Thursday, January 26, 2012

Four Years

My dearest Ronan,

When I found out I was pregnant with you, I knew immediately that you were a boy. It was late July 2007, and I got up early to test and when I saw the strong line, I crawled back into bed and hugged your father and said 'it's positive, Daddy'. We were so happy and in love. And innocent. So very innocent.

I don't know why it was in the cards to only have you for 28 short weeks, but I want you to know that you have forever changed us. You made us patient parents who really take the time to listen and enjoy our children. Even when we are frustrated with your sister's terrible 3s tantrums! I think R would have made you laugh on a daily basis, and you would've fiercely guarded her tender heart, which is always so pure and sweet that it should be a crime if anyone ever tries to break it. Your baby brother is such a sweet, gentle soul. He smiles and coos in such a way that you can't help yourself when you want to hold him tight and kiss him. R adores him. We all do.

I really believe that all of you knew each other before you all were born and came into our lives. And I believe when we take our leave from this life we will all know each other again. But the mortal part of me is forever selfish. I wanted you. I wanted to see you grow. I wanted to kiss your sleepy baby head, to cheer at your ballgames, to see how you looked at your fiance walking down the aisle to you, to see you hold your own children. This is the part that hurts the most, and it is what lingers as I watch your siblings do and learn all these fabulous things.

I know you know my heart, and how you will always have a place there. Thank you for being my son, and making me a mother. I promise I will always try to make you proud.
I love you Ronan. Forever.

Love,
Mommy

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Perspective

I had a horrible day.

It started on Monday with a crashed hard drive and the agonizing wait for 2 whole days to determine how bad the loss was.

Since moving to Ohio our fail-safe back up was not an option--and I will admit I got lazy with the back ups to the extremely slow external hard drive. I had hope that the damage wasn't so bad. The teenaged-looking tech told me that he saved '90%-95% of the hard drive'.

But when I got it back, that 10% had all the vital things I needed. My final reports, my signed documents, my FY12 proposals, all my mail from 2011, my data sheets. Everything. That. Was. Important.

I closed my office door and I cried. The sleep deprived-Reese couldn't pull it together, couldn't take it in stride, or even convince herself that it would be ok. I cried angry, tired tears at the unfairness of it all. My team started to whisper that their fearless leader was melting down. I IM'd my boss that it was all gone. He walked down from the Commander's Suite and offered condolences and bad jokes that eventually lifted my mood. My sweet tech slid a latte across my desk, and quietly said he thought I could use a pick-me up.

I managed to get it together about an hour later. I made a strategic plan about how to bounce back, channeled a little William Wallace ala Braveheart to pump myself up from this awful blow.

Then in the middle of clicking on the files and muttering that this sucked and how awful it all was, I caught glimpse of the date.

Four years ago I was in labor--hellishly awful labor to deliver my dead son.

And it occurred to me that if I survived that, lost files were a cake walk.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

It's amazing how quickly time passes from one day to the next.

We came home with a little nugget of a boy, barely 6 lbs 5 oz after losing almost a pound in the hospital, and struggled through a lot of November to put him back to his birth weight. We struggled with breast milk jaundice, which was a huge slap in the face since this time around I had milk aplenty to feed the boy. This basically kept the boy jaundiced (not extremely so), kept him sleepy, and it was such a challenge to wake him up and feed him. I did all sorts of tricks to try to overcome it, and it worked pretty good but not great, and I was mentally and physically exhausted from everything.

Then there was a hole in the heart scare that started with a murmur and a chest x-ray and escalated to an immediate trip to Children's to rule out what the technician thought he/she saw. God bless the wonderful African-born cardiologist with her familiar accent who walked into the room after the echocardiogram and said "First off I wish to say I bring NO BAD NEWS". Until that moment, I didn't realize P and I had been holding out breath. Henry lay lazily against my chest, stressed out and exhausted from the traumatic ordeal of having his heart ultrasound.

We started supplementing a simple 2-4 oz a day and finally countered the damn jaundice and Henry woke up and started eating like there was no tomorrow, gaining 13 oz in a single week once he stopped being so damn tired from the excess bilirubin that just refused to break down and go away.

We had a few people over for Thanksgiving, and then we had visits from P's parents and my father and step mother that were nice and exhausting all in the same visits. It was difficult to convey to them what we needed, how we could be helped and it amazed me how they would stand there and await instructions on what to do with their granddaughter, or stare at dishes and not wash them. I had never been so glad to have them gone, because it was like taking care of a multitude of people, and it just was so damn exhausting just taking care of Henry.

Trying to get ready for Christmas was insane. We managed to get the tree, decorate the tree, pull out the decorations, shop and truth be told, it's all a blur. The girl had a fantastic time, and so did the boy, but all Christmas felt to me was the endpoint, for it was the week after Christmas that I was due back to work.


Sweet Girl With her Dolly


Sweet Boy with his Reindeer Rattle

This past week was my first week back to work, and it was a great time to go back because almost 95% of my team was out on vacation. I managed to get my bearings and get over my frustrations out about things that just fell apart. But I was grateful the lab was in one piece--it's really all that I could ask for.

Pumping has been going pretty well. But most people were gone this past week, so I could relax and let it happen. When everyone is back, knocking on my door, demanding my attention, we will see how it goes.

There is more to say, about how the hole in the heart scare really shook me to my core, and how all of this has segued into the shit month of January. The highs of the girl's birthday in less than a week and the lows of Ronan's 4 year anniversary.

I can't get my head around the fact that it's been four years. Jesus, where does the time go?