Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Back to Work

I go back to work tomorrow.....

Yeah, I have already started to cry....

Sunday, February 22, 2009


A lot of people have been asking what we are going to do with Radha as the date of my eminent return to work draws near.

Well, the week she was born, Peyton and I re-had the conversation that we had a few weeks before Ronan was born.

We are fortunate to live in San Antonio, a relatively low-cost of living place. We are also fortunate to live next to Peyton's parents, who are more than willing to help with Radha. But, as Ronan died and I was hopped up on narcotics healing from the C-section when Radha was born, it became really important for us to talk about Peyton staying home with Radha.

We had talked about this possibility when I was pregnant with Ronan, and when he died, so did Peyton's chance for this opportunity. I often talk women's identities being lost when we lose a child, but in truth, the fathers also have to deal with this transformation. Anyway, as we were walking down this path again (for real this time), I got a phone call from my boss stating that our raises were in, and to give him a call back.

For those of you who are local and know where I work, you know the base is being relocated in 2 years. The absorption of our base with the other base has already happened on paper. In October, we had to be reclassified into their system, which grades scientists differently than other civilian employees (instead of a GS we are now a DR). Well, the retarded powers that be decided to make almost everyone a DR1. That means that lab techs were classified the same as junior scientists with a PhD. It screwed A LOT of people. I was one of the few who were classified as a DR2 *(but in reality am a DR3). Part of the logic *is there any* for doing this is that when we were re-evaluated in October, we should get a hell of a raise.

We didn't believe it, but we all grumbled and played the game. The game entailed writing pretty lengthy paragraphs about how great we were. It took about 2 weeks of pimping all of our statements, which our boss took to a meeting of other bosses and became the cheerleader for us.

Well, he must have done a hell of a toe-touch, because it worked. We all got BIG raises (but not reclassified as of yet). By the time the ink is all dried, I got about a 28% raise.

I make good money. Now, with this raise, I make great money. I always wanted to make this much money, figured I could with a few years under my belt, but the new powers that be at the new base thought we were being paid chicken scratch.

God Bless those men.

Now with news of this raise, we took it as a sign that Peyton could, in fact, stay home with Radha. He put in his notice and his last day is Friday.

If you will, go offer him support. I think it's going to be a fun ride....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Broken Records

When Ronan died....

Our son died this time last year....

When we were here last, things were different....

We lost our son last January....

I found myself uttering these phrases a million times when we were in and around the hospital.

There is something about a new baby that elicits the conversation about previous children, or what awaits you at home. I am finding that people's reactions to my statements are usually sympathetic and not horrified, a type of understanding that bad things can happen, but you can move on forward if you need to/want to/have to.

Today I walked into a chic boutique and glanced at the ridiculously priced items for baby girls and the chatty woman proceeded to ask me a thousand questions. Do you have a boy or a girl? How old? When I was checking out, she asked about babies at home, and I told her the story....

"We lost our son last year, so when I was pregnant with her, we really didn't buy anything until she came. We were cautious because we lost our son in the 3rd trimester," I said.

The woman looked at me, said she was sorry, and choked back tears. I saw them. Tears.

A stranger has tears for our loss. Only those in DBL know what that kind of response did for my tattered soul.

And I was reminded of a story that I haven't shared for lack of time, but was wondering what ya'll thought out there.

I wrote about an old friend who sent me an announcement about the birth of her perfect, genetically normal son.

I never responded to her.

I must have been on glue, because in my holiday greeting melee, I included her and her husband in my greeting. In response of my card I received:

1 Christmas greeting with a picture of her daughter and new son AND 1 birth announcement announcing, yet again, the birth of Zachary.

I didn't do much. All this arrived a week or so before the girl decided to grace us with her presence.

So, in another glue-sniffing moment, I Cc'd her on an e-mail I sent to friends back in Michigan announcing the birth of Radha, and in the e-mail, which I entitled: A light in the darkness, I made a note about missing Ronan while celebrating the birth of Radha.

2 weeks later, I get an e-mail from that friend stating that she thought something had happened, because the Christmas card only had mine and Peyton's names, and she was concerned.

I remarked to Peyton that I did not take her blank pictures of her living children as concern for the absence of the name of a boy on our Christmas card. She wrote nothing on those damn pictures like: are you ok? What is going on? We should talk...

I can't read minds, you know.

So I wrote her a quick note back and forwarded her an e-mail that gave the nuts and bolts of what happened to Ronan.

