Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas


I’m a fucking wreck.  My husband came to pick up my son for little while today so his family could see him for Christmas.

I’ve been crying since yesterday thinking about being apart from him.

It’s only been 11 days since he was born.  Being separated from him is the worst kind of torture imaginable.  It’s my son’s first Christmas, and I can honestly say it’s one of the worst Christmases I’ve ever had.

I’m looking out my window, the same window I used to stare out of when I was younger.  The sun comes and goes, and the bare branches on the trees match how empty I feel without being able to look into his eyes.

I don’t care that my husband is his father.  I want[ed] to work things out.  It’s not my fault he’s not around.  If I had my way we would all be together.  I carried Brandon for 9 months.  I took care of myself while I did it.  Now Brandon’s here and after months of what seemed like pretending that there was no baby, I’m supposed to share him willfully?

It’s only been 11 days.  I had surgery.  Did I not deserve a chance to rest before this?  It should be him that tells me for sure what he wants, since he was the one so adamant about “waiting to see until the baby comes.”  Reality is he won’t say a fucking word.  So I’m going to have to.  And I guess I’m going to have to do it now.  Because I can’t take this.  I can’t take the not knowing.

I’m so confused about everything.  I’m learning how to be a mom.  I mean, for me, it actually did come naturally, as far as practical things go.  But the amount of love I have for Brandon is something that I can hardly control.  I have to learn how to feel this, and how to leave room in my heart for someone else (new?).

I’m confused about love.  I have felt real hatred towards my husband over the past few months.  I have felt sorry for him too.  I have missed him.  I have missed perhaps not him, but just companionship.  I know how alone I was/felt when we were together.  And when everything that eventually split us up went down, I didn’t know I was pregnant.  If I had known, things would’ve been different.  Because the kind of alone I feel now without my son is worse than anything I have ever felt.  Like someone asked to borrow my vital organs for awhile.  And I would have dealt with the aloneness with my husband, to never have to experience what I’m going through now.

Is that fair or good?  Probably not.  But I would have tried.

I’m confused about the reckless, emotional, person I met so many years ago.  The boy that hurt me, that I hurt, but that I couldn’t shake no matter how hard I tried.  I think about how he first told me he loved me.  I think about how he has cried in front of me.  Has cried to me.  I think about how when things were good, how good they really were.  I think about making love to him and laughing laughing laughing the whole way through.  Probably one of the happiest memories in my lifetime. 

I don’t know now though.  I also think about how things had changed.  How he never came to me anymore.  How he never seemed happy to see me.  How we so rarely touched each other let alone made love.  How often I ate and slept alone.

(I just put my hand to my face, and I smelled my son on my hand.  Please God let today move quickly.)

And I don’t want to be alone like that ever again.  And I don’t want to go through the motions just because it’s easier.  I want to be kissed and touched by someone who wants to kiss and touch me.  I want to cook for someone that appreciates it.  I want to know that when I go to bed at night, there will be someone there to hold me.  Or fight with me, even.  Just acknowledge me. 

I want to watch Game of Thrones with someone, and The Walking Dead.  I want to have a person to go to the movies with.  I want someone who doesn’t think it’s silly that I [still] write poems.  I want someone that wants me to be happy.  That believes in the search for happiness above all other things, including how things appear to others.  I would like money and “things” of course, because I’m a human and I’m entirely willing to admit that I get jealous when I see other people with things I don’t/can’t have, but when it comes down to it, I cried for days leaving my old, tiny, broken-down one bedroom apartment to come live with my parents.  I still close my eyes and dream of my old kitchen.  And I would give anything to be back there now, taking care of my baby in my own place.

I miss Chester too, second after my darling baby.  I miss my family.

It’s hard though.  With the baby.  I am alone in that no matter how I look at it.  If I’m with a different man, he did not get me pregnant.  The baby is not his responsibility.  Especially if my husband is still somewhat in the picture.  It’s complicated, and uncomfortable, and all I really want is what’s best for my son.

And I just don’t know right now if that is the stability of keeping our family together, or trying to establish a new (stronger?) relationship with someone else.  Not that the choice is all mine, or mine at all.  It’s really up to my husband whether or not he wants to work things out.  At least, originally, that’s what it was.  He knows that what I originally wanted was to stay together.  That was because I changed the second I heard my son’s heart beating.  I wanted to remain a family.  I have never lived under the delusion that things are perfect all the time.  Problems, even big ones, don’t equal divorce for me.  They are just problems, like everyone has (and anyone who says otherwise is lying, perhaps to themselves more than anyone else).  We didn’t try for a baby to fix things, he just happened.  Kind of under a miraculous series of events, too.  And I’m big on signs. 

When I look at my Brandon, I honestly can’t begin to describe the things I would give up for his sake.  Including, perhaps, the chance to be kissed by someone who wants to kiss me, held by someone who doesn’t want to let me go.

Just so that there is never a morning that I can’t kiss my son.  So there is never an evening that I can’t tuck him in and tell him I love him.

But I’m good at reading situations.  In fact, this exact situation I’m in I predicted back in June.  So, I don’t think we’ll be “working things out.”  I think I have to start coming to terms with this awful mess.

On top of trying to decide: look for a new job, or stay at my current one?  I really like my current job.  I want to stay there.  I like my boss.  I’m close to home.  But I need to make more money.  For my son and for myself.  I need health insurance.  (Assuming I’m getting a divorce.  At least I know Brandon is still covered by his dad.)

I think I’m going to look for a new job and see what happens.  In the meantime, plan on returning to my current job at the end of my leave and see what I can arrange to make more money.  On top of my [hopeful] promotion.

Then I have to look for a new home for Brandon and I.  A place to call our own.  Where I don’t feel like I have to constantly run around and pick up all his things.  I want to live comfortably, in a young home where my son can spread out and play all over.

