Posted in Health, Women

Sunny-Side Up

You know, having the dog has made something work for me in the mathematics of our household.  We seem to have the right number of living creatures in the pack now, and I’m going to credit Hoo for one of the first not-sad-this-week-out-of-the-month I’ve had in about five years.  Puppies are babies, after all, and I haven’t begrudged the little guy one early morning.  In fact, I’ve been setting my alarm to make sure I get up before his bladder does.

Hoo has been sleeping in his kennel, in Thor’s bedroom, and Thor finds this development suitable.  He told me he would still rather have a brother to share his room.  I told him that ship had sailed.  He said, “It’s all because you refuse to lay any more eggs, isn’t it?”  I blinked at him, remembering the couple of frank where-babies-come-from talks we’ve had, shrugged and agreed.  Yes.  I refuse to lay any more eggs.  I guess we’ll revisit that whole birds and bees thing at a later date.

While Hoo gets some credit, I should probably also credit my decision to take some control over having felt emotionally out of control for a while.  Whereas the emotional angst of PMS used to hit me for a couple of days out of the month, it had progressed to the point that it was taking up 7 to 9 days on either side of the M.  I had gone to the vitamin store and read the backs of forty bottles claiming to help just that thing, but ended up with a multi-vitamin and a B12.  Since I’m giving credit, it was probably the multi and the B that kept me from going down like the castle walls of Helm’s Deep when the flu bug hit.  (I was more like a Flaming Ent than that.  Just a lot of flapping and wailing.)

I finally asked my mother what advice she had to give, and after two weeks of dosing myself with the above and Wild Yam and Chaste Tree, Evening Primrose Oil, and Nutri-Calm, I’m not sobbing over free burritos for wounded warriors.  Just in time for the holidays!  I did not melt down crying once over the holidays (which I normally do), and those holidays included a puppy, an unexpected snowfall/ice hazard, and a trip to the ER with a dehydrated child.

I am skeptical enough to think that at least some of it is a placebo effect, but faithful enough to holistic healing to believe I’m doing something good for my body and reaping the benefits.  Either way, I’m not beside myself with suffering to match my early teen years, so I’m not going to knock it.


Posted in A Day in the Life, Thor

Baby Names and Poor Babies

I had a funny conversation with a lady yesterday.  She had written down her daughter’s name, which was very long and spelled creatively, and I asked how it was pronounced.  It was really a pretty name, and I said so.  She rolled her eyes and said, “I hate it.  I didn’t give it to her.”  So I asked who had. 

She said, “My mother, my sister, and my aunt.  I was knocked out, and when I came to, they had named my baby.  They gave her that first name and four more.  She got five names, and I was so mad!”

Maybe that’s what happened to Uma Thurman’s most recent baby.

I’d have been mad, too!  You do all that work to grow that baby, and then you do all that work to get that baby out, and you don’t even get a say in what to name it?  No thank you.

But, I think I’ve hit upon why second time parents (and third, and fourth, and more) are more lenient with all the children after the first. 


That’s Sandra Bullock taking her son home from a playdate.  He clearly doesn’t want to leave, but it doesn’t look (from the other photos, at which I stared for way too long making myself a horrible hypocrite about the paparazzi because that baby is just the most darling thing ever) like he’s throwing a fit.  He’s just sad to be leaving. 

I looked at that little face and it reminded me so much of Thor, and it reminded me so much of how sad he used to be when we would leave the park.  All chub and sweetness, suddenly so sad because he had no concept of time, and leaving the playground meant leaving!the!playground!forever! in his vernacular.  He was never horrible about it, but he would be so sad.

In that instant, earlier today, I wanted to go back in time and let Thor play for just a little longer.  And I wanted to squeeze his fat, little legs, and I wanted to kiss his little pink cheeks and love on his squishy little baby body, and I was telling my past self, “You let that baby stay out there and play!  It isn’t going to kill you to let that baby play ten more minutes!”

I imagine if I had a chance to do it all over again, I would know more of what to sweat, and what to swat aside.  That’s why only children and first children have it the hardest.  Because their parents have no idea how anything works, and they err to the side of caution.  At least, that is true of me.

