Did I mention I have a chronic pain disorder? Well...it definitely didn't slip my mind! In reality I suppose I wasn't planning on mentioning it at all (to anyone - let alone the internet) but the fact is that I started this blog with the intention of giving an honest view into my life as a parent, without any sugar coating, because let's face it - parenting isn't like being in a Huggies commercial. So there we have it. The fact is that at the moment I'm struggling to cope with constant pain and constant parenting, and I wish that the pain would just go away...or else that I could just take a couple of days off from everything! But, of course it doesn't work like that, once you become a parent there are no days off or time outs, and particularly since we don't have any helpful grandparents living in this country! Living with chronic pain is draining, frustrating, and depressing, but 10 years ago I made the decision to continue on with life as normally as possible, so that's what I do. However, this is much more of a challenge now that i'm a mother. Before Bean was born, I'd developed certain coping strategies that just don't hold up now that I have a little person who depends on me for her every need, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I don't have the luxury of taking naps when I feel like it, spending three days watching Grey's Anatomy back to back on DVD, or even taking pain medication whenever I need to. Things are very different now.
So why decide to have a baby in the first place you might ask? Well, after trying many different treatments in both the Conventional and Alternative medical routes I'd pretty much given up, but several doctors along the way had told me that since my problem seemed to be hormonally linked there was a 50/50 chance that my symptoms might be permanently cured or at least greatly reduced after pregnancy. It was my last option, and since we had both always wanted to have kids anyway, Jake and I decided to take the gamble...and yes, it was a tough blow to come out on the wrong side of that particular coin. After being symptom free all through pregnancy, when Bean was about 5 months old (just when we'd made it through the other side of severe colic/reflux) the pain gradually came back to pretty much exactly the level it had been before. Ouch!
Ask me if I regret it though, and the answer is of course unequivocally 'no'. As hard it may be sometimes to parent through chronic pain, I feel like I didn't really know myself until Bean came along. Every day she helps me to be a better person by needing me to reach deeper into myself to find more love, more patience, more compassion, and to let go of selfishness and useless self image. That being said some weeks are much harder than others, and this is most certainly one of those weeks. And as much as i would like to think that my pain is simply mine and doesn't affect her, it clearly does. So I would like to say to Bean that i'm sorry i've been so crabby and impatient lately, and I'm sorry if I seem further away from you than usual. When I see the sunshine beaming from your face i'm more acutely aware of the clouds shadowing my own, so I do my best to smile when you smile and laugh when you laugh, because after all, happiness is the best medicine. I hope that one day you'll understand how much pure joy you've brought to my life, and that even though my gamble didn't pay off in the way I was expecting, it gave me a more irreplaceable gift than I ever could have hoped for - it gave me you.