All I know now, is that I am completely overwhelmed.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Baby


So I haven’t written in quite some time.  Not since before my last prenatal checkup.  Mostly this is because I had my baby.  (!!)

This is a long entry about the birth.

Not this past Monday, but last, December 10, was my due date.  I went for an appointment to see one of the doctors at my practice.  He examined me and said there was a definite change from the previous week.  The baby was lower, and I was dilated even more.  As he had instructed the previous week, I called the hospital to schedule a biophysical profile, which is a test they do when you are overdue in your pregnancy to make sure that it is safe to leave the baby inside without inducing.  When I had called, they gave me an appointment for Friday the 14th.  I told my doctor and he said he wanted me to go sooner, so he called the hospital himself and had them take me in immediately.

So I go to the hospital and, to make it short, the women at the office gave me such a hard time about me being there; about how I was only full-term as of that day and other such nonsense.  Which is crazy, because it’s not like I took it upon myself to show up; my doctor had told me to go.  He saw some calcification of the placenta, and most importantly, was concerned about the baby being much too big for me.

So finally, after a good long argument with the girls at the desk in the hospital, I was let in for my appointment.  They said everything looked good and the estimated fetal weight was 6 lbs ¾ oz.  So then the ultrasound technician said that the baby was actually “small” and just big for me (ridiculous…I know so many babies born less than 7 pounds).

So, I took what I could from it; the baby was healthy, I was still healthy, and what did it matter anyway, I wasn’t in labor.

So, as I’m driving home from the hospital, I receive a call from my doctor, not the one I had just seen, but my regular doctor.  He said he spoke with the hospital about my results, and that he and the other doctor spoke with each other and decided that if I didn’t go into labor during the week, they were going to induce me that coming Saturday, because they were still concerned about the baby’s size, regardless of what the hospital said.  My doctor said he was going to be there on Saturday evening, so he would be there to get the induction started.  He asked that when I go in, to tell them my due date was 12/9 instead of 12/10 because he “didn’t want to hear it from them.”  (He was assuming that if the induction would start on Saturday night, I would have the baby by Sunday night at the earliest, and if I told them my due date was the previous Sunday, that would mean I would give birth at 41 weeks which is more desirable to the hospital.)  It’s stupid though, because I’ve been his patient for so long; he would obviously know what’s best for me as opposed to the hospital, and I can’t get over people just obsessed with keeping women pregnant when there is no unhealthy reason to induce.

Anyway, I was happy, in that as uncomfortable as I was, there was an actual light at the end of the tunnel.  No matter what happened, I was going to have a baby within the week.

So for the next few days things moved as usual.  I was uncomfortable.  I had my periodic, painful, but otherwise seemingly useless contractions.  Tuesday evening my sister and brother-in-law came by to hang out for a little while, and to have dinner.  While they were here, I noticed my contractions become noticeably stronger, and more frequent, maybe about 20 minutes apart.  They left, and I spent an uncomfortable night and the next day, with the contractions getting closer and closer together.

I went to bed on Wednesday night but didn’t sleep.  Instead my contractions became so close together and so painful that I couldn’t even sleep through them.  I was also bleeding.  By 4:30 am on Thursday morning, I called my doctor’s office.  My doctor called me back and said something was definitely starting; he asked how long I could labor at home.  I told him I wasn’t sure I could for much longer, and that’s why I called.  The hospital is also not exactly super close to my house.  So he told me to come in, get looked at, and worse comes to worse they send me home.

I woke my parents and told them we had to go, I jumped in the shower, got my stuff together, and headed out the door, not without hugging Chester through tears.  On the ride there, I called both my husband and my sister to let them know the time had most likely come.

By the time I got in to the triage area the pain was really bad.  When I was examined, I was contracting regularly and dilated 4 cm, so I was admitted and “officially” in labor. 
They immediately hooked me up to the IV so that I could get started on the epidural sooner rather than later.

Basically everything went haywire from there.  I received the epidural, but all I am left to assume is that it was placed incorrectly.

I don’t even feel like going through the rest of this detail by detail.  All I can say is that I had to ask repeatedly for the epidural to be topped off/moved/etc., (they only ever topped it off) but it never really took.  When I would ask for it, the pain would be creeping up slowly, and it would take a good hour or so for the anesthesiologist to show up to top it off.  At one point he asked if I felt a cold sensation when he was administering a top off, and told him I didn’t.  So, he walked away.  I asked Jen, “Did he not hear that I said I couldn’t feel it?”  It’s a blind procedure, so they have to go by what the patient says.  Also, when I first had the epidural inserted, they told me that where I felt the cold sensation helped them to determine whether or not it was placed correctly.

So basically, that lasted the entire 20-something hours of my labor, me basically feeling everything, except my legs.

At one point my nurse came in and TURNED OFF my Pitocin drip, which had been given to me to help my contractions get stronger and closer together.  She said hastily that she was the only nurse on the floor and she can’t watch everyone.  So she came in and snapped it off.  My doctor walked in shortly thereafter and when he saw the Pitocin level and we told him what happened, he stormed out of the room without a word.  Later on, when I was almost through with labor, he came in to apologize profusely that the Pitocin hadn’t been administered at faster rate, and that it had been turned off.  He was about to go into a c-section, and had been working for an ungodly amount of hours, so he wasn’t going to be able to deliver my baby after he was out.

