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The Anatomy of Joy in the Age of Facebook

12 Jan

I’m still here. Thank you to the people who have emailed to check in on me. Silence is never fair to this blog, but I admit I haven’t really been able to muster the words. It’s been a slog to get through the days, much more than anything else. I just haven’t been able to be eloquent.

Until now- because I have something to unpack, and this is the only space in which I can really do so.

29 weeks today. This puts me in a relatively safe space. I say relatively, because no one knows better than I that safety in pregnancy is an illusion. I’ve got a cerclage, a killer case of gestational diabetes, and more anxiety than any human can possibly carry without losing their mind.

That being said – I have to start behaving as if I have a baby on the way. Because if all goes well – that’s happening.

****

I kind of dislike birth announcements on Facebook that come with no advance warning. “Baby!?!? I didn’t even know she was pregnant!” is not a reaction I like to have. I don’t know why – I just find it dissonant and off-putting somehow.

However, I am well on my way to being one of those people that out of nowhere announces a birth. Because I have not said a peep about being pregnant.

Oh – I’ve wanted to. I’ve wanted to share a cute story or two about how my daughter is reacting to the news of being a big sister. I’ve wanted to wax philosophical. I’ve wanted to bitch and complain about sugar withdrawal.

But each time the urge to post a status comes over me, I stop short. Because – I can’t. I just can’t.

Social media gives a snapshot of a moment, without an iota of complexity and nuance. How many friends do I have on Facebook, who don’t know my history, who may be silently suffering through infertility or loss? How many of those will see these snappy musings and feel sick, because all they’re seeing is a snapshot without knowing the whole story?

They don’t know the complexity. They don’t know about the losses. They don’t know about the messy, tangled feelings that I’m grappling with at the moment because I lost a son, and yet I’m about to (please please please) give birth to a son.

They don’t know how I struggle with giving the little boy I carry his own identity. Or the fear I feel because I don’t want to lose touch with the little boy I lost.

All they would see are vapid musings. Little snaps of joy or grumbling with no true feelings. No complexity.

And yet – I don’t think I can stay silent. If all goes well I’ll want to shout about this little boy from the rooftops (please, please, please, please be ok). And then I’m guilty of a custom I loath. The pregnancy announcement blindside. Which often, for people suffering through IF or loss, can be just as cruel as those little missives and announcements in between.

Yesterday I composed a long facebook post, after quite a long time with little to no status updates. This is what I wrote:

There are moments that I’ve wanted to post some news here. It’s not bad news. It’s the kind of messy, wonderful, often sad and scary complicated thing that people don’t post because of all that baggage. But that doesn’t currently feel right to me. So bear with me if you can. This goes deep. 

I’m 20 weeks pregnant with a son. He will be the first baby brother to my furiously magical little girl. 

He will be my sixth baby. 

My fifth, of course, being the amazing creature you see popping up on my feed on occasion My fiercely unique and extraordinary daughter. 

My first three were lost too soon. My Fourth was lost too late. A boy – our son – who entered this world at 22 weeks and didn’t make it.  My eldest son, who I never got to introduce to the world, because there was no celebration to be had. 

I am due March 27th. A month before – February 21st – would have been my son Nadav’s 5th birthday. 

How do you mourn a person who you’ve never truly met, but loved so deeply? How do you embrace joy and celebrate the love you have when there is so much underlying grief? 

How do you do that while leaving space to celebrate the life that is about to come into this world? 

All I know is this: The next few months may have some cute pics of my daughter marveling at my growing frame. Or cynical throwaways about physical symptoms. Hopefully ending in a wonderful post introducing our little boy. Hopefully. Hopefully. Hopefully. 

But that’s not a simple and straightforward thing.
On February 21st I will be mourning the little boy I lost while still hoping to embrace the little boy about to (please please please)  enter the world. 

Trying to do everything in my power to make sure that each of them is loved on their own, as individuals. 

So whatever you see here from me, know that it’s messy. And scary. And is making me unendingly grateful for everything I have, had, and have lost. Grateful and terrified. But grateful. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. 

*****

I wrote it. I posted it. I deleted it about 20 seconds later.

Because just as social media is fit for bite-sized missives, I think it’s unfit for long and complex musings on loss, grief, and joy.

Maybe. Or maybe I’m wrong.

Or maybe, (hopefully, if all goes well), sometime in the next few months, there are going to be a whole lot of people thinking “Baby?!? I didn’t even know she was pregnant!”

For better or for worse. And I don’t know how I feel about that.

 

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Nowhere to Hide

26 Aug

I’ve been debating for a few weeks about whether this is a safe space. I guess I’m posting this to test the waters. Am I safe here?

The truth is I’m currently not safe anywhere.

I thought this time would be easier. It’s not. It’s harder.

I’m just going to come right out and say it.

I’m 9.5 weeks pregnant. For those of you not following along this would be pregnancy number 6. With 1 living child.

The HSG did it. Just like with the Bunny. I guess all I needed was to get my pipes (well – pipe, actually. Singular.) cleaned out.

We’ve seen a heartbeat. It’s all in the right place.

I’m a mess.

I swear I thought having gone through on successful pregnancy would make this easier.

It’s so much harder. Now I know. I really know what it looks like on the other side. How much I really have to lose.

Last time I didn’t have a child. I didn’t have a full-time job that required me to show up at an office every day. I didn’t need to actually function.

I locked myself up in a house for 6 months. I didn’t talk to anyone. I just sat. And sat.

I can’t hide away in life, so I figured I should see what happens when I stop hiding here.

I’m fucking terrified.

Do Not Pass Go

19 Jun

Dr Fertility: This is a little weird, but I’m on the fence between doing nothing and sending you directly to IVF.

Me: Why?

DF: Well, you’ve needed very minimal intervention in the past. How long have you been trying now?

Me: About 9 months at this point.

DF: So yes, I think you should go directly to IVF.

Me: Why not Clo.mid or IUI?

DF: Because the last thing you need is multiples with your history. At least with IVF we can control how many fertilized eggs try to implant.

Today I had a hysterography, all clear. In two weeks we come back to get the ball rolling. Unless by some random miracle I get knocked up naturally between now and September, I can add IVF to the list of shit I never wanted to do but I’m now forced to deal with.

Yay.

PS: No, I don’t plan on using this space as a medical diary chronicling the ins and outs of the quest to get an embryo into my ute. There are enough people doing that on the web, thankyouverymuch.

PPS: Fuck.

Alone with Him

21 Feb

Every year I come to this space on this day, trying to capture the moment of grief and memory and harness it into coherent words.

