Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 4

Well, ready steady go.

The last two days I have taken my writing in form of letter. I liked that. It kept things more personal and I realized that while I capture the outline of a few things in my last post, it was very much lacking any personal feeling to it.  Everything that would make you interested in what someone was telling you because you were invested in them and what they were saying or going through was missing from that last post.  So, here's what you're going to get. I am going to write this blog like I am writing to my best friend. I am going to assume that she is the only one readying it and that I am writing it just for her, and in a way I really am writing for her.

So there was this one Sunday at a Snow College.  The lesson in relief society was on the importance of a woman's role in her family and in her life.  I remember going home from this lesson, I was SO pissed off at the end. I talked with my roommates about their thoughts on it and it became very clear to me that I was in the minority.  I did not think that my duties should be dependent on my gender.  I really didn't like the idea of having to teach that to my children either.  I was totally stunned to know that I was arguing with my friends about it as well.  I just assumed that we would ALL be bothered by this,and yet somehow I was the only one that did not agree. Later that same year I watched the movie, "What Women Want" with boyfriend 'x' of the time and at the end of it I just started bawling.  All  of the thoughts that the men were having were exactly what I was thinking and all the thoughts that the women were having seemed totally foreign to me. I felt totally isolated from my "Gender".  I know that I can be pretty "girly" but it was always so hard for me to really feel connected to other women. I having always been very insecure about who I am and other girls were scary. Growing up with a brother on either side of me and playing the Tuba, it was just easy to surround myself with guys.  Guys are inherently easy to understand.  Girls-umm... not so much.

Now I am living this life and really struggling to understand these boundaries.  When I meet Seth I was astounded at how Gabe was all boy.  I was in the kitchen one day and I turned around to see him pounding his cars into the ground and making crashing noises.  It didn't take long for him to start smashing them into each other and laughing.  And this from a kid who really didn't have too much expression at an early age.  Just instinctively knew to bash them around.  When I found out I was pregnant, I knew she was a "she" and I can't even count the number of counseling session I had just crying with Seth and our counselor about how I didn't know how to raise a girl.  I was terrified at the amount of damage I was going to do to her just by being her mother when I really had no concept of "woman".  What chance does she really have if I am where she is gong to have to turn to learn how to do her hair, and makeup, and gain any sense of style from. I hate pink- just hate it.  My favorite color- Orange... you know that color most people hate, or at least actively ignore.  I like to watch sports and follow teams more than Seth does, and I PLAYED THE TUBA ON PURPOSE. This poor kid, I thought, was going to come out with no idea what she was supposed to be like and grow up in this world full of men surrounding her on a daily basis.

And you know what? She is ALL girl. Totally and completely.  And she's pretty bad ass already. A little girly fighter that one. She is just all piss and vinegar if you try to hold her down, and all smiles and laughter if she feels free.  It's as though every bow and flower and pink thing in the world is just naturally finding it's way to her through the universe. Never have I seen a kid more enchanted with their own reflection. She refuses to sleep because she is too busy crawling and sitting up and trying to walk.  I think she's going to be just fine and I'm excited to watch her grow up as the girliest Tom-boy ever!

As for my own struggle with my responsibility to my gender? It's still there and harder than ever to navigate.  I was so certain that I would be strong enough to do this baby thing without needing any help that I told Seth when we first found out I was pregnant that he didn't have to worry about anything changing because I would just take care of it myself.  I could do it all. Have the job, care for the baby, keep up the house, and going out and have fun without any problems. I was going to ROCK it! And then you know what happened? I because a mom.  I absolutely CAN NOT do this by myself.  I have never had to trust someone harder than I didn't when I trusted Seth to help pull me through the birth of our child.  I buckled and hit a wall of doubt and fear and uncertainty that I was certain I would not hit leading up to my labor. I thought I had done all the research that I needed to and that natural childbirth would be, and what it turned into was amazing and beautiful and also the scariest and most trying thing I've ever done.  He brought me through it and was the reason to stuck to having her naturally. Now that she's here it's such a struggle to know who is responsible for what. Do I stay up with her? Should he? Which of us needs to step up daycare? Who is feeding her that night? And staying/getting up with her when she cried? Should I be doing all the laundry? And cleaning the house? Walking the dogs? Who's turn is it?

