Monthly Archives: February 2008


Sorry everyone, it’s just Josh posting. Back when B. was on bed rest, you might remember she took up crocheting. As a desire to maintain hope, she made Samuel a hooded blanket and hat. So, here it is on Samuel instead of Running Bear, who has unfortunately been exiled to the closet for now.


Such as it is; A Probable Sign Out

We are working on getting Samuel to sleep longer at night, but still there are few moments where I’m more at peace than during our nighttime feedings. Watching him eat in the side lying position, with one of his little hands clenched in a loose fist while the other gently pats my breast, his eyes shut and his mouth letting out the occasional contented sigh, I am happy, completely. Those moments are just Samuel and me, alone, without even my ghosts.

There are other moments where Samuel and I are not alone, where thoughts of Natan enter, but I do not break down. I put a few songs on Samuel’s bedtime CD that remind me of my other pregnancy, and I hug him a bit tighter but the sadness stays at the edges.


The above is only one of many many incomplete drafts I have written and saved. I didn’t get dressed today until past 1pm. In fact, from 11am to 1pm I was wandering our house without a shirt because Samuel had spit up on it and I’d tossed it off and then couldn’t make it to the closet to put on a clean one. I suppose I could have, but catching up on email, trying to make WordPress load when the server was apparently down, making a necessary phone call, and rocking Samuel to sleep for a nap took priority. Yes, I often rock Samuel to sleep. I know that may be setting myself up for trouble later but really I enjoy the way he looks up into my eyes as he drifts off so much that I let him do it at least for one nap a day. Now I have taken my 4 hour slot of work time off to complete other tasks, like thank you notes and this blog post.

Josh and I are under so much pressure to finish our dissertations. Seriously. Yes everyone is always under pressure and we’ll have less time when we’re faculty, but Samuel will also be older and we’ll have more access to help. I have basically taken the past 9 months off and since I am only taking an extra 4 months to finish, I have to play catch up. Blog time either comes out of work time or Samuel time or couple time, since that’s what I have right now. It has become a burden that I worry about because if I’m going to do this at all, I want to do it well. Something has to give in my life, and sadly at least for now this blog has to be it. I will keep commenting – and hopefully those comments won’t be the half-assed sentences I dash off in an attempt to write something of my own that will inevitably end up in the draft file, indefinitely unpublished. I will miss writing but it’s just more than I can do to maintain this blog right now.

I am not complaining. Life is good. I remember some post last spring where I wrote that people who think it’s hard to work with a baby should try working without the baby. That’s still true. It was much much harder last spring without a baby. The endless open slots of time, with nothing to do but stare at the screen. That was impossible. Working now is easy. An absolute breeze in comparison. Now when I find myself distracted while working, longing to hold my babies, I can just wait until it’s time to go home and find one of them there waiting.

I won’t say my permanent good byes. In late April/early May, if Josh finishes and we find we can relax a bit, or in August, if I have indeed managed to finish a complete draft, I’ll try to come back.

Until then, much love to you all, and thank you so much for getting me through.

I’ll leave you with a picture of Samuel looking like a super hottie baby at his grandma’s house, and the back of my head, enjoying her super comfy couch and enormous TV with a gazillion channels.


Overheard in the coffee shop

“I need a baseball cap and dye for my hair. But I can steal all that.”

“Wait here a minute while I use the toilet and then let’s catch the bus over there and do that.”


Promises Promises

I told a friend a while back that contrary to the image on a blog, no one’s marriage is perfect and that I would post sometime about Josh behaving like an ass. Problem is, when I tried to do it, I realized I behave like an ass sometimes too and I probably couldn’t be trusted to acknowledge both. But let me assure you grief and stress makes us both less than wonderful at times. Particularly of late.

Having to finish by April is putting a huge burden on Josh. And yet he’s still doing so much for Samuel and me. He still participates in nighttime feedings (first trying to calm Samuel, to see if he’s really hungry or just needs some help getting back to sleep, then burping him and putting him back to bed when he’s done eating). Samuel has for the most part begun sleeping through the night (4-5 hours of sleep straight is what our no cry sleep book tells us is “through the night), but last night he had a bad night, perhaps because he had his 2 mo. shots yesterday.

I feel guilty, not because Josh has said or done anything to indicate I should, about what our pregnancies have cost him. Obviously the biggest loss being the opportunity to know his first-born son. But beyond that, they have stolen from him the opportunity to enjoy his dissertation and the writing process. I’m not having the best time either, but I know that if it were necessary, I could be happy doing something else. I will plug away, for the reasons I’ve listed before, and because I realized the other day as I walked the library stacks that I can love this life, if only I can jump this final hoop. But I could enjoy another life. Not Josh – he wants this more than I do by far. He’s an intellectual; I’m a pedagog. I’d prefer to teach at the college or university level, but I could be very happy at a community college. I just want to sit with young adults in a classroom and talk history.

