Lyrical Sparrow


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I Can’t Find The Words for this Post Title

Last week I was talking with a friend, and as my mind started thinking about the words it would say next, I began some inner dialogue that went a little something like this…oh there is a word coming up in my sentence…I think it starts with an a and has a few syllables…oh I hope the word comes to me in time…what if I forget the word? I will sound like an idiot..oh please come to me in time. Thankfully when the time came for the word, it easily rolled off of my tongue, “Advocate.” Hallelujah, I was able to recall the word.

It sounds a little silly, but lately I feel like words escape me so easily. I will be in the middle of a conversation with my hubby and stop mid-sentence, look at him, and say…I can’t think of the word that I am trying to say. I will then tell him what I think the word sounds like, or what letter I think the word starts with. He tries to help sometimes, providing a few different words. Sometimes he finds the word that I was looking for and sometimes he says a different, more fitting word, that I end up liking better and using to finish my sentence.

I hate that feeling that comes over me when a word just disappears mid-thought…it is like this cloudy, foggy feeling in which I feel the word is right there floating around me, but I can’t seem to get my brain and mouth to connect. It is that “on the tip of my tongue” feeling, but amplified.

Now I know that this is a common phenomenon, as is walking into a room and forgetting why you entered, or sometimes completely forgetting the name of your child, or calling him his sibling’s name instead (All things that I also do very often). However, when I lose words lately, it causes me to have a brief panic, because at that moment I remind myself of my mom.

Last month I turned 36 years old, and ever since I entered my 30’s, there has been this lingering worry that I will someday be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis usually affects people between the ages of 20 and 50 years, and the average age of onset is approximately 34 years. My mom was 39 when she was diagnosed. For me, that is just 3 years away. While having a parent with MS does significantly increase an individual’s risk of developing the disease, that risk is a small 2 – 5%. This is a fact that I have to remind myself of often.

I do think sometimes about starting memory books for my kids, just in case I am diagnosed someday, just in case my memory fades, like my mom’s has….Just in case my kids or grandkids want to know more about me someday and I am unable to share.

I think about how I waste so many days just lounging around the house, when I could be out exploring, running, walking, hiking, riding a bike. I think about how I should be doing those things more often, while I can, just in case I am diagnosed someday….Just in case I am confined to a wheelchair and spend most of my time on a recliner or in bed, like my mom does.

I think about how disconnected my mom is from my life and the life of my kids. I honestly think, due to her mental state, that she doesn’t fully grasp or understand the severity of it. It isn’t something that she grieves or mourns over. I think for her, that is a good thing. My mom truly lives in the moment. If she watches a television show, she enjoys it minute by minute, but at the end of each scene, she will typically forget what she just watched. If she talks with me on the phone, in that moment she is aware that she is talking with me and elated and adorable and we laugh and have a good conversation, but as soon as we hang up the phone, she has no recollection of the conversation. She will forget that I was even a part of her day.

I often hope that I won’t live my life in a daze like that, although it would be wonderful to truly live in the moment, I can’t imagine not being there for my kids as they get older and have kids of their own. I can’t imagine a disconnect when holding my grandbabies for the first time..to not fully understand that experience and to forget it all in seconds.

Sometimes my hand, leg or foot will get tingly. I don’t pay attention to those times when they naturally fall asleep, I am referring to times when they shouldn’t be getting tingly. Each time that happens, I try to shrug it off, but I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t immediately think about MS. It is hard when that is one of the common first symptoms of the disease and one of my mom’s first symptoms.

I know that this concern that I have is normal. I am sure that anyone who has lost a parent, or who has watched their parent live with a disease, has the same thoughts from time to time.

This growing concern isn’t something that I will allow to negatively impact my life. I do feel, that if anything, I should take that fear and that desire to enjoy each moment and have it provide me with a new outlook on life. I should, more than anything, strive to make the most of each day I have with my family…and like my mom, truly live in the moment.

Amy Schumer has recently been in the news speaking publicly about her dad’s battle with MS. I have found myself reading a lot of her interviews lately, because she gets it…and I relate so much to her words…

“Some days he’s really good and he’s with it and we’re joking around. And some days I go to visit my dad and it’s so painful. I can’t believe it…..It’s the most painful thing in the world to just watch this person that you love ultimately just digress and kind of decompose. And it’s too heavy and you have to find a way to laugh at it…..I love to laugh. I seek laughter all the time. I think that’s something that also comes with having a sick parent is you don’t know what’s going to happen and so I’ll be, like, I’m psyched my legs still work, and I want to, like, experience all I can and make as many memories as I can.”

– Amy Schumer

 

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International Day of the Midwife

It is International Day of the Midwife. In recognition of the day, I wanted to share my home birth story from March 23, 2008, in honor of my midwife, Merrie.

Well, I had the baby at 2:57 Easter Morning. And the experience was amazing and wonderful. Everything went so well. And it wasn’t as painful as I worried it would be.

This was my first experience with a completely natural birth at home, and really, it was by far the best birth of the three that I have had.

On Saturday morning, I woke up and just knew that I was going to be in labor. I have no idea how I knew, but I did. I went into nesting mode and cleaned up the house like crazy, which I am so glad that I did.

I also started having contractions. They were irregular throughout the day, but they stayed put no matter what activity I did, sitting, standing, laying down. So, I really thought that this could be it. I didn’t call my midwife, however, until 8:00 that night, after I had more consistent contractions. She had me time them for awhile and call her back. At 9:30 P.M., my midwife, my friend and doula, Tiffany, and my other friend, Sara, came over to be with me during my labor and delivery. At around that time, I was checked and was 5 centimeters, so my contractions throughout the day had made progress, which was nice to know.

Wearing Tiff’s hat and being silly.

For the entire labor, my contractions stayed about 4-5 minutes apart and lasted about a minute, and were very manageable.

It was fun having my friends around, because it was very social. We were constantly cracking jokes and having a good time.

Eating a snack before starting to walk up and down the stairs sideways to help the baby move down.

I also spent some time on an exercise ball, which actually felt really good during contractions. That gal in the picture with me, is Merrie, my midwife.

It was so wonderful being at home. I got to eat if wanted to, and drink fluids. I got to hang out in an environment that was relaxed. And I felt safe the entire time. And I became a big fan of the pool. It felt so relaxing to be in the warm water.

The gals all kept talking about how calm and peaceful I was during contractions. Sometimes, they couldn’t even tell I was having one. In fact, my friend, Sara, took several pictures of me in the middle of a contraction, so that I could see how peaceful I looked.

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From past experience, I kept waiting for my contractions to get really intense or right on top of each other. I began to think that maybe I wasn’t progressing. My contractions seemed to be easy, although they did hurt.

I even joked at one point that I was bored. My midwife found that comment to be rather funny. She mentioned that she had never heard anyone in labor say that before.

After making that comment, however, we decided I should be checked again. And we found that I was 9 centimeters dialated and fully effaced. The only thing keeping me from 10, was my bag of waters keeping the baby up a bit. I couldn’t believe that I was at 9 and not feeling miserable. So we headed back to the pool to work on trying to push and break my waters.

I can’t remember how many pushes it was, but I know it went fast. It did hurt, but it wasn’t as painful as I had thought that it was going to be. And if you had told me as he was coming out, that he was 9 lbs., I wouldn’t have believed you.

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It was such an amazing experience! I am so thankful for those who helped me bring Christian into the world that day! Midwives Rock!