I ended up with the female doctor in the practice.  When it was all said and done I pushed for 3 hours.  I was fully dilated, (at one point there was a “cervical lip” in the way but even that was gone after awhile) but then they decided I needed a c-section, not because I wasn’t dilated or progressing, but because my pelvic bone wasn’t big enough to allow the baby to pass through (which is crazy…because my pelvic bone is a bone…it wasn’t going to change with how far my labor progressed; that was something that should have been addressed much earlier).  I ended up with a 101 fever that lasted for hours.  And the two other doctors did try to address it; but the one that ended up delivering the baby was insistent.  I wanted more than anything to have my baby vaginally.  For many reasons: practical, emotional, and otherwise.  But at that point I hadn’t eaten or drank anything in a day, and since I had been pushing, I had them turn down the epidural so I could feel myself push.  My doctor decided suddenly to bring me in for a c-section, after over an hour of the epidural being off.  I was fully dilated and desperate to push the baby out, but was told to stop.

I’m not even going to talk about the c-section itself.  I remember the prep; I remember some of what was said.  I remember hearing the baby cry.  I really came to when the baby was brought to me, and I kissed him, and pressed my face against his, and I told him I was his mommy and that I loved him more than anything.  Then they took him from me, and put me out completely to stitch me up.  He was born at 4:26 am on Friday, December 14.

I woke up in recovery, and my doctor came by to say everything was fine.  I remember my husband saying that he was leaving the hospital and would be back.  I must have passed out again, because the next thing I remember is a nurse asking me if my husband was coming back because he needed to handle the cord blood banking right away.

I remember feeling confused and angry that she would even ask me; why not ask my husband to do it before he left earlier?  I called him but couldn’t get through.  I asked where I was, what time it was; I was told I couldn’t leave recovery until I could bend my knees and lift my hips on my own. 

Once I finally got to the maternity ward I was dying of thirst and had to fight for 5 ice chips.  I was told my baby was in the NICU because of the fever I had while I was in labor, and that when he was first born there was an issue in which he stopped breathing and turned blue.  Then I was told I couldn’t see him until I could “get myself to the NICU.”

In bed all day Friday I struggled to move each joint in a desperate attempt to get out of bed to see my baby.  They got me sitting in a chair by the end of the night, but by the next morning I was bedridden again because I had lost too much blood and needed a transfusion.

I managed to get up there in a wheelchair to see him, but I couldn’t hold him.

Finally by Sunday I was able to hold him and feed him.  I was released on Monday morning, and waiting around all day for him to be discharged as well.

The whole time I was in the hospital I would ask for pain medication and they would bring it to me 2 hours after I would ask for it.  At one point I asked to see my doctor and I was asked, “Why?”

By the time I left, I was so swollen from having the IV on for days and days that I couldn’t walk.  I still can’t get up stairs without using both my hands to pull myself up, so there is no way I can carry the baby.  I’ve basically been living off the couch.  Trying desperately to keep it together.

Wishing I wasn’t alone through this.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Unnecessary stress


Well.  Sorry about my somewhat crazy rant last night.  I needed to get it out; if I kept it inside it would have clogged all my other thoughts and driven me insane.

Basically, my father is extremely upset.  I guess I could say about the situation in general, and perhaps that’s it.  But I don’t really know because he never says a word unless it’s him snapping over something ridiculous.

Yesterday he snapped over 1 – I was given a second activity mat as a gift.  I thought I might give it to my husband; if we aren’t staying together, and he doesn’t have one, and he’s going to have the baby sometimes, should I deny my son a toy (it’s not like I paid for it myself) to spite my husband?  Come on.  I have to sit there and listen to implications that all this is childish (as if I have a choice in the matter) when that is what you’d rather me do?  Ludicrous.  He flipped and said I shouldn’t give it to my husband, as if I bought my husband a new car or something that he doesn’t deserve. 

And 2 – we were sitting eating dinner and Chester was laying at my feet quietly.  I don’t even know how it started, because my brother and sister-in-law were there as well and the last thing I remember is my brother telling a funny story about something that happened to him at work this past week.  And then suddenly, my father asked me, “What is he still doing here?” (meaning Chester).  My husband usually picks him up early on Saturdays and drops him off again on Tuesday evenings.

So, to make a long story short, my husband was going out last night so I told him he can come get the dog today.  I knew my dad would think that was stupid, that I should’ve made him come get the dog, etc., but I LIKE having the dog with me, and rather him be with me than know he’s alone because my husband isn’t home with him.  Anyway, I figured, let my dad be angry at me; he always is anyway.  (I can’t have him flying off the handle on my husband over every stupid little thing, because the baby is going to be living solely with me in the beginning due to him being so young and small and not able to safely travel back and forth.  So he is going to have to come here to see the baby, and I want him to feel comfortable enough to do so.)  So I just said, “I told him he can come tomorrow for the dog.”

Well, as I’m sure you can imagine, my dad flew off the handle again.  My mother, who knew about my conversation with my husband and in an attempt to stick up for me, said, “He’s going out tonight.”  Well, I really don’t know what happened after that, but suddenly I was getting screamed at for…I don’t even know what.

I know other people are stressed out.  I know I know I know.  But come on, seriously.  I’m going to be 40 weeks tomorrow.  At this point, even if I was being a complete raging maniacal bitch, the exact opposite of what anyone should be doing right now is yelling at me about it, getting me to the point of a hyperventilating cry.

****

Well, to add to this, my mother just came into my room crying because she and my father are fighting now over this stupid crap.

I can’t really go into it because as I said when I first started this, I’m not going to talk about the situation with my husband directly.  I don’t feel comfortable doing so.  So I can’t really go into detail as it stems from that.

Why oh why can’t people just let me be?  Let me dream of nothing else right now but the way my baby will look?  Of holding him?  Instead my head is swirling with the most ridiculous crap imaginable.

I have my next checkup tomorrow at 11:45 am.  I can’t wait to go.  I’m hoping to find out I’m dilated more.  I’m hoping the doctor examining me will get things started.  I have a lot to talk to him about too, and being that I’m 40 weeks I’m hardly the patient that they will rush out of the room so should have the opportunity to do so.  Since this is the third doctor in the practice that I’m seeing (and the final possibility of who might be delivering my child) my sister was asking me if I had gone over certain things with him yet.  And I just said, “Well the last time I saw him he shoved his hand up my vagina so I didn’t think it was the right time to bring certain things up.”  (She thought that was funny.)  Tomorrow he will also have his hand in my vagina, but I’m prepared this time to catch him before he does.

