The Welcome Mat!

I began this blog in 2014 in order to help others, inspire others, and support others who may fight uphill battles: no matter the kind! I aim to inspire – and learn from others and I can only hope others will embrace and learn from my experience as well. I also use my blog as an outlet for my silly randomness, and my love of certain hobbies as well as posting my thoughts and feelings – no matter the kind. My battle is ongoing  – but I continue to find inspiration– thank you for visiting and reading! Welcome!

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When One Door Closes.

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Okay, so maybe it’s a big door.

On a normal basis I would be blogging almost constantly – somehow, someway, I have a thought. I always want to share something, tell a story, vent my feelings. It’s just occurred to me that it’s been quite some time since I stepped foot into my own world of writing. While I shadow over other blogs, watch, like, meander my way through others’ thoughts … I started to wonder when exactly I was going to update my own.

On April 3, 2014 – I will have a complete hysterectomy.

Yes, my opiate free days will be over for a short time, but they will be controlled, this is not the major issue and there is no failure here.

I have not ventured back to blogging recently because I have been suffering – physically. It is the worst pain in the world to handle when you cannot exactly pinpoint the cause. My battle to stay away from pain medications made it even more difficult. I realized in the process how strong I really am. I have a severe case of endometriosis that has my uterus completely tipped backwards.

Ouch.

It’s also likely scar tissue from three c-sections that has caused this as well.

Pain by day, pain by night, pain is my middle name.

We are finally tackling this problem. At the age of 34 I will go through complete menopause. My child bearing days are over, my days of using PMS as an excuse for a mood swing and throwing the remote at the television (I just really wanted that winning touchdown) – they’re over.

It is a relief to know that – well, relief is coming. Soon, I will be able to live a normal life outside of my house and pajamas, away from my heating pad, and physical therapist. Soon, I will be able to lift my children without wincing, have a simple day without Advil.

(Yes, I do take Advil, sue me, but at least it’s over the counter)

When one door closes, another opens they say. While I’m stoked for this soon-to-be relief from this catacomb of misery within my poor body – part of me, as a female and mother, is almost sad. This body part is actually a place for me. Within my skin and bones this particular realm was home to three beautiful children that I held all to myself before they were born. You can call it flesh, or skin, or simply an organ.

This amazing piece of me – made humans.

I had already made the decision I did not want any more children – this part does not depress me.

(Yay for lifelong birth control)

I guess simply stated: to know that the part of you where your children first kicked you, head butted your insides, rolled around and caused you heartburn – is suddenly going to be cut apart and thrown into a hazmat bag, I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness regardless of the problems it has caused me.

Yet this opens a door now. Instead of concentrating on the pain, and how to get rid of it, once it’s gone, I can actually enjoy watching my children grow up. I can interact. I can be their mommy – as I always have been, but have been failing to be the best because my body does not allow it.

My journey now becomes mental. It will be saying goodbye to something I’ve always held dear – the ability to have brought children into the world and to bake a human inside of my own body. These beings now exist because of what I was blessed with in the beginning – a functional system.

This functional system is now, well, not functioning correctly and so it’s with that deep pit of inner sadness, I have to let it go. It’s soon to be part of the medical waste compost unit “Do not Touch”. Little do they know when they throw those bags into the compacter – what they’ve thrown away is the home to three amazing souls and I will forever be thankful.

Yes, I’ve been sick. I shall soon to be returning to the blogging world hopefully in tip top shape and pain free.

And when I do, I will elaborate on the lives that I was blessed enough to bring into this world and how they have inspired me to be better, do better, and live better. Life will be different.

But the end of something is always the beginning of something else.

Let my new life begin and the witnessing of three little babies growing – outside of me – is now a concept I can grasp onto. I can now make memories, live in the present, and feel happy with what I have.

Even if my body is hollowed of what was always a gift. It just happens to be broken. I’m sending it out with a huge thank you, I appreciated you, I will never forget you – but moreover, I will always be grateful for the three faces that came out of there, for they are what makes me tick.

Let the countdown to a new life begin.

One Step: A Photo That Says It All

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Parenting is quite the ride. There are up’s, down’s, pukes, poops, sobs, and I will be the honest parent here: moments of pure misery.

(Really? 6 AM? I’m not interested in Legos. I’m interested in sleep – I just have to be honest, kids).

