To My Best Friend Who Just Had A Baby

Featured

You, my best friend, had a baby on Friday! She’s tiny, gorgeous, and perfectly healthy. A new life born to do good, bad and everything in between. You are one more in a string of friends that have recently had babies. Everywhere I go, I am surrounded by adorable pictures of adorable kids doing adorable things.

Outside I coo and I make cute noises and I could just eat up every single one of them. I snuggle the few I’m allowed to see. They are each beautiful in their own unique ways.

Inside I cry, I rage, and I beat the hell out of myself for not doing this thing that is the epitome of womanhood. I can already feel you drifting away from me. It started with you telling me not to come see you at the hospital and then not to visit until you are “ready.”

I get it. You want some private time with the new love of your life. You want grandmom and grand-pop to come and snuggle her up and make her laugh. You want close family to come and adore this life you created and celebrate with you and your husband. The same husband who STILL did not build the crib for her (I seriously want to hit him for that). She’s been alive barely two days and already you are so in love you can’t imagine life without her. I get it. I really do.

But I miss you. I miss our long talks, and our laughter, and our friendship. I miss being able to call you up and get and give comfort. I miss our passion and our absolute faith in God. Did you know I’m struggling right now to know if what I believe is true? How could you? We barely see each other as both of us settled into our careers, me a Social Worker, and you one of the best damn middle school History teachers out there.

I miss all of my friends that have joined the Sisterhood of Motherhood. It is a club I am excluded from. And I am so happy you got in because you wanted this for so long. But I wish I was there too. I wish we could have our kids grow up together and marvel at all the small miracles like when they first roll over, or crawl, or walk, or say that first precious word. But the door has been firmly shut in my face by friend, after friend, after friend and even a few family members. It’s not that you shut the door unkindly. It is just a space I don’t belong and can’t understand because I am not a mother.

So congratulations my dear friend. I am so thrilled about the journey you and your husband are now on. I will miss you but should you need me, I will come running. After all, that is what best friends are for.

 

toes

Christmas Thoughts

Merry and Bright
Lots of beautiful lights
Smiles, giggles, and a few tears
For family seen and those we wish were still here.
Mountains of cookies, pies, and cakes too
Sometimes the house looks like a zoo

But remember as you celebrate this blessed day
The one who came to take your sins away.
A boy in a manger, naked and bare
Born to show the world that God really cared
The greatest gift you’ll ever receive
Isn’t in a box on Christmas Eve

So eat a cookie, sing a song,
And don’t forget His love, all the year long.
~Jenny Hansen 2021 “Christmas Thoughts”

Time-A Poem

Time my dear
Is a precious thing
Whether you’re happy or sad
Having great times
Or the worst period of your life
It just keeps marching on
Unaware of your desire to hold still
And pause until things are better,
You have more money,
Or you are less busy
So take the time
To make the time
To love those closest to you
With every minute of every hour of every day

Goodbye and Good Riddance

WARNING: This post is about sensitive lady part stuff. If you are easily grossed out or would rather read about kittens or puppies, this post is not for you. However if you do find a good puppy or kitten blog, please send it to me as I love both.

So on October 28th, 2021 barring the apocalypse, I will be saying goodbye to my uterus and potentially my lady balls (ovaries). They are being removed because after multiple years of painful endometriosis and adenomyosis, bathtubs full of blood for weeks at a time (one time my husband walked in and almost passed out), going through enough menstrual pads and tampons to supply the entire continent four times over, a doctor has FINALLY heard my cries for help and is taking the evil thing out.

You would think I would be happy and overjoyed. And part of me is. But a teeny tiny smaller part of me is crushed and grieving. I always wanted to have my own kids in the traditional way. But due to multiple problems (see above) and just financial struggles it has never happened. And now, after this surgery, it will be physically impossible to happen. I know I am too old and too fat to have a normal pregnancy not to mention being on a lot of medications for physical and mental health problems. But still…

My one cousin had twins about 2 years ago. Her sister is currently pregnant with her own twins and has a three year old. It was supposed to be triplets but that is a heartbreaking story unto itself. My other cousin has 4 children and her brother has a 2 year old and his wife is pregnant. My oldest cousin on that side has a son who is going to be I think 6 this year. Then if you move to the other side of the family there are more cousins with more children. 99% of my friends have children.

For years I endured questions about when we were going to have kids, were we trying, when was it going to be our turn. Well none of your business nosy Nancy. Leave us alone. Please don’t pressure women into having babies. If they can’t, it’s a painful question and even if they can, maybe they are not ready. Things don’t always just magically work out like the movies. If they did I would be skinny, a church leader, and a professional author with two kids and a golden retriever and my house would be paid off by now.

