Monthly Archives: May 2008

Baby Man’s teeth

JJ: I’ve been trying for awhile to capture his barely existing teeth since they’ve been barely existing, and this is the best I could do. I think you can see them.

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Better late

From Glow in the Woods, 6 x 6 (a series of 6 questions they’ve posted for us to answer, and have answered themselves).

1 | In a word, how would you characterize yourself before your loss, and then after?

Before – young. After – worn.

2 | How do you feel around pregnant women?

Even when I have Baby Man with me, I feel somewhat like a poseur. As if, if they knew the truth about me, they’d run in fear or disgust.

3 | How do you answer the ‘how many children’ question?

Apparently right now, if it’s someone who’s anything more than a stranger on the street, I will say, “Well, we have Baby Man and we had a son who died at birth before.” Strangers, I don’t know. It entirely varies. I have just said, “No,” when someone I’ll never see again has asked, “is he your first?”

4 | How did you explain what happened to your lost baby to your living children? Or, if this was your first pregnancy, will you tell future children about your first?

I already mention “your brother” to Baby Man in passing, and two weeks ago we sat together next to Natan’s grave and I talked about him. Of course, Baby Man cannot yet understand but I hope I’ll be strong enough to continue when he can. And I hope it won’t be a burden to him.

5 | What would another pregnancy mean to you, and how would you get through it—or are you done with babymaking?

I am not sure if we will try again. My hope is that if it happens, while I’ll never be carefree and pregnant, that I could be more relaxed during a prospective next time because I know that in theory, I can bring a healthy baby to term. It’ll be hard though, and I would worry a lot about my ability to care for Baby Man during it. That would be my primary reason not to try again, because I don’t want to hurt him.

6 | Imagine being able to step back in time and whisper into the ear of your past self the day after your baby died. What would you say?

When I first read this question, I thought it said, “your past self the day before your baby died.” My immediate reaction was, “My Gd, no, I don’t want to talk to her. Let her have one last day of hope.” Or the possibility that I could have changed something, that’s too much to bear.

As it is really written, I still don’t want to whisper to her. It’s not as if it’s “alright,” now–I don’t want to tell her that. I don’t want to give her advice. I don’t want to tell her about Baby Man, well, because those early days of mourning are Natan’s. I wouldn’t want to encourage her to think of the future at all.

An easy way to feel good about yourself

Take the train.

Although in the past 18 months I’ve taken only 1 flight, and Josh 3, in a usual year we take many many more than that. This summer we need to go east for a seminar for me, and to see JJ’s grandfather at the same time. I so wanted to take a train, but the only way we can do that is to take a bus to a train leaving at 4am. I tried to psych myself up for it, but really, when I think about what time we need to leave home, only to take a bus for 45 minutes, and then still have to get on a train….with a will-be-then 6 month old baby, I get grumpy. Flights are so expensive, not to mention bad, and we’ll need a car anyway. So we’re going to drive, and we’re going to get a rental because my old car is getting very bad with the gas mileage, and something is happening with the sealing on the doors I think because it’s also getting very loud in the interior when we drive on the highway.

We are both desperate for a relaxing vacation. We can go to Florida for free-Josh’s stepdad is going to give us some free tickets he has and we can stay in his mom’s condo. Flights are bad, I know, but we’re going. Maybe someday we’ll rent a cabin or something in a closer-to-home place, but the appeal of FREE tickets and FREE housing is too great to resist.

So even as I’ve been daydreaming about eco-friendly vacations, I now have two big gas-guzzling trips planned.

Third necessary trip this summer – I need to go to my hometown to see my nieces and nephew. The first weekend in June my niece has a dance recital and she wants me to attend. JJ can’t go. He defends his dissertation less than a week later. So driving the 300 miles is just not an option at all. I will not be in the car alone with Baby Man for that long. My conscience kicked in this time, and I bought a train ticket. It’ll take considerably longer, but I feel good about it.

I know this is rather a boring post, but I’m wondering, are any of you changing your travel habits this summer? If yes, is it because of the cost of gas? or a growing concern for the environment?

Two teeth!

Some crabby nights the past few days. Suddenly this morning we have two teeth! Two teeth at only 5 months 9 days! Not unheard of at all I know.

I hope he’s not a biter.

from google

I get lots of hits from people apparently trying to get information about preterm labor. Often they don’t include any words to indicate emotions, so I don’t know if it’s just about a concern, or true diagnosis, or if it’s for themselves, or a friend, or a loved one.

Today somebody came to my site today via a google search of “preterm labor feel failure.” If you come back, I’m so sorry. Please know you’re not a failure.

No free ice cream here

I have been watching big love, an hbo series about a polygamist family. I have no desire to gain a sister wife, but somehow the show is making me come to grips with my residual yearning for a big family. My best friend in late elementary school came from a Mormon family. she had 3 brothers and sisters when we met, 4 and 5 by the time they moved away. I loved going to their house. Loved it.

Not Mrs. T was all hugs and kisses all the time. Even for me. I remember vividly one evening, when her daughter and I were in sleeping bags in her living room and I was sad because a certain boy didn’t like me, that she promised me one day some boy out there would appreciate my high cheek bones, and that it was ok, really, that I had gotten my period already.

I want my house to be the one all the kids want to come to, and to be the mom my child/ren and their friends can talk to. I loved the chaos of the Ts’ child-centered home.

Anyway. I will not have 6 children. I may not even ever have two living children. I suck for lamenting that already when here I am with my living child. I am incredibly lucky. But I am only human and I have been very sad sometimes these past few weeks about it. Not all the time, but enough that I need to vent.

It is spring and in this town that means there are pregnant women all over. I was standing on a corner the other day and realized that there were 6 other women in sight and all of them had visible pregnant bellies. My heart twisted, even though I was standing there with my son in his stroller. That is ridiculous.

Even if I had a uterus or a cervix that functioned well without assistance, or without a random lightning strike, I wouldn’t have had 6 children. So it’s not the large family issue. It’s the question of will I ever even have 2. That’s a question I don’t even need to think about right now, and I don’t all that often. But sometimes, sometimes already it is plaguing me.

Not what I needed to read

Salon has an article on a new “profession” – baby planners. My response: so when the baby dies will these folks also help you pick out the gravesite, or the urn? Call your family and friends? Or will they just run away, and send your account to collections if you don’t  pay for the “services” already enjoyed?

Screw this. It makes me nauseous.