I’m also just excited to get out of the house.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Short and sweet.

I haven't cried as much as I have today since the start of this whole fucking disaster.

I'm a day and a half away from my due date, so my options of solace are limited.

What I hate the most is IT IS NOT ME keeping me from trying to keep a semblance of normalcy and happiness.  I was just eating dinner quietly when YOU started in with me.

I should not have to answer for the fuck ups of anyone else.

I'm in this mess because I admitted to my own mistake.  So I might be many things, but among those is honest, and remorseful, and I HAVE MORE THAN PAID MY PRICE.

So honestly, if it's that much of a problem to help me, DON'T.  I have friends that will drive me to the hospital.  I have brothers and a sister that will take Chester while I'm there.  A sister that I was staying with until I was told to come to you.  And I will get the hell out of the house as soon as I go back to work, which could be as soon as February.

If I'm not worth the sacrifice, I'm glad I at least know it now.

You are INSANE if you think I am happy about this, and comfortable enough to stay here long term.

If it's not clear the amount of things I've already given up for my son, I don't know what to say to you.  I am even willing to go back to the career that made me sick in the first place because I know I will be able to make more money for him doing that.

Because he is not a burden.  I'm in love with him.  I have since I first saw his tiny speck of a body on the ultrasound screen.  And it doesn't matter if he is a day old or 28 years old.  I will always sacrifice for him.

I'm sorry I don't incite the same emotion in you.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Chester



Just wanted to share also how loving my little Chester has been.  He presses himself so close to me I can hardly move.

And it is lovely.

More waiting.


I’ve been trying to write this for days.

I had my last checkup on Tuesday evening.  I was 2 cm dilated, and the baby measured 7 lbs.  My doctor (not the one I usually see, another one in the practice) started preparing me for the possibility now of the baby being too big for me to have a vaginal birth.  (Jeez…the baby’s too big…the baby’s too small…now he’s too big again…gah!!)  Since everything else is alright, he said I would definitely have a “trial labor” (meaning they would only intervene with a c-section if after being in labor I don’t make any progress) but to keep in the back of my mind that the possibility of a c-section is there.

So, he told me that he was going to “be rough” with me to try and get things going.  And oh my goodness was he true to his word!  In fact, the whole time he had his hand up in my business he kept saying, “I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry!  Don’t hate me don’t hate me don’t hate me!”  Over and over.  Actually, it was quite funny.  If it didn’t hurt so badly I would have been laughing.

So, obviously I don’t want a c-section.  Well, maybe that’s not obvious.  But now you know: I don’t want a c-section.  First of all, it’s not ideal medically for a variety of reasons.  But I also want to hold my baby right away (and most certainly be the first one to do so) and I’m afraid of being less in control because I’ll be in the middle of being operated on.  I don’t want to think about it right now.  Long story short, the sooner this baby comes, the smaller he’ll be, and the more likely I’ll have me a good old fashioned pushing-a-baby-out-through-my-vagina birth.

The only real positive is that he said that they won’t let me go past the 18th without inducing me.  So…I have a date in mind at least.  10 days away.  (But this baby better come before then.)

And I definitely lost my mucous plug last night, which I know means nothing (because some women lose it weeks before labor and it actually grows back) but I’m hoping in my case, since I know I’m already dilated some and I’m so close to my due date, that it is a signal that I will start labor on my own within the next week.

So, because I haven’t been working (I’m officially on maternity leave as of this past Monday) the swelling in my hands and ankles has gone down.  I still can’t feel my right hand though because the baby is still resting on the same nerve.  I’ve been trying to rest, aside from walking every day, but that’s about it.  I’m bored, lonely, and have this desperate desire to get dressed up and put on lots of makeup (not that I can fit into anything fancy right now) but I’m dying to be able to and go out somewhere sexy.

I’m depressed.  I mean, come on.  Of course I’m beyond excited to meet my baby.  But let’s be realistic.  It’s not the ideal situation.  I’m tired of being alone.  I’m ready to look for a new job.  (I’ve already started actually, even though I know that’s kind of silly.  I’m just so anxious and tired of waiting.)  I’m ready to get a home for me and my little one and Chester.  I fall asleep every night dreaming of the day when I get to wake up in my own home with my baby and Chester.  It’s the thing that pushes me.

Once again, my other life will get put on hold.  My writing life.  But I have never been one to think that if it doesn’t happen now, it won’t happen.  It’s more important right now for me to be who I think I need to be for my son, someone who can provide for him, and who won’t give up on her own goals.  When he’s a little older, I will be able to try again.  I’m so much more focused now on starting a career, getting on my own two feet, and being able to fully practice yoga again.

Writing hasn’t left me yet.  It won’t leave me now.  But it is still sad, to have to knowingly cast it aside, even if it is just for the time being.  And some days, I will feel resentful.  I know this.

I have a million and one reasons I want this [pregnancy] to be done.  It’s not like I’m rushing it; I’m due on Monday.  It’s just depressing.  It’s a depressing time of year.  I don’t even get to hang his first Christmas ornament on my own tree.

If my situation were different, I would be enjoying this time more, despite the discomfort.  I would have someone to talk with and be excited with and…and…you know, help me when I feel scared about things.  It’s why I get beyond frustrated when people tell me to “enjoy this while it lasts.”  There’s nothing enjoyable about this for me.  This isn’t my last few days alone with my husband.  These are my last few days alone period.  So no wonder I want it to fucking end.  I don’t want to be alone anymore.