I work with children every day through work and I love it. I enjoy interacting with my nieces and nephews (when I get to see them) but except for my husband’s sister’s kids and my brother’s daughter I don’t get to see many of the kids because I am not in “the circle of safe people” for most of my friends and family. Anyway, my point is that working with kids and seeing kids, even weekly, is not the same as living with them, snuggling them and protecting them from the world. Other kids can like you and enjoy spending time with you, but when they get hurt, they will call for their favorite parent or caregiver every single time (as they should).

A lot of people have made me feel as if I was a failure because I did not have children and that hurts. I feel like I got left out of some special women’s club that includes all the moms out there and that also hurts. And now I know I will never be in that club.

People have told me to adopt or engage in foster care but our state has placed a hold on training new foster parents and adoption is ridiculously expensive (a child would cost more than my current mortgage on my home).

So in exactly 3 weeks I will lose what supposedly makes a woman unique and special. But my husband reminds me that I am special to him. And he hugs me and holds me when I cry about this and then he makes me laugh because he always can and I am supremely grateful for this.

So I just want to say to all the women who have lost babies, can’t have babies, don’t want to have babies, you are still important and special. Having babies is not our soul purpose of existence. I am trying to believe this for myself and I hope you do too.

Hugs for all ❤

LOVE YOUR WHOLE SELF

What good is a size 2
When all that you do
Is obsess about the gym and your food

What good is skinny
When you haven’t any
Friends because you drove them away

What good is thin
Now that you’re in
Way over your head and drowning

What good is low cal bread
When you’re heart is dead
And your soul has withered dry

Love the chocolate
Love the curves
Live the life you know you deserve

Be healthy
Be wise
Awaken the beauty you know is inside

~Jenny Hansen

Overwhelmed

These past two months have been really rough so much so that I feel like I am a numb husk of myself. Currently I am what you would call a functional depressed person in that I can go to work and get a shower, but still spend inordinate amounts of time trying to avoid thinking or feeling anything at all. I have read a ton of books and played hours of video games all in an effort to not feel.

My grandmother (who is everything to me) had to move to Texas to live with my aunt because she developed dementia and kept wandering around the neighborhood and getting lost while only wearing her PJ’s and a blanket. She’s 91 so I guess should not have been surprised, but my grandmom was always so feisty that it never really occurred to me that this would happen. The last time I saw her she looked her age which has never really happened before.

So she finally got to Texas and was doing well. She went from being on 15 meds to only 5 and she was so happy. The last time I spoke with her on the phone she sounded like her old self and said she was getting involved in a church down there and had made some friends. My other aunt who lives up my way said she was doing so well that she eventually might be able to stop using her walker and that she was not hunched over anymore.

Two days later I get a text that says my grandmom had a heart attack. Then a UTI. Today they are checking her for a stroke. One of her heart arteries was 99% blocked. She was given Fentanyl for the surgery and since then she has been combative and aggressive towards everyone treating her. I’m hoping this wears off and she can get back to herself but I just have a very bad gut feeling.

So I got into grad school (AGAIN) this time for Child Advocacy which is a much cheaper goal to get me sorta where I want to be. I thought I would be excited but I just feel numb.

Last week I found out I need a hysterectomy because my stupid lady parts have never worked right and apparently never will. I get to keep my ovaries so I told my husband that I am turning into a boy because all I’ll have left is some balls. He hugged me and told me I am always all woman to him no matter what.

I’m not so sad about the surgery itself but it’s the final official closing of the door on me ever having my own child and that is what I am struggling with. I mean the likelihood of me ever being able to carry a baby full term was minimal but it kinda always felt like an option. I’m due to have surgery on August 27th and I’m debating whether I should or should not delay school one more year because it starts the first week of September and you can only start this program in September.

There are so many things flying around right now that I can’t think, I can’t concentrate, I can’t even cry (which for anyone who really knows me, this is totally not normal as I cry at Hallmark cards). I saw my therapist and even she did not know what to say except she felt so bad for me.

If you are the praying type please send some prayers up for me so I can make the right decisions and get through the mess that is my life.

Branding Yourself

So I’ve been hearing about this concept lately called Branding. The idea is that your turn yourself into a marketable “brand” that people will want to have. If this is not a new concept, sorry I’ve missed the boat until now.

So I was thinking about what my brand would be. How would I market myself into something the world would like? Then I thought, why do I care? Who do I have anything to prove something to? Who came up with this idea? Can I go punch them in the nose.

Then I realized that this would be a fun writing exercise and no longer wanted to hit someone. So here goes my “brand.”

Brand Name: Love and Light International

Mission: To bring love, light, and hope to all the people I encounter, regardless of when and where.

Sales Projections: Financially, this brand will never be a Fortune 500 company, but they are generous with their time and resources.

Special Skills of this Brand:
Two ears to listen and not judge.
One mouth to bring hope and encouragement.
Arms and hands to hug (with permission of course)
Faith that guides me to care more about others than myself
A degree in Psychology that is occasionally useful
Life Experience and Being an Empath

Areas Still Being Worked On:
Creating boundaries with others
Empowering versus saving others

I know that this was kinda corny but I actually enjoyed it. So what do you think of my “brand”? Is it reasonable? Would you want to “hire” or buy me if I was a product? Thanks for reading!!