Yesterday we celebrated the first birthday of my youngest, and last, son – Jonah. His story of how we almost lost him at birth was posted last week. I have a hysterectomy scheduled on April 3, 2014: he’s it. My last and final. I remember when my first son was born – I photographed, videoed every single moment. It was like – OH MY GOSH A POOP IN THE POTTY GRAB THE SONY!

But when you really come to the final realization – this is it – there are little moments we cherish, there are big ones, there are the ones in between where one of them decided to puke on my new pair of pants.

(My fault, I gave you 6 Oreos)

We decided on a whale theme – nautical. You know, the fun favors – sunglasses, curvy straws, kazoos, stickers – fun stuff any kid (and adult, I admit I was digging in) – we had it all going. We catered it from a special restaurant. We set it up to be all “yay he’s 1” (Okay really, the store didn’t have the whale theme I wanted in birthday – they only had it in baby shower but I was Hell bent on it, so … I bought baby shower decorations. Everything said “baby boy” … still technically true, right?)

Maybe not. It’s been through this past year, and juggling three kids, watch them each hit their milestones, that I’ve wondered why am I trying to rush them to grow up? Because I want to sleep, or a stiff drink while they’re awake, or to watch what I want, and not cartoons?

Yesterday I decorated as normal – a normal party. Cake. Food. Fun.

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I wanted to enjoy this – these moments. Despite the cake going everywhere, a few signs of a slight belly ache, and a hell of a mess afterwards, there were smiles, laughs, and love.

But the biggest moment of all – hit me out of the blue. We were opening gifts. One from my Aunt, a framed poem she wrote for him. I could not read it out loud, I began to cry. Someone else took over.

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Yet through the tissue paper, new toys, new batteries – something else occurred when we least expected it. Jonah, with no even hint of having the ability, took a look at me with curious eyes, smiled, pulled himself up, and stood unassisted for the first time.

My last baby – my special miracle – he was looking at me. My hands on my mouth – my husband’s hands over his. The crowd in the background like the last shot of a basketball game “GO JONAH GO! GO JONAH GO!” (I wish we had pom poms and a tuba)…

For the record, he stood for 15 seconds and stared. He smiled at the waves of encouragement, he giggled. And in his very predictable, yet cute fashion, fell right onto his behind. In mommy language “Go boom!”

Despite that the first step was not taken – that milestone meant the world to me. I don’t want to rush it, but the beauty in it was so compelling. And the best part – my uncle was taking pictures. He caught the exact moment my son stood for the first time – and my husband and I watching in awe as our once, fighting for his life little baby boy, stared for those 15 seconds like a drunk little man.

A picture is worth a thousand words they say. I cannot describe what it means to look at this picture – there’s memories, there’s that feeling in my heart that my little boy really is growing, my real last baby – is soon to be taking on the world.

Here we have a cherished memory. One I will never forget – and am so thankful – someone had their hands on the “push to take” button – while my husband and I covered our mouths and held back tears. We will never forget this – and I’m sure we will use it at a slideshow for Jonah’s graduation someday, or his wedding. But let’s not think about that. I will start to cry again.

He’s still my baby boy to me – who am I kidding? He always will be.

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A Heartfelt Thank You

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Have you ever felt like just sitting down to thank somebody?

I mean sure – I thanked the bagging guy today at the grocery store for dealing with me while I slipped over patches of ice to lock my son’s car seat in while he held two carts of frozen junk food with a short sleeve shirt on…

That’s not what I mean.

Saying thank you to my husband, or my children, or my family really is not appropriate – they understand that what they do for me, nobody else can do. There’s a love and inspiration there that cannot be described, understood, or for that matter, appreciated in the form of verbal words on a blog.

Allow me to take time out to give my heartfelt, genuine, thank you – to a specific person that I feel deserves credit where credit is due.

(Fun Fact #2,164 about Jenn: I invest in the concept of the paranormal. I believe in ghosts, spirits, the after life. I’ve read books, taken classes, done investigations, dealt with my own hauntings, own my own equipment…)

Sidebar: Skeptics laughing, feel free to continue to. Or you can simply press skip in your reader, either way, blah.

For all of those who are believers (AWESOME SAUCE) – you get me, I know. But becoming a parent also brought another level of belief into this spiritual resolution, afterlife, concept of apparitions, EVPs … (I could go on – if you do not understand my terminology I apologize. I know, I know. It’s like reading “stereo instructions”.)

