Sunday, March 29, 2009

They Say It's Your Birthday....

I turned 34 on Friday.

Last year, it was a quiet sort of day.

This year, many people took the time to celebrate what a difference a year makes.

We drove to my father's house on the coast, introduced the girl to extended family and friends. It was a nice weekend.

All alone in the dark, with Radha in her pack-n-play I imagined an alternate universe in which Ronan would be sleeping in a crib.

But to have acquired that moment, I would not be having these moments.

My beautiful baby girl...sighing sweetly. Cooing and smiling at all the wonderful people who were so happy to have her there.

My uncle's long time girlfriend got teary at the very sight of her. "She's such a blessing, such a blessing," she muttered over and over again.

My grandmother held her in her frail arms and said in English (a departure from her usual Spanish). "I am so happy..."

Lumps in my throat. Enough to choke a horse.

All of it, every stinkin' bit of this journey, is so goddamn bittersweet. I can hardly stand it anymore....

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I rummaged through the garage and found the box that contained my purses (all 5 of them).

I pulled out the lovely Spring one, a light blue, flowery one that Peyton picked out for my birthday 2 years ago.

In the pocket I pulled out a bright pink paper, folded neatly in a baggy with a pregnancy test. I opened the paper and read

8/3/2007. Pregnancy test: Positive

My doctor in Michigan, a wonderful woman who I still miss with all my heart, had handed me a copy of the slip 'to put in the baby book---so much better than the pee stick' she joked.

I kept them both in my purse for safe keeping while in transit to San Antonio the following month.

Today, I put them both in the box that holds Ronan's belongings.

A piece of paper and 2 lines on a stick. It's feeling like the only proof I have that he was here anymore....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Breast Intentions...

I am convinced that the women who brag that they breastfed their children long after they were capable of chewing steak were long-hair Hippie Tree Huggers that did NOT work for the Department of Defense.

My child is on a schedule at night. A wake Mommy up at 2, 4 and 6 am, schedule. Thursday night at 2 am I was in a deep sleep, dreaming! (I haven't had a dream in a few weeks, mostly because I have been denied REM sleep) and Radha’s cries (which are really more like whimpers of uh-uh-uh (pause) uh-uh-uh) unleashed my inner Sex and the City woman---the latte drinking-never thought I would have children- imagining my life as a single woman with no children-that lies dormant in every woman who is running on caffeine and 3 hours of continuous sleep a night. I fumbled in the night and reached to pick up the whimpering girl, fumbled to whip out my gigantic, already leaking breast and tried to find her tiny little mouth in the darkness. I exhaled as I felt her latch on and apologized for wishing she was not there—

.... or rather wishing that she could sleep maybe 5 hours in a stretch instead of 3 or 3.5 hours.

.... or wishing that I was on a beach somewhere alone.

.... or hell in someone’s back yard shed. As long as it was quiet and nothing was expected of me and/or my breasts.

I think the guilt over normal thoughts is amplified when you are a DBL mom. You should TREASURE it!!! seems to be screaming at me from the moms who obviously never have to be lucid for an 8 am meeting with military men. I met up with another new mom at a BBQ this past weekend and she confessed that she slipped just the littlest bit of rice cereal in her baby’s bottle so she could sleep through the night so she could be functional at work. Her baby was 11 weeks (2 weeks older than Radha) and already looked like a linebacker for the NE Patriots. I didn’t judge her. I am of the opinion if you carry a child you can pretty much do what you want within reason (that does not harm the child), but oh, I too wanted to be a rebel, ignore Dr. P’s advice to hold off on solids until 4-6 months.

But, props to you for continuing to breastfeed. That’s awesome!” the woman said, smiling a very well rested smile.

I so want to stop breastfeeding. I want to stop having to take off my shirt 3-4 times a day at work to pump. I want to come home, relax, watch a little TV without having a child permanently stuck to me for the next 4 hours.

