t know how much the laughter I shared with her lifted my spirits that day.  I knew then that I could still remain strong & continue this fight.
 
Another young lady, who attended the same high school as me has been the source of tremendous support & encouragement these last few months.  It’s so funny because when we were told that Mylah had Trisomy 18, we were assured that she would die.  I immediately thought of her.  She had been through a tragic situation of her own and in that instance I knew I needed to speak to someone who had dealt with losing a baby.  

Most people say; “I understand how you feel” or “I understand what you’re going through” when really they cannot relate to your feelings or circumstance. During times like this it’s comforting to lean on someone who has been where you are.  I contemplated reaching out to her, but she & I only knew of each other. We never had a conversation or socialized in the same circle of friends so essentially it was like reaching out to a stranger.  I had to be careful with my approach because death is a very sensitive subject that is handled & processed differently by everyone. I wasn’t sure if I would be overstepping my boundaries and the last thing I wanted to do was cause her additional pain or ask her to go back to a place where she wasn’t ready to discuss especially with someone who she probably hadn’t exchanged more than a “hello” with.
 
To my surprise she beat me to the exchange. She contacted me on Facebook & ever since that day she has been giving me encouraging words & support. She’s helped me so much & I don’t think I will ever be able to express the gratitude I have for her.
 
GOD has been placing people in my life during this time. I know that some people are only in your life for a season. In THIS season I’m finding that some people who I consider good friends haven’t actually been there for me like I thought they would.  However, where they haven’t been HE has sent others in to Fill in the Gaps and I am forever thankful.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Isn't It Funny....

how life works out? Years ago you could not have told me I would be in the place I'm in now.  We play out in our minds how our life & life's circumstances will be.  Most times you don't factor in the times of sadness, turmoil, heartache, and/or uncertainty. 

In my mind, my pregnancy was going to be perfect. I would be surrounded by all my friends & family.  My mom & I would go register for what the baby would need, we would hit the mall every weekend shopping for my little bundle of joy.  My husband with my father's help would set up the furniture for Baby Perkins' nursery.  My sisters would help me clean my house from top to bottom to prepare for the arrival for our little blessing because they would be so excited about the arrival their first nephew/niece. My best friends would help me plan my shower, I would immerse myself in every baby book I could find trying to memorize the numerous tips & tricks in raising a child. I would be fully prepared for the delivery of our first child. Baby Perkins would be born ... And we'd all live Happily Ever After.

My reality contains  some of what my dream was... My mom & I did go register a few weeks ago for my shower. In my dream I had a laundry list of items that I had researched & it would take hours for me to finish. The reality is that although I was excited about registering once I arrived at the store it was quite painful. The Trisomy diagnosis had actually stolen a lot of my joy. My sisters are excited but it seems that the excitement is clouded by the uncertainty.  The nursery is cluttered with my crafting items & furniture that I had anticipated selling but I lack the motivation to get it moving.  I only have one baby book, but I'm missing the book "What to Expect When You're Expecting a Trisomy Baby". No tips or tricks can prepare me for what's to come.  I sent out baby shower invites on Monday & people have been texting me with excitement but it seems like my excitement at times is short lived.

I know GOD is giving me the strength I need to get through each day & I'm continuing to lean on HIM. That's what I've decided to do, take it one day at a time & cherish each moment.  We took some maternity photos & in those pictures I was finally able to see what everyone else has been seeing.  My belly! A nice big growing belly with Mylah tucked inside. She's a active little something, she's mostly active during the evening & she LOVES pizza!

Those pictures really lifted my spirits, they brought happiness back to me. They confirmed that we have a fighter on our hands. I'm getting bigger which means she's getting bigger. She's not giving up. She's moving & telling me "mommy I'm still here with you".

This journey has showed me that nothing is perfect & things sometime will not turn out the way you want them. It doesn't mean you can't have what was in your dreams & in my dream I had a baby! That's been my prayer lately to meet my child & if GOD gives me that I know I can live Happily Ever After.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Blog updates...

I've updated the blog so that it's easier to post comments. A few people informed me that they made attempts to post comments but that the comments didn't save or they were required to input a security code which erased their comments. Well the blog isn't G-14 Top Secret so I've removed all of those requirements. You can post anonymously or using your name. I've also changed the layout of the music player because I think it was preventing viewers from scrolling on the page.

Hopefully, I've made it a little more user friendly. Thank you all for viewing and for posting your comments! We appreciate the love & support you've provided! Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tears.....

are cleansing. Tears cleanse you from the inside out. However, not all tears mean sadness. A sister cries tears when seeing her nephew born into this world,  A father cries tears when his son graduates college, A grandmother cries tears after her grandchild takes his first steps. A husband cries tears at the first sight of his bride.

Tears allow you to release whatever is inside of you. There are tears of happiness, tears of joy, tears of fear, tears of love, tears of triumph.  I've been crying a lot lately.  I've never been one to hold back my tears no matter the circumstance.  They have a way of coming out.  Tears don't equal defeat, they don't mean I'm giving up. My tears help me. They help me release the feelings I hold inside.

I was recently told to stop crying... Why? The child I'm carrying has been diagnosed with an abnormality that I've never heard of, I'm crying because I'm scared.  My baby has a heart defect, I'm crying because I want to take away any pain & suffering that she may endure but I can't.  Doctors have given up on my daughter before she's even taken her first breath, I'm crying because I'm angry.   God is preparing me for my testimony, I'm crying because I'm anxious & thankful.  My mother & father have both expressed how proud they are of me, I'm crying tears of joy.   I  listened to Marvin Sapp's He Has His Hands On You , I'm crying tears of confirmation, because I know nobody but GOD has given me the strength that I've acquired these last couple months. 

My tears are for many reasons.

I have good days & bad days, but the good outweigh the bad.  If you see me crying, just know that I'm not defeated, I'm not giving up.  I'm traveling a journey down a road that I've never traveled before. I'm scared of what's to come & what will be.  I'm trying to prepare myself for the days ahead. I'm remaining positive in GOD & his abilities.  I know that HE knows that Juwan & I can handle this & I love HIM for believing in us.   HE continues to Bless us & I'm crying because HE's an AWESOME GOD.  I'm not worthy of the blessing HE has given me in Mylah. HE chose me to be her mother & of all the gifts that I've received, she is the ultimate gift.  HE's made me a mother, Juwan a father & her life is the greatest gift that we could ever receive.


Tears are okay, they help me heal & I'm pretty sure there will be many more tears to come.......