I read comments on these stupid community boards for pregnant women (and I don’t know why I do).  The “problems” some of these women have!  Wondering what “new daddy” gift to get their husbands.  Um…what?  Do normal people even give push presents anymore to the moms?  I’ll be lucky if I get a weak smile.

I know my body is preparing.  I can feel it.  I hope I get to meet my little one soon.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Still Waiting...

It’s not even 10 am yet and I’m sitting at my new desk at work counting the seconds until it’s over.  Tomorrow is my last day of work before I start maternity leave.
I feel so strange.
When I return, I will return to a promotion.  It’s not the first time I’ve been promoted; I was promoted at my last job too (sort of against my will though).  In this case I will just finally be getting paid for the job I’ve actually been doing for a year.
Regardless though, it’s nice to get promoted, especially since this is second time it’s happening to me during an extremely stressful time in my life; it seems like that’s when I do my best work.  Most likely because I almost enjoy going to work to have something else to focus on when I have a million other things on my mind.
Which is why next week is going to be weird.  At the rate I’m going, I most likely won’t have baby yet.  So I will just be sitting around waiting.  And not sitting around waiting in my own home where maybe I could get into some sort of organizational project, or blast music, or try a new recipe, but sitting around waiting in my parent’s house, which is much less appealing.  I could work up until I literally start labor, as my doctor hasn’t instructed otherwise, but I really do think that’s pushing it.  So far I’ve gained 33 pounds since the start of my pregnancy and I’m still gaining.  My legs and wrists are swelling from the weight and overuse.  I’m exhausted because I can’t sleep at night.  They are lucky in my office that I manage to brush my teeth since I can’t really clasp my hand around the brush anymore.  You should see the maneuvering I have to do to get it done.  Also, this baby is getting kind of big; healthy, but big for someone my size.  I’m anticipating a rather long labor, and “rest,” even if it doesn’t come in the form of actual sleep, is probably what’s best for me now in preparation for all the work I’m going to have to do.
But I know I’m going to be crawling out of my skin with boredom.  I keep thinking of things I can do next week to occupy myself, but everything I’ve thought of could be crammed into one day and then I’ll still be left twiddling my thumbs.
I have two dog toys I need to patch up…that will take me all of 12 minutes.  I can update my resume in preparation for a possible job search (because while I should be getting a raise, I’m not sure how substantial it will be) but, again, that won’t take long since I last updated it a few months back.
I can only read and write so much because I do get headaches after doing so for too long, and I can’t even take anything for the pain (except Tylenol which does nothing).  The nursery is complete and I already put together all the baby’s contraptions.  My hospital bag is packed.  I made a playlist on my IPod of baby-friendly soft lullaby-ish songs (since his bassinet has an mp3 player hookup).  I bought Chester a toy for when he first meets the baby so he won’t be jealous, and it’s waiting in my car.
If I could work like, half days or something, that would be the best thing for me I think.  It would get me up and out of the house, but I could leave before the point of complete and utter exhaustion.  The way they do the payroll here though, it’s not really feasible.
A handful of people aren’t afraid of me, but most people right now seem to be nervous that if they see me, I’m going to go into labor and have the baby right in front of them.  (If only it would happen that quickly!)  Anyway, as such, I haven’t been hanging out as much either.
It’s lonely.  The person I care about seeing the most is right inside my tummy, but he just doesn’t seem to want to leave, even though I can tell he’s radically uncomfortable.  I keep telling him if he comes out, he’ll have more space, and toys, and clothes, and friends to meet, a great fuzzy four-legged big brother, and I’ve been singing Christmas songs to him too.  He seems to love it, but my guess is he’s waiting to hit at least 7 lbs before making his grand entrance to the world (he was 6 ¾ lbs on Tuesday).  Also, last night my mother was reciting that rhyme about the days of the week and when babies are born.  It starts, “Monday’s child is fair of face, Tuesday’s child is full of grace…” but the only two I remember are Wednesday (full of woe) and Saturday (has to work for his living).  Weird, I know.  But my poor little B is probably going to end up with one of those.  So I’m pulling for next Wednesday.
I can always finish my Christmas shopping, even do some wrapping, bake those dog biscuits, and get Sasha washed.  That should bring me to Tuesday of next week.  Ugh.
Until the baby comes, I’m kind of in limbo in regard to EVERYTHING.  I can’t apply for jobs because I don’t know when I’ll be back on my feet and available to go on interviews.  I can’t look for an apartment because I don’t know when I’m returning to work and therefore able to go out on my own (money-wise).  I don’t even know if I should be looking for a divorce attorney yet.  And because of that, I don’t know if I should start dolling myself up for other men.  (Because although it may seem fast, by the time I’m back on my feet, on my own and such, it’ll probably about a year since my husband and I split.  Why should I keep waiting?  Going through the pregnancy alone was hard enough!)
C’mon baby!  I love you and want to see you, and mommy wants to start our lives together as soon as possible.  Please come meet me soon!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving


By the time I finished work on Wednesday I was shot, and then I still had to go to a doctor’s appointment.  Then Thanksgiving came and went, and so did Friday.  So this may be a little late, but that’s ok.  I still felt the need to write it.

This year has been extremely disastrous, for many reasons, most of which I haven’t even touched upon on here.  But I still think it’s important for my own sanity, for me to take the time to think about what I am thankful for.  This list will vary between the big things and the little things, for I think it should go without saying that I am thankful for the big things (but I’m not sure it does) and the little things, while seemingly silly, are what get a person through the every day.

I am thankful first and foremost and beyond all other things, for my little boy that I am so soon to meet.

I am thankful for Chester, the best friend I’ve ever had, and the greatest dog in the world.  I am thankful for his company and for his protection and for his friendship and for his unconditional love.

