A new day, a new fear arises.

“Courage is resistance to fear, master of fear, not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain

A new, and great, fear that just came across my inbox, is the potential changes that are being discussed for Medicaid.  Five years ago, I would have paid it no mind, but now I have no choice.

Though nothing is final (let alone 100% confirmed) there has been talk about changing Medicaid to a block grant system.  This would (potentially) reduce the funding that states receive, and heavily effect medical waivers. How can this be? After reading the article in Disability Scoop “With Talk Of Medicaid Changes, Waiver Services May Be At Risk” (Link HERE)  I find myself, yet again, typing in a flurry.

My daughter receives the amazing care that she does thanks to a medical waiver for her Craniosynostosis. There are countless ways (too long to discuss here) that her waiver has helped her, and our family.  It was also no easy task working through the waiver. Not because my daughter does not qualify, but because the system was a little broken when we first tried.

After many months, and moving out of a county which we will most likely never move back to (#grudgeholder), our fighting paid off and a waiver was granted. The sigh of relief has yet to cease from this moment. I broke down in tears over reading the letter letting us know Zoey was now covered. Not figurative tears, full on, fall to my knees, hold my baby, rocking back and fourth tears of joy.

So, what am I going to do about it?

First and foremost, I am going to pray.  My prayer is for clarity and discernment for those having these discussions. This includes myself.

Second is that I will continue to speak.  My journey has been to create a place of light, support, and strengthen.  I am unwavering in that.  I also realize my place as a voice for the voiceless.  Even though my daughter is making leaps and bounds in her ability to speak, my voice has yet to grow tired.

Finally, I will research and fight when needed. As I stated, this is not something that is confirmed will happen.  There is a good deal of, shall we call it, “early information” that seems to be making its way to news desks. More needs to be known.  If, as more is known, it becomes clear that this may happen, I need to make my voice louder.  Exactly how, that remains to be seen.

For nearly five years I have fought too long and very hard for my daughter to have a ‘normal’ life, to have a pen stroke take that away…. armor up, it is going to be a heck of a fight.

Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always.

I do not know….

Here I am facing an interesting dilemma.  To be honest, this is a multi-faceted dilemma.  There is the physical and the spiritual side of some stuff that I am working through.  I think that for this portion, I am going to take a look at the physical side.  This is, after all, due completely to the fact that the spiritual side is going to be long and exhausting to delve into….

I have been reading many blogs over the last few weeks about diet, exercise, weight loss and the like.  Some of them are shockingly honest… and my heart goes out to them.  Others are more of the mantra that we are all so use to hearing though out our lives.  You know the ones I am talking about, no pain no gain, it is all for good reason, sweat is the nectar of the future godlike body you will have… blah, blah, blah.  Let me be blunt, honest, and very… very real.  I HATE the way that I look.  This is not in regards to something so vain in nature as… let’s say…. My many times broken American Indian blessed nose.  This is about my physique.  I know that some of the baggage that I carry around with me from my first marriage is a TON of self hating rhetoric that I had to hear from time to time.  But, plain and simple… I HATE THE WAY THAT I LOOK.  I cannot stand to look in the mirror anymore, for any reason.  Even spending the 20 seconds to ‘style’ my hair before work, or my once a week 5 minuet shave is sometimes too much.  Now, I am not saying that I am going to start to have an eating disorder, damage myself or hurt myself more than I can see as logical and reasonable (think about it… workouts can be HELL).  But I can start to understand what some of the formerly mentioned bloggers are talking about.  Diets of 1000 calories, 90 min work out sessions… daily… all for what? A skinner self.  Now, I, again, am not going to go to that extreme.  After all… I have a beautiful wife and an daughter-to-be to think of and take care of.  But something NEEDS to change.  So, my next blog will have my logic and break-down.

Catch-Up: Part 3

It may have been only one or two nightmares to blame but there are times that I can feel the pressure of the surmounting fatherhood making sure that I remember that there is a clock that is ticking that is not my own.  There are moments, ever so fleeting, that there is a pang of worry.  The heart skipping a beat as the cry of a child in the distance. The stomach dropping at the realization that there is less than three months.  The excitement over the gifts, the items, the ‘stuff’ a constant.   But then I come back to the reality that I am going to be a father.  That in a few weeks time I am going to be able to hold my little girl in my arms, dancing with her, singing to her, talking to her and watching her grow.  All that time… she will be watching me, learning from me, examining me.  I know that these darling eyes will not be the eyes of malice, but hopefully of wonder.  But what is there for me to teach her, what will she learn from me? There are many things that I would like to make sure that she knows about me, about her amazing mother, and about life.  But there are things that I do not want her to know about… not yet… preferably never.  There are the other nightmares of my life hence that I will continue to fight with such vigor as to prevent them when she is here… a fight that I have been having for years, just with a new standard.  There is so much good that can be in this life, and that is what I want her to know… and it is the fear of not being able to show her the good that has been picking at me lately… oh well, enough of this rant I guess.  I AM GOING TO BE A DAD, I am scared out of my mind and fear can shake us to the core sometimes… just be mindful of what falls out.

