The day after my dog Buddy died I woke up with bright red eyes and eye gunk. Since I'd had an infection of pink eye a few weeks before that, I assumed I was relapsing. By the next day, I could tell that it was NOT pink eye again, but probably allergy-related. I was going to try acupuncture for some allergy relief, but my OB asked me to wait a week to run it by her husband who is an acupuncturist. By the following week, I went into labor and had to cancel acupuncture. In the weeks since losing Buddy, I've noticed a strange phenomenon. I think I am allergic to crying. And God knows that I've been doing a lot of it these days!! When I was in the hospital and found out that I was going to be discharged while Elijah stayed behind in the NICU, I cried the entire night and woke up with red, swollen, gunky eyes. Each and every time I watch a TV show or read a book or a blog that makes me cry, I end up with red eyes...and I mean REALLY red, not just I've-been-crying-red, but more I-am-a-movie-vampire-who-sucks-people's-blood-red (These would be good names for nail polish colors.) Today, I tested my theory again with a cry-filled outing with the whole family. I decided to be brave and get out with our little family after 4 completely home-bound days. It was our first outing. We were on our way to church. I had everyone packed up, dressed, into the car and we were on our way! I was driving, and got about one block from our house when I see a police car camped out on a side street, waiting to catch someone doing something. I checked my speed and then held my breath as I passed them, because I have not renewed my overdue registration. The police car pulled out behind me and the officers let me drive about 2 more blocks before pulling me over. The last time I got a ticket for this nonsense (granted, my own self-created nonsense, as I need to take responsibility for not getting it handled) the ticket cost $1000. "Driver's license and proof of insurance, please." I suddenly realized that I had not printed out my newest insurance card showing the current dates of coverage, and what was even more frustrating is that I was 3 blocks from home where I could prove that I am insured! I started crying after the police officer took my info. It was 2 female officers and I just wanted to plea my case, but I also thought that I can't make excuses because everyone has something that makes life a little complicated. They showed a little mercy to me and only wrote a fix it ticket for the registration, but wrote a real ticket for the insurance. I broke down when the officer handed the ticket to me and told her that I felt like the lyrics to a bad country song these days. I could tell she felt pretty bad, and told me to plea my case to the judge and that if there were any fines, that with the economy the way it is, that the judges are really trying to work with people. I'm a mess. I can't believe I was a blubbering basket case to a police officer. I wasn't crying to get out of the ticket, I was just genuinely wondering why I can't seem to catch a break? I guess I didn't cry as hard as some of the other things that have gone on this past month, because I didn't get the eye gunk -but the extreme redness is back again. So, my conclusion is that I Am Allergic To Crying. That, and maybe I should never leave the house again... (And neither should Charles, considering that he left this afternoon to run an errand and ran out of gas. At this point, I started wondering where the hidden cameras are...)
The thing is, that I have quite a few Happy Crying bouts also. I am immensely proud of my sweet little man, Christian. He is surprising me left and right with his conversations and his observations. (He even asked when he saw me putting in eye drops, "Are your eyes red, Mommy?" Isn't that an expression? How would he know to ask that? I'm sure I've said it at some point and he remembered, but still. Or my eyes are so literally red, that it was just a factual question.) Mostly, though, he is already such a sweet big brother. He tells me if Elijah is crying, he looks at him and says "He's cute!" and asks where he is when it's not obvious. It warms my heart, and I get weepy thinking about all they will go through together as brothers...the fun they'll have, the fights they'll have & the times that Christian may have to stand up for his baby brother...Right now, no one seems to "see" Down syndrome in our baby boy, but one day they will. And it will color some of the experiences that we all have. My family is a little in denial, I think. I mention that Elijah's head and neck are just a little more wobbly than my experience with other newborns, and I get a response of how all babies have wobbly necks in the beginning. But, I do see and feel a difference from when Christian was a baby. It's not extreme, and I'm glad that Elijah does seem to have pretty good muscle tone considering that this is one of the things that seems to affect all babies with Down syndrome. Right now, though, I'm just observing and loving my littlest guy. He is such a sweet and easy baby so far. He is also a sleeper. I got a 6 hour stretch of sleep last night!! I hadn't intended to go that long, because I start to get paranoid that I really should wake him to eat. I try to just make up the feeds during the day because it just seems and feels so illogical to wake up a happily sleeping baby. But, I wrestle with paranoia- brought on by our NICU experience- to be sure that he is getting enough to eat. (He nurses for 25 min-1 hour each time, has a ton of wet and poopy diapers and sleeps well. I understand that these are all of the things that you want to be happening, but I still think I'll feel better after our first pediatrician appointment on Wednesday when I can see if he's gaining back any of his weight.)
This whole Mothering thing combined with the hormonal drop is really something. I'm trying to remember when I started to feel like "myself" again after having Christian....I think it took 2 years... I just want to drop these hormones off at Good Will and hand them down to someone else who might need a good cry. I am done. After all, I am allergic to crying anyway. I have no idea if this post even makes any sense- it's probably a mish-mosh of words and feelings, but I don't seem to have much control over my feelings or words these days. I'm working on embracing it, but meanwhile you might want to steer clear of any conversations with me that involve sadness...or happiness...or well, perhaps comedy is the only way to go...but nothing TOO funny, cuz that might make me cry too...And until they make an allergy pill for tears, I will be wearing my emotions on my sleeve...or rather, on my...eyes...
My boys this weekend: