Thursday, August 30, 2012

let the wave in, and then let it out

I know I said I was going to write more and possibly tell the stories of what happened last year and I totally had this great idea to tell you about Tyson's birth day and the days after that. But I didn't feel like it, so I didn't. This is something my therapist and I are working on... letting myself do and feel what I need at the time and then not analyzing the hell out of it. "Let the wave in and then let it out"... no more walls. I've had some waves, but this is the first wave I've had that I felt like writing about. It started as a facebook post but quickly got WAY too deep. I don't do dark and deep on facebook... but I'll do it on this blog and I'll probably link it to facebook. That makes it way better.

Anyways, to my little wave.


So, oddly enough, I haven't been having many "this time last year" flashbacks like I thought I would... until now. It wasn't Tyson's birthday, his Norwood surgery anniversary, his 1st crash/1st ECMO/1st time almost dying anniversaries... but it is college football starting tonight that is bringing it all back.

Last fall, I distinctly remember being smack dab in the middle of Vandy football: the tailgating, the sounds from the stadium, Solo cups littering yards, and the thousands of happy football fans as they drunkenly enjoyed the best part of fall which is college football. I walked through all this on the way to the hospital to visit my baby that was so swollen he didn't even look human with his chest wide open and that damn heart that wasn't whole pumping right before my eyes. It was just so fucked up.

I tried to play happy. We put on our orange, decorated Tyson's hospital room to an embarrassingly gaudy level, brought snacks for the PCICU, kept Tyson's tv on College Gameday, and we would even venture out into the real world for a beer at various bars by the hospital. I think Justin actually enjoyed it. He needed breaks and he needed the real world. I didn't. I hated being out there with normal people who smiled and laughed and got angry about football. I used to get emotional about football too, but on those days football didn't matter and I felt so damaged and awkward in public. So after a beer and a few smiles to appease my husband who thought this break was what I needed, I would excuse myself to go back to the hospital room to sit with Tyson.

I would walk back through all the happy people on the streets between the bars and the hospital. I was jealous of their ignorance as to what was happening just across the street in the big building full of sick kids. What is sadder than sick kids?! They didn't want to know about that, not on their happy game day. I didn't blame them... I didn't even want my worst enemy to see and feel what I was slowly becoming numb to. I remember walking alone so many times back then and the sun always seemed so painfully bright. Maybe it was because all I wanted to do was lay on the ground in a ball and die. But I couldn't do that... not until Tyson died. So I continued to go through the motions of what I thought could pass as socially acceptable... I continued to act like I still gave a shit about football.


When you watch your child, the child that grew inside of you for almost 40 weeks, when you watch them suffer to the level that Tyson was suffering... well, it isn't natural. It is horrific and it feels evil. We do it, the parents and the doctors and nurses and medicine... we all do it because we hope that it will be worth it, that after this hell, there can be happiness. But when is enough, enough? I know in my heart that each mother and father of these kids that suffer in hospitals everywhere have their own "enough", and no one on the outside can ever understand when that time should be but them. My enough was after Tyson's second crash... He was on ECMO again, which meant his heart and lungs were being powered by a machine. He was also on a dialysis machine that was working for his kidneys. His brain was bleeding. He was medically paralyzed because you can't move when your chest is open with the ECMO cannulas delicately attached to your heart... that would be bad. He wasn't a candidate for transplant because of how sick he was. So Tyson laid there, splayed out like a dead frog and looking like a cruel science experiment and I just stood there and watched. The doctors said they had no more options and that he didn't have much chance to live and if he did live, they had no idea of his quality of life. And I just stood there and watched. I was helpless. My baby's body was dying, but we wouldn't let him. We just added more machines and more iv drips, and we watched.

I was done. I was angry and I remember yelling at God, "if you want him, just take him already! What is the point in this suffering?!" I checked out and I just waited. When Tyson died, I could die. I never thought that I would kill myself, but I knew I would never come back. I knew Justin would leave me because he is strong and he would be ok, but I would never be ok. I would never come back... I thought of Tyson's funeral, imagined his body in the back of a big black SUV (the only person I know in the funeral business drives a black SUV), and tried to decide where we would even take his body. This is what I did for three days... the three worst days of my life. I began to grieve Tyson's death while he was still freaking alive... my biggest regret of my life.

It was on that third day that I snapped out of it enough to know I had to talk to Tyson. If he was going to die, he needed his Mom to be with him and he needed as much love as his little body could take in while he was still here. I sat with him and I cried. I had a rule that no one was allowed to cry next to Tyson, but on this day I broke my rule big time. I told him how much I loved him, and that I really wanted him to live and keep fighting, but I told him I only wanted that if he did. I told him it was ok to stop fighting if he was done, and that I would love him just the same. This was his life, not mine, and I needed to believe that he wanted to be here, and that we weren't forcing him to stay alive against his will.

