Archive | March 2017

Life is a Wool Sweater

Wool is itchy and uncomfortable. I hate it, I can’t wear it, but it makes the perfect metaphor for life. Life is uncomfortable. The difference? You can take off a wool sweater, but you cannot escape life. The world will not change and be any less uncomfortable. You can choose to not do certain things in your life because of how uncomfortable you are with them, but a lot of things are going to be unavoidable. We have to learn to deal with being uncomfortable. Otherwise, something will get in the way of your success and your dreams if you let them.

Wool

The wool sweater that almost got me was pregnancy. I’m thinking it can be linked to my Asperger’s, my hatred of pregnancy.

Some women genuinely enjoy it. I don’t understand these women. I hate just about everything about it. I hate being uncomfortable. Hate it. And just about everything in and around pregnancy is uncomfortable. The morning sickness, the nausea, the stretching and itching skin, the punches and kicks to my stomach and ribs and lungs and bladder, not being able to bend down or reach things, etc.

People on the autism spectrum very often have a hard time putting up with any level of discomfort. From a very young age, I could not wear specific types of fabrics because they were stiff or itchy or rough. As soon as I could, I would undress myself if something was bothering my sensitive skin. I think my mother described it best in the guest post she did a few years back Glow in the Dark Sticks:

‘When the family is all dressed and ready to go, loaded in the van, arriving in the church parking lot, you get out and open the slider door to unload the kids and discover your 18 month old is now completely naked AND still strapped into her car seat, so you ask, “What…why?  You’re naked…why are you naked?”  To which she replies, “I don’t wike my socks!”  You say, “But, you took it all off, Houdini!  Why?”  And she states, “Itchy!” as she pulls her hair out of the tidy little pig-tails you had so precisely done half an hour ago.’

Things have only changed a little. I learned, with age, to tolerate certain fabrics and fix things that aren’t aligned. I’m no nudist, but I still prefer less or more comfortable clothing. It’s very rare that I will wear high heels or makeup. Uncomfortable just isn’t my style.

And pregnancy, well, this is my second go at it and I still hate it. It is the epitome of uncomfortable. You can take off a wool sweater, but you can’t take off pregnancy. It is there, uncomfortable all day, every day for forty weeks.

As I write this, I feel a large amount of pressure on my lower belly. Mateo is settling low. He likes to press his head and shoulders into my right hip and kick my ribs. Marc just liked to stick his feet in my ribs and keep them there. I haven’t decided which is worse.

Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t change a thing. I love the moment when they hand me my baby and it’s all over. It is more than worth everything in that moment when my baby looks back at me for the first time. I will gladly do this for every baby I will have. Hahahaha. I just won’t enjoy it! Ever. I will hate being pregnant every single time.

I guess it also goes to show how misunderstood people on the spectrum are. It is often assumed that, because they have a hard time expressing emotions, they are unfeeling. It is assumed that, because they pull away when things get intense, that they are uncaring. It is assumed that, because they are unable to express it, they lack empathy. It may also be assumed that I, or other people on the spectrum, don’t want kids because of the discomfort of pregnancy or infancy or the terrible twos. It’s just the opposite. I want more. It actually hurts my heart every time I question whether or not I want to do this again. I want more kids than I could possibly stand being pregnant for. My heart is made to love and care for so many kids, but I considered stopping after Marc because I hated pregnancy so much. I came so close to allowing my AS to put a damper on my dream.

Even if it’s hard, even if it’s uncomfortable, even if it may seem unbearable, we cannot allow ASD or HFA to keep us from the lives, the dreams, the careers that we deserve. You must determine to reach your dreams no matter what. You must tough it out when things get hard or uncomfortable. You must keep striving for the life you deserve. ASD and HFA are just hurtles. They are not immovable mountains, incapable of being triumphed over. You can do it. I do it every day.

Determined,

Allie.

The Wilting Flower

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One of my beautiful, wonderful, thoughtful cousins sent flowers to my husband and I on Marc’s birthday. I know how to take care of flowers. But, much like the flowers we received immediately following Marc’s death, I have neglected these.

Things are different now.

The last time, I neglected the flowers on purpose. I wanted to slowly watch them die. They were beautiful, as my life had been with my smiling boy. They were wilting and looking more and more brown, more and more dead with every day that passed. They looked how I felt. I was dying more every day. It was fitting, the day that I threw those flowers away. They were shriveled. Their leaves and petals had fallen off. They had lost their beauty just like me. I hated them and I was happy they were dead. The pain was still so fresh and raw.

Things are different now.

