June 29, 2015

My mother

I think about my mom a lot. Not just because she is so far away and I miss her, But I am starting to identify myself to her and I notice some of her quirks in myself.

I had an unconventional upbringing.Most children whose parents are married either have their mom at home while dad is away at work, or both parents working. Both of my parents worked when I was small- probably up until I was in first or second grade. Then my dad would go through multiple jobs in a short period of time until ultimately giving up, but mom still worked.

I remember my favorite Job she had was working nights as an ER intake clerk, because she was always home when I got off the bus from school in the afternoon. It was nice to have her there even though she was usually napping. Then there was a short time period when she was in between jobs and doing temp work at the local tomato plant until she found something more suitable.

We were really poor. so poor that for a time, my dresser was a cardboard box with A lid, and bath time consisted of tossing all 4 of us girls into the shower together to save water.

But we had blankets and pillows and beds with proper mattresses to sleep with, and we never went hungry. I get asked a lot about the kinds of meals my mom used to make regularly as a child and I can never really answer. She was busy making ends meet, and so we had lots of hamburger helper, macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles, and variations of each. Chili mac, tuna mac, etc. and dad would make pot o' glop out of whatever leftovers he could find. We also ate a lot of breakfast for dinner- and biscuits and gravy but used toasted bread instead of biscuits. We would all pitch in to help get it together and my older sisters were oftentimes given the responsibility of making the meal while kara and I made the kool-aid and set the table.

My mom always made sure we got to bed early and had enough sleep to do well in school. She also mandated baths every night. She never missed a parent teacher conference or any concerts. My homework was always done. My grades were awesome.
 She made sure I brought a small gift to all the birthday parties I was invited to, and that was always a nice treat to go to the store- just me and her- and pick something out for her to wrap. I also loved it when she took me to the library down the street.

Even though she didn't always verbalize it, I always knew I was loved. Our life changed in it's entirety when dad took us out of school in 1999. I was the last one to be pulled out, but my older sisters were in high school and it wasnt an easy transition for any of us. at times I think it was just a way for Dad to justify being jobless if he kept us home.

And then our lives changed drastically again two years later when My sister died.
I really don't know how my mom did it.

As a newlywed and poor college student, she's saved the day many times with her generosity or calm demeanor when I am in the middle of a breakdown and so frustrated that I can't see straight. When I've been too wound up to see the solution, I've called her- knowing she would know the right thing to say. Sometimes it's been "We overdrew on our bank account AGAIN and it wasn't on food" and she would simply ask if we paid tithing, when next payday was and if we had gas in our tank. Somehow those simple questions would be the backbone on how we made it through our scarce newlywed stage. Or it would be " breastfeeding gets easier, I PROMISE".

She really felt like a mom when she came out to be with me as I prepared to have Paxton. She drove me around everywhere and paid for all our food, and cooked and cooked and cleaned so I wouldn't have to. We got a lot of quality time that I had never experienced before. And then she was there holding my hand and wiping the sweat off my face as I pushed for hours trying to get paxton out. I would hear her catch her breath every time I stopped pushing- as if she was pushing with me. And she supported my body in those final moments before he was born because I was too exhausted to squat on my own.
 Watching her as a grandma is incredibly endearing. She loves my kids more than life, and  know it pains her to be so far away from them.

She's been through a lot, and as I look at my life through the lens of mother and wife, I feel empowered by her example, knowing that she's got all reputable advice I could ever want or ask for.
Knowing that she's made it through her trials, gives me strength that I have the power to do the same.
If mom can do it, so can I.

June 24, 2015

Defeated and depleted/ It is well with my soul

Today was a much anticipated day for my appointment with an ENT.
I've jumped through hoops with my insurance company and met my patience threshold a number of times. I wasn't nervous, but felt comforted that this visit would give me answers and put me in the right direction.

It took less than thirty minutes for them to tell me that my symptoms were most likely a circulatory problem, and that they didn't want to put me through any tests at this stage of pregnancy if they didn't have to.

This is the second time I've been told that my symptoms would likely resolve after having this baby. SO my frustration and question is, do I waste any more mental energy with all these doctor's visits in my last weeks of pregnancy- just to be told I'll feel better after D day? Or do I take these last weeks enjoying the last weeks of my pregnancy with no worries and no fear of anything getting worse? I feel so defeated, and depleted.

I have a lot of fears, and none of them make any sense.

I fear that something will come back  on my echo that will mean I can no longer see my midwife or have a home birth.

I fear that something will come back on the echo that will mean I really CAN'T have any more babies.

I fear something will come back on the echo that will put me in surgery and in the care of doctors for the rest of my life.