But my goodness, I can’t wait to get home to my boy tonight, and tickle his long, skinny legs, and kiss his sweaty face, and hug his bony body.

Posted in Family, Friends of Mine, Health, relationships

Pinpricks of Joy

A few of my friends have suffered miscarriages and still births recently, and several of my friends have lost babies in the past.  Losing a child is a heartbreaking, world changing thing no matter at what stage or age the child.  When you are looking forward to life with this little person, moving ahead once that dream is shattered is a challenge for both mothers and fathers.

I thought we were losing Thor right after we found out we were expecting him.  That’s part of how he got his nickname.  Not only had he prevailed against birth control, he had prevailed against a flood of cough syrup and a Zpack–you know, because I thought I had the flu, not a case of the babies.  He was a mighty Viking in the making, and I pictured him in there, wearing his horned helment and hanging on to my insides with his pic axe.  The Mighty Thor was born, both figuratively and literally, healthy and wonderful.  However, for those days I thought he might be losing his grip on the axe, I was frantic.

Like many women, I think I became a mother the moment the stripe turned pink on the pregnancy test.  Immediately, I was someone’s mother.  It was my job to protect and nurture this life.  I changed my diet.  I changed my patterns.  I gave up coffee!  I gave up coffee (which is probably why I was always so irritated with Ryan slurping his in the next cubicle–I had jealousy!)

  When I thought I was losing my baby, I went to the doctor to find out what I could do to save it.  Would I need to stand on my head?  Did I need a cork?  Could I drink something?  Take a pill?  Lie in bed for 8 more months?  Yoga?  Meditation?  Animal sacrifice?  Oh yeah, I’d have gone there.

The doctor was removed and pragmatic.  He was pulling off his rubber gloves and he said, “At this poing, there’s nothing we can do.  If you’re going to lose it, you’re going to lose it.”  Then, he sent my shellshocked self to the nurse for bloodwork, and that poor girl was new.  She told me all about how many pregnancies end in miscarriage, I guess hoping to make me feel not so alone in my probable fate?  She figured out that was not helping when I burst into tears.

I found a new doctor.  Thor hung in there.  We have a lovely boy.

Back last September, I got a new pink stripe on a pregnancy test.

People ask me if we plan to have other children pretty frequently.  I don’t think they are being rude.  It’s just conversation.  I have one child, so I must not be opposed to the idea of children, and if I am not, then might I not want more?  I would love to have more children.  It just hasn’t worked out that way.

So, back in September, we got excited.  We had our moment of shock, and I did my dance of trying to pretend it wasn’t that big a deal because when things are really important to me, I am a weirdo.  We had about 24 hours of being very excited, talking about names, and a new nickname–just enough time to fall in love with the idea and the potential for reality.  It was a Saturday.  I planned to call the doctor on Monday and make an appointment.  But, on Sunday all the plans changed.  It simply was not to be.

I was too sad to talk about it at the time.  I told a couple of select people, but I didn’t even tell my therapist about it.  I sat on her couch just a few days later and thought, “I should be talking about this, but it seems silly. It wasn’t dramatic.  It wasn’t even a big enough deal to go to the hospital.  It’s over and done, and nothing can change it.  Why talk about it?  Why trivialize what other women go through, when this was such a simple-to-lose loss?”

You all know that I’m not an “all things happen for a reason” person.  I’m a “sometimes shit happens” person.  I have faith in biology, and oddly enough, in natural selection.  It simply was not to be.  And, it was simply sad.  And, quite simply, I was broken-hearted.

So why talk about it now?  Because you all also know that I am a “talks about everything eventually” person.  It all comes out sooner or later, and because my friends who have so recently suffered have said, it helps to know someone gets it.  Because it’s the damnedest thing how attached you can get to something that isn’t the size of the head of a pin, and what a huge hole that pinprick leaves when it goes.

There is joy in remembering the excitement, though.  And joy in the knowledge that the capacity to love is endless.  And joy in other friends who are expecting.