I am thankful for my family who has had to help me out a lot in preparation for my baby coming, and for allowing me to be excited about his arrival.

I am thankful for my friends, because, above all the usual things, I know positively now that none of them are only fair-weather friends, and that is completely amazing.

I am thankful for waking up early on Thanksgiving morning, burning fall-scented candles, and watching the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day parade.

I am thankful for my car Sasha, that I love so, so much, and how amazing she is because she is both compact yet fits everything I need, and I don’t owe anything for her anymore, so she is mine mine mine.

I am thankful for my job, and for the fact that when I return after I have the baby, I will most likely return to a promotion and a raise.  Although I still want to look for something else, this is still something to be thankful for.

I am thankful that, even though I don’t remember when or how, I discovered poetry, and how much I love it.  I am thankful that I know what makes me feel alive.

I am thankful for yoga, and for being able to wake up in the morning without back pain (well, when I’m not pregnant, that is) without having to take any medication.

I am thankful for my body in all its quirky weirdness, because even though I am short, have big ears, too round a nose, too-skinny legs, a weird cowlick, and unpredictable skin, I think I am quite pretty, and healthy, and when I run, or lift my legs over my head in a yoga headstand, or find the strength in my little arms to do something you can’t…I love myself.
I am thankful for having been able to go to school and study something that I loved. 

I am thankful for things like home-cooked meals, photographs, the smell of clothes washed in Gain, brisk walks in wintertime, the way ice water feels as you drink it when you are really, really, thirsty, Harry Potter, the smell of books, that period of time when I am drifting off to sleep and I think about all the things that I am looking forward to, sleep, sunset, beer and wine, leaving work just early enough to beat the traffic, surprise visits from friends.

The list can go on.

Obviously, there are plenty of things this year that I am missing and/or sad about.  But at this time above all others, especially since I need to have a clear head on my shoulders for my son, it’s important for me to focus on the list above.

So, as for my Thanksgiving.  It was nice and mellow, with lots of good food.  We had it at my parent’s house and it was just my siblings that came by.  My sister spent the night Thursday into Friday, which was nice.  She had someplace to go on the island on Friday night, so she hung out here all day.  He dog was here too.  But when I woke up on Friday morning, the swelling in my ankles had moved farther up my calves and my wrists were so swollen you couldn’t actually see them.  So I basically spent the whole day with my legs elevated and with ice packs periodically on my ankles and wrists.  It seems to have worked, because today the swelling subsided in my wrists completely and in my ankles substantially.  So I used the opportunity today to finish up the nursery.  I put together the baby’s swing, and finished going through everything, washing everything, and putting everything in its proper place.  I wanted to finish today, because I’m sure the work will cause the swelling to increase again, and at least tomorrow I’ll be able to spend another full day resting before my last full week of work.

My room is ready as well with the bassinet and rocking chair.  All I need now is a baby.  Hear that, baby?  I’m waiting for you!

Here are some pictures of the completed nursery:





I have one more week of work left (if I even make it that far).  I have my next doctor’s appointment on Tuesday with a different doctor that I haven’t seen yet (he was the one I was supposed to see after Hurricane Sandy but the office was shut down so that appointment got cancelled).  I will be 38 weeks on Monday and every day I wake up hoping that “today is the day.”

I am disappointed every night when it isn’t, but I just have to keep telling myself that one of these days, it will be.

I at least had the nursery to distract me, because I’m actually pretty down right now.  Usually I would have spent this weekend decorating for Christmas.  I miss my decorations, and the excitement of the way I had been celebrating the holidays for years.
It’s weird.  I have a million and one things on my mind.  Obviously, first and foremost, the baby.  I’m thinking about my job, and/or looking for a new one.  I’m thinking about what kind of place I can afford when I start working again, and how soon I will be able to manage it.

But I’m also thinking about whether or not I will remain married.  And besides the big stuff, the little things creep in.  I’ve been with my husband for a long time.  A very long time.  So when the prospect of eventually being with someone new comes along, part of what makes that weird is just going through getting comfortable with someone else.  You know, I’m used to my husband’s goods, and he’s used to mine.  I like knowing what to expect.  I don’t feel like getting used to someone new.  In any way.  Learning someone’s idiosyncrasies.  Learning how they like their food prepared, their nighttime routine, their morning routine…ugh…it’s a lot of work.

I also feel like I am crawling out of my skin being at “home” at my parents’ house all the time.  I am so lonely.  Because if I were still with my husband, I would be home with him, the person I chose to spend my life with.  Someone who conceivably might watch TV with me at least.  Instead I just kind of traipse around the house waiting for my water to break or the contractions to get more painful and more consistent.

And I cry a lot at night.

Monday, November 19, 2012

My First Trip to Labor & Delivery


*disclaimer – this might will get graphic*

So.  My most recent ordeal.  In the middle of the night Saturday into Sunday I got up to pee, just to discover upon finishing a toilet bowl full of blood.  This isn’t necessarily normal as far as I know.  It wasn’t just spotting, it wasn’t just a tinge of blood – it was blood.  So, it seemed to stop, but for the next few hours, I couldn’t relax.  I probably slept for an hour total.  I still felt the baby moving, and everything else seemed OK, aside from some cramping.  But just a few days prior, at one point both Chester and my parents’ dog stopped what they were doing and stared at me for about 5 minutes without moving, as if they sensed something; as if they knew something I didn’t.  Then I had a dream in which was sleeping, and woke up, and my baby belly was gone.  In the dream though, I had the sense that it was because I had lost the baby, not because he had been born.  So the next morning I decided to call my doctor’s office to let them know about the bleeding, just to be on the safe side.  I figured I’d rather call and have it be nothing, than not call and have something really be wrong.

One of the doctors called me back immediately and instructed me to go to the hospital right away.  He said there was a “99% chance it’s nothing, but at 37 weeks we can’t be too careful.”

