Reblog: Any Questions?

As I’m gearing up for Mother’s Day on Sunday, I wanted to share a series of posts about my experiences being a mother. First up is this one when I was pregnant with Munch. This post was originally shared on January 25, 2008.  I was about 20 weeks pregnant and having complications. We had to go and see a specialist after I spent the weekend in the hospital.  I was married to Munch’s dad and this was our first child, so we were both quite nervous. Some more than others…

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LT and I went to see a Maternal and Fetal Medicine Specialist regarding the shortening of my cervix and the development of the baby’s brain. The doctor said everything was fine with the baby and the brain stem and flap looked normal.  I thanked God. We got the cutest pictures of the baby in my stomach.

The hospital had told us last week the sex of the baby. We knew we were having a boy, I was right all along, but LT decided to question the sonographer. LT: “Are you sure it’s a boy because I heard that sometimes sonograms can be wrong”. Sonographer: “Here’s the penis and here’s the scrotum, any questions”.

LT was truly annoying the sonographer yesterday. She would say, “The fluid levels in the sac look normal” and LT would then ask “So, the fluid levels in the sac look normal?”. I asked him “Why are you repeating everything she says and then asking it like you just didn’t hear her? He said, “I just want to be sure of what I am hearing.” It frustrated the hell out of me.  I told him to bring a video camera next time so we can record it and he can play it back later. Without a doubt I am married to the craziest man in the world.

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

#MyFirstPostRevisited

Hi everyone! Lisa from Life of an El Paso Woman tagged me to participate in the My Very First Post challenge. The challenge was started by blogger Sarah Brentyn.

Here are the rules for this challenge below:

  • No cheating. (It must be your first post. Not your second post, not one you love…first post only.)
  • Link back to the person who tagged you (thank them if you feel like it or, if not, curse them with a plague of ladybugs).

Other rules:

  • Cut and paste your old post into a new post or reblog your own bad self. (Either way is fine but NO editing.)
  • Put the hashtag #MyFirstPostRevisited in your title.
  • Tag…um…five (5) other bloggers to take up this challenge.
  • Notify your tags in the comment section of their blog (don’t just hope they notice a pingback somewhere in their spam).
  • Feel free to cut and paste the badge to use in your post.
  • Include “the rules” in your post.

My first blog post is titled “MLK Weekend”. In it I tell you why I started blogging 9 years ago. I took many breaks from blogging. A few years in fact until 2013 when I made an effort to be more consistent. This post was made January 22, 2008. I was pregnant and I was married to my ex-husband. Check it out here:

Today is my first day back at work after observing MLK’s birthday yesterday. It was a low key day. I mostly slept and then went grocery shopping. We don’t sale shop during his birthday out of respect for one of the greatest men that ever lived. We remembered and talked politics. Mostly the economy, the baby and the upcoming move. I realize now that I am pregnant, anything pops into my head and I want to discuss it. I can’t seem to retain information for long periods of time either.

Rewind…
My name is Tikeetha and I have been married for about 5 1/2 years to Lydell “aka” Lee Thomas. Thus, after much force I took his last name. Actually, it wasn’t bad, Lee stated that he wanted his last name on my name somewhere. He didn’t care if I hyphenated or changed my last name entirely. He wanted everyone to know that I was a married woman. It was crazy because he acted like you couldn’t see the big ring on my finger. So, after 5 1/2 years of marriage, Lee and I find ourselves being able to reproduce. We are still astonished that God has granted us this ability. We just found out that we are expecting a boy this May. I knew I was having a son; however, Lee was in denial. He insisted that we were having a girl, because genetically, every female in my family up through my grandmother had given birth to a girl. That was a lie, but I let him believe it. Even when my grandma did her famous “hand test” to determine I was having a boy, he was still in denial. He harassed her and wanted statistical information to the fact that she had predicated sexes of babies in our family for years. He wanted her to admit that she has been wrong and to indicate that her test doesn’t have a 100% accuracy rate. I couldn’t believe it. So, when I happily found out that we were having a boy, I called Granny to let her know. She was tickled pink. She said, “I knew it was a boy, I just didn’t want to hurt Lee’s feelings”.