So quickly I went from doing it all myself and and feeling like I wouldn't need help, to crying at night trying to get any help I can. I guess maybe one day I'll figure it out.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

30 days of writing: Day 1

So I have decided to write for an hour everyday for the next 30 days. I am going to have to take something with me to Hawaii for writing, be it a computer or a notebook. I thought about waiting until we returned home to start this, but I like the idea of being away from everything and continuing to write.  I’m hoping that by the end of the 30 days that my writing isn’t as painful as I feel that it will be these first few days.  I used to be able to just sit and the words would start flowing in a way that was at least easy to follow and could get a specific point across. I feel now like I am struggling to just get the words to come out of my head and on to the paper or computer.
Maybe I am just being affected by the people around me? Is it possible that my brain has decided that in order to protect itself that it had to shut down to the ignorance around me. Or maybe, and most likely, I am just lazy and out of practice. I am currently listening to three kids next to me trying to discuss speaking Spanish.  The first kid said that he spent a summer in Spain, and therefore speaks the “People’s” Spanish.  He then said, “it’s like college professors and Ebonics. The people in Spain that I was around, they spoke like Ebonic-Spanish and you would have learned in your classes like ‘Professor Spanish’.”  The girl then said, “Well, isn’t it more like Old English versus slang English? I thought Ebonics had been termed a different language?”  I feel just a little bit dumber for having heard this conversation and even dumber for having heard what it through its resolution.  But again, I am pretty positive that I’m more out of habit and lazy than anything. Here’s hoping for better writing horizons. 
I have been having a reoccurring conversation these last few days revolving around religion.  I have stopped myself several times from writing about religion as my very first topic, but I can’t get it out of my head and it seems as well that the world or universe is hell-bent on making me talk about it, so why not write about it?  
I have CHOSEN to be non-religious.  This does not mean that I have decided to live without morals or without a greater purpose.  It also was not a decision that I took lightly or made without consequence.  I have been searching for God and the truth as I can comprehend it for almost as long as I can remember. Seriously, I have. The first conversation that I can remember having about it was when I was six.  The answer to my questions at that time was, “There are certain things that you are just going to have to take on faith and accept that it will be made known to us when we die. If you keep looking to science to give you answers you will fall away from the church and that is a path that leads to hell.” I feel it is important at this time to say that I understand the things that were told to me then and that I am not mocking, discrediting, or speaking badly of religion or theologies, but that I am trying to paint a picture of my own spiritual journey and decisions.  I decided that I would have to accept faith as the answer and not look further into my doubts.  This worked well for me, but I was always on the outside borders of being a good follower. I would accept and be faithful and then start to question more and more until the point of breakdown which usually consisted of a few hours of intense sobbing, music, reading, searching, and praying until I could find peace somewhere in the scriptures to help me “feel” God again in my life.  This would honestly happen consistently about every 6 months, where I would have to reinvest myself into the religion, from the time I was 9 until I was 19.  When I was 20 I went to college and started a nonstop journey to solidify faith and commitment to religion. I started searching and devouring the scriptures and literary works.  I went to religion classes in college, engaged in as many conversations regarding religion as I could.  Some were positive, some were not. I decided, unsuccessfully, to try to serve a mission for my church and when that didn’t happen I just continued to tread this path of spiritual progression. I would falter and fail at times and have to start over.  But I was determined to do good by my God and to follow the ways I had been taught. After failed relationships, marriage, school, and attempts to escape my life, I ended up in the ultimate display of my beliefs. I was married and sealed forever to spouse, I was involved with the young women and scouts in my church, and living life to go to our temple every week.  After all of this my marriage fell apart, I left my positions in my church and I back a ground zero.  I was constantly struggling with anxiety and feelings of extreme guilt. 
This was my breaking point. I didn’t decide to leave the church all together at that time, but I did decide to let go for awhile. It was a hard choice and not one I took lightly, even though it may have appeared otherwise.  Shortly after my 27th birthday and my break from church and the divorce I moved to Nebraska.  I was suddenly 1000 miles away from the closest person that I knew and surrounded by a new culture and environment.  I had no car, no friends, and nowhere to shop that wasn’t online.  I quickly lost myself in this anonymity and found that I liked being able to start over.  I tried it on for fit, and loved the way it looked on me.  Have you ever heard the term too much of a good thing? Well, let’s just say that there were many moments in this new life that I am not proud of and that I had to learn some hard lessons from, but, all in all, I started to realize that without the heavy presence of God or religion that I was much happier all around, I had less stress and more peace in my life.  I still had my ups and downs, and as I just stated I had a lot of learning and growing to do-some of which I excelled at and others I failed at- but I came to love the town I was living in, the people that surrounded me, and felt like for the first time I had a real home and place where I belonged. I had my place.  Finally sleeping without the aid of sleeping pills and no longer struggling with anxiety I made my permanent break. I was still going to church here and now and after several meetings we decided to part ways.  Council was held and I complied and said that this was what I wanted, and I understood the decision that they would make, whatever it may be.
And that was that. It was my 29th birthday when I received the letter informing me of their decision and I decided to move forward with trying to really develop my own belief system.  By the time I was 30 I had come to the conclusion which I now believe, and strangely it feels very much the same as what I believed when I was six.  I do not believe there is a God.  I do not feel vain enough to say that I know there is no God, and I accept that I could be wrong but it is truly what I believe.  I know what this belief means to all of my dear friends and family that do believe and I am sorry for any pain or concern this may cause you.  I have not decided to believe this because of pain or hurt or anger, but because it is what has afforded my life the most comfort and peace.  I will always respect and understand the beliefs that you have and I will not try to make you believe as I do. I know that you are happier with God, but I do want you to know that I am truly happier now in my life choices and ask that you try to accept that with a true knowledge of the teachings that this is the decision that I have made and that I accept as truth. 
I love all of you. And as I enter my 33rd year of life as a new mom and with a family around me that I love and cherish I look forward to what I will learn and share with and through all of you. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Terrible Two's

