Saturday, February 26, 2011

What do you want to be?

How many times, growing up, is a kid asked this?  What do you want to be when you grow up?  What are you going to school for?  Do you want a career?  Then there are always suggestions thrown at you. "You should go to med school!!"   "Oh, I think you'd be a fantastic teacher!"  I had one standard answer to those questions.

"Lori, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
"Just a mommy.  That's all."

My mom tells of a conversation we were all having with my Popaw Virgil.  I was not too far from graduation.  They were talking to me about college and the future.  I had awesome grades, graduated top 10% or so of my class, National Honor Society, the whole nine yards.  Of course great things were expeccted of me.  Popaw asked what I was going to do for the rest of my life.  I hem-hawed around, and he finally said, "Well, what do you want to BE?" 

I said, "Just a mom." 

His response?  "Well, I guess you don't need a college education for that."

I did go to college.  For 3 semesters.  I wasn't happy.  I love learning.  I love writing.  I love taking tests.  I hate sitting through classes, and doing the medial, non-test things.  So, I dropped out.  Shortly after that I met my biggest mistake.

I met this guy.  He seemed OK.  Not the greatest, but not the worst either.  One month before I turned 21, I married him.  Not for love.  I don't know that I ever loved him.  Not for money, that's for sure.  He did have a job, and it payed decently, but it was nothing to brag about.  The ONLY reason I married him, was because he asked and I wanted babies.  I was so stupid.  I see that now.  Back then, I thought I knew it all.  Within six hours of being married to him, I regretted it.  Within 6 months I wanted out.  I was there for six years.  Six long years. 

He was mean.  Cruel, even.  The abuse was verbal and physical.  I hated life. I hated everyone.  But, I stuck it out. Because I wanted babies.  But, I also had started wising up, and realized that I probably wasn't in the best position to have babies.  I also suspected I was infertile, because we had been together for so long with no pregnancy. People had staretd blatently asking questions about "When are you two going to start trying?"  I did ovulation tests, but that was as far as it went.  I didn't know about charting and taking temps and all the other cool tricks I've learned since then. 

After about the third year, I started wanting out.  Badly.  He had me so worn down.  He had me convinced no one else would ever have me.  Or that he'd kill anyone I dated, or kill various members of my family.  I would pack up and try to leave, he would give me a head start out to the car, then come stumbling out, saying he had drunk drain-o or something crazy like that.  It was a never ending cycle.  Throughout all of that, I still prayed for a little baby.  I could handle anything, if I had a child of my own.

I was watching everyone else I knew get what I wanted so badly.  My Momaw would tell people how bad she felt for me, always being happy for everyone else, while she knew I was so sad for myself.  I became a very, very bitter, very angry woman. 

November 8th of 2003, my brother got married.  I was in the wedding.  My ex went to the wedding,but ditched out before the reception.  With our only car.  My mom ended up driving me home.  He wasn't there when I got there.  When he finally did get there, he said "I want a divorce."  I was in shock.  After years of him threatening me and all I hold dear if I attempted to leave, HE wanted a divorce  For real?Ok!!! 

He didn't move out of my house til about March.  Once he did, I felt the weight of the world drop off of my shoulders.  I was free.  It was about that time I heard from one of his relatives, that he had gotten some other girl pregnant.  I was hurt and angry, but mostly scared.  Up until then, I had blamed the lack of pregnancy on him, he had to have been sterile, nobody in my family has EVER had any trouble getting pregnant!  Hearing that he was going to be a father, made me face that the problem may have been with me and my baby-making parts.  

I went through a very selfish phase after that.  I wouldn't date anyone very seriously.  I basically hated all men.  Assumed I was infertile, so why even bother looking for another husband? 

All I can say is, God had a plan for me.  God watched over me, kept me from having kids with that man.  If I had reproduced with him, those poor kids would have had nothing.  NO chance of any sort of a life  Regardless of how hard I worked, the ex was a lazy pot head (who lied about it, I found evidence after he moved out).  The kid he had with that other woman?  She's always filthy.  Nasty.  Ripped and dirty clothes.  Not her fault, but that's just the kind of man he is.  I MADE him bathe and stay clean.  Nobody is forcing him now.  Ugh.  Man, I was stupid.