The neglect of these flowers was unintentional. I’ve been so busy trying to stay okay. I’ve been so busy trying not to think about the time of year it is. I forget every other day to water them. The flowers are a reminder of everything. Not that that’s a bad thing. It’s a wonderful thing. It warmed my heart so much that someone thought my baby’s birthday was worth sending flowers. Once again, though, the flowers reflect my current state. I am trying to keep them alive as longs as I can. I’m trying to keep them beautiful as long as I can. They are beautiful, alive, but still wilting. It’s slower this time. My life is beautiful. I have a life growing inside of me. But I am still wilting.

There are days, like today, where I feel gloomy, droopy, and wilted. Days where even the thought of getting up off the couch is just too hard. There are days, like yesterday, where I feel wonderful and I can happily sweep and mop my entire house without a second thought. The days are unpredictable and random. Such is to be expected. I am a wilting flower. I have just enough water to stay alive, to stay beautiful.

 

Watered,

Allie.

A Very Un-Merry Birthday (and news!)

Readers,

 

It’s been a while again since my last post. I’m sure you understand. It’s been a rough eight months since Marc died.

Moises and I have been through hell and back. Everything has been a giant rollercoaster of emotion. Heck, our relationship has been a rollercoaster. Loss can often take a gargantuan toll on a marriage. I got lucky. Moises and I are there for each other and closer than ever.

I got a tattoo for him. It’s a bunny because his favorite toy was his bunny.

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We got a new dog. Her name is Amy. She is a sweet girl and my personal bodyguard. She fits in perfectly with our crazy little family. She might pee a little when she’s scared, but she makes up for it with how fiercely loyal she is to us!

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We received some big news a while ago. I would have shared, but I didn’t have the heart to write a post before now. We are pregnant again. It’s another boy! His name will be Mateo.

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Some days, it makes me happier than I thought was possible after losing Marc. Other days, it’s a giant reminder of all I’ve lost. Some days, his kicks calm me and remind me of all I have to live for. Other days, it’s my own special hell. How is it possible that I am the mom of two beautiful boys, but neither one is in my arms? How is it possible to hold so, so much love in my heart for my babies, but have no tiny faces to kiss and cuddle? How is it possible to feel such a heavy pain and such an uplifting joy at the same time?

Mateo is our little dancer. He is already so very different. Where Marc was still and attention seeking, Mateo is active and a little shy. For all of Marc’s ultrasounds, he barely moved unless it was so we could get a better picture of him. For all of Mateo’s ultrasounds, he moved so much, it was hard to get measurements. We’re just lucky that we could get a clear picture of gender! He tried to hide from the wand and kick it out of the way. I love him so much. He is truly a Godsend. That’s what his name means: ‘gift of God’. I don’t know if I would have made it through these last seven months without knowing that my rainbow is coming. That will probably be the tattoo that I get for Mateo-a rainbow.

One thing that has significantly helped me has been the move. We moved out of the house we were living in when Marc died. We moved into a new house. Since moving in, I have noticed a significant change in my attitude and mood. I feel more motivated to do things around the house. I have been more on top of our finances. I have been happier. I think it was depressing me and killing me slowly to keep living in the old house. I still slept in the same room where I found Marc not breathing. I still sat and watched TV in the same room where Moises did CPR. I still cooked and did dishes in the same kitchen where Marc would dance to music with me while I was doing things. His room, where his stuff had been remained untouched. It is nearly impossible to move on from such a traumatic event when you stay in the same place. It has not, however, helped Moises. It was hard for him to let go of the only place that he lived and took care of Marc. Sure, it was the site of the memories I listed above, but there were other memories. The wall in the hallway was where Moises leaned when he gave Marc a bottle for the first time. The shower in our room is where he gave Marc a bath for the first time. The living room was the place that he heard Marc laugh for the first time and where he saw Marc smile every time he came home from work. I have good memories of Marc that are housed in other places, but Moises doesn’t. And I understand how difficult it was for him to put my need to get out before his own need to stay close to the memories of our son. I am eternally grateful to him for that. In time, he will come to see this new house as home too. New house, new baby, new start. Not that we could ever forget our sweet, perfect Marc. It’s just good to aid in our lives moving forward.

The last few weeks have been so hard. One by one, my friend’s babies have turned one. Marc would have too, but…he won’t ever. My first-born will never smash up a cake for his first birthday. It’s like a special kind of torture. I am so happy for my friends. Their babies are adorable and it’s wonderful that they reached the one-year milestone. It just hurts to see my friends experiencing things with their babies that I will never get with Marc. The cute birthday party, the face full of cake, and the clumsy almost-opening of presents will forever be just a fantasy in my head for Marc.

One year ago today, I finally gave birth to my precious little angel. One year ago, I never imagined that it would be possible to suffer so much and be blessed so much in such a short period of time. One year ago, I never would have imagined that this would be my life.

Happy birthday baby boy. Mommy loves you forever and always.

 

Moving Forward,

Allie.

This entry was posted on March 3, 2017. 3 Comments