I think that as the years go by (4 now, if you can believe it), there’s one thing I haven’t managed to truly capture.

It’s lonely here.

A couple of months ago, a co-worker lost her baby girl at 20 weeks. She and I had had “the talk” about a year before – so she knew about Nadav.

I tentatively reached out and asked if I could call.

When we talked, this is what I told her:

This is a horrific loss, because it’s a loss that is abstract to everyone but you. You were the only one that felt her presence physically. To everyone else she was an abstract. At the end of the day, that is the hardest part.

*****

I’ve had more than one person “helpfully” tell me that I should be ok because we have Lili now.

How in the world can I explain to them that having Lili makes the loss all the more complex and hard?

She was born as a result of his absence. She is a miracle. She is a joy.

But she also represents what could have been. It’s hard to explain, but in the darkest moments, every smile of hers could have been his.

Even writing the above sentence leaves me riddled with guilt.

She is perfection, she is love embodied.

But she doesn’t fill the gap he left behind. That’s both impossible to do, and an unfair expectation of her.

She’s not here to fill a gap. She’s her own being – full of rolling laughter and song. But all her own. She doesn’t deserve the burden of making up for an absence. I do all that I can to shield her from that.

Which leaves me here. Another year passed and I feel more alone than ever. The wound in others seems to have healed fully.

But not mine.

He was not an abstract to me. He was real. And physically present.

******

A few days ago I came to this space and ended up reading posts from my pregnancy with Lili. Amidst all of the anxiety there was also a very clear description of her as a person. Even before she arrived, her presence was felt. Her personality shone through. At least to me.

I felt her. I knew her. I understood her before she was present to anyone but me.

How was he any different? I knew him. I understood him.

But he was present to me and me only. He was a picture and an abstract thought to everyone else.

To me, he was physically present.

******

As the last few days have gone by I see how everyone around me, though respectful of my grief, is removed from it. Some, it seems, have even forgotten it completely. Or maybe just forgot the date. Which is fine. It’s been 4 years. I’m  not even sure I’d want to talk about it if they called.

Even my husband, who felt the loss so immensely when it happened, just doesn’t feel it as strongly as I do anymore. He tries his best, but I know that for him, it’s just not as hard as it is for me.

A few nights ago I went on Facebook and looked for my co-worker – now my friend.

It was 4am and I was crying, and I knew she was the one who would understand. And sure enough, there she was, where nobody else was.

*******

I don’t think that anyone has abandoned me. I’m not upset with any of my friends or family.

Like them, my grief has also waned through these 4 years. But it hasn’t disappeared. It has steadied. It has become measured. Others’ grief has as well – but for them, that measure is just much smaller than mine.

They didn’t know him like I did.

So while they abide and support – they don’t truly understand.

Even though I am surrounded I am utterly alone.

******

My son Nadav was born and died on February 21st, 2012. He was here. He was loved.

HE WAS HERE.

Let It Be

18 Feb

There’s a little-known version of Let It Be  by the Beatles. The last verse has different lyrics.

And when the night is cloudy

There is still a light that shines on me

Shine until tomorrow

Let it be.

I wake up to the sound of music

Mother Mary comes to me

There will be no sorrow

Let it be.

When Lili was just a few months old I’d sing Beatles songs to her, and this one was always present. It was the one I used to calm her down.

I’d always sing that line – “There will be no sorrow”

I had googled the lyrics when she was a few weeks old and found this version. Something about it struck a chord. So this was what I sang.

There will be no sorrow.

By the time she was a year old, I’d phased out the song. No particular reason. Maybe the use of “Mother Mary” gave my atheist sensibilities a sense of unease. Maybe I just thought she didn’t like it anymore.

Lili is almost 2 and a half now. Over the last few weeks I’ve started singing it to her again. My voice always cracking at the end.

There will be no sorrow

Let it be

She’s been asking for it when I tuck her in. “Sing lettibe mommy”

So I do

Last night I sang it to her and she asked “what is it?”

“What’s what baby?”

“What lettibe?”

“It means to leave something as it is. To… To keep it the same.”

I struggled to find a definition because it’s not something that can easily be defined.

Maybe it means to leave something alone. A pushback against the conformity.

There will be no sorrow

Let it be

Let the sorrow live. Let the sorrow wash over me and stay a while.

I haven’t been able to stop crying today.

And it’s not even his birthday yet.

There will be no sorrow

Let it be.

Owning It

26 Jun

Never for a moment did I think 4 months would pass in silence here.

Or maybe I did.

This space lies dormant as my life is a wonderful whirlwind of challenges, triumphs, travel, and motherhood.

Are things perfect? Not even close. I struggle daily as my career has gone from zero to sixty, and I find myself leaving Bunny far more often than I ever thought I would.

I struggle to understand my role as a mother, both amidst my ambitious, careerist nature, and the legacy of loss that has brought me to my wonderful little girl. I originally wrote “baby girl” but she’s not really a baby anymore.

I would post 100 pictures of her here. But she’s too big now. It no longer feels right. She has found her own identity.

As have I.

I have re-embraced my drive and ambition and “leaned in” with all of my might. At the same time, trying to push away the demon that is my ingrained image of what a mother is supposed to be. One who only has her children, and nothing else. That is what I grew up with and I am working like hell to break loose of it.

I am carving out a path that is far different than the one my mother demonstrated. That of an equal partnership, equal parenting, and being a strong, ambitious mother who is building a career.

I can only hope that what I’m modeling for my daughter will be an inspiration and not a hindrance. I assume, like all parents, I’ll most likely be responsible for hours of therapy sessions and countless issues.  I have to be ok with that. Because every parent messes up their kid. They just do it differently than their parents before them.

I’m muddling through it, working on embracing motherhood. Working through the anxiety of being different and trying to balance it all. Working through what it means to raise my daughter, while being who I am naturally, but also recognizing the fight and legacy of loss that brought her into my life.

And coming into my own.

For the first time – most likely ever – I feel comfortable in my own skin. I feel absolutely grateful for what I have, and I’m trying to embrace this contentment.

My mother-in-law commented today that I keep on losing weight.

I told her I actually haven’t lost a gram.

Maybe it just re-distributed?

Nope. I’m the same size. Everything fits the same.

So what’s changed?

I hold myself up – just a little higher.

And everything I have at this exact moment? It would not have happened without everything that had come before it – for better, for worse.

Will I return here more often? If I were a betting woman, I’d say yes. But not yet. Not quite.

There will be a moment, sometime in the future, when we will decide it’s time to try to make us a family of four.

And when we decide to jump back into that freezing ocean, I hope this place will continue to be a warm retreat.

And I hope some of you will still be around.