But then I sit with her, watch her hazel eyes widen when she latches on and remains fixated with mine, and watch the joy she gets when the milk comes, the relaxed facial features, the gentle moving over her chin, the small grunts and swallows, the slow, heavy eyelids, the closed eyes and gentle breathing, the popping off and the stretch and groan routine she does like that was the best damn meal she has ever eaten in her life.

And I wonder why I just can't bring myself to stop...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

3Rs--Ronan, Radha and Redemption

Back story here...

Hi Reese,

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. February was insane and I kept thinking when I get a quiet moment, I'll write Reese back, but alas, it has taken me more than a month!

How is Radha doing? Is she sleeping and eating well or is she a little troublemaker? I was just playdating with someone who just had her second colicky baby and my heart goes out to her. Do you have her pictures posted on-line anywhere?

I've been thinking about you, Peyton, Ronan, and Radha a lot and how hard and bittersweet it all must be right now. After reading posts on local parents message boards, I've come to realize how often miscarriages and stillbirths occur and how most people are insensitive to the impact that it has on couples for years, if not the rest of their lives. Just this week someone posted about what to say to a friend who was in a similar situation as yours and reading their responses brought tears to my eyes. So many women go through this and I hope you and Peyton have been able to find support. I just made a donation to First Candle in Ronan's memory.

Again, I am so sorry to hear about your loss, but am thrilled for you for the birth of Radha. Hopefully we'll see each other soon. We might be in Plano in August for my father-in-law's 60th birthday and if not too challenging for all concerned, maybe we can meet-up.



I don't know if she navigated to my blog inadvertently or if she truly belongs to an on-line message board that was happening to discuss stillbirth, but thank you L for your kind words and donation in Ronan's name.

People never cease to amaze me....

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Notes on a Scandal

I have done many things half-assed since Ronan died. My job. My projects in and around the house and at work. I am a great pretender. In my heart of hearts, I just don’t have a lot of things in me anymore. I don’t want to work hard for anything anymore. Maybe I think that I worked so hard to function in the world after my world collapsed that THAT feat should be my greatest accomplishment.

Your baby died and you lived to tell about it! WOW!

I didn’t crawl in a hole and die after this happened, but damn if I didn’t want to.

I so wanted to.

And, a little secret….I still want to.

And I hate this feeling of not caring—about people or my career. Projects were pitched on my behalf because I couldn’t get it together to do it myself. And I should be grateful that my team rescued me, but on the inside I am screaming that once upon a time I was not this person. I used to shine. I had my shit together. My boss argues that I am doing well, but I counter that his expectations are too low. I believe that in his eyes, I can do no wrong. He too is impressed that I did not crawl into that hole to die. In many people’s eyes, I deserve a medal just for coming to work.

I don’t want to be a half-assed parent, but I feel myself pulling back, second-guessing my ability to do this job and do it right. The glare of what should have been and what is is so damn blinding sometimes. I feel hyper-exposed, like one of those magnifying mirrors that shows all the damage that the make-up cannot cover. I find myself imagining if Radha had the old me as a mom what she could become. I feel I have robbed her by bringing her into the world at this time, with my broken heart, and this anxious, uncertain person who is in charge of her well-being. I try to fake it with her, but I swear she looks at me like ‘you aren’t fooling anyone lady….’

After all that has happened in the last year, bad and good, I am still not any closer to figuring out who the hell I am now. And that scares the hell out of me....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Things are fine---

Work is fine. It has been a gradual move back in. Projects are moving, people were happy to have me back.

It's nice to be liked and needed.

Yes, I missed my baby.

Pumping is kinda sucking. Props to the women who are filled to the rim with milk. I apparently can only pump 5-6 oz total. But, it is enough for 2/3 bottles that she needs for her meals away from me.

Yes, that means we have to supplement. I go back and forth about how I feel about this. Hippie tree hugger mommy Reese is all NO!!!!!!!!! But practical Reese is all :::shrugging of the shoulders:::. What the hell else I can do? (And yes I have tried Fenugreek and some other tricks---it is what it is).

I am getting about 5 hours of sleep a night. I think I am on adrenaline, because I don't really feel it right now.

I expect all hell to break loose any day now.....