Monday, March 31, 2008


I've gotten into the habit, pretty much since the day that we brought BabyA home, to say a prayer over her as she sleeps on my lap after her bedtime feed. I started because I was so worried about her when she came home. She didn't have any major issues, just flirting with jaundice, but it still scared me. So, I say my prayer when she is so peaceful and beautiful on my lap, usually with a small hand holding onto my shirt, or resting so softly on the breast that helped her to find that slumber that only babies can have.

I'm not what anyone would consider highly religious. I'm a pathetic Catholic at best-I manage to hit the major feast days, and both of the kids are baptized Catholic, because, what if? I would like to actually make it to church more often. When allowed, when I can just be in the moment, I come away recharged to some degree. The whole mass is a meditation of sorts to me. The predictability of it all. The prayers and invocations that I have been reading/saying since I was able to read the monthly missal in the pews. It's comforting-it's always a place that I can go and know just what to do.

I'm embarrassed to some degree that I can't seem to manage to make it with two small kids, since I watch the mother of four under the age of 10 that pulls it off with no problem. Meanwhile, I am trying not to commit a cardinal sin when my terrible two almost three son cannot.sit.still. I want him to be able to find that same comfort, that same peace. I suppose that he will have to find it for himself, sort of like I did. I was raised Catholic in a small town of 750 where there were four Lutheran churches. I went because I was dragged by my parents. I chose a Catholic university for undergraduate, with the secret hope that I would finally be part of the majority for once, among a community with a shared history and background. Eventually, I participated in campus ministry. Nothing more than a twice a month lector, but still, I found my faith to some degree.

After college and law school, I lost that focus. Constant moves and all that came with it. However, upon entering the fourth year of struggling to have a baby, I had what can only be called an epiphany one night while laying in bed after yet another IUI. I had been up for what seemed like hours, staring at the ceiling, my mind not shutting off. Am I or aren't I? What if? What now? All of those questions that flow so easily through an infertile's mind. Through all of our treatments, which weren't half as extensive as some, I had always had some spectre of hope lingering in the background. At first it was the naive, "well, of course and IUI will work right away, the timing is dead on!" Then I progressed to "I'm due for a break here" to "IVF won't be that bad, really." However, that night, for some reason, I was able to still my mind enough to realize that everything, all of it, was really out of my control. I had done all that I could-I had given myself the shots, gone to the ultrasounds, trusted my Husband with the huge needle for the trigger, and had laid on the exam for the requisite 10 minutes. That a higher power now controlled my destiny, one that was probably happening as I lay there 12 hours post IUI. I just decided to give it up to that power. That even if it hadn't worked, that I had done all that I could. Even though the Church doesn't condone treatment, some of what I had been taught had come through to give me that moment of peace, of clarity. Was it a coincidence that was the cycle that Son came about? I don't know. All I know is that the biology of conception makes me believe that there has to be something else going on.

Of course, my theory has plenty of holes in it, I know. What about those people who get children and then do something horrible to them? What about those much wanted, much loved children that are lost before they are even born, or after? What about them? I don't have an answer. All I know is that I offered up my worry, and was able to find some sort of peace, maybe even a bit of strength. A good friend, who is also a Baptist deacon, had said something along that line to me, and in that instant, it made sense, but it took me a while to let go of that illusion of being able to control everything. I still struggle with that, and I try to identify the things that I really can do something about, and the things that I can't.

I was in the same place when we had that blip on the radar when I was about 8 weeks with BabyA. It was amazing how one tiny, and I mean tiny, clot could throw my whole world into a spiral. What would I have done if something had really happened? It was a couple of weeks after the whole incident, and again, laying in bed thinking about all of the things that were happening, and what was going to happen. Would this pregnancy make it? How will this affect Son? How can we pay for this? Will I ever want to eat again? This may sound completely out there, but I swear that I heard a voice in my head tell me that "it will be alright." I actually fell asleep not too long after that. I swear that I haven't gone off the deep end, and it hasn't happened again. It was just one of those moments that gives me a bit of pause.

Needless to say, I say my prayer over BabyA every night with the hope that someone is listening. I give thanks for the gift of my precious little girl, for her brother. I ask for patience. I ask for the protection of babies like Simone over at Flotsam, and to heal the hearts of those that haven't had the chance to feel the slow breathing of a contented baby on their lap, or who have and had to suffer through a loss of that small soul. My heart hurts for them, and it makes me realize just how lucky we are to have two healthy children asleep in the house. I really hope that someone is listening.

Tigers, cloud leopards, and sun bears, oh my!