And I heard NOTHING. Instead, a couple of weeks later I got a box in the mail. A gift for Radha. Fancy clothing from a boutique (her hubby is a Boston lawyer) and a Sleep Lamb.

It was a nice gesture---but would it have killed her to say "I'm sorry for your loss?"

Is it really that hard to say you're sorry?

Am I being too pissy? What do ya'll think?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Mad Hatter

It was pissing rain yet I managed to find one of the only parking spaces in the small dive. I walked with Radha's carrier into the small not-yet crowded cafe. A few minutes later my boss stepped in. He smiled at me, looked at Radha and smiled.

"Hey cutie," he said and rocked her carrier. She stirred but stayed asleep.

I have had several Sliding Doors moments since Radha was born. This time last year I met my boss at a cafe a week or so when I was set to return to work. Last year, I walked in, wearing a big brown t-shirt, little make-up, 20 lbs down, raw and grated. Today, I walked in 40 lbs down, wearing brown, little make-up, tired and sleep deprived. This time, though, there were no 2 minute hugs in the middle of the dining area, no choking back tears, no awkward conversation over food. Today there was free flowing tea, food, conversation. It was surreal.

Along that vein, some people have asked what I am going to do with my blog now that Radha is here.

It's over now, right? I have a baby. That was the whole point, no?

It's such an inspiring story.
Are you going to publish it?

K has some nice insight to this mentality as well.

As much as it seems that we have a happy ending, all of us here in DBL are still Alice. We haven't quite found our way out of the rabbit hole. I will still be talking about my son. I will still be talking about how I am still trying to navigate DBL here.

Continuing to write about Ronan does not mean that I am not grateful for Radha.

It also doesn't mean that I am not moving forward. I am.

Those who are over it probably should check out now. There is no flipping to the end to see what happens.

This book is still writing itself....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

The lovely CLC has tagged me for an award.

Wow. You love me, you really love me....

The rules of the award:1) Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.2) Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well, there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.3) List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

10 Honest Things (about motherhood thus far....):

1) I have honestly never been this tired in my life. I am thinking I am anemic on top of all the sleep deprivation.

2) I am scared I will not be a good mother. I worry that I am losing my patience too much now when she cries a lot, and that I won't be patient when she is a little girl and just being a typical little girl.

3) I think my parents were terrible parents. They were too young to have a kid (19 and 21). My parents spent a lot of time ignoring me and shuttling me off to other people to take care of me while they took care of their careers. I have made a vow that our child(ren) will be a priority and decisions will always be based in "what will be best for Radha" instead of what is best for us. They are trying to be good parents now, but the part of me that is petty feels pissy and a little too little too late.

4) I honestly do not want to go back to work--and it's not the typical reasons that I don't want to leave my baby. I think I realized that I don't really love my job. I am good at my job, so I look more important than I am. Most of the time I am wishing I was somewhere else (and when I go back, I will be wishing was with her).

5) I don't really know how I would have handled DBL if I didn't get pregnant again. If we didn't have her now, I think Jan. 26th would have been 1000000 times harder, and I think I would not have gotten out of the pit. It's amazing what putting others before you will do for your own depression. The bad thing is that I am awaiting the backlash from putting feelings on hold. There was some spillage when she was born. We cried A LOT when she got here, because the whole birth was traumatic and the fact that she looked almost identical to Ronan when he was born.

6) When I do sleep and dream, I am dreaming that I am doing something wrong and I am being yelled at in my dreams for it. I know why I am dreaming things like this, but I can't seem to give myself a break.

7) I worry that my child will love her grandmother (Peyton's mom) more than me. It's ridiculous, but it's true. I attribute the feelings to hormones and other things I can't control right now.

8) I am going to miss my OB, and I don't know how I will go a whole year without seeing him, as I have seen him monthly or bi-weekly for over a year.

9) When people say my child is beautiful, I get really shy. I guess I feel if they say she is beautiful, then they are saying inadvertently that Peyton and I are beautiful. Probably not, but it's a theory.

10) Motherhood is as hard as I thought it would be. But it's also a beautiful thing.

I choose Trish, Charmed, Mrs. Spit, Ya Chun, Pretty, Mrs.Muelly, and Amy.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Random Bombing....

E-mail from my psychotic aunt who found out I was pregnant after Radha was born:

Dear Reese:

You should be grateful, God had blessed you with a precious baby girl. Love, S.

Peyton to Me: "Did you ever tell her you weren't grateful?"

Me to Peyton: "I haven't talked to her in months...."

Goddamn, I hate family sometimes.....