In the meantime, we are basking in the sun, and embracing chaos, routine, and contentment.

I wish all of you the same. I’ll see you again soon.

 

Birthday Boy

21 Feb

This week I’ve been teetering between being on the verge of tears and working so much I don’t have to think or feel.

Yesterday at the office, work was no longer enough. I locked myself in a room and cried until I couldn’t any more.

Lucky my little corner of the open space hides my face.

He’s been moody. Blaming work stress, but we both know that’s an excuse.

She’s been clingy. Maybe she’s taking her cues off of me and him. Maybe it’s because I went away for five days and she’s still recovering from that. Maybe it’s because she’s cutting another tooth.

Last night she woke up crying and I went in to comfort her. I started singing, but my voice broke. I cried and cried until he heard me and came in to take her.

This afternoon as he slept, we played. Puzzles. Play dough. Dr. Seuss. Looking at her through a fog. Smiling, but not present.

It was my turn to read her stories and put her to bed. But he did it. I didn’t think I could manage it.

She wakes up crying. Once. Twice. Three times. When he goes in, she yells “momma”. When I go in she yells “aba”. Always both of us. One is not enough tonight.

The fourth time she’s burning up. He asks her if her mouth hurts. She points at it and says “mouth”. We give her something to break the fever. Put her back down in her bed.

Up she goes again. Five times. Six times. She’s feeling better now. But is too wide awake.

The seventh time comes and she’s screaming.

“Maybe I should just take her to our bed and let her fall asleep on me?”

“That hardly works any more.”

I insist.

“Well, nothing else is working.”

“Will you be ok?”

“I think so.”

I go in and pick up my baby girl. She’s red and raw with tears. I take her to our room. She calms.

I hold her on me. She rolls next to me. I put my arms around her and start to rock gently.

“Shhhhhh”

She gently starts whispering a song to herself about the rain. She claps her hands quietly. She strokes my face.

“Shhhhh”

Her breathing slows.

As February 20th ends and the 21st begins, she grabs my finger with her tiny hand and whispers “momma” as she finally drifts off to sleep.

I whisper back.

“Lili.”

I put her back in her bed. Deep in slumber. Quiet.

1am on February 21st and the tears come back again.

Not sure if they’re happy or sad. Not sure if they’re for her, for me, for her father.

But I am sure of one thing.

They are always for him.

Happy third birthday, precious boy.

These tears I’ve cried
I’ve cried 1000 oceans
And if it seems
I’m floating in the darkness
Well, I can’t believe that I would keep
Keep you from flying
And I would cry 1000 more
If that’s what it takes
To sail you home
Sail you home
Sail you home

I’m aware what the rules are
But you know that I will run
You know that I will follow you
Over silbury hill
Through the solar field
You know that I will follow you

And if I find you
Will you still remeber
Playing at trains
Or does this litte blue ball
Just fade away
Over silbury hill
Through the solar field
You know that I will follow you
I’m aware what the rules are
But you know that I will run
You know that I will follow you

These tears I’ve cried
I’ve cried 1000 oceans
And if it seems
I’m floating in the darkness
Well I can’t believe that I would keep
Keep you from flying
So I will cry 1000 more
If that’s what it takes
To sail you home
Sail you home
Sail you home
Sail
Sail you home

nadav

The Big Podcast Giveaway

15 Feb

**Disclaimer: This post was written with the consent of only one other person, though I believe is respectful to other people’s ownership of the Bitter Infertiles podcast. I have made every effort to do so.

Two and a half years ago, in an attempt to find some healing, I had an idea. That idea later became a podcast. It was a podcast that originally started with four hosts, then down to three, then down to none.

There were a lot of reasons we stopped doing it. Some would say it was “drama” because there was a backlash that the three remaining hosts were all pregnant. Some would say there was “drama” behind the scenes.

But that’s not the truth. Yes, there was backlash. There was some drama behind the scenes. But I think most of you know me well enough to know I can deal with backlash and I thrive on drama.

That’s not why we shut down. Not really.

We shut down because I, being the primary driving force behind it, was very down. It was February. I was just heading into bed rest and dealing with Nadav’s first birthday. I was struggling. I couldn’t keep it going because I just couldn’t find the energy.

Then other stuff happened. But we won’t go into that.

A couple of months ago, me and one of the other hosts had a lovely discussion about possibly passing the torch. The BI podcast was important to us. It was important to a lot of people. It should have a chance to thrive.

We still hadn’t figured out the semantics of how to pass on the torch without hurting feelings. Because we knew it didn’t just belong to the two of us. It was a discussion. We were getting there.

Then another host decided to beat us to the punch without thinking about others’ feelings or discussing it with us. Which inevitably has forced our hand.

Notice I’m not naming names. If you know, you know. That’s fine.

I am not writing this to start a flame war. Because the truth is the person who “forced our hand” had a darn good idea, despite the very bad way she chose to go about sharing it. The past is the past. I have bigger and more productive things to do. And I don’t want this amazing thing, which a lot of people worked very hard to make happen, to be marred with bitterness and BS.

Here’s the thing: This podcast was and is bigger than egos. Bigger than passive aggressive BS. Bigger than drama. It meant a lot to a lot of people It meant a lot to me and the other hosts.

So after discussing it at length with one of the hosts, I am passing the torch, because I know I am no longer built to hold it.

I am passing it on with fairness and love of what it was, what it can be, and the good it has done.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

If you want to take up the Bitter Infertiles brand, complete with iTunes approval, blog and gmail access, podcast hosting service password, EVERYTHING, send me an email and tell me why you want it and what you’d like to do with it.

I will forward your email to ALL FOUR ORIGINAL HOSTS of the podcast. Because we all deserve a say. There will not be drama, we will vote on the merit of the person who wants it. Nothing more.

When a consensus is reached – and it will be reached because I don’t intend on making any of this personal –  the new owner will be announced on this blog and on the BI blog, and will be handed the keys to the kingdom.

A few things to keep in mind:

1) Running a podcast costs money, and the more popular it gets, the more it costs because of hosting and streaming costs. At its peak, I was spending $300 dollars a month to keep the podcast running. You can try to crowdfund it, but whatever you do, you need to find a way to fund it.

2) This will take a lot of time out of your week. I spent an average of 5 hours a week planning, answering emails, and booking guests, 2 hours recording, then anywhere between 5-10 hours editing the podcast every week.

3) Running it requires a minimal knowledge of audio editing and exporting.

4) This podcast meant a lot to a lot of people. Please be willing to take my baby and nurture it for the long haul. I can promise you the rewards are worth the hard work.