Yesterday, we actually did something as a family which didn't involve running errands to Fleet Farm or Target. And, get this, it actually went well!! Who'd thunk it?

Husband's best friend B was up with his daughter, C, who is about 6 months older than Son. They have played together before when we would go down to see B, and they get along pretty well. Son is pretty social, and was more than happy to have someone else other than me or BabyA to play with. C doesn't play with a whole lot of other kids, so it took her a while to warm up. For some reason she seems to be pretty leery of me, which I don't get. B is going through what can only be termed a hideous divorce, with lots of accusations and manipulations going on, and I wonder what C's mom said about me to her. For God's sake, she may not like Husband, but sheesh, she's seen me with her kid and mine before. She should be happy that I'm around.

Sorry, minor diatribe. ANYWAY, we all went to the Zoo yesterday. Son is now old enough to really enjoy it, and he really did. Our initial intention and motivation to go (even though it's only about 10 minutes away from our house) was the seasonal exhibit of farm animal babies. We also thought that it would be fun for C, and help with B's cause that he isn't the world's most awful father. However, by the time that we got to the area of the exhibit, it was nothing but a disturbed ant hill of people and strollers and screaming kids. Nope, not gonna do it. We walked pretty much the rest of the zoo, only missing the dolphins, which we can get to this summer when they do the shows and all of that. Son had a blast-the flamingos were a big hit, and so were the red pandas. But the tigers-oh my the tigers. We got to see two of the big males walking in their exhibit, and they got rather close-Son's eyes about fell out of his head. He also liked the camels and the moose. It was so much fun to get to watch him hold Husband's hand and get all excited about what was the next thing around the corner.

BabyA even got into it a little. When we went through the tropics exhibit, there were all sorts of plants and birds flying overhead that she could see from the stroller. She took little catnaps here and there, but overall, she didn't sleep much. She was happily looking around and flashing a grin or two at anyone that would look her way. Not a single grump out of her the entire three hours. She was great!

Overall, they both were so good that I'm encouraged to try another outing in the near future. I'm turning into, gah! a parent!! Seriously, it was almost, gee, relaxing. It was a really nice day out, overcast but in the upper 30s, and with all of the walking, a spring jacket was all that you needed. After the long winter that we've had, it was just nice to spend some time outside and enjoy it. Watching Son having fun, and Husband being right there with him was good too. Hmmm, what should the next outing be? Science museum, Children's Museum......I could get used to this.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What I should remember

Hopefully no one felt overly contaminated by the last post-I still am in the process of taking a flamethrower to our bedroom. I'm not too enamoured with our bedding anymore, so who cares? Oh, and the missing closet doors? Not a result of said flamethrowing but a pregnant temper tantrum with Son. Damn things wouldn't stay on their 40+ year old track, so I sorta kinda tore them off. Oops.

Anyway, in the middle of the viral maelstrom that was our house last week, a fairly momentous thing occurred. I got to hear my kids laughing together for the first time. In some people's world that may not be a big deal, but in mine it was. Just prior to the giggle fest, that week in fact, the thought had crossed my mind that almost four years ago, I had sat in that very living room, crying my eyes out after a really, really bad RE appointment. Amongst the tears, Husband and I had discussed the very real possibility that we couldn't, wouldn't, have children. Husband was adamantly anti-adoption, and it all had felt so bleak. It had been so bad that I swore off fertility treatment for the rest of the spring and all of the summer. I just couldn't hack the never ending disappointment, and my husband said something about wanting a fertility drug free wife (not that I'm normally all wonder and light, but those of you that have been there get it).

Instead of all of the bleakness, here I sat, four years later, with my toddler standing before me, an infant on my lap, and they are laughing at each other so hard that they are nearly in tears. You never could have told me four years ago that this would be the case. The cause for all of the merriment? I was sitting on the armchair with my feet up on the ottoman with BabyA, and Son was tossing a small ball to me. His aim was a bit off, it hit my foot, and bounced back to almost smack him in the noggin. Being a good sister (yikes), BabyA started to giggle, which got Son going, and so on. She would get going every time that he threw the ball, regardless of what the outcome. She adores him, and he played into it to the absolute hilt. This went on for over 15 minutes. I call Husband out from his self-quarantine in the bedroom, and he recorded it on his cell phone. It was so simple, but yet such a wonderful moment. This was why we wanted a child-this is why we wanted children. To watch and hear the two of them enjoying each other made it all worth it. I hope that the virus' were entertained, because we sure were.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Emerging from the viral haze

The past couple of weeks have been filled with the plague at the Chronicle house. First, BabyA came down with something, part cold, part flu, part demonic possession last Wednesday. Thursday and Friday night saw me sleeping on the rather small loveseat in her room all night, both nights, because it just made more sense than getting up every 30 minutes to hour when she would fuss and fuss some more. I did feel for her. You see, she's a binky addict. However, this addiction becomes a problem when you can't breathe through your nose, so you have to breathe through your mouth, and then can't suck on your binky, or, even worse, have it fall out! Her fever got up to in the mid 102s, but was pretty much gone by Sunday. It got her out of her shots at her six month appointment, and two days of daycare. She looked absolutely miserable, and there wasn't much that I could do other than attack with the nose sucky thingy, dose with Tylenol, and let her nurse as much as she wanted. Just as a note, she does feeble very well.

