Monthly Archives: December 2008

Screw You

Would you believe that an acquaintance who I ceased to think of as a friend years ago has managed to stick her foot further down her throat? She first pissed me off when she remarked about my ex-boyfriend’s quick re-entrance to the dating world after our break up 8 years ago, “Your relationship must not have meant much to him.” She’s annoyed me more over the years, but I started ignoring her after she ignored Natan’s birth.

In her letter, she announced that her daughter “inconveniently” arrived a few days before her due date. But fortunately she and her husband weren’t “totally blindsided” because they’d spent months (during those times they weren’t busy ruining the environment by flying around to various vacation spots in their private airplane) preparing for her arrival. No worries though. Their lives hardly changed at all as they quickly boarded their plane with the new bundle of joy for yet another vacation.

I swear next year I will not even open the damn message.

Never, never f***ing ever send out a message calling a full-term birth of a living, healthy child inconvenient. It’s not funny.

Crazy or not?

Thank the universe and medical science for Baby Man. I kiss him and hug him and tell him he’s the best thing ever a thousand times a day.

Here’s my crazy thought. We all know how often people tell us in subsequent pregnancies to “relax,” that our stress can affect the baby. I’ve read currently pregnant babyloss mama’s words as they struggle to “enjoy” their pregnancy for the baby’s sake.

Well we recently got Baby Man’s first “semester report” from daycare, which confirmed much of what I already knew. Guess who’s a very relaxed, easy-going baby? Guess who’s so cheerful and happy that random strangers comment on it? Yep, that’s right, the baby whose mama spent her pregnancy scared out of her mind, a nervous wreck, and freaking out in L&D every few weeks.

I can’t take credit. I didn’t do this to Baby Man. He came out this way.

But then, he’s also “exceptional” in his empathy. He’s 12 months old and crawls over to pat and comfort crying children. He watches people so carefully through the wisest, sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen. My Baby Man.

I’m sure this sounds just as crazy as the blame game and laying guilt on already-stressed women about their stress. But I like to think that maybe Baby Man absorbed a little love for other human beings as he lay in my uterus, because somehow, somewhere his system recognized what other people called “stress,” as a marker instead of the incredible love and desire I had, and his father had, and all of our friends, family, and every doctor and nurse who cared for us had, to bring him into this world alive, healthy and strong.

Because Rosepetal Asked

Perhaps I will post a picture of Baby Man eating a cupcake on his birthday later, but they’re not on this computer. He didn’t do the requisite mess-making anyway. He was actually very neat and careful with his cupcake–making sure not to get any frosting whatsoever on his face.  Which was very different from usual. He’s been known to dump a plate over his own head because he thinks it’s hysterical to look through the plate at me. Which of course, it is. My mom actually thought he was scowling in the picture, but he was just thinking very hard about his task of eating. They were not the messiest cupcakes anyway, homemade with purple frosting (I told my husband blueberries wouldn’t make blue frosting…).  But they were certainly among the yummiest.

So here’s Baby Man at just a few days short of one, with and in some of his birthday presents from grandparents:

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The Octopus, actually, was a very reluctant gift from his cousin. It had been hers and while at home she was very excited to give it to Baby Man, but when she actually arrived at his party, not so much….We had two parties, one over Thanksgiving weekend for the family, one here for friends. Baby Man puked shortly into his family one, causing it to end with another visit to a walk-in clinic.

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I love that little smile and the way he rests his hands on his legs when he sits up straight. Probably nothing anyone else would notice, but I like observing every little thing he does and the particular ways he does it. I’m a bit obsessed with him. He also has a gorgeous full-on grin as well, that shows his 8 fabulous (ly sharp) teeth.

By the way, thank you Julia for remembering Baby Man on your blog! It was an awesomely happy day.

Deep Breaths

Can I do this task? Can I rejoin the blogging world? Should I? I am full of excuses.  I am thankful to the very few people who will still read this post, for getting me through the year almost two years ago now, or for being happy for me that Baby Man arrived safely.

But you know how when your baby dies you find strength to get through it, and function daily, as in you breath in and out, don’t or do always eat, don’t or do always sleep? Add to that a living baby, a need to sit in front of the computer at every spare moment and clunk out a dissertation, a need to get out job applications, and a need to be a halfway decent wife and real-space friend? Some people would manage beautifully, and still continue to support the people who supported her, but not me. I crashed. Hard.

What with teaching on my own for the very first time, trying to be on the academic job market for the very first time, three ear infections (Baby Man’s), one upper respiratory infection (Baby Man’s), a sinus infection (mine), pneumonia (Baby Man’s), stomach flu (Baby Man’s, mine, my husband’s), a near deadly dental-floss eating habit (Tom cat’s), I just hit a point where I couldn’t think long enough beyond necessary tasks to even complain online. You can imagine, as well, the mood between the adults in the house for much of the time.

But through it all, I was ok. Because at least no one died. I remember a long way back when I mused that one of the most painful parts of having your baby die was the emptiness, the nothing-to-do in a time that should have been the most exhausting, busiest time of your life. That, I tell you, is so, so true. Even Baby Man’s hackiest, snottiest, pukiest night was more tolerable than the old silence.

And I re-entered the social real-space world. It’s a rough fall for most of my friends here, in grad school. We are all on the market in a scene where up t0 1/3 of the jobs we’ve applied for have vanished, many are downgraded. And we’re competing against one another for those few that are left. I’m doing alright so far, job-front wise. Scary times, though, as even the old option of just sticking around our department won’t work anymore, as it has for cohorts in the past.

When I say crashed, I mean turned inward, could only focus on the people and things right in front of me. Couldn’t find the energy to remember the sadness on this blog for long. Natan entered my thoughts everyday, but he couldn’t stay long enough for me to type a post.

Perhaps now that I’m done teaching and onto the revisions process of my dissertation I’ll find time to write again. I don’t know though.

At the very least, Baby Man deserves a birthday post. He’s the greatest.

I wanted to make my F*#@book status: “Beruriah’s heart came back to her a year ago today,” on the 14th, but I chickened out. I just couldn’t open that door. But I will try to tell you all about it later this week.