When I became a parent – I looked into the eyes of these little beings and realized I had just given life.

When you give life – you automatically become the person or force that has subjected that little soul someday – to death.

Now, now. I am not being morbid. Think about it. I have 3 amazing, wonderful children. Each of them when they were born immediately had my heart and every bit of love I could have ever dreamed of mustering for a human being – wrapped into each of their sweet, tiny, quivering lips. They reach for me – a simple “mama…” “I want a juice box…” “I love you…” or in the case of my 1 year old … a bellowing “WAHHHHHHHHH” when the bottle falls with such force under the bouncy chair that milk goes splattering into his deep blue eyes.

These cherished moments in the mind of any parent are ones you cannot describe to those who do not have children.

“You had to be there” really fits in here.

But I realized once they took their first breaths – that someday, they will take their last.

Knowing that I accomplished such a huge step as a human – I mean, I MADE HUMANS – in the bottom of the deep depths of my often overthinking heart – I remember – someday, they will no longer be alive. That the life I provided to them – will no longer exist.

Unless -if you’re a believer like me – you choose to believe that it will continue to exist past the ability of their living bodies.

I choose to support this notion.

This belief comforts me. It brings me hope. It makes the joy on their little faces when I say “yes, you can have chocolate” feel much more like a happy moment instead of “someday – I may never see them again.”

Yes, I will.

This brings me to my point. There’s a group of people who dedicate their lives to investigating, , and I guess I could use the word PROVING – that this concept actually exists. Okay I take that back – there’s MANY groups. However, one in particular has a way of taking evidence, proof, undeniable, concrete “You just CANNOT SAY IT ISN’T REAL” type of study and brings it to the forefront of public attention. This group spends many hours, upon hours, upon hours – doing what some think is simply for entertainment – but I take it as a sincere path they are meant to be on that they intend to share with all of us. It just happens to be on television where we can see it.

Thank you – from the bottom of my heart-  to Zak Bagans, Nick Groff, and Aaron Goodwin (as well as the others involved with Ghost Adventures). If you have not watched their original documentary – well, then you are probably a boring person.

(I’M KIDDING! Stop glaring! Get Netflix and watch!)

If you happen to tune in like me to the Travel Channel every Saturday for new lockdowns, well then hey – let’s wave our lassos together – yee haw for meeting other fans of the show.

This thank you, however, is deeper. I’ve always wanted to believe that the after life existed. Since I was a child and have had my own dealings with the paranormal, supernatural, whatever term you wish to use – I have wanted to be more involved in understanding its realm of possibilities. But now – my own children in my arms – I cannot bear the thought that the moment any of us take our last breaths as a living human – that we simply see black. That we will never see each other again.

It is this crew that has put so much heart, soul, time, and persistence into proving the existence of life after death – that has helped me cope as a parent with the idea of someday ever losing my babies that I gave life to – because the evidence they have provided is clear – some of it, to me, indisputable – that we will continue to move on in spirit past our human shells of skin and bone.

To the GAC: you have put so much effort into this. You have put your health at risk. You have taken time, energy, faith, passion – and used it as a device in bringing forth how the paranormal really does co-exist in the human world, and how there is life beyond what we know here and now. Thank you. In tears I say this – because it is with this belief that I can put my little ones to bed at night and know, no matter what, no matter who goes, and when – that I am not responsible for providing life merely to someday, provide death.

I am responsible for providing life – to someday provide a road to another one, where we will come together again, and never be apart.

Quite a feat, GAC. I felt it was worthy of saying thank you.

Although I feel I could say a million more things in adoration instead – I will leave it at that.

From this mother’s loving heart: really. Thank you.

You are appreciated. I hope someday you read from my own words how you have touched my life – and that you will continue to touch that of others that you continue to stun and awe with the beauty of the evidence you present.

I was already a believer.

You just made me more of one.

Much love.

My Jonah’s Journey: A True Overcoming

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Meet Jonah. He appears to be your average, sweet, curious, hungry, loves to poop his diaper 11 month old, right?

Would you believe that, on the day he was born, March 12, 2013 – this was Jonah:

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Jonah Anthony is my son. This sweet, precious boy came into the lives of my husband and I by surprise.