A couple days after our talk, the doctor's took him off ECMO successfully which surprised everyone. It was from this low point that Tyson slowly got better and better. I know it could just be science, and it could have been God's will the entire time, but I choose to believe that it was also Tyson who chose to live. That he would have wanted us to let him suffer the way he did so that he could live and enjoy this life that he has today.


A year later, college football is starting again and I remember these dark days so well. I had to fake smiles and force motions, but now I can see that I had to do all that to survive. It wasn't about tricking anyone or trying to fit in... I think I had to pretend to enjoy things to keep my soul alive in a way. It's like I gave my happiness a placeholder... like instead of letting that part of me wither away, I kept it open by at least trying. I tried to live and I tried to enjoy football and friends and movies. The point wasn't that I was empty, it was that I was trying.

This football season, I'm ready to start filling up those placeholders that I made a year ago. I'm ready to be happy and have the capacity to truly enjoy something that is the opposite of life and death... a game... of men in tights... running with a ball. I'll never ever forget about all the kids that are sick in the hospital across the street, but the whole point of that hospital and the whole point of their fight is so they can grow up and enjoy these wonderfully simple parts of life.

Tyson baby, get ready for your first season of college football. And in case you didn't know, you bleed orange.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

back to the blog?

So... Here it goes...

How do I start?....

My last blog post was August 16, 2011. I had that post all ready to publish when I felt like Tyson was going to be coming soon because I wanted it to be the last post before Tyson was born. I expected the next post to be titled something like, "Meet Our Boy!" or something sweet like that and I expected the next day, August 17, to be the biggest day of my life. The most important day. The happiest day. And for 17 hours, it was. But then it wasn't. And that day, that happiness, all the joy that I had prepared for with all of you and within this blog, well it was ripped to shreds in an instant. 

I think this is why it is hard to go back... back to this place where I so publicly shared all my happiness and excitement for a life that I was so sure was right around the corner. Honestly, every time I look at this blog I want to throw up. I see the girl in the bump pictures and I don't know her... I don't even like her. She is so happy, and so stupid. I hate her. I am jealous of her. I am sad for her... she has no idea what is about to happen. The worst of my emotions come out when I come back to this place, and I don't know why... I don't know if I am ready to know why. My therapist tells me I need to figure it out, and soon we are going to be starting to work through it all from the beginning. I am scared for this, but I guess it seems fitting since it has almost been a full year. I should be ready to talk about this by now right? I have to talk.

Some of you might wonder what I mean about talking. I "talk" all the time on facebook and on Tyson's page don't I? Yes, I do, but everything I say on there is is a representation of our family and Tyson, and if I am going to open up about my personal feelings, I try to keep it positive. It wasn't just to spare people from my darker thoughts, it was also because for the last year, I NEEDED to be positive. On days when I felt like the world was falling apart around me, coming up with a positive sentence to post on facebook to describe things would make me believe things were better. I would repeat the sentences in my mind over and over again... that positive spin on things became a way for me to stay hopeful. It helped me survive the months in the hospital and the craziness we went through there, but as the dust settles and I struggle to find my footing again, I know that something has to change. I think I have to face the sad stuff, or as my therapist says, "make peace with what happened". I have to go back in order to move forward. (When I typed that my inner child threw the biggest tantrum ever... I don't wanna!!!)

I need to open up a bit, and maybe that will happen here, maybe it will stay private inside my journals. My journals that I am supposed to be writing in yet remain completely blank. I am a bad therapy student. It might be cool to tell you the stories of a year ago that I wasn't able to tell at the time... my birth story was actually hilariously horrible and I never really got to tell anyone about it. That might be a fun start. Either way, I really want to get back to the blog... this place that used to be so happy for me. I am a different person now, but I want to find that side of me that thought it was a good idea to name a blog 'm+j=love'. I think it is ridiculous now, and I hate that. That girl in those pictures... that was me and she was happy and funny and could see the humor in an overly corny blog name. I was proud of the happiness Justin and I had... shit... do I feel guilt for being so happy before? So naive? Do I maybe think that I flaunted our happiness in a way that deserved a smack in the face from God? Is this why I hate the blog? I have to write this down in my journal! My therapist will be so proud. ANYWAYS>

So blog readers, whoever you are, meet the new side of Meg. The scattered, confused, scared, cynical, slightly cold, and very sad girl. It's part of who I am for now, and that is ok. I'm working on it. I don't have any answers. I have to have some questions first and that is where I am now... It's time to go back and ask some questions that I wasn't able to ask the first time around, and I hope that by sharing stories of a year ago, that I will be able to work some of that out. I am ready.

Ok blog, I officially hate you a little less. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

bump, bump, bump...

With Tyson's arrival on the horizon we thought it would be fun to take a second look at the bump photos we have taken throughout the whole pregnancy. There aren't that many from the beginning because honestly I didn't start to really show until I was almost six months along and so the belly photos didn't seem as exciting before then. I think seeing all these pictures side by side is so crazy and it makes me even more in awe of the whole pregnancy process in general... we hope you think they're entertaining as well!

12 Weeks - We consider this the "before" picture...

22 Weeks

23 Weeks

25 Weeks

27 Weeks

29 Weeks

30 Weeks

31 Weeks

32 Weeks

33 Weeks

34 Weeks

35 Weeks

36 Weeks

37 Weeks

38 Weeks

39 Weeks

If Tyson decides not to come for a while we will just add in the newer weekly photos here! But we are hoping this is it! Yay for bump pictures!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pregnancy Update - 39 Weeks

We are hoping this is the week y'all! Things are a changin and I am feeling like little Tyson is closer than ever to being ready. We are really hoping for Thursday since that is that day our doctor is on call (she is a badass and we reeeeeeally want her instead of some stranger). Wish us luck!!!

I always think I'm giving a big smile when Justin is saying his typical "give me a cheerleader smile" but its obviously not big enough... I look so tired!!! Good thing is I honestly don't feel as bad as I look so that's something to be happy about :) Moving on...  

How far along: 39 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: a little over 23 lbs. gained. This is the same as the last two weeks so it seems I may be done gaining for now! Woohoo!
Maternity clothes: Even my jeans seem to hurt when I wear them... almost as if they are putting a ton of pressure on Tyson. I swear he got pissed off today when he kicked me about 8 times in row really hard. Seems like he has a temper like his Momma!
Stretch marks: Still none!
Sleep: I've woken up with some contractions a few times and it is still really difficult to roll over and get out of bed but overall my sleep is pretty decent. I'm happy with it!
Best moment this week: Justin and I had a great couple lazy days together this last weekend and it was the highlight of the week for sure! We stayed in bed until 11:00 both days and just did light errands and hung out together during the daytime. Saturday night we watched two movies in a row that ended at midnight and we joked how late it was and had a good time remembering the days when 11 or midnight was when we would leave the house to start our nights out. Then Sunday night we had a bonfire in our backyard just the two of us and had an absolute blast! We kept commenting on how our ideas of fun has changed so much and we just truly enjoyed being outside in our own yard relaxing with each other... All in all it was the most perfect and simple weekend and we drank up the stillness that we have right now in our lives. It's all about to change!
Movement: Like I mentioned above it seems like Tyson is getting a bit of an attitude with his kicking. I think he is cranky and ready to come out... at least I hope so!
Food cravings: Dr. Pepper is my jam.
Food aversions: Still just picky, but nothing in particular.
Labor Signs: I actually had some real contractions on Saturday night. They didn't hurt bad at all but they were definitely more than just Braxton Hicks. My mom says this means I might be dilating!!! Woop woop!
Belly Button in or out? In for good!
What I miss: Drinking a beer or four with my hubby.
What I am looking forward to: We are really looking forward to our OB appt. this Thursday! If I am dilated enough there is some special trick our OB can do to bring on labor... so we are hoping for this and would love him to come Thursday night or Friday morning. Wishful thinking!
Weekly Wisdom:Walk walk walk walk walk... I reeeeeally wish I had been more active during this pregnancy. Since I've started walking again I am realizing how out of shape I am. Ooops!
Milestones: Justin was pretty bummed after our appointment last week when we were told I wasn't dilated whatsoever. He had been SUPER excited for the last month and I guess he had just hit his breaking point and he was crushed that he was going to have to wait even longer. He has evened out though and now we are both just in this really good place of waiting happily for our little guy. We cannot wait to meet him but we know it'll all happen when its supposed to happen. It's all good mojo in the Wohlford home right now :)

Here are two more bump pictures from our weekend! The pool picture was taken at our friend's daughter's fourth birthday party at their neighborhood pool and the fire one was from our bonfire Sunday night. Both are great memories!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tyson is chillaxin

At our OB appointment this morning our doctor told us that Tyson is not even down in my pelvis yet and therefore I am not dilated at all. Looks like our little man is hangin out for the time being. :)

