Tuesday, March 17, 2009

And on

Still feeling strange an vulnerable. Obsessing about Jade Goody and Natasha Richardson, being overprotective of Sam. At some point, I'll be able to remember that most people live for decades and I don't need to be on alert. But not now.

Pulling me back into the present, Sam seems to have learned his first word: Duck. Rather, "guck." It is incredible. "Guck, guck, guck," he was saying as I stood at the bathroom mirror. I looked down and saw that he was talking to the little rubber duck on the edge of the bathrub. "Guck-guck-guck-guck." "Yes!" I said. "Guck," he said.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Anniversary Waltz

Adam left for a business trip this morning. It's a short one—he'll be back Tuesday. But in the days leading up to his departure, I've been feeling so anxious about it—enough that I was thinking about all those stories you hear when the wife says she has a bad feeling about a trip and then the husband stays home and the plane he was supposed to be on crashes.

But it wasn't just the flight. I was worried about being left solo to care for Sam, which didn't make sense because Adam travels at least once a month and I've found that I really enjoy the special one-on-one time.

And why were my thoughts turning to people dying, people who've died, and worst of all, children who died? Why was I perusing so many of those blogs this past week?

I was just downstairs mulling all of this grim business, wondering what was wrong with me, when I finally realized what it was. March 15. My due date for the first baby. Our first baby who would've been two today.

How quickly the conscious mind pretends to forget, and how the body always remembers.

We would've been thrown a second birthday party for you, little one. Everyone would've come and I would've made you a cake and we would've been so happy. I am so sad that you're not here. I'm so happy to have little Sam, but I'm so sad you're not here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Catch and release

Sam is going through a Mommy phase. He just needs a lot of contact. He has this little game that I call "hug and look around," where he stands up, facing me, squeezes me tight, then pivots around to take in the world around him, then squeezes again. I love it. Love, love it. And it is such a pleasure to be needed like that and to be able to reassure him.

Only...his phase corresponds to the busiest month of work I've had in...years. Certainly in his short life. The volume of work is insane. And I just feel so miserable about all the time I'm spending away from him. Every day, I want to quit.

How can we be almost 40 years beyond the second wave of feminism and have so little to show for it?

My employers aren't cruel or unreasonable. They let me work from home one day a week. They do what they can to spare me the late nights that everyone else is putting in. I have no complaints about them, really. It's just that the nature of the job is incompatible with motherhood.

Blah, blah, blah. It's just a tough situation right now. I miss my baby. My body feels torn in half when I'm gone so much. We went through a lot to have him and I'm tired of feeling like I'm missing everything.

Meanwhile, I finally got around to making an appointment with a rheumatologist. Back when I was diagnosed with antiphopholipid syndrome, my doctor suggested I go in for annual blood draws to assess my anticardiolipin antibody levels. I'm a little overdue.

As far as antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) goes, I'm lucky, if you can set aside the two dead babies, which, of course, you can't. My antibody levels were reasonably low, even at their highest, and they were even lower when they last checked early in my pregnancy with Sam. Barely made it into the "disease" range. It appears to be something that only acts up during pregnancy for me, and Lovenox was my magic bullet on that front.

So I think I'm pretty healthy now. But there's always some concern once you've wandered into the world of autoimmune disease. Sometimes APS is a precurser to Lupus. That's scary. But my doc said I didn't fit the profile, so other than a few weeks when I felt particularly achy after Sam was born, I haven't worried about it.

But it'll be good to get checked out and know whether things are trending in a good direction.