Before I got too far out from last October,  (because waiting until January isn't that late right?) I wanted to take a minute and post about Gabe. He's Two! And pretty awesome at being two.  We were afraid that the "terrible two's " were on there way, but so far they've just been terribly awesome, sprinkled with just a little defiance here and there. Testing the waters, so to say.  In preparation for the all the fires we were going to be putting out with our little 2 year old, we held a Fire House party complete with inflatable Fire House, which now lives in our basement next to Ruben. Sometimes I wonder if it is Ruben or Gabe that turns it on because it is pretty cool.
There's a dog in our fire house

Happy Birthday Gabe! We love you

Cheese :)

Thanks for the gifts!


We had a little "melt down while opening presents, but with this theme, I would have been disappointed if we hadn't. It was nothing that a fire on a cake couldn't cure.  

Now there's a happy boy

Friends Taking a ride.
Cake with Grandma Kay

The Pinata was a hit! haha

Thanks to everyone for coming

See ya Next Time!
 It seemed like the kids all had a great time, and we had enough distractions..or umm... activities to keep the kids busy so the "adults"- we use that term loosely- could sit and talk too.  There were animals in the trees around the back yard waiting to be rescued by our little Fire Chiefs, the Dalmation Pinata, and plenty of sugar to keep their engines running while they played badminton, yard bowling, and just causing general havoc.

