I have to say that from the last time I posted until now, there has been a one eighty. Which is good considering I nearly went off the deep end. My daughter had cohlic and it was awful. Beyond awful. Like on the verge of wondering if I was going to become one of those mothers that shook until the crying stopped kind of awful. Thankfully though, I was not and am not. There were a lot of nights of walking the floor with my baby, with my ipod on so loud I couldn't hear the world outside, crying along with her, wishing I could fix her and wondering if the crying, for both of us, was ever going to stop.
And then we found the chiropractor. And the clouds parted while the stars aligned and the sun finally shone on our tear stained cheeks, while the birds chirped and heaven opened up and said you made it. And then I kept crying... for joy and relief, as if someone came back from the grave and said it's all ok, you survived and here's a million dollars to top it all off. It really was that good.
I think there are a lot of misconceptions about what it is the chiropractor does... as in the simple fact that most believe that they will take the infant and wring them out like a towel... which is entirely false. Rather, they do this wonderful massage from their hips to the base of their skull, working with minute pressure in certain areas. Sarah loved it. Essentially what happens is that because their spine is not yet solid, the nerves which radiate out from there to around their sides and into their digestive track can some times get pinched, not as painful as when we experience a pinched nerve but painful enough, in the birthing process. The result is that it can affect their digestive tract... stomach and small intestine, making them gassing and irritated... leaving them to cry for endless hours (due to pain) and putting their mothers on the verge of slitting their wrists, or at the very least, vowing to never let anyone or thing near her vagina again, unless it's an IUD that guarantees no pregnancies for 5 years, at which time she will remove and reinsert a new one. Just for the record, I have one now. Firmly in place. Really firmly.
Anyways, poor little Sarah had her right side tighter than her left side and following the first visit to Dr. Reiger (lovely woman, by the way), proceeded to, and I kid you not, shit 25 times plus (because I lost track after that) within the following 24 hours. And she became, literally, happy as a pig in shit. She laughed and cooed and talked and did everything you want your new baby to do... and it was incredible. With 3 visits under our belts, she is sleeping and eating happily and healthily, and we are once again enjoying our lives. The IUD is going to stay though.
As for Ava, my beautiful two year old, she's wonderful. She's learning to sort out the rhythm of her own drum beat and it is a joy to watch. I sometimes worry about what or how I affect/effect my daughers young lives with my own insecurities and poor decision making. I appreciate that the foundation of who I am is lined and laced by aspects of my personality that I struggle over. One such frustration is that I am a pleaser. It's two fold, or perhaps two-sided... I love to please those I love, yet the need to please often spills over onto those less deserving, or towards those who really, it just doesn't matter to. The other day, and to tell you the truth, I can't even remember what it was about, but Ava did something and I wasn't very happy with her... and I told her so. Mama's not very happy with you right now I said. And I'll never forget the look of devestation that welled up in her eyes with her tears. As we walked downstairs I pulled her up on my lap and we rocked. I brushed the hair off her face with my hand and wiped her tears while I told her how much I loved her and how much I wanted her to be her... to choose what she would and loft a screw you to the world within reason because she still had to live in it and it wasn't worth the effort to buck the system forever, over every silly bump in the road. I told her that wanted her to choose wisely and do that which would make her happy and that the rest of us would follow suit, because in reality, while we bitch and moan about those who don't play by the rules of the system and chase their dreams outloud... well really, we're just jelous... so I told her not to fall into the trap of other peoples insecurities and fears and that it was ok to make mistakes and while I would always have her back and love her with every breath that keeps me alive I wouldn't fight her battles or chose her path... those were hers and would make her strong and wise in the world, in life and love. And as a mom I don't think I could ask for more than that. Chose wisely... for you, not for me. Keep you safe for me, but chose a life with no regrets for both of us because that lets me know I did a good job, because really, you are my gift that was undeserved but received and I will never take that simple fact for granted and never question. You're mine... but you're also you. And she looked up at me because I had tears on my cheeks now and she put her two year old hands on the sides of my face, and said you happy now mama? I nodded and said yes, I was happy.
A long time ago in another universe, I sat in a bible class with thirty other people trying to sort out what it was that "Joy" really meant. There were a lot of pat answers... easy breakdowns, simple solutions, but none seemed to really embody what it was that joy was because joy wasn't perfect. We never came to an answer in that class, but a few years after that I read a book called "when heaven is silent" and in that the author said that joy wasn't the absense of pain, but that it was the presence of God. And that day in the rocking chair, with my 2 year old on my lap concerned with whether or not I was happy, struck me again with how I should have called her Ava Joy... because that's what she is. She's my little piece of heaven that twists you in ways you never expected and demands in ways you couldn't comprehend and loves you with enough to move the mountains and part seas with simply a quiet I love you.
As the day comes to an end, with my Ava Joy tucked into my bed as hubby is working nights, snoring and holding a pooh bear, while my Sarah Hope, who helped me make it through the dark of crying into the light of smiles, is flaked out in her crib with her arms over her head, also snoring up a storm, I am reminded in my little home that is quiet and dark, about just how good my life is, how content I am, and how, while so many things never ended up as I expected they would or thought they should, reality brought me so much more to be thankful for, to love and laugh and cry about, and to finally step back from myself, look around and know that this is perfection from imperfection. A balanced life in which I am Andrea Faith... in knowing that it will sort itself out as it always seems to do.