An Old Poem I Wrote

Prayers are wishes
Thrown to the Almighty above
Asking for things
We shall never know

Wisdom, peace, knowledge
These are all fleeting
On a planet
Condemned long ago

Love does not exist
Without pain to coincide
Nor grace
Without condemnation preceding

Have faith whispers the masses
As they ignore the broken souls
They trample on Each and every day

Just believe
Thunders the man behind the pulpit
Ignoring the reality
Beyond the stained glass doors

What if instead of service
Predictable and sure
We took the hour to really listen
And be honest before friends and God

How many pews would we fill
How much money in the plate
If we allowed the Spirit to lead
Instead of the charlatan.

Jenny Hansen
Originally Written 05-04-13

Leftovers

For years I’ve had this terrible habit. I will go to a party, a family gathering, or somewhere that involves food and people. I laugh, I eat, I have a good time….and then I take home leftovers.

Even when I know there is too much for my husband or I to eat, I take it home. Even when people say, oh I’ll just throw this out…I just can’t let it happen. So we break out the paper plates or if its a best friend or family member you might get lucky and get Tupperware or an old plastic container that used to hold grated cheese or something else when the person is tired of having to replace their Tupperware or Rubbermaid.

I come home and plop it in the refrigerator. And it sits there…..and sits there……and sits there until it becomes moldy or old or smells funny. Then I throw it out. Sometimes I will eat part of it, especially if it was a really good dish or dessert. But almost never the whole thing.

So after recently throwing yet another something away, I started to think about why I do this knowing 9 times out of 10 I will not finish or ever eat this food. And I think I had a kind of AH-HA moment.

I keep the food because I want to keep the moment. I want to savor the happiness, the comfort, the essence of that day, that event. I want to keep it close and that is sometimes why I take but do not eat. I also think this may be why dessert has a higher chance of getting eaten (aside from I’m a fat kid who loves cake). Dessert usually involves sugar or sweetness and that usually makes you happy.

So thank you for listening to my little revelation for the day. Also I may not always eat the food but I ALWAYS return the container 🙂

Today Was One Of Those Days

Everyone has a bad day at work every now and then. You cry, you scream, watch a movie, play a video game, pet your cat, and move on. Bad days come and go and sometimes you can even laugh about them.

Then there are the days that make you question why you are in this field and if you actually have any faith left in humanity anymore. Today was one of those days.

This week has been crisis after crisis. Then I get a new referral for a family. And it’s a doozy. I can’t share details for obvious reasons (HIPPA Privacy Laws and wanting to keep my job and all that). But this family knocked me on my ass, ripped out my heart, stomped on it a few times, and left me totally speechless and crying for all the pain they have been through.

I don’t understand how human beings can be so cruel to one another. I really don’t get it. Then they drag their children through their mess not caring about the damage they are doing. It is so unconscionable. The damage done as a child can have long lasting effects. It can literally change the way the brain operates in the future and not in a good way. I can personally attest to this.

Please pray for this family tonight. I can’t give any details but just pray for comfort, healing, and peace. Also pray that I can hold myself together enough to be of use to this family and that I will have the right words they need to hear.

The People/Personalities In My Head

Raven is what I have called my dark side, my depressive, downcast and miserable self. I picture her as my emo self back in high school.

Mia is my over the top, angry, excitable girl who flies off the handle at everything. She is my Taurus and stubborn Irish side. I picture her as an overweight, red headed cutie that others love to be around until she flies off the handle.

Harmony is the side that tries to keep it all in balance. She is my rational side. She is hard to access but when I can, she is really helpful. Sometimes friends and family have to remind me she’s still there. I picture her as kind of a hippie with long flowing clothes that have flowers, wears a flower crown and is gentle to all. She is my peaceful side.

Little Jenny is my true heart and center. She is the one that still hopes and dreams and refuses to let her little light die. I picture her as a cherubic child wearing a white little dress like you would see a flower girl wear to a wedding. She has curly hair, and there are little bells on her dress that tinkle as she moves. She is pure love and light. She is the hardest to access because she is usually buried under all the worries, concerns, and anger I sometimes feel. But when I do access her, WOW! Meditation and Yoga tend to help me get to her.

It helps me to categorize these feelings and moods as other people because I always feel I can help other people. So if I’m having a bad day, then I can say Oh that’s just Raven again. Raven basically was responsible for my last blog post. But I can help Raven by accessing other “people” or parts of myself.

I know this sounds weird but I have been trying to explain my head to other people and why I feel the way I do and this is the best way to get it across.

I had breakfast with a friend yesterday and I took a day off work and it definitely helped. My doc also upped my sleep meds so I got a decent night’s sleep which also helped. Hopefully Raven can take a nap soon so that I can concentrate better at work and stop being so miserable.

Sending you all love and the light of God. ❤