When something is created, all of its creators deserve credit and a say. This is the way to do it. I want this podcast to live on. I can’t keep it going myself.

Though I hope whoever takes it over will let me and the rest of the girls drop by for a visit every once in a while.

So… Who’s up? Feel free to share this post with anyone who you think would be a good fit.

The Gap That Is and Isn’t

4 Jan

There’s a community I used to belong to. A community that saved me on my worst days. A community I left with a protesting whimper.

Every once in a while I check in. I pop into the old reader and see what’s going on. Every time I see why I left. Every time I understand it was the right decision for me.

But I still check in. I see the debate. The infighting. The pain. The ongoing triumphs and tragedies.

And when I do, I get thrown back to the days I was a train wreck myself. I find myself being what made me so angry so long ago. A spectator.

So on nights like these, when I go through and click on links from the yearly list I stopped being a part of…

Nights like these are when I cry for my Nadav.

I cry for him and sneak into Bunny’s room, just to see that my little girl is breathing.

Then I pick myself up and realize that I am still glad I left.

I left because I have chosen to move on. This space is still my space, I am still a part of that club. But I choose not to be an active member.

I choose to forget the meaning of BLM and TTC and PCOS and TWW.

On nights like these, if Shmerson is up, I usually tell him I miss Nadav. Because on nights like these I do.

*****

I read about a mother telling her four year old son again about the older brother he’ll never meet. And I wonder – will I tell my four year old daughter the same?

No. She is here and ever present. He was here and fleeting. He was and always will be a gap. An abstract. Something that could have been, that never was. Someone I loved more than anyone I loved before him. Until now.

Had he been there, my lovely amazing wonderful little girl would not be.

And she is here. And she is present. And messy. And scary. And wonderful.

No. I won’t tell.

There will be a day, when the time is right, when I will tell my little girl the reason her dad was the one who dropped her off at daycare every day.

The reason he talks to her teachers and not me. The reason I cry sometimes when I read her a story. And sometimes when I tickle her. And sometimes just when I look in her eyes.

The reason the paintings hanging on our walls are abstract.

That they are what he is to me. And abstract that hangs on the wall in my daily life. Often overlooked, sometimes lingered upon.

I will tell her one day. But she will no longer be my baby girl when she learns the reason her momma used to be a much sadder person.

*****

I read about a mother about to lose her son at 19 weeks. I click to her home page and see she now has another on the way. I see how slowly she is embracing the physical. The present. The “what is” and not the “what should have been.”  I am happy for her.

I read about a mother visiting her daughter’s grave. I wonder where my son is buried. I cry and cry and cry for him.

But then I stop. I look at my daughter sleeping. I pick up discarded pacifiers from the floor. I straighten her blanket and feel a sense of calm.

********

Loss broke me. Loss shattered everything i was. I am still picking up the pieces. I am rebuilding. Trying all at once to capture what once was and reconcile it with what is.

I am building up. Slowly. Slowly.

Building my career. Building my sense of self. Building my identity.

Nights like these I dive back into a world I lived in for years. A world I loved and hated. A world that saved me. But a world I am no longer a part of – at least not in the way I used to be.

A world I choose to stay away from because I am building bridges over gaps rather than staring at them.

I build and build. Sometimes the bridges fall. But mostly they stay up.

Nights like this a brick falls off of the bridge, into the big gap. The one that had to happen for us to be here. In the present.

Building bridges, building contentment.

******

Today I was folding laundry. Bunny can’t stay away from our bedroom when I fold laundry. She loves climbing on the bed, getting eaten by the tickle monster and bouncing up and down to the horsey song.

Shmerson and I look at each other and smile as she struggles to stand on the wobbly bed so she can bounce.

I look at him and say:

“You know another great thing about waiting another year or two? By then she’ll be in municipal preschool so we won’t have to pay for daycare twice.”

He nods.

I start singing the horsey song and Bunny bounces until she falls back, giggling.

There is no gap when that laughter is heard. There is only her. Only us.

“Abba. Mama. Una. Yiyi.”

Shmerson, and me, and Luna and Lili. There is no gap when her voice fills the hallway, squealing those names gleefully.

“Abba. Mama. Una. Yiyi.”

Lili.

I look up at his paintings. Wipe my nose. Long day tomorrow. Wonder what I’ll make Bunny for dinner.

Good night.

*Tap Tap* Is This Thing On?

13 Oct

I’m still here. And I don’t plan on leaving.

I think that’s important to say.

I know updates here have been few and far between. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that there weren’t times over the last few months that I considered boarding up the windows on this blog. I considered it, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do it.

Between Bunny and putting my nose to the grindstone at work, blogging has fallen by the wayside. I want to write, but I don’t have a moment to do it.

Things are hectic, and complex, but all around good. I have so much to say about becoming connected to my ambition again, working mom guilt, my anxiety rearing its ugly head again…

But I just can’t find the time to say it. And for now, that will have to be ok.

A few weeks ago I talked to Shmerson about shutting this space down, but before he even had a chance to put in his two cents, I already realized that the truth is that I know that the day will come where I will need this blog desperately again. I know that day will come. And I want this space to be here then.

Yesterday I took Bunny to the pediatrician because she was running a fever. In the waiting room there was a couple with a boy, around two, and a baby girl.

The boy’s name was Nadav.

I looked at Bunny and looked at that family, and for a clear moment I saw an alternate reality – where Bunny’s big brother was there, wreaking havoc in that waiting room.

Needless to say, last night was a hard night.

Hard nights these days are fewer and further between, and for that I’m grateful. And I know that it may be “wrong” for this space to be a wailing wall, where I come to in crisis, but abandon otherwise.

But that may just have to be what this is for now. And I’m going to have to be ok with that. Because honestly – I have enough to feel guilty about. I don’t need blogger guilt on top of it all.

So bear with me while I deal with occasional contentment, continuing complexity, and routine. Forgive me if I only engage during a crisis. It’s just the best I can do for now.

I hope you drop by sometimes to check on us. I promise to do my best to keep the lights on.

Reflections on a Home

24 Jul

Three years.

I watched as the new kitchen was installed when I was 10 weeks pregnant with Nadav.

6 weeks later, I lay  in the bedroom hoping he would be ok.

6 weeks later, my water broke on the bathroom floor.

4 days later, I sat on the balcony. Empty. Crying and chain smoking.

I spent a lot of time on that balcony crying and chain smoking.

The room that sat empty, waiting to be filled by him ,became a guest room with paintings of flower vases on the walls.

Then we mourned. And we waited. And the gaping wounds became scars.

I cooked meals, fantasizing about what it would be like to cook those same meals for my child.