I thought I had the flu. I struggled for days wondering why I kept getting sick – and then there’s this little clock inside your mind that only women understand that goes “ding” – and the light bulb brightens. You take that walk through the drug store aisles almost hiding your face thinking so many different racing thoughts. You see, I already had two children. I was divorced then re-married. My husband already has 3 children. We weren’t planning it – but after that little walk through the CVS I came home and I waited. Then it happened.

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So of course. It began over again – pregnancy ,the cravings, the weight gain, the constant need to barf while sitting at my work desk because somebody decided to microwave fish for lunch (I curse you! I curse you!)

We finally saw his little heartbeat. My belly grew. We found out he was a boy. We named him almost right away. We saw him in 3-D.  We waited for our due date: April 5, 2013.

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Out of the blue after months of anticipation – growing into the idea of being a mommy again, feeling his kicks, wondering about him – what would he be like, falling in love with the way he would roll around and cause me heartburn – wake me up at midnight before he was even born – something we did not see coming – happened.

On March 12, 2013 I went into labor on my own after long day at work. When I went to the hospital I felt for sure they would send me home. Within an hour – I was told it was time to go. Heading for C-section. It was his time, 4 weeks early.

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Jonah was born on March 12, 2013 at 8:15 PM. He weighed 7 LBS even. I heard his first cry and I began to sob. I could see his red hair from the operating table. His sweet, tiny legs were kicking…

Then I noticed something different than what happened with my other two.

Jonah stopped crying.

I immediately knew something was wrong – I got to see him for about 5 seconds. I gave him a kiss. I cried at how beautiful he was – he looked just like his father but with my mouth. It was happiness – yet anxiety. I waited for word while in recovery.

My husband came in about 2 hours later. Jonah was not breathing well. He had been taken to the NICU. He had Respiratory Distress Syndrome due to being premature. His lungs were not ready to be born yet.

It was not until the next day at noon that I was allowed to see Jonah. I was taken by wheel chair to the NICU where I went to be by his side. I only had one picture of him since he had been born – this one:

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I immediately broke into tears when I got to his side. The picture I had seen was not what I saw when I first came into real contact with my son. This is what I saw:

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My beautiful boy – the one that had been kicking me, that I had wanted so bad to meet, that innocent little being – was covered in tubes, wires, monitors that kept blaring. I sat by his side and I sobbed like I have never sobbed before. The nurse came up to my husband and said “that is a normal reaction from mothers”…

What mother would not sob at the sight of her son in a tiny box – his eyes barely open, his skin pale, his hands penetrated with IV needles.

I started to wonder if it was something that I did wrong. Why did I go into labor so early? Was it because of the pneumonia and flu I had two months prior? Was it the medication I had taken? Was I not healthy enough to hold him inside?

Now this wonderful creation of ours – was suffering. I was not allowed to hold him immediately. I was, however, allowed to stick my hand inside his incubator and touch him. His skin felt so soft to mine. My heart was alive with love – yet petrified. A terror I cannot describe.

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Jonah had to undergo a procedure where a breathing tube was inserted and lung suffactant was entered into his lungs artificially to help him learn to breathe on his own. It was 4 AM – on March 14, 2013. We waited and waited – my husband sleeping on the couch, my mother sleeping on a cot at my feet. The doctor finally knocked on the door – Jonah was doing well. He had taken great to the procedure and was learning to breathe. I could finally hold him.

Our first moments were full of blaring monitors and difficult wires – meandering around his heart leeds in order to get him to my chest. Yet it was beautiful. He raised his head. He recognized my voice. I immediately began to cry.

I was to be released a few days later. We were informed Jonah would not come home with us. He was losing weight, he was still unable to breathe room air without the help of Oxygen. He also became jaundiced.

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Days passed. We would often come by the NICU in the middle of the night. We simply could not sleep wondering about our little boy. If we happened to time it right – we were able to stick our hands in and actually feed him ourselves.

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Slowly, at least it felt to us, better updates were coming in. At first his blood oxygen level was only 40%. He was coming into the 70’s. His oxygen eventually made it into the 90’s. Whenever it would lower, the monitors would go off, and naturally, we would jump and wonder why. Each day meant, if progress was made, another wire would come off. I remember that I could start to see his actual features – he had been so covered, I could not see his mouth, nose, or cheeks.

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Then there was the beautiful moment his father held him for the first time. I cried watching. He cried and smiled and laughed.