So, the ride to the hospital was the worst.  Firstly, my dad took the scenic route, (my sister and I later joked that he went to New Jersey to get lost in Newark along the way…because when we were younger it seemed every trip we took involved us getting lost in Newark) and it was almost like he was aiming for potholes which wasn’t pleasant with the cramping I had going on.

I was scared.  Of course I was.  I was afraid I waited too long to call the doctor, and I was already blaming myself if something was wrong.  In the backseat I stayed quiet, and I closed my eyes and spoke to the baby in my mind and begged him not to leave me.  “Please, please don’t leave me alone.”  I put on my sunglasses to be sure that my parents didn’t see the tears in my eyes. 

So, we got to the hospital, and my father dropped me and my mother off.  We went up to labor and delivery, and they hooked me up to the monitors.  The baby’s beautiful heartbeat was healthy and strong, so I finally started to calm down.  I got the most painful vaginal exam ever, but they found no more bleeding.  The ultrasound showed everything looked fine.

The surprise was this: the monitor measuring any contractions measured many strong contractions, and I was feeling them.  The nurse came over and asked if I was (feeling them).  I was allowed to return home, but they told me I was actually starting early labor.  Early labor is a weird thing.  It’s not pre-term labor, during which you go into labor too early, but instead it’s the first part of actual labor.  (I’m 37 weeks as of today; so even though my due date is December 10, I’m technically considered full-term and if the baby were to be born now he should be fine without any outside assistance.)

Anyway, they might have been jumping the gun in telling me I’m in early labor, or they could be right.  I’ve been feeling contractions now for two days, and today they have been more painful, but still kind of random and all over the place.  But I’ve been much more tired, even more uncomfortable, and now the seed planted in my head that the baby might be here VERY soon is driving me crazy.  I just want him to come.  I want to be able to sleep on my back and bend over and not have crazy carpal tunnel.  But mostly I want to meet him and hold him and kiss him and tell him how much I love him.  But who the hell knows when this baby is coming.

I took off from work today in order to rest some more, but assuming that I feel tomorrow morning as I do right now, I’m probably going to work tomorrow.  Because just sitting around waiting is driving me insane.  And I have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, so hopefully I can find out some more then.

While I was in the hospital, I was laying in my bed listening to the baby’s heartbeat, counting seconds for each contraction, and feeling the emptiness of my hands.  Soon I will be back in that same triage area, waiting to be admitted because my baby will really be on his way.  And I will be just as alone.

It’s so hard to do this alone.  To wake up alone.  To fall asleep alone.  To worry alone.  Especially to worry alone.  And I worry a lot.

And this waiting is just torturous.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Back Again

Hello blogosphere.  I am back up and running after Hurricane Sandy.  Fortunately I was only inconvenienced by power loss/gas shortages, unlike so many people just a stones throw away from me that lost so much more.  It’s still surreal to me, and it’s heartbreaking that so many people seem to find it so easy to forget that so many others just down the block are displaced still (and will continue to be so).  Luckily that is not everyone (who forgot).

I’m back to work (my office lost power as well) and have spent the last week starting to train the temp who will be covering for me while I’m out on maternity leave and trying to catch up on my own stuff.  I’ve been swamped and therefore extremely over-tired.  The reason I care so much about training her is because if she does well, when I return after my leave she will stay on and I will get a promotion (and a raise).  Obviously, this is something that a new (possible single) mom needs to take very seriously.  Although the raise surely won’t be enough for the plans that I have, but at least it will help in the meantime until I find something new altogether.

My last day of work is slated for November 30th.  Let’s see what happens!

I had to miss a doctor appointment due to the storm, and then I spent a week trying to get in touch with them to reschedule (their phones are still down).  So I went directly to the office and they squeezed me in.  Luckily all is well.  In one weeks time I will be considered full-term.  In a few weeks regardless, I will be a mom, and nothing will ever be the same again.

I used to have time at work to do some writing, but now I don’t and by the time I get home I am completely shot.  I am also dealing with pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel.  So unfortunately I have little energy for my many thoughts to make it onto screen or paper.

And I have many thoughts as of late.

And the question that gnaws at me the most, is how can I want so many [opposite] things at once?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Meltdown City

(This entry brought to you by my wavering confidence and perpetual sadness.)

Imagine being upset. Then multiply that feeling by the biggest number your mind can comprehend. And that's where I'm at right now.

It has to do with my situation with my husband, so I'm not going to go into it. But it breaks into the situation with the baby, because of custody/visitation issues. This baby isn't even born yet. I don't ever want to be separated from him. When you love someone like I love this baby, that just doesn't seem to be a feasible option. I have this image of myself standing at my front door watching my husband drive away with our child, and I cant take it. I can't take that image. I love my son more than breath, more than poetry, more than myself. I feel him move almost constantly within me. I can't imagine him being separated from me when he is still so young and helpless. I can't take it...I can't take it.

It's times like these that I find myself actually calling out to God, begging for help. This baby needs me to be strong, but you can only be struck so many times before you can't bear the weight anymore and you fall. I am so close to the end. But I am so close to falling.

I don't believe I'm being overdramatic. Most people that think that will probably never have to be separated from their child in this way. I can't come to terms with it. Obviously I think of nothing else. It shouldn't be a luxury to be able to kiss your baby every morning, every night. But for me it seems that that is the case. I won't be able to do that. Some mornings he won't see me smiling at him. God...why is this happening?

I'm back to crying almost every morning.

Sometimes I hear words that were spoken to me just echo in my mind. Sometimes my own thoughts bounce off of the walls of my skull until their repetition nearly kills me.

I just want a normal life with my baby.

I can't believe the faith I had in something so fragile.

I was told it looks like the baby dropped a little. That means the time is fast approaching. It could be as soon as a month from now, I will be en route to the hospital.