So since our boy is taking his time and relaxing inside Momma's belly, I think I'll do the same thing and retreat out to our hammock for a bit... that is if it's not too hot. Otherwise I'll be at the W... also known as our guest room. Loves!

photo taken Spring 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pregnancy Update - 38 Weeks

So a few of you may have noticed that in last week's update I may have seemed rather stressed and nervous. Well I am happy to say that all that was just a phase and now I am cool as a cucumber just patiently awaiting my baby boy. I feel strong and motivated and as ready as I can be. A lot of this is because of a simple little lunch with a friend who was incredibly open and honest with me about her own labor and delivery with her youngest son. We share a lot of the same viewpoints on things and her energy and excitement about it all just seemed to squash all my fears in an instant. Since then I have been almost excited for labor to start so now Justin and I both are ancy little fools.

We still have two weeks until Tyson's due date though, so I'm taking a breath and enjoying this week for what it was. Here is the update:

38 Weeks

This was the original picture for the week but we decided you couldn't really see the bump that well so we quickly took another one right before bed... which is why I look so dang tired! We had to include both though because look how cute our Rocky is!!! 

38 Weeks

How far along: 38 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: a little over 23 lbs. gained. That is almost the same weight I was at last week and I am happy about this since it was obvious I had been over eating a bit. Just some simple portion control and some light walking obviously nipped that in the bud. Yay for healthy living!
Maternity clothes: Although I work in an office enviornment where jeans are only for Fridays, I have been breaking this rule most every day wearing my trusty maternity jeans. The jeans I have don't cover my full belly like my maternity work pants do and I just can't bring myself to wear those full coverage work pants in this heat. A little extra make-up and jewelry seem to be making up for the casual attire.
Stretch marks: None at all! I feel so lucky for this but I'm not chancing anything and I keep putting the vit E oil on every single night.
Sleep: Sleep is actually improving even more somehow. Rolling over still takes a miracle but with the help of Justin I am making it just fine.
Best moment this week: Justin's parents came in town this weekend to spend some time with us and help with some last minute projects around the house. Having them here was so nice and along with all the work we got done, just relaxing and talking with them put us in such a great mood to start out our week. They always have such great advice and it was much needed at this crazy time in our lives.
Movement: He is all over the place still!
Food cravings: still my Dr. Pepper and avocados again.
Food aversions: Just in the last couple days I have become UBER picky and cranky when it comes to food. I am so hungry but it has to be something I want... and finding that is usually pretty hard.
Labor Signs: Still just Braxton Hicks. We think he has definitely dropped, which I don't know if you can tell or not in the picture above. No other signs though! We go to the Dr. tomorrow so we will know more then.
Belly Button in or out? Still in and since he has dropped my belly button seems to have gotten deeper again so I'm pretty sure I'm not gonna get an outtie at this point.
What I miss: Honestly right now I'm not missing anything. I am really trying to soak up every bit of where I am right now because everything is about to flip upside down and I won't ever have this time back. With my next pregnancy I'll have a kid running around, which will change everything, so for now I'm letting it all just be.
What I am looking forward to: I am really looking forward to feeling those first signs of labor and that moment when we realize "this is it!". I think that's just gonna be such a fun moment!
Weekly Wisdom: Breathe. I keep focusing on my breathing and trying to relax. I'm letting it all ride at this point...
Milestones: I guess getting to the point where I'm not scared anymore is a milestone. I am so happy and calm and thankful for this quietness I feel. It's the calm before the storm I guess :)

38 Weeks - Showin some skin!

OB Appt. tomorrow at 11:30 to check to see if I am progressing at all... stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

tyson's nursery tour

We are so so happy to finally show you our new favorite room in our house: Tyson's nursery! We've had an absolute blast together on this room and it truly is a labor of love on both our parts. We will eventually do some individual posts about our favorite DIY projects in the room like the painted dresser, the library wall and biggest treasure- the rocker chair. But until then we just wanted to show you how it is now, which is as done as it's gonna get before the little man arrives. So here it is: Tyson's Nursery!!!

This picture is looking from the hallway and is the best view of the room as a whole. You'll notice our colors were grays and yellows and over time blues started to play a pretty big role also. We absolutely love the color scheme... we think it is playful and young but still relaxing in a way. Did you notice those adorable little animals hanging over the crib? Those were made by my dear friend Kristen and they kind of make the whole space I think. Gotta love crafty friends!