Fast Forward to 3 days ago…
Lee and I had dinner with some friends. I love this time because I enjoy telling his friends the harassing and embarrassing things he tells me so that they can laugh at him. So, over dinner I begin to tell them how my husband comes to me a few days earlier to indicate that he thinks he has Lou Gehrig’s aka “ALS” disease. After laughing in hysteria for almost 10 minutes, I asked him what makes you think you have Lou Gehrig’s disease? He said, “I was researching on the web and I think I have the symptoms”. Now, here is an excerpt from an article off of WebMD that indicates what ALS is:

“Over a period of months or years, ALS causes increasing muscle weakness, inability to control movement, and problems with speaking, swallowing, and breathing. The first sign of ALS is usually slight weakness in one leg, one hand, the face, or the tongue. Other problems may include increasing clumsiness and difficulty performing tasks that require precise movements of the fingers and hands. Frequent muscle twitching may occur. The weakness slowly spreads to the arms and legs over a period of months or years. As the nerves continue to waste away and decrease in number, the muscle cells that would normally be stimulated by those nerves also start to waste away, and the muscles weaken.

It is important to remember that having muscle weakness, fatigue, stiffness, and twitching doesn’t necessarily mean that you have ALS.”

I asked Lee, how long have you been feeling this way, “about a week”. I said “Ok, you are now over 30, overweight and have no desire to workout, so could it just be that you are experiencing a fatigue with your weight?” He said “maybe”. So over dinner, I bring up the Lou Gehrig’s disease and everyone is laughing at him like he has two heads. Once the laughter dies down, the question again is asked why do you think you have Lou Gehrig’s disease. He answers, “When you are having a child, you start to think about your immortality and the pains in your body. You won’t think it’s funny if it comes back that I have it.” My husband is impossible. Please pray for me as I continue to document my path from “A Thomas Point of View.

Summary Note:  What’s weird is that he was feeling these problems and had self-diagnosed his own medical condition and we didn’t take it seriously. Fast forward to August of that year and he had multiple strokes and was diagnosed with a disease that causes his blood to thicken and create clots and lupus. He knew something was wrong with his body, but his doctor didn’t run tests to determine if something is wrong.

Please feel free to participate. Of course, there is no obligation! However, this is a great way to catch up any new followers to your blog and what made you start blogging, so I hope you’ll join in.  I nominate the following bloggers to participate:

KC Wise at Black.Bunched.Mass.Mom

Terry at Spearfruit

Michelle Malone at Two Are Better Than One

KE Garland at KE Garland

Ameena at Randoms By a Random

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Under Construction

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I recently read this great piece on Huffington Post entitled “My Stretch Marks Don’t Define Me” and I screamed “Yes”. I love the article. Mainly because the author was talking about how she loves and accepts her stretch marks and they don’t define the sum of who she is.

In the beginning, I felt that my body was still under construction. You know trying to lose the baby weight, get sleep, eat right and get back down to my pre-pregnancy size or smaller. Well that didn’t happen and six years later it is still under construction.

I lost weight my entire pregnancy and in the end I gained 15 pounds before they removed munch for medical reasons. I was sick. So, that cute mommy whose baby was eating off her fat cells the entire time she was pregnant was excited that I could actually eat normal again after delivery. However, no one told me that the pregnancy weight would redistribute. I had pockets of fat in other places.

Too weak to exercise and too tired to care about being smaller for the first 4 years of his life had me accepting my bigger figure. But, I wanted to be healthier. Make healthier choices with food. Be alive for him. I have no health issues and I wanted to keep it that way.

I made many life changes this last year and the weight and inches are coming off. My body is still under construction, but I’m not embarrassed by the imperfections. I don’t want surgery to fix the reminder of my struggle to conceive. I accept it and will work at being healthy in my own way. Naturally.

My stretch marks show the path to parenthood running from my stomach to the top of my (umm, let’s say Olivia Pope). They show the price I paid to be a parent. The white weirdly shaped lines show that I fed my son in my womb. They mark the immense pressure my body was under when I was pregnant. They remind me of the painful bursts of pain I experienced when my son sat on my sciatic nerve. They are beautiful and I love them. I accept them.

Many things about my body changed when I had a baby, but I don’t care. The only thing I’ve ever hoped for was bigger breasts and a smaller nose, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Wasn’t in the plans. My breasts grew big enough to nourish my son and then sadly went back down to their original size after nursing was done. But, even that doesn’t matter.