However, my grand total of three hours of cumulative sleep each night did not help me much-I ended up a quivering ball of sleep-deprivation induced migraine and chills. The actual cold hit a day or two later, but I just couldn't function. Husband actually stepped up-he took both Son and BabyA out for a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon so I could sleep. He also schlepped them both over to my brother's for a couple of hours on Saturday night. His thought was that I would feel better by then and we could just get a couple of hours for us, which have been in extremely short supply lately. To give you an idea how lousy I still felt, I actually fled the kitchen when the appetizer plate from Applebee's arrived. Normally I'd fight you for it. Eventually, I tried to eat, but managed to recycle my crackers and water pretty rapidly. It's a good thing that morning sickness never really hit me that way-I'm terrible about getting sick.

I ended up better by Sunday morning, the cold had hit, but I could stand to be in the light without threat of vomit. However, Husband got hit by the flu that afternoon. He didn't get back to work for a full day until that Friday. I actually made him an appointment with a doctor the next morning (using the recently completed clinic five minutes from our house-hooray!), and the doc actually diagnosed him with influenza-not just some random virus. She prescribed Tamiflu, and wow, does that stuff work. I've never encountered an anti-viral that actually DID something. Within two hours of taking it, Husband felt somewhat human, and after the second dose, he was actually able to sit up and eat. It wasn't a cure, but it sure made it all the more bearable. Son had a hard time staying away from Husband, but even with the flu shot, there was no way that I was going to risk it. Ditto that for BabyA. We managed to dodge the bullet, for which I am eternally grateful. Son was very happy when he was finally able to give that hug to Daddy.

I'm still fighting the cold, but its now in that irritating, blowing your nose every five minutes with a cough, that is easy enough to handle. I'm not what one would call 100%, but I'll take what I've got right now. Knowing my luck, I'll probably just get over it in time for my spring allergies to kick in. Because I'm weird, I've managed to develop some not so fun seasonal allergies that only seem to get worse as I get older. Thank God this will most likely be my last spring nursing-bring on the prescription-grade stuff! But then again, it would have to stop snowing for any spring allergies to pop up. Since we got almost a foot right before Easter, I think that I've got a couple of more good weeks. Nothing like having to excavate your vehicle before you leave in the morning. Blech.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Pushing midnight, working on agreement since 10:00, still not done. BabyA has been stirring due to binky malfunctions. I'm going to be a real treat tomorrow.

And the kicker? The agreement isn't even mine. The flu has hit our department, and the responsible attorney has been out for the past three business days. Of course, this thing needs to be done by the end of the week. Along with everything else.


Friday, March 07, 2008

Happy Friday my eye

It's gonna be one of those days. Now, I know, I'm creating a possibly self-fulfilling prophecy here, but its not even 11AM and I am at the point of very likely killing whoever comes through my door next. Everything is grating on my nerves-and I don't know why.

OK, maybe I do have a bit of an inkling. First off, BabyA hasn't slept through the night once this week. The last time that she did it was last Friday night. I don't know what the deal is there. I did take her bumper out of her crib, since she's rolling at night now and I'm ultra paranoid about her getting stuck and being smushed up against it with dire consequences. I can't get it out of my head, rational or not, so I'm going with my gut. Unfortunately, I don't think that BabyA likes the change in scenery. Also, her binky has fallen through the slats on the crib, and Lord help us if a binky is not around. She can find it and put it back in like a pro, but without it, yikes. I'm not used to this. Add all of that to a couple of nights of staying up way too late to get some work done after the kids went to bed and I got the bottles washed and the laundry folded and washed my face, and it isn't pretty. I'm at that point where I'm getting shaky. Part of it is due to the near IV stream of caffeine that I have been pumping into myself to merely function, and part of it is just the sheer exhaustion. The rather high stress levels are catching up to me as well. I just need one morning to sleep and NOT be hassled. I'll give you a hint when that may happen-when Hell and Antarctica become one and the same.