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Archive for January, 2009

R., our Nanny Hopeful, came last week, on Monday and Thursday for 4 hours each day. She was recovering from a bad cold. She had said she was well, only coughing a little at night. Not so! She practiced the hygiene rituals of a normal person instead of one whose child spent three months in the NICU. She coughed. Into her hands. She did not wash them immediately. She showed no signs of being a purell junkie, despite product placement throughout our apartment. Wifey and I were a nervous wreck, googling the contagious life-span of various illnesses.  Mister Finn got sick. I got sick. Wifey got sick. I daresay the dog looked sick.

Maybe if she had been coming for 4 months and this was the first time sickness was spread, it would not have been so doomed?  But alas, ONE week, the only week, and one complete round of sick. Not good odds. So, it simply isn’t worth it, due to A.’s former-preemie-fragile-lungs status, and our former-preemie-challenged-nerves.  R. takes care of three other kids, as well as having a Life, you know, in the germ-infested World, so she is probably sick a lot. I guess “normal” parents are fine with their babies being sick all the time? I see these little germy cherubs: They stick their fingers up each others noses and get snot all over their toys and have coughing caregivers and then they are sick and it is no big deal?  Isn’t that what daycare is?  Is that what it means to be a normal parent? I guess we’ll be normal parents in May, when his lungs are no longer considered fragile, and RSV season is over. But will we be able to let him engage in this wanton behaviour?  I know it is inevitable come pre-school;  but before then? I guess part of this dilemma is selfish, as I myself don’t want to get sick all the time.

A. is fine; it was just a snotfest, with only one miserable day and night. He slept with us for the first time, and it was really sweet. He nursed several times that night with his stuffy nose, and made little snuffles with each suck.

It really stinks that our part-part-part-time nanny didn’t work. She was my ticket to the studio.

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In the Bath

Sometimes writing my blog seems stupid (wondering if anyone is reading it besides my mom; wondering what the point is, as I’m not writing it with lofty goals of being published or anything; wondering if I should somehow do more to try to make friends I could reach out and pinch if I wanted, rather than making friends in the virtual world; I already write a journal; I have more responsible things I should be doing; drek, drek), and sometimes it feels like one of the main things stringing my days together and helping my life make sense. There is something about this here blog-thing that helps me put things in perspective. A kind of distillation process. And maybe I can count my readers on one hand, but darn it, I love you guys. I love these invisible but real friends who know my story, and whose stories I am learning bit by bit. You are all amazing women. In some ways this world may be “virtual,” but it counts. It adds meaning.

My boy loves his baths.

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Sweet little lumpy head.  Lots of preemies have their flat spots on the sides, but his is on the back. It is rounding itself out, but first it will be a little lumpy and uneven. The flatness is from three months of gravity, rather than three months of floating.

3

My mom’s camera kicks my camera’s ass. And she has become a great photographer. She visited yesterday, folded a mountain of laundry, and took pictures of our bathing beauty.

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I think I feel the ghosts of last year coming. It’s a sad feeling, like a well opening in my chest. I’m not actively thinking about last year’s events, it’s more like I’m smelling them. I smell the fear in the hospital. I re-focus on the present and enjoy my baby, but the well is still there on the periphery. It’s the way difficult anniversaries are, I guess.  I’m hoping that if I acknowledge the Anniversary Fairy and invite her to tea she’ll be nicer to me. I am so grateful that all of the scariness is just a memory and that we made it out OK. Our journey did not end in tragedy, but in bounty.

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krishna-christ

We are in the midst of planning A’s Christening Event/Welcome to the World/Naming Ceremony, to take place on Monday, February 9th, A’s first birthday. If weather allows, it will be in a beautiful nearby park, at the foot of this most special tree.

I believe life is too short to be cynical in the face of major life events, like births, deaths, weddings. When it comes to these special times, no level of crunchiness is too crunchy. Well, almost. Today, while researching Naming Ceremonies, I came across the sincere recommendation that if the birth was traumatic, a reenactment of the birth should take place at the ceremony, complete with a homemade panty-hose nylon tunnel through which the baby is reluctantly pushed. Emerging, he is to be enthusiastically greeted as though he were just arriving, “Hello! Welcome! Hooray– you’re born!”  I’m not making this up.