Baby Alert

Well, here we are waiting for our second ultrasound… and waiting…. and waiting. As if this last month has not been stressfull enough, sitting and waiting for our names to be called so we can make sure our little girl is ok is AWESOME. Granted, forgetting to pull out cash for parking, and when en route to the bank remembering the flip camcorder was still at home (having to turn around and get it) fighting lunch traffic to downtown, driving through the ENTIRE parking garage only to find it wad full, going to valet parking… I then rushed upstairs expecting to be late. I fully expected to turn the corner into the waiting room, scan the sea of faces, and then find that my wife had been removed by security because she refused to go back without me. INSTEAD, here we both sit waiting to be called. Our appointment was 21 min ago……… let the stress continue to build, the fear creep into the back of my throat, the anger pulsate at my temples, and my wifes hand slowly crush mine….. more when I can.

And then there our old friend fear….

So, the big week is here…. So much going on that, yes, I feel like I am drowning from time to time.  My wife has her centering pregnancy group meeting this week.  This group is comprised of many women that have roughly the same due dates.  They check in with each other and see how their pregnancies are going.  I think that this is a brilliant idea.  This allows some of the women who are going through their first pregnancies to find support in what some of the other women are experiencing.  It is also awesome that we get to hear our little girls heartbeat once a month, and are able to gauge my wife’s progress.  The following day we are going back for a follow up ultrasound.  With the numbers not quite adding up we (the doctors, my wife and myself) deemed it important to give it a few weeks and see what is going on.  Though the tension and stress of thinking that we were at 21 weeks and our daughter measuring at 17-18 weeks has never really gone away, up until last night I think that I have done a good job not letting that stress surface.  However, now that the week is upon us… I find that all of the bottled up stress and worry is hitting me like a ton of bricks.  I am CERTAIN that things are fine, but I still worry.  This is my wife and my little girl that we are talking about.  I know that I must be positive for so many reasons… but tonight I am finding it rather difficult.  I have been under a large amount of stress at work, I am falling behind in school, and there is just so much going on that I find it hard (if not sometimes impossible) to keep my head above water.  Just a little venting I suppose.

I AM GOING TO BE A DAD, and I am scared out of my mind.

Family Time this weekend!

We had an unexpected and amazing surprise this weekend.  One of my brothers called and mentioned that his family was in town this weekend and was wondering what we were up too.  They recently had their second child, a beautiful girl.  Sure of the fact that my brother wanted an excuse to show off my niece, and as we (my wife and I) were dying to meet her… they came over yesterday.  Ladies and gentlemen, first and foremost, my nephew (their oldest) is a beautiful and amazing little boy.  He has gotten so big and it was fun to play with him… trust me the time flew by as I was lost in the world of my nephew, playing trucks and peek-a-boo around to coffee table.  My brother and sister (I do not like the term “in-law” when it comes to siblings) have done such an amazing job raising him.  then the time came that I was able to hold my little 2 week old niece.  That little girl consumed me.  Holding her in my warms I felt so big and so small all at once.  She fussed a little, the snuggled in.  perhaps my heart was feeling to foreshadowing, but it was surreal and amazing.  It was a little hard to give up holding her so that my wife could have her turn, but worth it.  There is something that I have noticed about my wife since we started dating.  We went on this “across the entire country” flight and trip so that I could meet her family and while we were visiting there was this moment that she was able to hold her little nephew.  There was no doubt in my mind then, and there still is not to this day, that when I looked at her holding that little baby (and again today with our niece) that my wife is going to be a beautiful and amazing mother.  There was just something about the picture of that moment, and to see it again today was breathtaking.  The hard part about being so close to family is that when they leave… it always feels too soon.  But I was able to sit back and reflect for a bit on what it was like to hold my little niece.  In doing so, I came to this conclusion; I AM GOING TO BE A DAD, I am scared out of my mind, and even a big oaf like me finds peace and surreal joy in holding an infant.

p.s. It was also brought to my attention by my amazing wife that perhaps posting on my iPad, in bed, in the middle of the night was not a ‘brilliant’ idea.  I say this to let all of you know that I have gone back and edited the posting titled “Toastmasters”.  Feel free to give it a re-read.