 We are sure lucky and blessed to be surrounded by such great people. It was a really great day to sit and celebrate our little guy and we appreciate all of you coming out to join us while we did.  Now that there are two little people in our life, I'm sure our October parties are just going to continue to grow along with our love for the kids and all of you too!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Birds Will Sing

Days before the arrival of my sweetest friend I sat in her empty nursery surround by 32 years of love and memories.  Rocking in the old gold chair that my Grandfather used to rock me in, room lit up by the lamp my mother put in my room when I was born, the crib given to me by my dearest high school friend Caroline, hand stitched embroidery made for me by my soul friend Alissa, butterflies that were framed for me by my brother Vern, and hand stitched birds hanging from the canopy made by grandma.  And so many more little items either collected or given to us. I sat there contemplating the many years ago that I first knew I would one day, when I had finally found the man I trusted to be her father, that I would give birth to a little girl.
I was 19 and in a place in life I had no business being in. Despair and panic were a standard state of being for me. I could not see outside of my current circumstance and I had no direction in which to go.  I went to sleep one night and dreamt about two children. The oldest was a little girl, curly blonde hair, blue eyes, pouchy cheeks.  This was the first time I saw her. The next day, upset by the thought of my first child being a girl as I had always believed that every girl needed an older brother like I had had, I was driving through memory park in the avenues Salt Lake City and talking to my best friend Alissa when the song "Dear Prudence" came on the radio.  I stopped in the middle of my sentence when I heard the words, "the birds will sing that you are part of everything" and I knew in that second that my first born would be a girl and that she would be Prudence and a part of everything.  From that moment the men I dated no longer had to be just good enough for me, which being honest I never held a very high bar for myself, but they now had to be good enough to be the father of that little girl. I had to be sure that I was better than I had ever been in the past so that I could provide a future that she could be her best in. I also knew that before she made it here that I also need to get myself the help I needed so that I could be a stable and confident mother for her too.
Sitting in her nursery, 13 years later, knowing that she was just a few days away from being in my arms I knew I had made it. She had always been there helping me to make as good of decisions I as knew how to and ensuring that when I didn't make the best choices that I knew I had to make them right. She was in fact a part of everything.  I knew that she was going to be amazing and I knew that I had found that man that was deserving of being her father and my partner in crime and passion. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Banana Fanana Mo Manana

Brooke Brooke Bo Brooke, Banana Fanana Mo Mrooke, Fe Fi Fo Frooke Brooke

Sick sick Bo Bick, Banana Fanana Mo Mick, Fe Fi Fo Fick, Sick

Safe Safe Bo Bafe, Banana Fanana Mo Mafe, Fe Fi Fo Fafe, Safe

That's hospital lingo for, "Yes, you are in the hospital and everything you say from here on out will be turned around and spit back out at you until you have now idea of what's safe and what's not while we treat you so that you will be as agreeable as possible. Ready??"

Not that they do it to purposely degrade, belittle, or demean you, because they don't. They're very nice about telling you that you don't really know anything and that you have to do what they tell you or you are being a bad mother. And, honestly, I agree with them. I know very little about certain things when it comes to health and hospitals, but other things I do know. Radiation is bad for unborn babies. Narcotics, bad for baby. Constricted blood flow, bad for baby. I also know that blood clots in mom's lungs bad for baby. Reduced oxygen saturation so that mom and baby can't breath is going to be bad. Antihistamines, inhalants, antacids, Tylenol, processed hospital foods, stool softeners, etc., those are all the things that I'm not sure about. And I mean I really just do not know. 

Before I ever got pregnant, and certainly when I first found out that I was, I had all sorts of ideals and bottom lines for what I was going to allow to be a part of my pregnancy.
All natural. 100%. All the way. No medicine.
Me+Vegan=Happiest, Healthiest Baby Possible (even went out and bought Skinny Bitch:Bun in the Oven)
Exercise was going to happen every day.
Home Water birth with the Midwife of my choosing.
My baby would be a girl.
And everything would be smooth sailing at work and home right up until the delivery.

Well, I got the girl part right. Everything else I have been completely wrong about. Here's the weird part, I expected to have the realization that everything I "know" about being a mom was wrong once the baby gets here, but pregnancy was the part that I thought was really going to be in my control and that I could still "be in charge of".

