Made of Gray

L & Q's

Holly D Gray8 Comments
There really isn't much to post until we see the surgeon tomorrow, but I had time to post about something that's been bothering me lately. Here it goes.....

The looks, the stares of pity and questions we receive when we take Caleigh out in public........

It gets to me, why? We really don't take her anywhere. The hospital, the doctors office and to the gardens that one time. In Pitt it was the same way in the hotel, the walk to and from the hospital. Why? It all starts with the pity stare and I can see it coming. I cringe and wait for the next step. Sometimes I don't make eye contact, sometimes I try an acknowledging smile. Either way the questions begin. How old is your baby? I feel like curling up in a ball because at this point I know that a long explanation of things awaits. When I say 9 mths........the look on their face is usually priceless...... "but she's so small" and then it's on..... I have to explain the prematurity, the tubes, the oxygen, the everything. Why does this bother me so? Maybe I feel like summarizing the past year of our lives to a complete stranger who doesn't really care, but just seems to be curious about 'the baby with tubes;' is a total waste of my time and Caleigh's. I journal here on the blog about our struggles and triumphs. Maybe I should just hand out cards with the blog's address and say here......read about our year!

Human curiosity is an amazing thing and I'm not one to say that I am above it because I'm not. If there is something or someone that is different I can tell you that I am interested. Before Caleigh, I would have been that person.....smiling lovingly at your baby and asking "how old?" Now that Caleigh is in our lives I look at people in a different light. I'm still interested but I have self control. I know how it feels to go somewhere and get asked by 5 different people the same question, and of course how it feels to get the sympathetic looks by everyone that walks by. I'm not saying this is how every parent of a special needs child feels, but this is how I feel at this moment. Maybe Caleigh's condition is still hard for me to talk about. Shocking.....I know. I'm able to write so much better than talking about it. I can explain the medical stuff like it is coming straight from a book. No problem. I can talk to family, friends and doctors about it. Still NO problem. But throw a complete stranger in the mix, and I feel like a fish out of water, uncomfortable when telling someone our story. Maybe they will judge us? Maybe they think we aren't doing a good job? When typing my posts, the thoughts are in my head. I go over them and over them as I type. With verbal words the thoughts seem to run together and my emotions get in the way. And then, all your left with is a babbling, blubbering mommy. I don't like the feeling, I don't like to talk about it...... ugh.

Maybe it's upsetting because I know that one day Caleigh will understand why people stare at her. Even if she doesn't have the tubes and lines anymore, there will be scars and differences. I don't want her to experience what we feel every time we leave the house. There will always be scars and curious people. Our job as Caleigh's parents is to fade those scars and build a beautiful, strong girl. Protecting our baby is a full time job no matter what it is that we are shielding her from.

If your still reading this, bless you, you are a devoted reader & friend.

So I guess what I am ultimately whining about here is that we don't need pity. We need strength and prayers..........

Hopefully, tomorrow's family outing will be a quite and peaceful one. Possibly without the looks or questions, but maybe tomorrow I will be more comfortable it.......maybe.

Edit: I had just published this post and was getting ready for bed when it hit me. I was taking Caleigh's blood pressure, giving her midnight meds, adding milk to her feeding pump, and putting her nasal canula back in her nose (she keeps pulling it out) when I realized that I am so uncomfortable with everything because this is new. New to us in every sense. We didn't grow up special needs. Eric and I grew up normal, as normal as small town Texas can get. You blend in and nothing stands out. In other words, I'm not used to being the one that everybody looks at as different. Being different is tough, but being different is a blessing.

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