I fear that NOTHING will come back on the heart monitor and that my symptoms will persist after delivery.

I fear that the ENT finds nothing and my last resort is to turn to Neurology.

and so on.

But here's why none of this makes sense:
I'm young and I've made AWESOME health-conscious choices for as long as I can remember, and have a pretty decent family history. Why would any of these things happen to me?

My anxiety is making this so much harder to deal with.

If I had everything go my way, I would wake up tomorrow with no symptoms, feeling totally healed, and KNOW I would never experience that dizziness again.

That is just the surface of my wants.

I've prayed a lot. I've prayed to be healed. I've prayed over every part and function and system in my body. I've begged and pleaded for comfort, healing and peace that I would receive those things. Saying, "Lord, I am doing my part by seeing these doctors and diligently following the protocols my doctors have given me, so Please heal me as I try to figure this out."
I've made restitution for my wrong doings. I've worn my garments daily. I've been taking the sacrament. I've been reading my scriptures. I've done what I can spiritually.

And my burden has been made significantly lighter as I waited for doctors to give their opinions. Now I feel heavy. And today has been an awesome  day in regards to my symptoms.

I feel like the reassurance I need can only come from God at this point. I'm trying hard to hear his voice. I just want SOMEONE to tell me- " You are going to be Just fine. this too shall pass, you are healthy and nothing is wrong with your body". And I've been trying to get that from God because I can't get it from anyone else.

I just want him to tell me "Tessa, I hear you. I know you are afraid. You are dizzy because you didn't take care of yourself for a very long time and it takes a while for you to be replenished as you grow another child. You are dizzy because you are pregnant and have a higher blood volume, and your sensitivity this time around just makes everything amplified. You don't have any heart problems. You don't have an inner-ear disorder. you don't have a brain tumor. you will still have your homebirth, and it will be your most magnificent one yet. and you will feel relief of these symptoms as soon as you hold your little pearl of great price in your arms."

I want to hear this from him more than I want to hear it from a doctor. in the meantime, I am trying to find peace and gratitude for what I enjoy right now, and I feel inspired to listen to a lot of hymns.

Right now I can't seem to stop listening to this song/video. I think the message comforts me more than the melody because it hits the perspective I am trying to adopt on the head.

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul. 
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
  5. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
    Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
  6. And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.

I long for this peace, where this angst, this never ending chaos will no longer have me in it's grasp, but I know I am learning lessons intended for me at this time, and I will endure this dizziness for the rest of my pregnancy and go to the doctor's appointments and figure this out within my power if that is what he wants me to do. And I know that in the meantime, it is well with my soul.

June 15, 2015

Tune my heart to sing thy grace

As I look back at my last 2 journal entries, and the last two posts on this blog, I am humbled and grateful and overcome with emotion.

Things were really bad.

As I have sought help, I have wondered if I am getting better- and today I got another witness that not only am I getting better, but God hears my prayers and loves me. The despair I felt on a constant basis is gone. While I do get overwhelmed often and get frustrated and wound up-  I'm still alive. I haven't spiraled downward. I've come back to the surface for air after being underwater for a moment, forgetting how to swim. And at times it does feel like I'm drowning. pumping my arms and legs in desperation to help myself survive, but can only be rescued due to the overpowering circumstances around me. Christ is there, pulling me out of the waves and telling me to have more faith, knowing I'll start to drown again when I let go of his arm, but I know he'll be there to pull me out every time I try and fail.

But I'm coming up for air.

The dizziness has been overwhelming. I have spent a lot of time considering what may be wrong as I go to different doctors, and I've spend a lot of time being afraid. But I have prayed fervently to be healed and to figure out what is causing this dizziness. Saturday I had an even bigger breakthrough about it, and It think it may get me the relief I need, but I could very well have this dizziness for the rest of my pregnancy. While I havent been healed, this burden has been made a lot lighter, and I am grateful to God for even considering that.

  As I have sought repentance and a relationship with God, I have seen His hand in the details of my life on enough of a consistent basis to know he's there. He hears not just my prayers- but also my thoughts, and knows my heart. Sometimes I don't even have to ask for something that I want or need and I receive it in a small and simple way. I know this dizziness is something simple to be remedied. I was afraid it was serious, but I have been comforted that this is just one of those things about life that I will eventually overcome by following the right instructions. I see an OB for the first time on Wednesday, hoping that I can get further help there.

I'm grateful for the clarity of thought and the humility that has taken place in my heart enough to recognize these things. I'm grateful for the Grace and Mercy that is being given to me on a daily basis. I feel the prayers of others buoying me up.

I'm just full of gratitude. A feeling I haven't had in a long time.