Why? Because I love my body just the way it is. Yep, I’m working out (not to be skinny) to be healthy, but my stretch marks won’t disappear. My breasts won’t grow (without surgery), my stomach will always bulge (unless I do liposuction), my thighs will still have cellulite and my incision will still be seen because of my C-section.

This body is and has been under construction for the last six years and it’s okay. Because you know what? I will still accept that I’m perfect just the way I am.

My 3 Rules

I read a great post on the Huffington Post entitled “The 3 Rules of My House” and laughed because I thought the author and I must be kindred spirits because I have 3 rules too. I had Munch reciting my household rules a couple of weeks ago. Not for punishment, but memorization and application.

When talking to other parents and adults we are often angered by the state of our youth today. Not having any manners, their lack of respect for technology, a complete disrespect for privacy, their completed disregard or concern about their own health or their future plans. All these frustrated topics were discussed and dissected in great detail that the only thing we could agree on was the fact that the state of our young people scares us. What is happening to them?

A couple of Saturdays ago, Munch was waiting patiently in the nail salon while I got my bi-weekly maintenance. Normally, he wouldn’t be there because I go when I don’t have him, but his dad being out of town kind of threw a wrench into my plans, but such is life. We got up that morning and I asked him did he want to eat breakfast at home or I would stop by McDonald’s as a treat for him being a good boy. He opted for McDonald’s. I grabbed the I-pad his headphones and headed to the golden arches before going to get my nails done.

Once in the salon, he ate his breakfast and watched his movies. He waited the entire 2.5 hours while I got the works and never complained. All the women were complimentary about his patience and behavior. I smiled and said, “Yep, he’s a good kid.”

So, my mood changed when 20 minutes later a couple of young women (guessing their ages were between 16 and 20) walked in and yelled, “How long for a full set?” I cringed and looked at my nail technician and said, “Wow, no good morning? How about rephrasing and asking….Good morning, may I please inquire as to how long it will take for a full set?” She laughed and said, “T, that’s all day every day. Some of these young women just walk in her and start cursing up a storm that I have to remind them that this is a place of business and we don’t talk like that in this establishment.”

I was floored. Why are these young people being so disrespectful? Do they not have any home training? What do their parents think of their behavior? I said, “When I was growing up, my momma had many rules but only two ever stuck out: 1. Never, ever embarrass me and 2. A lady never gets drunk in public. She gets drunk in the privacy of her own home.” She laughed and said, “I know that’s right girl!” I said, even now I only have 3 rules for my house. I said, “Munch, come here please.” Munch walks over. I said, “Munch, what is the number one rule for mommy’s house?” He smiled and replied, “Don’t embarrass mommy.” I said, “Thank you love.” She said, “Wow, I like that.”

Reading the article prompted me to share the three rules of my house:

  1. Don’t embarrass mommy. This is an all-inclusive, mega statement that applies to everything you do from the minute you wake up to the day you die. Don’t embarrass mommy. I know that you will go through things that will make your choices seem difficult. Many questions such as:
  • Should I skip school?
  • Should I try drugs?
  • What about pre-marital sex?
  • What about cheating on a test?
  • My parents won’t know if I lie, that’s easier than telling the truth, what should I do?

I get it. You will have a lot of choices thrown at you, but remember that all your choices are designed with one thought in mind…not embarrassing mommy. Your choices should seem easier if you answer them with that thought at your fore-front. I know. I’ve been there. I can thankfully say that I have never embarrassed my mommy.

  1. Don’t run in traffic. Yes, it seems that this shouldn’t be a rule that will follow him until adulthood, but it will. It’s a continuation of rule number 1. When you’re young, I don’t want you letting go of your parent’s hands and running into traffic. Traffic is dangerous. We want you to hold our hands until you no longer feel the need to be led by us (which hopefully will be until you graduate from high school – but I know that may be weird for you). Traffic is dangerous and I want you to stay out of traffic. Traffic is where you go once you’ve been licensed by the state as a safe driver and can operate a vehicle that will hopefully protect you when you let go of my hand. Traffic is not to be played with and we don’t run in traffic.
  2. Give thanks. In all that you do, you need to give thanks. Have an attitude of gratitude. Things won’t go your way, such is life, but you should still give thanks. Thanks for being able to have a roof over your head and clothes on your back. Thanks that you have food to eat when you open the fridge and that if you want to buy lunch, your parents can afford to put money on your school lunch account. Thanks that you have two bedrooms, with two tv’s and two dvd players and a whole lot of Disney DVD’s. Thanks that you have parents that love and adore you more than their own lives. Thanks that we want you active and healthy which is why we put you in sports. Thanks that we try to enrich your life by teaching you French, taking you to museums, vacations and beaches. Thanks to your many aunts and uncles who adore you and listen to mommy blog about you all day long. The same aunts and uncles that love you as though you were their own. The same ones that sent you a beautiful children’s Bible from Paris in French so you could read it and translate it to your parents.  In all things give thanks. Never forget that.

