mom without a Mom

Mother.  Likely one of the single most challenging, beautiful, terrifying, amazing roles that anyone can posses. If you read in my previous post found here I genuinely believed I would never hold that role.  Obviously that all changed and I was thrust into a whirlwind of unknown twists and turns.  I will ever forget telling my mom, who was living in Arizona at the time.  Truthfully I was scared and excited to tell her all at the same time.  I was turning left at a stop light when I said to her “mom, are you sitting down?”  Her immediate response was “well yes, as a matter of fact I am, why?  Are you pregnant?”  I laughed hysterically and for hours we talked about names, what if’s and how cool this all was.  That was in April of 2016, 9 months later she would be gone and I would give just about anything in the world to have any conversation with her at all.

I often thought this blog would come around mothers day, the anniversary of her passing or a holiday here or there.  The fact is, there shouldn’t be a pre-planned time to post this little blog baby of mine, so here it is.

Facts:

1. Google ain’t got nothin on Mom’s advice – I can’t even begin to count the number of times that I have picked up my phone to call or text my mom to ask a question.  Then it hits me like a ton of bricks that I can’t…. so I am left to google.  During my pregnancy there was one little hiccup (which turned into a big one) but I will never forget checking with google far too much.  Mom’s responses were always far better than Google.

2. Birthday parties will never be like they were supposed to be – Truthfully, the very thought of our son celebrating any birthday without my mom makes me thankful I know where the letters are on my keyboard through the tears.. let alone missing his first one.  Growing up, birthdays were always the time that my own grandmother was always laughing and being incredibly goofy.  Grandmas and birthdays just go together.

3. Pictures aren’t always full of joy and laughter – some of the best photos are of my mom holding Isaac.  Some day I want to be able to sit down with our son and show him all the photos that we took with grandma when she was here.  I want him to know that she followed us around and put socks on his little feet for the entire month that she was here, and how there was nowhere that she would rather be than sitting in the rocking chair with him while he slept.  Some day it will be easier we just aren’t there yet.

4.  Grandma’s first choice is to have fun & read-   The 2nd to last conversation I had with my mom was her teasing me that I wasn’t letting our son play with enough toys “I guess I am just going to have to come up there and make sure he get’s to be a kid” she said.  I think, as a grandma, it’s a chance to feel young and carefree again.  So with every chance that we get, we have fun, there’s books overflowing from his shelf and more toys than that little boy knows what to do with.

5.  When our son hits a milestone there’s one call missing – The last text I had with my mom was how thrilled I was that he was doing well going from Soy to Regular formula…. but she never responded.  I know we have other family and friends but there’s something about being able to pick up the phone and share the good news with your mom.  I think it’s our desire to show we haven’t got it all figured out yet but we have accomplished this one thing.

6.  I don’t know who loses more, me or our son – Just when I think it affects me more, I realize all the things that he will never get to have with her.  Ice Cream, a week at grandma’s in the summer, story time, phone calls, letters, shopping trips the list can go on and on.  I realize it’s not a competition but I got 35 years with her, their relationship was just starting out!

Being a mom without a Mom is especially challenging and terrifying.  It’s like walking through a never-ending tunnel without a headlamp.  Walk slowly step carefully, squint to see a little better and hope that you make it out on the other side with minimal injury and our sanity intact.  Some days, I have no idea how I am supposed to do this without her and other days I stand tall knowing that she would be proud.

Mostly I want to say, if you too walk in this scary, painful at times harsh reality, you are not alone.  We all probably have other family and friends that are loving us the best that they can and we are so very thankful but there’s just no one like our mom and how precious it would be just to have those moments back.

IMG_0070
My Mom with Isaac at just 3 weeks old, she unexpectedly passed away 49 days later.
We love and miss you Grandma

Positive Pregnancy tests & lifelong friends 

When things have been going a certain way for the majority of your adult life, the last thing you would expect is a sharp u-turn in the middle of it all.  Well, that’s what happened to me and welcome to my little slice of blog world.  Having a website named daybydaymom.com I better start with the beginning and how we got to this whole mom part.

 

I’m sure a lot of things happen in a Target bathroom and frankly I am positive I wasn’t the first one to experience this but I will never forget the moment when I saw the yes+ on that test.

Only 3 weeks prior I nearly totaled my car after hitting a deer at a speed higher than the posted limit.  I was running late for lunch with a friend I had pretty much pushed away over the course of 10 years; thank goodness for forgiveness and good food. And for the win, I really had to use the bathroom.

Let me explain that I am a planner, so much, some might say it is to a fault but none the less, it’s who I am.  While, for the past 11 years I was told over and over again I would never had kids, I would still periodically take a test even if I was 1 day late just to make double and triple sure that I had no reason to say to the dr ” you were saying?”

So there I was, at Target, taking a pregnancy test.  I mean why not, it was in my bag and aside from being a planner I am a chronic multitasker.  Getting my stuff together to walk out of the stall I quickly glanced just to make sure it said no and there it was.  yes+

Wait, what?  Now really late to my lunch,  I had at least one phone call to make and it wasn’t to my husband (who was still working and living in Montana, we will get into that later) but rather to my best friend whom I asked to please make sure she was sitting before I went on with the reason for my call.

I know that you will hear much more about my friends so I might as well fill you in on them as well.  I mean really, we are all one big, trying to be the best mom we can be and it takes an army kinda community right?

Say hello to Christina, the afore mentioned person I told immediately about this little pee stick.  She and I have been friends through everything, we had battled the same hard truths and shared in so many of the same extreme joys.  However, this upcoming lunch wasn’t scheduled with her.  She lives too far away for a last minute lunch get together, although I am sure either one of us would gladly drive 5 hours just for lunch if we could.  Instead this lunch with Mary was something about 10 years overdue.  For years and years I found my self far more interested in other things than fostering the lifelong friendships that I had been blessed with from the beginning.  I don’t know what got into me but the fact of the mater was I was ready to make amends and move forward.

I always told myself, if the time came that I was ever pregnant I wouldn’t tell more than about 3 people but we hit the reset button on a friendship and my list of 3 started to grow.  I got back to work and filled in a couple more of my closest friends, both of whose reactions were likely heard from the outside of the building and oh yes, I still hadn’t told my husband…yet  #montanacitizen

Here’s the raw honest truth: I look back on that day in awe that it was even real and I chuckle knowing I found out where I did but it’s truly beautiful what comes from a life altering trip to Target.   For real though, it was something I never expected to happen.  Over the course of however long this blog ride goes I just want to be another voice out there that says “you matter, you are strong, you are beautiful.” So let’s take a deep breath and take on this mom life day by day.