I took long baths. I listened to podcasts. I recorded some of my own. I painted. I watched a lot of TV.

We built our careers. We held our marriage together through unspeakable pain.

I spent six months making a dent in the same place on the couch. Working. Crying. Worrying. Counting kicks. Watching a lot of Dr. Who and Masterchef.

We brought our baby girl home, healthy.

I sat in the corner of the living room begging for sleep.

I sat in the corner of her room, the room that was once empty, the room that was now full of her joyous being, watching her sleep.

I cooked her first meal in the kitchen I built when I carried her big brother.

I showed her the trees from the balcony where I used to chain smoke and cry.

I watched her crawl for the first time on this floor not 10 feet away from where my water broke.

I watched her stand for the first time, leaning on the walls covered with paintings made in the service of healing.

I watched her dance for the first time, with the sunlight streaming through these windows that I looked through for all of those months that I sat here, keeping her safely inside me.

This place, which has known more joy and more grief than I ever thought any place could contain.

This place, where I laughed and cried and cooked and hugged my husband.

Where we planted a tree on his first birthday.

Where we danced around the living room with her more times than I can count.

This place, where we thought we would live for a very long time.

This place that has a magical power: It releases grief and retains joy and light.

This place, that can no longer be our home, because it’s time to move on.

This place, which I entered lost, I inhabited wounded, and I leave – found.

This place where I came into my own.

Where we came into our own.

Where we became a family.

Our first true home. Her first home.

Tomorrow it will be emptied, waiting for another family to inhabit it.

I hope it gives them as much as it has given us.

I hope his tree grows big and tall – watching over it.

I hope we find another home that will harbor us and protect us like this one has.

That will empty out grief and retain joy and light.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

20 Jul

Somebody tell me what the fuck I’m supposed to do.

I’ve lost people I love to terrorist attacks.

I’ve seen people around me lose husbands and sons to this conflict.

I’m afraid to voice my own beliefs on this blog for fear of getting attacked for them.

Because even though I’m a moderate I’ve been called a Nazi for even believing that I have a right to call Israel my home.

So I keep my views to myself because I know that this is an English language blog, that gets read by people in the United States. And Canada. And Europe.

And a host of other places where anti-semitism is on the upswing.

A host of places I admit I wish I could move to.

Because I don’t want my daughter to lose someone she loves to a terrorist attack. Or have to run into a bomb shelter in the middle of the night. Or have to watch her government take drastic action that she doesn’t agree with.

But tell me – what the fuck am I supposed to do?

I can’t leave. I’ve lived outside of this country before. I’ve been hated and cursed for being Jewish. For being Israeli.

Yes. I have. I have stories that would make your skin crawl.

But I don’t talk about that on this blog.

Because I know there’s some asshole out there who thinks that I don’t deserve to live because of the place where I was born and where I live.

And another asshole who would think I’m self-hating because I don’t support my government’s decisions blindly.

And another asshole who thinks that me thinking that I have a right to live in this country in peace makes me a bad person.

So tell me

What the fuck am I supposed to do?

I can’t up and leave. I can’t leave my family. Leave my friends. Leave my job. Leave a life I’ve worked so hard to build.

I can’t go anywhere else because anywhere else I’m different. Anywhere else I’m hated.

But how the fuck am I supposed to raise my child in this? How the fuck am I supposed to live in this reality?

Where my country is under siege by a group of monsters who use their women and children as human shields.

But that means that my country hurts those women and those children in the name of protecting us.

And as I sit here and type these words all I can think about is how every Israeli right wing fundamentalist will read this and curse me out for being a traitor, and every anti-Israel nut job will read this and say that I’m a criminal simply for living here. For having my child here. For building my home here. For belonging to this country.

But this is my home.

So tell me – what the fuck am I supposed to do?

Stay silent. Wrap myself and my child in a bubble of denial.

But she’ll be old enough one day to understand the things that are going on around her. She’ll be old enough one day to be afraid. To ask questions.

This never ending war. It’s been going on since before my parents were born. How long will it continue?

How long until EVERY HUMAN BEING in this region will feel safe in their own home?

How long until I can stop shedding tears for the grief, fear, and sense of insecurity that my daughter will one day inevitably feel?

But I can’t leave. Because this is my home. And I’m hated and shunned everywhere else.

Yet I’m hated and shunned here. And I’m hated and shunned for living here.

And I don’t see how my daughter’s fate will be any different.

So tell me – what the fuck am I supposed to do?

The Only Parenting Book I’ll Ever Read (Kind Of) – Part 2

5 May

Read part 1 here

During the first week of February, Shmerson and I were watching “The Colbert Report”. I admit – we generally skip the interviews, unless either of us finds the person intriguing. This time, we watched just because it was late and we weren’t quite ready to go to bed, but didn’t want to start another show.

Colbert interviewed an author named Jennifer Senior. If you’re in the US, you can watch the interview here.

Now, just for context, I’ve been watching Colbert since he premiered almost a decade ago. I’ve barely missed an episode. And there was a time that I did watch almost every interview as well. During all this time, there have only been two instances (out of what I assume are hundreds of interviews) where I was compelled to buy a book because of an interview on Colbert. The first was “Freakanomics“, the second was “Blink“.

The interview with Senior brought me to instance number 3.

It started when Senior said the words: “Joy is very hard to tolerate.” My ears perked up. I looked up from my game of Candy Crush (don’t judge me!). That felt true.

Then, she quoted a psychiatrist that she interviewed for her book. I later learned his name is George Valiant. The quote was: “Joy is grief inside out.”

When I heard that sentence I paused the show. I wrote it down. I swallowed it whole. I felt how poignant and true it was for me.

I even used it in a post a few days later, not yet knowing its attribution.

Then I went on Audible (no time to read, a long commute, and a problematic attention span has had me mostly in audio books over the last few years) and immediately bought Senior’s book: “All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood”.

It took me a couple of months to get to it, but finally – a few of weeks ago – I finished it.

I finished it. I processed it.

Unlike the fake, temporary parting of the clouds that Mrs Whisperer’s book created, now having given myself some time to take it in, I can sincerely say that Senior’s book has profoundly changed me. It has changed the way I parent. Inside out.

But here’s the thing – it never once told me how I should raise Bunny. Not once.

What this book has done is made me change the way I understand parenting. Which has made me a profoundly different parent.

“All Joy and No Fun” is a book about context. It covers everything from newborns to older children leaving the nest, to losing a child. It covers these things by telling personal stories of real parents that are parenting today. How they’re parenting, why they make the choices they do.

Then it takes all of that information and puts it into a larger historical, sociological, and psychological context.