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I left the hospital on March 16, 2013. I left on the elevator with no baby carrier – just my luggage, my husband, and a heart drowning in pain and an ill feeling in my stomach. I was leaving him behind. How could I? There was no space at the hospital for me to stay – so we would journey up each day to see him and be with him for hours upon hours until we knew our little boy could come home. I could not wait to introduce him to his siblings.

My hands were cracked and bleeding from washing with hospital grade soap each time I even wanted to merely brush my skin with his.

Then on March 20, 2013, we walked into the NICU and found this:

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He was breathing on his own. He was free of monitors, tubes, leeds. His sweet face was so clear to us now. We could hold him at will, take his temperature, change his diaper, feed him, rock him, sing sweet nothings to him.

Lullaby…and goodnight…go to sleep little Jonah …

Our little trooper never gave up. From the moment he cried when he came out of me – to the moment he stopped crying because he could not breathe – through each moment we reached through a tiny hole just to touch our baby – grasping at a tiny bottle hoping he would eat even 10 little mls – this little boy fought to survive.

Jonah came home with us on March 21, 2013 – 9 days after he was born. In thinking of what we had been through – which we never expected – we were so blessed. Some wait months, some do not come home at all. We prayed and prayed. We said so many thank you’s, took so many crying breaths just wanting our son home in our arms.

And he came.

The Lord blessed us with this sweet surprise. From that moment that I saw the two pink lines (so not the flu)  to today – Jonah is such an inspiration. Our sweet, beautiful boy is thriving. He is high functioning – and registers on a full term scale – not a premature scale of development. He is trying to take steps. He says Mama with his face bright as he reaches for me in the mornings.

He plays peek a boo with dada.

These are the moments that for days we thought – we may never see. Somehow through it all, God blessed our lives with this sweet boy that was able to fight almost the impossible – when he had just been born. Our hearts hurt for other families that never get to take their babies home. After going through this and seeing my boy through glass and wires – I pray nightly for others in the same position. We are so thankful to the amazing doctors whose knowledge, compassion, and care brought our son back to mommy and daddy’s arms.

In just 9 short days, Jonah will be 1. We are celebrating with a whale themed party for Jonah and the Whale. We joked I looked like one when I was pregnant with him. He will have cake. He will have love. He will be hugged, and kissed, and cherished. For this is the boy that came into the world and fought to live. This is the boy that to this day – inspires me to be a better person, mother, friend. This is the boy that has taught me to cherish ALL of life’s moments – big and small.

This is our Jonah. Our miracle. Our overcomer.

Happy Birthday, Baby. We love you.

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Halfway Haiku: A New Challenge

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I was inspired today while searching through Twitter. I saw somebody that I follow trending #haiku and asking people to submit their own, to have fun with it, to be creative. This sparked my own creative flow and I decided: why not try something different?

Here’s a new challenge I’m presenting myself with – I would love participants. Even if I end up with no participants – at least I can show a different side of my writing and take this challenge to a new level with myself. I have always been a poet but this blog has been mostly rantings, stories, writings, musings – long, novel thoughts. I have used it as an outlet from one battle to another.

From now on, every Wednesday, I am going to do what’s called the Halfway Haiku Challenge – I am going to come up with a new haiku poem, or poems,  just to think outside the box. It can be about anything – whatever comes to mind.

The start date is today – Wednesday, February 26, 2014. Each week I will post again on that Wednesday – you can link to the post or you can post within the comments.

For those not familiar with haikus – here’s a definition.

To start, here are a few I wrote this morning with regards to responding to the ones on Twitter.

Let the thinking outside of my box and comfort zone begin 🙂 Here are several examples.

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(FOR MY HUSBAND)

Gravity of love

Floating on the bliss of you

Wrapped in my shadow.

____________________________

(WITH REGARDS TO ALMOST DYING ON 2/17/14)

So close to dying

Lights surround my breathing soul

Yet still I survive.

___________________________

Winter stars smile bright

Asking me to wish on them

I whisper my prayers.

____________________________

(FOR MY GHOST ADVENTURES IDOL ZAK BAGANS)

Spirits dwell within.

Voices heard he lets speak out.

Giving life to death.

___________________________

I hope I can get a few people on board to take the challenge. I would love to read your poetry – and see it spread from one eye and soul to another. That’s one great way to draw inspiration – and to be inspired.