I got to the point after a while, that I was ready for something more meaningful.  I started looking for men who were interested in something long-term.  No matter how fantastic a man was, if he didn't express interest in having kids, I'd move on.  I was nearing 30. Time was a'ticking.  I met my Larry on a whim.  I had been cruising Myspace and came across his profile, and sent him a message.  We talked back and forth through emails for a while, then it moved into phone calls and a LOT of texting.  We finally met, and up until last summer, hadn't been apart for even one day since we met face to face.  (My mom and I took Aidan to Gatlinburg for 3 nights.  I missed my Larry bad while we were gone!!!)

So, that completes the introduction to my story.  Next time, I'll tell about the beginning of our relationship.  I will leave with this,   Larry is the perfect man for me.  I've never known anyone so good.  He's just plain, good.  I'm blessed, and I thank God daily for letting our paths cross.

After the Storm

Do you know what a "Rainbow Baby" is?  If you, or someone close to you, has never lost a baby, then chances are you don't.  NO, it has nothing to do with 2 mommies or 2 daddies or any of that.  Some rainbow babies DO have 2 moms or dads, I'm sure, but that's not how they got their title.

A rainbow baby is a child conceived and born after the parents have experienced the loss of a baby, whether by miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss.  Sucky way to get a cool title, if you ask me.  Losing a child is, most likely, the worst sort of storm that parents will ever face.  I know I can't imagine anything any worse.

Remember in the Bible, after  God destroyed the earth by flood, he showed Noah the rainbow, as his covenant that he would never destroy the Earth with water again? A Rainbow is sort of like that reward. He or she is the parents' Rainbow after the storm. 

Just as God's rainbow for Noah didn't change the destruction brought by the flood, a rainbow baby will NEVER remove the devastation that came from losing their baby.  Nothing in the world can remove that.  But, a rainbow certainly can bring contentment and happiness, a sense of calm and hope, after a flood of sadness and despair.

I know all about losing a child.  Unfortuntately, I belong to what a cyber friend of mine refers to as the "Dead Baby Club."  I'm an angel mommy.  My second son, Landon, was born with little to no brain function and lived, by my decision, on life support for 14 days and 10 hours, until he grew wings and went to Heaven.    He was not a preemie, he was born 9 days before his due date.  He was born June 22, 2009,  died July 6th, buried July 9th.  I still miss him tremendously.

I mention Landon was my second son.  My first, Aidan, is fantastic.  I know I'm pretty partial to him,  but, goodness, he's perfect.  I never knew true, unconditional, I'd die for someone else, love, until he came into my world, screaming and squalling.  He was, and still is, one of the 2 most beautiful things I've ever seen.  Landon was awfully beautiful, too. 

Aidan will be 3 in June, Landon should have been turning 2 in June.  They were born 12 months and exactly 3 weeks apart.  Both of my babies were very much wanted, appreciated, prayed for, loved. 

Here I sit, twenty months after my own personal storm began, just a matter of weeks away from meeting my rainbows.  Plural.  Two.  I'm carrying my own Rainbow twins.  Two little girls, Rebekah Maxine and Grace Nichole.  Bekah and Gracie.  Fine names for a couple of rainbows, I believe. I'm due April 30th.  That's 9 weeks, 63 days from now.  They'll be born at least 10 days early, so sometime within the next 53 days!!!  I'm scared to death. I'm more than halfway afraid to believe that it's real.  I guess once they're here and nobody's sleeping any more, then I'll truly believe it. 

My goal has been to get Landon's story told before I have another baby.  Even before I found out these girls were on their way. I've put it off and put it off.  Now, we're in the final countdown.  I have to get a move on.  I hope to get our story told between now and the girls' birthday.

I do realize, that I told the ending before I've told the beginning.  My next entry will start at my own beginning and I will work forward from there. 

This may not always go absolutely in order, but it will always be 100% true, my own thoughts, feelings, emotions, and observations. 

If you, as a reader, decide that my story is worth following, I thank you.