At 14 weeks I was hospitalized the first time with pneumonia. They kept me for 4 days, all of which Seth was out of town and unreachable for. It was awful. I was scared and didn't know what was going with the baby, with me, or what I should allow. I knew that x-rays and CT Scans were baby and those were two of the first things that they wanted me to do. Very grateful to have my mom and step-dad there with me I started to agree to tests that needed to be done to be sure that baby and I were ok. The CT technician was my favorite part of the day. She was the first person that day to tell me that I was the boss of my body and that she wasn't going to do anything without my saying it was OK, regardless of what the doctors told her. Then she proceeded to give me really facts that corresponded with things that I already knew. In the end, we did the CT, but only after I insisted that all other tests were run first. Then my favorite technician told me that the dye was going to make me feel like I was peeing my pants, or having a "fun time". After all was said and done, everyone was able to rest easier knowing that all major complications that could endanger my life and baby's life had been ruled out and that it was pneumonia. They weren't sure of the type, but they were treating it and soon I went home. Follow up visit with my doctor said I was doing well and life was happy.

Skip forward 5 weeks, and after spending a lovely, relaxing extra long weekend in California with my bestie, I fly home and anxiously await from Seth to return home from his long Memorial Day weekend also. Things are good and great, I see some friends that Monday, get everything ready for work on Tuesday, have dinner with my favorite man and go to bed with the humidifier running because Seth had, quite literally, no voice left to speak of. Around 2:00 I wake up coughing, just like before, and we turn down the humidifier. I immediately find the inhaler they prescribed me and take my puffs on it to subdue the cough. 2:30 I leave the room and sleep on the spare bed in Gabe's room. 3:00, my entire body is engulfed with a severe throbbing ache and I can not breath more than about 1 second at a time. I go back into our room and wake up Seth. After asking if I want to go to the hospital or have him go get some cough syrup I decide to take one of the Tylenol with codeine that I was sent home from the hospital with the first time. Since I was in so much pain and my chest and throat were so tight, I thought maybe it might help me relax and breath deeper allowing me to calm down and stop coughing. 3:15 I start to throw up, violently anything that is in my body, including the Tylenol. I was also running a fever so I laid down in the cold, porcelain tub to cool off when Seth came in to ask again if I want to go to the hospital, and we are on our way. Once we got to the hospital they checked my stats about 3 times, not believing they were accurate (Blood pressure 84/42; Oxy 82% saturation; Heart rate 139; and temp 102.2) and then called back the same doctor that saw me the previous month. My doctor was called, tests were run and I was admitted to the Woman's Pavilion much quicker this time and give A LOT more tests. It was made known, again, at the very beginning that I did not want to do another CT scan, and with the previous one being negative and all my symptoms being the same as before we were able to agree to start treatment and run a CT in the event that treatment was not helping.

While I've been here I've been able to imply a little bit of wisdom given to my by a dear, unfortunately-experienced hospital going best friend of mine. Alissa told me while I was talking to her in California about my last stay that the most important thing is to treat your nursing staff like gold and your doctors like they do in fact work for you. If you have ever worked for me, you're welcome to take pity on the doctors and I won't take offense. In doing this I have this fabulous set or respiratory staff that are like my personal Charlies Angles. Not only are the the most fabulous ladies in the world who work every week in the NI-CU helping to facilitate life and miracles, they bring me all the dirt- On ANYTHING I WANT. It's awesome. They made sure that I was getting enough treatments, that I was moved to a room closer to the nurses stand because they were so worried about my stats over night, brought me an "illegal" desk fan for my room because the pregnancy was giving me a false fever and then when my stats started going up go me switch to a room that has beautiful views of the mountains with large windows and a mini-fridge and a much better cooling system. These ladies ARE AWESOME. And they're funny, and say things to me like, "Are you watching a porn film?", actually said foreign film, but now tells me to enjoy my porn loudly as she leaves my room each night, "Where'd the loud one go?", in reference to Seth-even with his lost voice, and gossip with me about the other wings in the hospital and staffs. I love it.