Now let's go on in! Haha... I actually just said that out loud in the most obnoxious tour guide voice ever.... hey, let's roll with it. Walking in and looking to the right you will see this:

The first thing thing we have to talk about it the lovely chair! We found this baby at a thrift store for $25 and fell hard for her the second we saw she rocked and swiveled. We had been searching high and low for an upholstered chair for this room but everything was WAY over our budget. Like $600 over our budget. So when we saw this chair we scooped her up, granny flower fabric and all. After some new fabric, new stuffing and an angel in the form of a lady named Kitty who reupholstered the chair and ottoman for us, we were left with the most amazing chair for the room! All for about $150! We love you pretty gray chair. xoxo

(back in my tour guide voice) So along the wall behind Miss Chair you'll see that Justin built a pretty amazing little library for us to display all of Tyson's books. We would love to take credit for this idea but we actually got it here. We didn't build ours exactly like theirs, but its the same concept and they have wonderful directions to follow so if you want to make your own make sure to click on that link. We love how the books become art in a way and it brings in so much color to the room...

Another special piece of the room is the balloon lamp on the table by the chair.

This was actually a gift from Justin a couple Valentine's Days ago. Now why would Justin buy me a children's balloon lamp for Valentine's Day you ask? Well it all started when we were perusing a local antique mall for fun (that's what you do when you are poor) when I spotted this lamp. I got so excited and told Justin that this was the same lamp I had in my own nusery when I was a baby and that I absolutely loved it. He must have paid attention because a couple weeks later on Valentine's Day this was my gift. It is hands down one of the best gifts I have ever received and it got even better when we found this old picture of my grandfather holding me in my own nursery and there is that same lamp in the background! How special is that?!

Ok moving on to the closet... and if you think I am crazy for including Tyson's closet in this here tour, well, wait until you see his itty bitty clothes!!!!

Um couldn't you just die!? I wonder how long the whole hanging up of the onesies will last... Ok back to the room tour:

Here is where I get to brag a little bit... We made those curtains ourselves, and when I say "we" I mean Justin. Yes, Justin is our household seamstress... or seamster... seamsitr... whatever. Point he is can sew and he is the bomb diggity at it. Look at this hem line (is that what you call it?)-

I think they look so great and totally make the room! We bought the fabric from good ol Hancock fabrics and it was one of our first purchases for the room. Who doesn't love a good chevron pattern?

This is the little bookshelf nook that will neatly contain all of Tyson's toys and extra books as he grows up. This is enough space for all that right? I'm kidding... I hear kids have a crap ton of toys and they take over your life, but until then I am just going to plug my ears and pretend they will forever fit into these two bins. Play along ok.

Hanging above the bookshelf is a special art piece made by some great friends Krissy and Scott. Y'all didn't think we weren't fully aware of that convenient overlap between Tyson's intial and our favorite sports team did you?! Anyways, we love love love this! If you look close, it is made out of buttons!

How cool is that?! We gotta start him early. Go Vols!

What is it about a crib that can just make your heart melt? I have to admit I have stared into this little bed a little more than is probably normal but I mean look at it! I had originally thought about making my own mobile but lately I have been liking more 'baby' things and I just fell in love with these little baby animals! Blame the hormones. I ended up doing a bit of work on it though... the gray on the music box is actually a piece from a pennet banner used from one of my lovely showers thrown by my college girls! So even this has some love in it!

This is the one new thing in the entire room and we absolutely love it. It is the Baby Mod - Park Lane 3-in-1 Convertible Crib from Wal-Mart and it's reasonably priced compared to other cribs out there. We love the drawer for storage, which is where we will keep all his blankets and extra sheets.

Now on to our biggest labor of love. The dresser wall!

This sucker started out as a disgusting old 70's dresser and I literally had to give Justin a presentation with sample photos of other successful DIY projects like this to convince him to let us buy it. I knew from the beginning this would be the star of the room and although it took primer, four coats of paint AND two coats of poly it was 100% worth it. Here are some different pictures of Mr. Dresser.

We painted an old mirror we had to hang above the changing area and above that is a mosaic that was made for us by a great family friend. This dresser is so big we still have three empty drawers, but I'm sure once Tyson gets here we will have plenty of things to put in there.

So I guess that is all! All we have left to do is enjoy it and wait for our little man to get here. Even Boone is ready :)

We hope you all love the room as much as we do and I hope I didn't bore you with my lengthy descriptions of every little thing. Funny thing is I was actually holding back! Just be happy you aren't here for the in person tour; you would have to listen to my tour guide voice and pretend you are interested in the 20 different onesies I pull out to show you. It's not just me either... Justin would be right there pulling all the music box strings on the stuffed animals so you could get the full nursery experience. Can you tell we are excited?

Thanks for touring Tyson's Nursery! Come back and see us anytime! - Love, the Wohlfords :)