Three rules. Simple and easy to remember. I want munch to have an attitude of gratitude and respect for human kind. I want him to open his mouth and say Good Morning and thank you sir to those who he comes in contact with. I want him to grow up the way most of us grew up. With respect and appreciation for everything.

Camp Chronicles: A Bullying Moment

Brennan is attending a new summer camp this year with more activities and less money than his daycare.  We decided on this camp because we liked the philosophy, price and of course the staff that run the camp.  Brennan is not alone because he has his god brother, Reilly, who attends the camp with him.  Reilly is a year older and this is his second year at the camp.  While I knew that change is always difficult and frustrating for Brennan, he has immersed himself into camp with a confident spirit.  For that I am happy.  
However, that happiness was short lived.  Last week he experienced his first bullying episode.  Brennan said, “Mommy, some kids at camp are saying I’m pregnant.” He lifted up his shirt and said, “But mommy I’m not pregnant. Look there is no baby in my belly”. I had to catch myself from “going off” out of anger. I was sitting here in agony over the fact that my baby boy was experiencing his first bullying episode and I wasn’t ready.  I know that violence begets violence and bullying should be handled through non-violent means, but wasn’t he too young to be going through this?  I could feel my son’s concern over their words in my spirit and I knew he was hurting.
So, I told him to scream at them in their face at the top of his lungs.  I told him to scream: “That is not nice and you have bad manners!” and let the teachers know when they say something like that to him.  I promised him that I would handle it.  The next day I talked to the camp’s Director with Brennan and he was understandably concerned and promised to address it directly with the children immediately.  I explained to him that I understand that children would get teased, but this is ridiculous and questioned whether I should I have to teach my six year old how to “joan” on the other kids? (Joaning is when you make fun of someone.  It’s an urban term similar to playing the dozens)
But, how do you teach a six year old how to play the dozens or to joan on someone to try and hurt their feelings and embarrass them?  Was I perpetuating the cycle of creating a bully while disguising it under teaching him how to fight back with words instead of his fists?  This was both puzzling and perplexing to me.  Brennan’s dad and I differed on how bullying would be handled, but I wasn’t ready to teach my son bad habits that could in effect change his life.  I have always had a plan on how Brennan would defend himself, but I never thought I would need to do it this soon.  My plan has always been to put him in martial arts and allow him to take boxing at the age of 9.  I want him to understand that violence is never the answer unless there are no more options, but am I wrong?  The Director replied, “No” and assured me that he would handle it. 
I started to seek advice of men who had boys to gauge their thoughts around bullying and one parent told me, “I have resounded myself to the fact that I will have to stay home a few days because I told my son to fight back if someone puts their hands on him.”  I teach him that “you punch the bully in his face and even if he beats you up, he won’t punch you in the face anymore.” He told me that, “You have to address aggression with aggression sometimes to avoid further conflict.   That is why wars work sometimes.”  He further went on to say that “I learned that you can be nice but you also have to have a mean streak because there are mean people in the world so you tell him to say that they are mean, but he can’t cry. He can’t whimper.” He was the one to tell me that Brennan may have to learn how to joan on people to keep them off of him. That piece of advice moved me into thinking maybe I need to teach my son how to adapt in the community in which he is a part of.  Survival of the fittest and such.

But, I can honestly say that I am lost.  I don’t know what to do.  I wake up every day kissing my son telling him that he needs to rise and shine and give God the glory.  I tickle him, kiss him and tell him I am proud of who he is just because he opened his eyes.  I struggle with this bullying epidemic that has affected our society.  It breaks my heart to hear stories of children who are committing suicide because they are being bullied and it broke my heart to hear the story of the child that killed his bully a couple of weeks ago because he was tired of being a victim.  I don’t want my son in either of those situations.  I just pray that we get serious with ways to combat and avert this bullying crisis and not just tell kids to toughen up or say that kids will be kids.