Friday, March 18, 2011

(2 Karats and a Kid) Taking it one day at a time and enjoying my son...

Mommy-ism #6:  It takes a village to raise a mother...

Somewhere, on the corner of "Psycho-Therapy Ave" and "I'm Every Woman Blvd,"  someone told women everywhere that we have to keep the imperfections in our lives private.  We are surprised when "Susie Q" ends up having an heart attack at the age of 40 because "she always had a smile on her face" and we are astonished to hear that "Betty P" pops Prozac and Valium with her morning "Cup of Joe" because she always seems to "have it sooo together."

But the fact of the matter is that behind every mentally sane and stable woman is either:

a) a good therapist,
b) a vodka of the month membership,
c) good sex followed by a deep tissue back massage,
d) a handful of supportive women who are there to say the right thing at the right time.

A woman who enjoys ALL four of these things could surely solve the Middle East Crisis. Give a woman THREE out of four of these things and she is probably a self-made billionaire.  But for the average working woman, we just have Oprah, a cheap bottle of wine, a "quickie", and a girlfriend or two on speed-dial who will pick up anytime of the day to help us through tough times.

Yet, when we take a closer look at the people around us, it oftentimes becomes apparent that we have much more support than we previously assessed.  Perhaps, its a coworker who has been there to talk you off "the ledge", a group of women that you know through an extracurricular activity, or a friend that you have reconnected with through Facebook.  Either way, God has a way of putting the right people in your life at the right time.

For me, Mommy JD (the coauthor of this blog), was an unexpected source of support for me throughout my pregnancy and after Roman's birth (although I'm sure she didn't know it).   There was never a question that was too dumb to ask (ie. "What are receiving blankets for??  What do babies sleep in??  Do babies need ID to ride on an airplane?).  And the truth is that I don't know if I would have been able to get through the initial days after Roman's heart diagnosis without her advice.

A few days after our consultation with the cardiologist, Mommy JD text messaged me to see how Roman and I were doing.  Still a bit overwhelmed by the news,  I told Mommy JD what was going on because everything about her radiated with perfect "motherliness" -  and I was hoping that she had a  "What To Do When Your Child Has A Heart Defect" book by her bedside to tell me how to handle this situation. 

After spilling my guts over the course of several text messages, Mommy JD simply responded back by telling me that she had had a similar experience, to research everything that I could about the condition, and most importantly that "everything would be okay" and to "enjoy my son".

As anxious as I was prior to telling her, something about her words make me feel better.   

"Everything will be okay...Enjoy your baby."

For some reason that I still can't understand to this day, I truly believed that everything would be fine after that.  I didn't know how things were going to work out -- but I knew that I couldn't allow myself to think that far ahead.  Much of the anxiety that I felt up until that point wasn't because of any physical symptoms that Roman displayed but because I kept wondering whether his heart issue would keep him from playing varsity basketball, or keep him from playing with his cousins when he went down south for the summers, or from becoming a firefighter if he wanted.

Upon telling another girlfriend, she told me that she was going to pray for Roman's COMPLETE healing...WITHOUT surgery!  Up until that point, I hadn't thought to pray that aggressively - I mean, who was I to ask for God to perform a darn miracle?  The cardiologist said it was a 30% chance that the hole in Roman's heart would close on its own so the most I could pray for was that God be with the doctors and surgeons in the operating room when the time came for us to have surgery.  But I was moved by the level of faith that my girlfriend had over my situation and thought, "What the heck! I'll try this gangsta praying out for myself!"   So when I prayed I asked for God's will to be done but also prayed that he would begin to heal Roman's heart and that he would never feel the effects of his condition.

After receiving those messages, I looked down at Roman who was laying on my chest and promised him, myself, and God that I would take things one day at a time from that moment on.  As long as God was willing to give us a day - I would spend my time loving and enjoying him with my husband.  Everything else beyond those two goals would just have to work themselves out and I truly began to trust that they would.

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