Getting back into the swing of things…..

So, on Tuesday we are reaching the half way point in this amazing ride of becoming parents.  As I mentioned there has been some changes that have caused for the temporary lack of energy, as well as the lack of posting.  But, as anticipated, there seems to be a bit of a revival taking place in the energy that I am able to maintain through a given day.  This move has been the source of some great excitement for us as we unpack, go through the things that we have collected during the last (almost) 11 months of marriage, and are working at making this barren apartment a home.  My wife is still having some slight issues with some of the textures of the foods that she is trying to eat, and that can be a little funny to experience on my end.  Not that I would laugh, but her reactions to certain foods are priceless.  I think that she is starting to gain some of her energy back, and I cannot get over how impressed I am with all that she is doing.  Still trying to get back on track is only part of the fun.  We recently picked out some design and color ideas for our nursery.  We are anxiously awaiting for the next 6 days to fly by so we can make it to the doctor’s appointment at which time we will be doing our first ultrasound!  For the men reading this, I want to take a moment to discuss some of what I am feeling about this event.  I am willing to wager that some of you may have been through this, and may have some additional insight.  Some of you may be going through this, and can feel the same emotions that I currently coalesce in.  As for those of you that have not yet gone down this road… take note.

In six long days I am going to get the opportunity to not only hear my child’s heartbeat, but to see my child for the first time.  There is so much that has been running though my head, predominantly the action of love.  Regardless of so many things, I have loved this child since the moment my wife and I looked and saw the word “pregnant”.  Love never ceasing is what I have for this child, and I long for the chance to begin to show this to them when I get the chance to meet them.   Though I know that I do all I can now, from talking to the baby when I get the chance, to praying over the baby at night, I am honestly excited about the chance to do more.  Then, there is my long time friend, fear.  In six short days I will be able to see the child that I will be responsible for, that I will be the father of, that will be watching every little thing that I do, and listening to every little word I say (until adolescence) and figuring out what this whole crazy thing called life is.  Will I do well enough, will I work hard enough, will I play often enough, will l love enough.  These are just a few of the questions that wake me up in the middle of the night from time to time.

I am, as mentioned, getting back into the swing of things, and hope that the frequency as well as depth of my postings will increase in short order.  I AM GOING TO BE A DAD, I am scared out of my mind, and I never thought it possible to be ecstatically terrified to meet someone.

First Appointment Update…

Let me preface everything that I am about to say by stating to my family, especially my brothers that I am sorry if I have not called you yet… it has been a long day…. I WILL be calling soon.

So, today was the day of our first doctors visit.  Before I talk about the experiences today I would like to talk to the men out there.  If you are confused as to what my definition of a man is, see some of my previous posts.  Men, in this post-modern era that we live in there are a few things that seem to be globally acceptable as part of who we are, what makes us men.  Among the characteristics are things like athletic, strong, firm handed, protective and some other odds and ends.  The one that I want to talk to you men briefly about is the assumption that men cannot cry.  This is flat out wrong.  Now I am not one who is for the sniffled, timid criers.  However, I think that it takes a man to cry.  One who is secure enough in his own strength and perceived strength to be able to let loose once and awhile.  Being afraid to even let your eyes water up and your vision go blurry from time to time is a sign of weakness in yourself.  As this blog continues I am sure that I will delve more into this particular topic as it is one that is near and dear to me, but for now, let’s talk about the events of today.