Josh has a lot of work ahead of him between now and late April. I’m confident he can do it, and hopeful that I can help.

As for myself, I am committed to a complete first draft of my diss by August 15th. And then I will hopefully teach, revise, and go on the market in the fall.

They would have been almost 241 years old

I am back at work this evening, perusing old papers.

From the Connecticut Courant, 1767

A few Days ago, the Wife of one Flint of Windham, was delivered of four living Female Children, at one Birth, but they all expired within Twenty-Four Hours.

Poor Mrs. Flint. I wonder how her family, friends, and neighbors treated her in the aftermath.

Samuel hates this blog

Without fail, if Samuel is calmly sleeping and I decide to take advantage of that time to write a post he will wake up. I don’t know why, because as yet he ignores my requests that he use his words. Josh is keeping him calm for now – we’ll see what happens.


I never thought bringing home a living baby would fix the pain of Natan’s death. Still I guess some part of me was not prepared for how much it could still hurt 13 months later. Two nights ago I was sorting through random papers and piles around the house and I found an empty picture CD case in a large envelope. The case read “[my last name], S. – baby boy. 1/3/2007” The CD is in a different case in Natan’s box – I don’t remember why. I stood there for a moment, frozen, unsure of what to do. I was trying to sort through unnecessary stuff and a generic CD case when the CD is safely in another case is unnecessary. But the little typed label with my name connected to the words “baby boy” made it meaningful, if only because the physical connection between us ended far too soon.

If it had been a random object connected to my hospital stay with Samuel, I probably wouldn’t have kept it. I have him with me nearly all of the time. But 13 months later I am desperate to maintain a connection with Natan. To have every bit of evidence of his brief existence in this world.

I cannot believe his tiny little body has been in the ground for so long. It’s easy, relatively speaking, to think of what we are missing emotionally with our children, but now that Samuel is here, so incredibly big and beautiful and growing every day, the physicality of death plagues me when I think of Natan. I think I may disturb some of you by admitting that I think about decay, about what has happened to my son physically, while my life and tissue renews and sustains itself. I feel as if I could go insane thinking of it, and I push the thoughts away, but still they return.

Most of the time I am beside myself with happiness. I half-expected a bout of postpartum depression that has not yet, and looks like it will not, arrive. But some of the time, I am still very angry, and still very sad. Despite the great ending, so much of this past year has been so terribly unfair.

Happy Tuesday


It figures

Last year when my period returned just about 7 weeks after Natan died, I cried (and drank), wondering if it was my body’s way of denying the pregnancy, of behaving like some of the people around me – affirming that because the pregnancy was too short, it didn’t happen. I thought about how I should have still been pregnant, or at the very least breastfeeding. Now I know for sure that’s not true, because here I sit with my 7-week old healthy full-term baby swinging away in front of me and I HAVE MY PERIOD. I’m breastfeeding, people. Every 2-4 hours. Damn it. I hate that I can now possibly attribute the weepy days last week to PMS. As well as the crampy weirdness in my pelvic area that was exacerbated by nursing. That’s not true – I don’t hate it. I’m just flabbergasted. I thought I’d get more of a reprieve. My body, is in this respect alone, exceptionally regular. I’m exaggerating my distress of course, and lucky I suppose.

I had my 6-week follow up on Wednesday. I took Samuel and everyone oohed. I was nervous taking a baby to an ob’s office, lest I hurt grieving parents. But I knew that Dr. K and the office staff wanted to see him, and since they all contributed so much to his safe arrival, I brought him. A new receptionist sat at the entrance, and she asked if he was our first. The nurse behind her looked somewhat stricken. I answered honestly and she sputtered a bit.

Dr. K cleared me for all normal activities. She emphasized that “fertility is not my problem,” so we need to be careful. But you see in my mind fertility is my problem. We meant the same thing, though, ultimately. If I were an idiot, I could probably get pregnant again in two weeks. I know of so many women who would like this problem. For me though the return of my cycles reminds me of just how loaded it all is for me now. Going on the pill, of course, is easy enough. So I’m not sure what I’m whining about, really.

A few weeks ago, my mom told me that an old friend of mine from high school was pregnant with her second child. An “oops” pregnancy. She’s due in July, which will make her two children only 20 months apart. She told my mom she thought she was “one and done,” but now she guess she’s “two and through.” I can’t participate in that silliness. The stupid phrases sting, and an “oops” pregnancy would be so irresponsible it takes my breath away. I was so happy to go off birth control a bit over two years ago. So liberating and exciting to want to get pregnant.

I’m going on a progesterone-only pill that has a 1 in 200 chance of failure if taken perfectly (1 in 20 given normal human error). Normal enough and I’ll be especially careful on my especially fertile days but it won’t make me feel secure enough to mean I won’t be just a little bit nervous. And maybe even a little sad every month.