I’ll give away the twist, because Senior gives it away pretty early on herself:

Parenting as we know it has been around for less than a hundred years, and is trying to replace traditions and norms that were around for centuries.

Parenting equally between spouses (or the attempt to) has been around for even less time.

Which means that for the time being, we’re all pretty much flying by the seat of our pants. Where there once were rules, traditions and norms, now there are none. We are the pioneers. We are building new rules. And building new rules – especially in this day and age, when our world is evolving at the speed of light – is freaking hard.

Senior reminds us of that. Acknowledges how hard it really is.

At the same time, the stories that she tells and the research that she cites somehow managed to make me feel less alone. Less confused. Less like I’m walking through a dark tunnel full of landmines.

Senior talks about things that we refuse to say. She brings to light the darkest thoughts, the hardest feelings. Those things that parents (I think perhaps especially those parenting after infertility and loss) are afraid – even on these anonymous blogs – to say out loud.

Senior’s book – in short – is a parenting book about how to deal with being a parent.

With every chapter I found myself cheering, and crying, and nodding along.

And as I listened on I found that I was going through a profound transformation.

I was forgiving myself. I was forgiving Shmerson. I was becoming more understanding of why he is the father that he is, and why I am the mother that I am. I was becoming more tolerant of our differences.

And most importantly – I was becoming more tolerant of myself.

Because if Senior’s book has done anything – it’s made me understand what a shaky, scary, yet rewarding road I’m on. And that I’M the one on it. That parenting Bunny is just as much about me as it is about her. I deserve to feel it. I deserve to experience it.

I also deserve to build a life outside of it.

I think anyone who reads this book will most likely come away with something different. It may change you profoundly, it may give you a sense of belonging, or it may just give you some historical context. I don’t know.

But I do know that it’s worth your time. And I swear nobody is paying me to write this. I sincerely feel that every mother – whether she’s single, working, stay-at-home, married, divorced, young, or old – should read this book.

I will most likely never read another parenting book. I still think that my original thesis is right: Books that tell you how to parent are silly. Now that I understand how new and evolving our concept of parenting is, these books seem even more silly to me.

This, however, is a not a book about how to parent. This is a book that tells you WHY you parent.

And that makes all the difference in the world.

I got my domain back!!!!

15 Apr

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog posts for some great news!

The troll who stole my domain name when I was a few days late renewing it has been defeated! (Ok – not really, he just listed the domain up for auction and I snapped it up. Better than the 500 bucks the a-hole was demanding last year).

ANYWAY

We’re back! Mommyodyssey.com is back!

Please update your readers accordingly.

Be back in a couple of days with even more depressing PPA posts!

Edited to add:

It may still not be working for everybody – but should be linked up at most within 24-48 hours.

Contact me if you’re having any issues…

Yay!

PPA Part 3 – Dinner

9 Apr

Bunny is 3 days old. It’s our first night home. We are in pure bliss. The post-labor high hasn’t quite worn off yet. We give her a bath. We take the cutest pictures ever. I can’t stop smiling.

Bunny falls asleep and we order pizza.

Blessed pizza.

I’ve been waiting for pizza for 4 months. It was off limits because of the gestational diabetes. I’ve been wanting this pizza more than anything.

Ok – almost anything.

Blessed carbs.

I have a slice.

Something doesn’t feel right. I feel hot. I run to the bathroom. I bend over the toilet – gagging.

It’s nothing. It’s my hormones acting up. This is supposed to happen around three days postpartum. It’s my body not being used to the junk food. It’s me being tired.

It’s nothing.

Bunny is 4 days old. My milk has come in. The high has worn off. Happiness abounds, but the lack of sleep is starting to reach crisis point.

I make spaghetti.

A few bites in and I can’t stomach it. By the end of dinner I’m once again gagging.

Maybe it’s just too heavy for me.

 

 

Bunny is 5 days old.

Sushi. I waited 10 months for sushi.

Gag. Sputter. Gag.

 

When I was a teenager, my parents used to joke that they knew when I was anxious, because they would hear me cough.

That’s where I used to feel my panic attacks – in my throat. They used to start in my throat.

But not any more. That hasn’t happened for years and years. These days they’re supposed to start with my eyes. With my ears ringing. With a weird buzzing around my head.

 

Bunny is 6 days old.

I have started a very low dose of a an anti-anxiety med that is safe for breastfeeding. But it’s skittles compared to xan.ax. Does it do the job? Not really. But it helps. It took headphones on at full blast, bunny in another room,  and complete darkness – but I slept for two hours.

Chicken meatballs and rice.

Gag.

Without thinking – I grab a skittle pill.

 

Right. This is what this is. My body has decided. This is how I panic now. Again. It’s back in my throat.

The skittle helps and I finish dinner.

 

New Years Eve. Bunny is 3 months old. We have been to a good friend’s house. Eaten good food, drank good Lambrusco, had an amazing time. Bunny is asleep at her grandparents’ and we are walking distance from our beds.

Shmerson reflects on where we were last year. Announcing my pregnancy to the same people we just celebrated with. Two years ago – pregnant with Nadav, taking it easy. Three years ago – on a break from trying – at a restaurant with friends. Four years ago – planning our wedding – no idea what was to come.

Today. Look at us today.

I realize that there is a baby waiting for us – five minutes away.

A baby. She’s ours. She’s mine.

Gag. Sputter.

I have to stop and catch my breath.

Gag. Retch. Gag.

People walking next to us are starting to stare.

Gag. Gag. Retch.

I lean on a tree. Bend over.

Gag.

I try to breath deep. I start rummaging through my purse, crying.

Gag.

Here it is.

Gag.

Good.

I build up the spit in my mouth between gags. Pop the pill and swallow.

Xan.ax.

Blessed Xan.ax.

 

The Painting

6 Nov

There’s a painting I made a bit after Nadav died. It’s full of abstract shapes and colors, and resonates a sort of calm chaos that’s hard to describe. I hid his name amongst the shapes, masking it, so it’s there, but only I can see it. I don’t tell anyone where it is. It’s for me and him. The painting is for him.
It hangs in our living room, right above the spot I like to sit on the couch. Where I bring my legs up and lean Bunny on them to look in her eyes. Where I sing to her and feed her. Where I comfort her when she cries.

We hung it there before she was born, just because it fit there best amongst the rest of the paintings in the space. There was no other reason.

Now that she is older;
She’s started to recognize shapes and colors.
She makes eye contact with me and smiles.

Sometimes I lift her up and try to get her to look me in the eye, and give me a smile. I find her looking right above me, where the picture hangs.