I was so sure that I was going home that day, but now it is 6 days later and I still have at least two days left to go. But we have been able to confirm the rare form of pneumonia that I have and run test to show that treatment is working and I am getting well. The doctors have all said how surprised they are at how quickly I'm improving, but that the road to full recovery will still be a long one. What they meant was that I have to take it easy and not think I'm healed. I'm trying to figure out how to do that, but I'm willing to give it my best go ever. We found out that we're having a girl and all the ladies keep coming by and congratulating me.

And here is what I have learned the most. Trust yourself. Trust what you feel and your gut instincts. Go with them. When we lost Anooke camping I knew we should only keep going North until we found her, but I didn't stick to my guts and I should have. I thought I should go to the hospital the first time a week earlier than we did, but didn't trust myself. As I lay in the empty cold tub barely breathing I almost said no that I didn't want to go to the hospital and that I would try cough syrup instead. We couldn't have waited another week for me to finally trust myself this time. When I crave meat, I trust my body and I eat it. I do try not to eat all the hotdogs in the state of Utah, like I would like to, but instead eat meats that are from happy, healthy, local, organic producers. And after I eat it, I don't stress about it and add more bad toxins to my body and baby. When I can avoid medicines, I do at all costs. I have all toxic free products in our house and for our bodies. And I try to be wise with my energy even. For now that means not exercising, but relaxing and having down time to take better care of my tired body for baby and me. And I still am stuck on the name Prudence. And I don't think it's a rude name for a baby.

For all the things I thought I would do, the one thing that I have been able to do is protect my baby and make the hard decisions that are ultimately going to be made for me if I don't. And I will continue to fight to make the right ones.

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's ok.....

"I think I'm dying."
"You're not dying."
"Are you sure, because really I could be?"
"I'm sure."
"But what if I have pneumonia and I'm killing the baby??"
"How would you have pneumonia?"
"Well, the other night when we ran humidifier it got pretty cold in our room AND when I woke up it was raining from the ceiling on my face from all the water, I could have gotten it then."
"It was still over 65 degrees in our room, you don't have pneumonia."
"I could have squished the baby from all my coughing. What if I squished her (gender still unkown) and I'm feeling sick because my body's trying to tell me something is wrong???"
"You didn't squish 'her'."
"I could ha.."
"No, you didn't."
"Well, when I spoke with the doctors office this week they told me that if I had a fever combined with the body aches and cough that I should go to Instant Care, do you think I have a fever?"
"Let's See".........."No, you don't have a fever. Do you think you need to go to Instant Care?"
Sigh.."I don't know... I mean.... I'm really achy and nothing is helping, but if I don't have a fever probably not. But you're the logical one right now so you tell me..."
"Baby, you're fine. I'm sorry you don't feel good but it's just a cold. You'll feel better in the morning."

And damn it all, I did. I never thought it would be so nice to be so wrong.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers

A peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where the peck of pickled Peppers Peter Piper Picked?

In Me! That's where.

Yup it's true, there a little peck of a pepper currently growing inside of me right now. I feel a bit like an incubator right now, waiting and hoping everyday for the little one to grow just a little bit bigger and for the weeks to go just a little bit faster. Even looking forward to my stomach starting to get a little to big. If it weren't for the sudden laughing and crying fits that I've been having, oh and the non-stop feeling that my body is no longer my body but instead an alien form that is sick all the time that I can't quite control, it wouldn't seem like this whole thing was real.

But then, THEN, I have another doctors appointment. I get to see that little heart, you know the one that is inside of my body but that isn't mine, pounding away like a racing stallion and I see those little arms and legs moving around like a miniature spaz version of me dancing and I know that all of this is very very real.

I, Brooke Lyndsey Heym, am going to be a mother. A mother in the sense that I haven't yet been. I have loved my nieces and nephews, adored my self-proclaimed God-Children, because I'm brash enough to make that proclamation, and been the best pet-mom that I could possibly be. I have loved the role that I've been blessed to have in Gabe's life and cherish my time with him. Now I get to take that one step further. In October I get to bring into this world the beautiful creation of the love that my sweet Seth and I have made, the sibling to Gabe, my little pickled pepper peck.

Here's to you. The you person you. Whoever you will be.