One of my enduring riddles in life is what to do with God. The concept of God has been so raided and blemished by American Christianity, that it would be easier for me to not give it another thought and go about my life nonspiritually/nonreligiously. But I am totally fascinated by matters spiritual and religious, and can’t seem to let the issue go. I was raised Catholic. My mother was a nun, from age 18-26. I think the symbolism and rituals of Catholicism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Hinduism are beautiful.  I had a Hare Krishna roommate in college, and would often wake in the morning to her chanting. There are pieces of different religions that make sense to me, but none feels like home.

I feel like I’ve reached a point in my intellectual/spiritual journey where I must decide to believe in nothing or believe in everything. Having a child has made me want to embrace Everything. Wifey and I have decided to turn the world’s spiritual traditions into a bountiful banquet at which our child can feast. We’ll visit churches, science museums, temples, Quaker meetings, anywhere that will let us in. We’ll celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Halloween, Day of the Dead, the changing of the seasons, nature.  We’re interested in all things sincere or authentic, or rather, sincerely appropriated from an authentic source.  I will make him coloring books of the Hindu gods.  Maybe forlorn, post-post-modern academics in a fluorescent-lit room somewhere would dispute our “right” to engage in this Barnes and Noble boxed set of cultural tourism, but my guess is that they aren’t having nearly as much fun as we.

Wifey’s parents are coming, and Uncle K, and my parents, uncle, and Grandma. We wish A.’s godmothers K&K could come, and also his Aunt Dit and Uncle JB. But this country is wide, and our loved ones are at the other side.

Did any of you do a Christening/Naming Ceremony?  What did you do? I would love to hear about anything/everything!

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Mister Finn has not sprouted a tooth yet!  He is 8 months old and has been teething for four months! I would like to say some words to these supposed teeth:  You have wreaked havoc in our land!  Show yourselves so we might meet face to face and throw down our biscuits swords!

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Well, aside from the hundreds of strange, new people that took care of him for three months in the hospital. But it’s different now. He is mine now.

We met someone that we, and our dog, like enough to be our part-part-part-time nanny. Nanny just sounds better than Babysitter, don’t you think?  R. is maybe a little younger than us, a filmmaker, quiet, warm, smart, and good with Mister Finn. It looks like she is going to be our nanny for 8 hours/week!!!!  4 hours on Mondays and 4 hours on Thursdays.  We are doing it so that I can go to the studio for those chunks of time. Wifey will be here working at home while R. is here.  I am very excited about the prospect of this actually working. Yet on Monday, when the time actually came to let her take care of my baby, I became a freakish wreck and embarrassed myself. I turned into some kind of neurotic beast.

I was totally anxious, edgy, and hovering. I felt out of control; I couldn’t make myself calm down. I had to leave so that I wouldn’t drive everyone crazy. I’m afraid to imagine what I would have been like if Wifey hadn’t been there with them the whole time.  When I came home I smothered A. with kisses and marveled that Look! He’s OK! He is fine! He survived! So dramatic.

W. and I both agreed that I will have to leave tomorrow. Preferably before R. gets here. I know having her is a good thing, because I do desperately want/need to have time in the studio. Hopefully it will get easier.

I am still disoriented to find myself in the position of the mother instead of the babysitter.

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I wish my weight would go down. Literally, as in move down my body. I gained a fair amount of weight during pregnancy, especially considering that I did it all in only two trimesters. I have been gradually losing the weight, but unevenly. My butt and thighs are now, surprisingly, a little smaller than they were pre-pregnancy. Not so for the top half. My belly is bigger than it was, my arms are much bigger, and my breasts are much much much bigger. I already was thick-armed and short-torsoed, and now the way I’m carrying this weight I’m worried that I’ll never look proportional again. A small complaint, I know, in the grand scheme of the body and it’s functions, but boy it would be nice to transfer some thickness where it wouldn’t be as obvious. It is odd to be wearing belts to hold up my jeans and tent-like shirts to cover my mountainous front. I’m wondering, when I stop breastfeeding: will my breasts get smaller again? or stay their current size, but become shapeless, like saggy water balloons?

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We got the results of my final follow-up Liver Function Test, and the liver specialist has proclaimed my liver NORMAL!!!!!!!!!!  Yipppppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  Now we are 100%, rather than 90%, sure that my disease was limited to pregnancy and is OVER!  and I am HEALTHY!   How boundlessly grateful am I.

liver-abdomen

liver-plush-toy_med

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