I will say that it was a long night last night, for sleep seemed to be evading me at every turn, that is until I decided at 3:45 this morning that I might as well stay up, and was out like a light by 4am.  I had issues sleeping due to my nervousness and my anxiousness for today’s appointment.  That aside, my wife, who has gotten rather use to sleeping in, and I went to the hospital this morning for our first appointment.  All in all things went awesome.  My wife is going for a natural child birth (and I love her evermore so for it)  and this was our first chance to meet her midwife.  She is a nurse practitioner at the hospital here in town and she seems like an incredible choice for us.  There was the typical question and answering sessions as well as the physical exam.  My darling wife now is showing her “pregnancy brain” (or the phenomena that happens when most women get pregnant and they are unable to remember things) mixed with her total desire to crawl back in bed as well as the nervousness of the whole situation.  All of this I completely understand and do the best I can to help her with, my work load has greatly increased in the home by my own choice, meaning that there tends to be a ‘little’ exhaustion for me as well.  Anyway, All things were going well and then it came time to listen for the heartbeat of our precious little child in my wife’s womb.  Ladies and gentlemen, when we first heard the little “whoosh, whoosh, whoosh” on that monitor I am not ashamed to admit that there were tears in my eyes.  I got up out of my chair and was at my wife’s side in no time at all and I could feel the smile beaming across my entire face.  That was the “twang” that I was speaking about in a previous post.  For me it was like I just found out that we were pregnant all over again!  For the remainder of the visit as well as for the remainder of the day, I have been up on cloud nine and nowhere to be found here on this earth.  That little “whoosh, whoosh, whoosh” was the amazing sound of our little baby’s heart beating at 160+ per minute.  I have never felt so little or so big in all of my life.  We now have a birthing group scheduled for my wife, our ultrasound is in 7 weeks (yay, more reasons to be nervous / excited as all get out) and I am debating daddy boot camp.  We are also out of the first trimester! I know that there will be more updates as I can, and have the energy to do so.  I AM GOING TO BE A DAD, I am scared out of my mind, and the beautiful sound of my child’s heartbeat brings me to tears, big, strong manly tears.

The appointment is coming, the appointment is coming!

Here I am at midnight the night before our appointment.  I have already made sure that my wife is getting the sleep that she needs, while I lay down here on the couch and watch as the clock ticks away.  I was reading online and have found that there seems to be something about this appointment for most dads that just makes something twang deep inside of them.  There are the generalized worries, is everything ok? How is the baby? Is it twins? There is also the more focused worries.  To summarize what a good friend of mine told me today (and I am taking a little bit of literary freedom with this, but I am sure that she will not say that I am too far off base) as long as I do not go manic about this, then things are going to be ok.  I do have some concerns and I am glad that I get to go to the doctor with her.  But I think that it is mostly the nerves that are keeping me awake tonight….. which will make for a long day today…

I AM GOING TO BE A DAD, I am scared out of my mind and sometimes it is hope that helps me run on fumes.

12 Weeks…. Seriously???

So, much like everything else that is going on in my life I am a bit late… one or two days.

The closure of the first trimester upon us and it has been a more and more exciting, crazy, scary, exhausting, time consuming, wonderful, love filled, planning, freaking out, incredible, busy 3 (ish) months.  I am one who like to use milestones form time to time to see where I have been, where I have come to and where I would like to go.  So, I am still having the best time possible living in the whimsical exhaustive state that is enlightened by the fact that I AM GOING TO BE A DAD!  Even on some of my worse days this trimester… it still makes me smile.  Life is picking up steam as we work towards the end of the year, nothing abnormal there.  We are starting to get ready for the move next month to a bigger, baby conducive place, and getting tired just thinking about it. My wife and I had an interesting conversation that was possible thanks to an impromptu “stay at home” night.  We are realizing that we are still focusing on different things from each other.

My analogy, and let me be completely clear that this is my analogy…lol, is that I am worried about five to ten years from now and she is worried about what she is going to eat in five to ten minutes. we were able to talk about some of the changes that are going to be taking place in our lives as we draw closer and closer, and NO it is not that we are just going to have a baby (which is the BEST part).  The problem when two nerds get married is that you have rational and legitimate conversations about changes in the division of labor and work flow… seriously.  I am proud to say that my wife did an excellent job of holding the conversation considering that she has been exhausted beyond belief and reason.  She does all that she can, and that it more than I would ever ask.  It is her way of testing her metal for when we have a little one scurrying around the house.  I am seeing the doctor’s appointment on the dry erase board move closer and closer… and with that movement comes more and more anxiousness.  Fervent prayers have been flying over the last few days, and sleep has been lacking.  But I am sure that between school, work, home, family, friends, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, jiu-jitsu, dieting, moving, contemplating starting a barbershop quartet and anything else that comes my way that there will be some time for sleep at some point.

I had an interesting analogy come to light when I heard the baby stats of the week from my wife as she put them on her blog.  Now apparently what she said is that the baby is about as tall as a plumb and her uterus is the size of a grapefruit… however, thanks to exhaustion and a mind that moves faster than my ears or lips…. I may or may not have said something along the lines of “Like a turducken!” For those of you that do not know what that is or why my wife may have shot me a rather upset look.  A turducken is a chicken stuffed in a duck stuffed in a turkey and I leapt to a plum stuffed in a grapefruit stuffed in my wife… yeah… not the best thing to say.

But, guess what…

I AM GOING TO BE A DAD! I am scared out of my mind, and I am already blaming my lack of sleep on some of the dumb things that I say.