Then after looking for a while, she looks down again. She finds my eyes, I kiss her and she smiles.
And I smile back.
I’m glad she likes the colors and shapes. I’m glad it hangs where it hangs.

Mother’s Intuition My Ass

4 Nov

So Bunny’s doctor decided to let us try a new formula, this time lactose free for sensitive stomachs, until we get in to see a gastro specialist next week. Mind you, this is the fifth one we’ve tried.
So we try it. 4 feedings now and each one has been a battle. She screams and chokes and cries until I coax the contents of the bottle in. She hates it and it’s obviously not helping her reflux, but things are “flowing” again, and her tummy seems to hurt less.
Of course today is the pediatrician’s day off, so calling him is not an option.
So what the eff am I supposed to do now? Go back to the old formula that she ate like a champ but clogged up the pipes, or stick with the new one which is a nightmare to get her to eat, and makes her gag, but at least she’s digesting it well?
Everybody keeps on telling me that I’m her mother and I know best. How the eff am I supposed to know what to do in this situation?
Go one way and she suffers.
Go the other and she suffers, only differently.

And of course because I can’t make a decision, and because I’m giving her formula in the first place and not breastfeeding I feel like a crappy mom.

Apparently my maternal instincts either suck, or maybe, just maybe, I’m not a freaking doctor so how the eff am I supposed to know what to do?

Urgh. Just… Urgh.

Infertile Parenting 101 (Month 1)

9 Oct

(Bla bla I haven’t posted in a while. Bla bla stuff about babies being hard. Bla bla more rambling about the future direction of the blog, followed by the statement that I will just be winging it and a promise not to abandon it. Bla bla, apologies to those still in the trenches, with an understanding that they don’t have to keep following if they don’t want to. Bla bla bla.)

So being a parent after 3.5 years of longing for a living, healthy baby is kind of a surreal experience. Since I’ve been doing it for almost 5 weeks now  (which obviously makes me a pro, right?) I thought I’d share with you some pearls of wisdom. Because let’s face it – though parenting is similar for everyone, parenting after infertility and loss comes with its own set of challenges and revelations. I’ve labelled this post “Month 1” because this may become a regular monthly thing. Then again, it may not. Because lesson 1: If you have a newborn, you really shouldn’t make promises. Lesson 2: If you have a newborn, you will find yourself typing out cliches like the one you just read.

So here we go:

  • You will most likely not break your baby. It’s kind of hard to believe, but once they’re out in the world, they become fairly durable. So chances are if you, say, accidentally bump their head on the corner of your laptop while you’re typing up a blog post (this is a purely hypothetical scenario of course), then you will most likely not cause any brain damage. And no, the fact that they keep sleeping because they barely felt the bump anyway does not mean that even more serious damage has been done than you initially suspected. Babies sleep, and they don’t really care if their head occasionally grazes a laptop corner (hypothetically, of course).
  • You will wish your baby had one of those collars like the dogs had in “Up.”  Babies can’t talk. That becomes incredibly frustrating at times because you really want to know what they want/what they need/what hurts/etc. Therefore you may spend your very rare spare moments fantasizing about acquiring a fictional collar from an animated film.

Source
  • You will realize that constantly making sure that he/she is still breathing while they are asleep is impractical. Eventually you will understand that you need sleep, and that chances are that your baby will keep breathing even when you’re not looking. And the worst-case-scenario: You have that high tech monitor you spent way too much money on to alert you if something goes awry, FSM forbid.
  • You will apparently never be able to post cynical things on Face.book ever again. If some of your FB friends are even remotely aware of your struggles, their unbridled “I’m so happy for you!” sentiments will be the rainy cloud over any of your attempts to be a cynic about your newfound status as a parent. So if you post a status asking people to ban you from their feeds if you discuss your child’s digestive habits publicly, you will get very few lols and lots of “you do whatever you want! You deserve it! Yay you!”s. And though you will appreciate the sentiments, there will be a small part of you that will quietly wish that they would just appreciate your cynicism and lingering bitterness and no longer single you out as being different. Though another part of you does think that yes, you are different, and how awesome is it that everyone is celebrating? This scenario is purely hypothetical, of course.
  • You will walk into baby stores and actually enjoy shopping there. You may as well get used to it. The places you spent so much time and energy avoiding all those years will now be taking all of your money.
  • You will see other people with babies and smile at them rather than avoid their gaze. At first this will surprise and even anger you. Then you will get over it.
  • You will find yourself doing all the annoying things you’d never thought you’d do.  Shamelessly showing pictures of your baby to total strangers? Check. Discussing their bowel movements and other digestive habits with anyone willing to listen and some who would really rather not? Check. Dressing the baby up in adorable outfits with “gender appropriate” color schemes? Check. Being all “Wait until you have kids and then you’ll know what tired is” to people, even if you only think it and don’t say it out loud? Check.
  • You will find yourself parenting via google. And most of your search queries will be somehow linked to either eating or poop.ing. Because you don’t have one of those handy collars from “Up” so you read your baby’s digestive system as if it was a pack of tarot cards.
  • You will have an app for recording your baby’s bodily functions. And you will use it. All the time. See above.
  • You will feel guilty. A lot. Did you wait too long too feed them? Did you not wait long enough? Why aren’t they gaining more weight? Are you giving them enough stimulation? Is it ok that you’re watching “Top Chef” while you’re feeding them? Is leaving them for 5 hours to run errands and get a manicure evidence that you are a horrible mother? The last two scenarios are purely hypothetical, of course.
  • You will feel pressure to constantly be happy now that you’ve achieved what you’ve wished for. Whether that pressure is self-inflicted or external, it will be there. And I have no words of wisdom to make that feeling go away. Just make sure you’re taking care of yourself.
  • You will not be constantly happy. And that’s ok. There is a whole new person that’s invaded your life. And they’re not really a whole person yet. They don’t make eye contact, they only smile when they’re gassy, and all they do is eat, sleep, poo, pee, and cry. Taking care of this whole new person is hard. And sometimes you have a hard time grasping that this person is yours. And sometimes you’ve barely slept and they’ve been fussy and you just want to cry because you don’t know how to make things better, and you really just want to sleep for longer than three hours at a time. Apparently, it’s normal to not be overjoyed 24-7. You can be tired. And frustrated. And anxious (OMG so anxious). And yes, even sad sometimes. Really and truly – it’s ok. And taking care of yourself during those times is ok too. (I need to remind myself of all of this constantly, and you should too).
  • You will still feel like you’re different.  Your past losses, frustrations, and traumas will not magically go away. They will get a different perspective, yes. They will change color and tone. They will morph into something different. But they will still be there. There will still be moments that you remember and cry. You will see that a friend of yours, who was married a year and a half after you, is already pregnant with or raising baby number 2. And it will sting, because deep down inside, you will know that though most of the world thinks your baby is “baby number 1”, it’s not. It’s number 5 of 5 pregnancies. Or the second baby you physically gave birth to. Or the 9th embryo transferred. Or the first successful cycle after 25 failed ones. Or the 3rd time a birth parent chose you. Your losses are still your losses. And it could be that no one understands that except you. Don’t bother explaining it. Let them celebrate your “first”. You celebrate your strength to make it through and bring this baby home. And I’ll say it again: Always, ALWAYS remember to take care of yourself.
  • You will find yourself doing things you never thought you’d be capable of doing. Like organizing the baby’s room, doing a load of her laundry and folding it and putting it away. Or washing bottles. Or tidying up the living room. All while a baby is strapped to you in a Moby (that you magically figured out how to use). And you never did these things before. Ever. You would leave your clean clothes in a separate hamper that the cleaning lady would fold when she came every two weeks, and then you would still keep those folded clothes on the guest bed and not bother putting them in a closet. You would leave things in piles everywhere. Now you’re all – ORGANIZE ALL THE THINGS! And even though you still suck at it, you’re making an effort. Which is just plain crazy. These scenarios are purely hypothetical, of course.
  • Nobody is coming to take your baby away from you. Chances are that because of the time you’ve spent wanting to have a baby, and because of how hard you’ve worked at it, you’re pretty much as emotionally ready to be a parent as anyone can really be. Which means that you’re most likely a pretty decent parent and no one will come and take away your baby. You will find yourself standing in line in a department store, holding a pair of swaddle blankets, and swaying your hips back and forth. Then you will realize that your baby isn’t currently strapped to you, and is in fact back at home with her grandmother. But she has become such an integral part of your life that you instinctively rock her, even when she’s not physically there. And then, for a moment, you truly get that she’s yours to keep, and what a fucking miracle that truly is.