I am sitting in the back of my office building right now. Getting some air. Thinking. Surrounded by yellow and red leaves. Feeling them rain down on top of me.

I think now I shouldn't have been honest. I should have continued on as we were, both of us keeping secrets.

But I'm not like that. Anyone who even passes by this blog can probably see that.

I want to know people. I want people to know me.

Today is my husband's birthday. I want to crawl into a hole and disappear. Our anniversary is in less than 2 weeks. I will feel even worse on that day.

I am so terrified of the rest of my life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Poems

I have a lot on my mind and also I really haven't been feeling well. I need some time to rest and think. So in the meantime, I thought I'd share a few poems I've written about my baby, being pregnant, and the like, in chronological order of their composition date (all of which remain unrevised, mind you).  Also, my apologies for the random change in font throughout the entry.  the formatting is not cooperating.
 
-I think there were more in between, but "December" is definitely the first poem I wrote after discovering I was pregnant, and for some reason my biggest fear was that I would somehow have to help my little one find happiness in what could be such an awful, awful world.
 
I have since realized that I am so in love with him that I don't think I could show him anything other than happiness.
 
December
 
I keep thinking
about December,
about explaining
the strings of lights
hung from windows—
& the cold, & that it
won’t always be cold.


-This next poem was written the night I had my first sonogram. A very basic poem, not exactly how I'd like it to sound, but sometimes things are too real to write about. (This poem, as well as "December," were part of my 30 in 30 this past year, so I had to get something out in order to meet my quota.)


April 23, 2012
 
Today was the first day I saw you & heard you.
It’s funny how love can spur so many other things:
so much more furious over a bus colliding
into me as I sat helpless in my car;
when I hear a new song I like, I feel hopeful that
you will find delicious new things to discover.
 
I’m hoping when you are old enough
to take a walk at sunset, you will.
& when you smell something in the sweet
mid-summer air that you hadn’t noticed before,
you will finally understand.I’m hoping that the fireflies
will still ignite the brush like Christmas lights,
& seeing them will make you feel perfect and small.


-Next is another 30 in 30 poem.


Know
 
When you ask me,
“How will I know?”
I will tell you this:
In northern California
the shooting stars are never-
ending. When you notice one,
tell your lover about it.
There is only one reaction
that you should accept:
his genuine wonder, &
insistence upon staring at the sky
until he sees one himself.


-I believe this next one is pretty self-explanatory, written about my husband, myself, and my son; our little family.


Derailed
 
i
 
It’s about time I wrote this;
I think it all the time
but you would not know.
I feel I must be a child still, the way
My memories of you
stay so vivid & green,
like I somehow have so much
room to hold them—
nothing else filling the wrinkles
& space, nothing.
 
I remember knowing & not
knowing & so plainly
knowing, knowing, knowing.
 
How about the day in the autumn chill,
our arms around my waist as you
looked helplessly up at me—
how I wished I could have skipped
through calendars & ended up with you,
minus the things that happened in between.
Sometimes the strongest kind of hate
is when it is cemented with love;
sometimes you cannot imagine.
I could not imagine.
 
All we know are moments
here & there, your hand reaching
for mine in the car, moments
when I knew I would never find a way
to show you that I don’t just love you.
 
 
ii
 
 
I worried this past weekend when our son
moved very little within me, my focus
the absence of his quivering comfort,
the image I can’t get out of my
head of his fingers touching his
perfect nose. But this morning I thought
of only you, & almost in response,
he squirmed to the rhythm of my heartache,
a desperate need to break free & find you
himself. I love him for this, for being so much
wiser than both of us, for knowing things
we are too old to know anymore.
 
 
iii
 
I lose you over & over when I wake
every day to the silence of your absence.
 
 
You know this feeling too: the desperation
of your hands tied behind your back.
How you pray for the rope to come undone,
so your fingers can speak what your mouth
never could, everywhere & forever on her skin.
 
 
I feel this now; inadequate words for everything
that needs to be said. But I am captured by your eyes,
by the smell of you when I need it most, by the trembling
flicker of life growing within my body. So soon we will
meet him & I will ask him how he knew all the things
we didn’t, & with a scream & cry he will tell us everything
we need to know:
 
love can still exist even when you shake
someone to their center, when their world
comes crashing down dangerously, when
you remove them from the warm, safe,
haven of a womb & show how cold, loud,
& painful life can be. This is breathing.
 
I want your hands on my hands on his hands.
I want your arms around my arms around his arms.
I want your kiss on my skin on his skin.
 
This is breathing.


-And finally, ::sigh::. This might be the saddest of them all. Only because sometimes, loving someone so much is the saddest thing in the world. And I know I will cry when I can finally kiss my son.


Expecting


i can't exist without knowing you anymore, your fingers learning how to curl and toes stretching against the inside of my skin.  i won't let them wash their hands of me anymore; i will let them know the bitter. I can't believe in this as terrible, because of you, because of you being ours, because there is something beyond the things i know and don't know, that makes knowledge not matter anymore. your eyes blinking for the first time under flourescent light and i will wish it could be sunlight.


fear has an appetite. i know you alone, but would no matter what; the ocean never meets the sand without washing some of it away. that is what happened to me: i was washed away. my hair keeps growing and i have little desire to cut it. it is a map of where i've been, a random curl represents my feet, backtracking over him. this is because of the things i miss, the very, very little things, like his particular warmth. (our chemistry never worked like a textbook, we mixed chemicals sure to erupt and they did.) all outbursts settle; you will emerge on the earth as a new element, essential and unable to be broken down.


when i look in the mirror, i can barely see past the surface stains on my skin, scarred and made tougher through healing. i will write a song in which you come to meet us both, and even our tremendous pain will be swallowed by your tiny arms.