That’s a purely hypothetical scenario, of course.

The Story Continues

5 Sep

*L*i*l*a*c*h***Y*a*g*u*r* (In Hebrew, pronounced lee-lach) was born at 1:45am on September 5th, to the immense relief of her parents, perfect in every way.

34 hours after induction began, with no major complications. Will update more when I’m in front of a real computer. We want to be careful with her online presence so please refer to her as “the bunny” in the comments.

Holy crap you guys. I can’t believe she’s really here…

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Bullets and Bunnies: Stitchy Edition

8 Aug
  • We had a check up with the high-risk OB today (36 weeks, 2 days). B5’s tummy is measuring about 10 days behind but her head is right on track. The doc didn’t seem concerned about it, so I’m not going to be either. She’s gained about 300 grams in two weeks, and is now estimated at around 2.5 kg. That’s about 5.5 pounds for you Americans. She also passed her NST with flying colors.
  • I got the official referral to Labor & Delivery to get the cerclage out, and that’s happening this Sunday or Monday. Yipes! There’s only about a 5% chance that removal of it will cause labor, but I’m packing the hospital bag this weekend just in case. I’m also trying not to get my hopes up. It’s still a little early, and she’ll come out when she’s good and ready. So they say. So I keep trying to tell myself.
  • B5 is getting crowded in there.  A couple of days ago she pulled some ninja moves that hurt like a mofo. I told her sternly that I’m very happy that she’s so active, but would she please just come out already so I can see the ninja moves rather than feel them?
  • I seriously need this baby out already. I know we’re still kind of at the point where she’s most likely to do better inside then out, but the anxiety is killing me. I’m constantly obsessing, fretting, and worrying about what’s to come. I need her to be here, and be ok.  I’m practically full term, that should be enough. I need to see her, living and breathing in front of me.
  • Just so you understand how deep the crazy goes: The doc gives me the L&D referral to get the cerclage out. He says I could go anytime between now and whenever, really (which is actually encouraging and I guess means he’s fairly confident that she’s fully cooked).  You don’t need to make an appointment for a cerclage removal here, you just go into L&D in the morning with a referral and they get ‘er done. So I talked it over with Shmerson and we decided Sunday or Monday, depending on what’s going on with his work. Then I looked at the referral again and noticed the words “good for 24 hours” on it  (it’s an automatic thing with L&D referrals). And the referral has today’s date. So I go back into the doc’s office and point this out. He crosses out today’s date, puts in Sunday’s, and signs the paper where he changed it.  I leave the clinic, and then spend the next HOUR AND A HALF literally obsessed with worry that L&D won’t admit me because of a bad referral. I mean what if I come in and they don’t approve of the handwritten change? What if that’s ok, but we come in Monday and the referral is dated Sunday? Will they count that as 24 hours or will the date change screw it up? I finally CALL the hospital, describe the referral in detail, tell them when I’m thinking of coming in, and check whether they will accept it. Of course they said they would. I spent an hour and a half worried sick about it. Honestly, I’m still a little worried about it. Even though I’ve been told explicitly that it’s ok. Moral of the story: I literally cannot fathom things actually going right. They have gone wrong for so long that it’s much easier for me to just think that they will continue to go wrong. Even when I am told “this isn’t a problem”, I’m still afraid it will be a problem. This is not a good way to live through these next couple of weeks. My head is not a fun place to be, I assure you.
  • My belly button is in danger of becoming an outie. It’s getting very squished at this point. So Shmerson and I have given it a voice with which we dub it often, and decided that it is the perfect way to channel my feelings. An emoji emoticon has been chosen to properly represent the belly button’s constant sense of disdain toward the world. The Hebrew word for belly button is “poopik”. I have been texting  Shmerson regular updates during the day on Poopik’s emotional state.  “Poopik is worried”, “Poopik is bored”, and so forth. Today, Poopik has fluctuated between freaking out and proclaiming that “Poopik is not amused.” Which of course, it never is. It’s part of what makes Poopik Poopik.
  • That last paragraph made me realize just how far gone I really am. Poopik concurs, in case you were curious.
  • Ok, so a few of you guys have requested a bump pic. Since I’m fairly huge, I thought it was time I gave in and actually had Shmerson take a couple, as much as I hate getting my picture taken.  And posting a bump pic is still on my “stuff that freaks me out” list. But with the exception of this, I have not had one picture taken of myself this pregnancy, so I figured I should at least have a few, right? So here ya go (and yes I am wearing the same shirt as before since it’s practically the only one that fits at this point. Also, note the “I hate having my picture taken” faces I pull. Epic.):

bump1 bump2

  • I leave you all with bunnies and a promise to update once the stitch is removed. Poopik has spoken. Poopik out!

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