Words Matter

I think I made clear my feelings, before and after the election of 2016, with no room for ambiguity. Since the inauguration I’ve vacillated between feelings of anger and sadness at what has been transpiring across the country. From backing out of the Paris Agreement, to announcing a Transgender Ban in the military,  Travel Ban, to the philosophy of letting the ACA “implode”, to the Twitter rants and lies after lies after lies… I’ve felt mostly anger. I have had so many thoughts bouncing in my head recently and I’m going to try and put them here, and hope it makes some sort of sense.

Now I just feel sadness.  How could my fellow country-men elect someone with no empathy, no sense of justice, no humility? The erratic behavior? And the moral equivocation after the events in Charlottesville? The “wink wink” to the white supremacists, the employing of folks like Steve Bannon, the violent rhetoric? Emboldening fringe hate groups? I am sad and disgusted beyond belief.

It’s now at the point where I have trouble maintaining relationships with family and friends who I know voted for and/or continue to support this man. To sell away your sense of moral decency for a few extra bucks in their pay check. It’s not “just politics” to me – it speaks to your world view and what you value. I can’t get past that some people I know and love would have such a high tolerance for bigotry and hatred. Nobody should be surprised about the turmoil that occurred this past weekend and his actions since then – if you paid attention to his words during the campaign and to the people he surrounds himself with, it was crystal clear then and is crystal clear now. No surprises. He has never given any indication that he would pivot or start acting “more presidential” so to vote for him in hopes that it would happen was a fool’s errand.

My son is white. He is already beginning his life with that “white male privilege.” Every day I put thought in to how I can raise him to be a good man and to care for others, empathize with them and be considerate of them – people of different faiths, people of different cultures, people who don’t have his advantages. When I see what happened in Charlottesville and I see how the “man” elected to the highest office in the land behaves and the words that come out of his mouth, I feel sad. Shouldn’t a president be a role model, or at least be a decent human being? Shouldn’t he have a moral compass and inspire people, challenge them to be better? My answer is YES – absolutely they should be. Unfortunately right now that is not the case, and won’t be anytime soon. I am sad that he is inheriting a world where this is happening – where people voted for someone, to the highest office of the land no less, who condones this behavior. I am sad that I have friends and coworkers who are Jewish, LGBTQIA, black, who might be feeling unsafe or living with worry, wondering why the man elected to represent them can’t support them and has abandoned them.

Then I come home from work, and say “Hi McLovin” as I walk through the door… and he turns in sees me and smiles, then grunts as he army crawls to me as quick as he can. And I pick him up and hug him, and tell him I love him. My heart melts and the world seems less harsh, less sad for a moment. I guess these moments of love, and using my voice to speak up for the injustices I see, are the best I can do for him and the future I want for him right now.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

1,095

Today is the three year “anniversary” of my first due date.

It’s different this year, for sure, with McLovin here. I still feel cheated, I still feel a longing. But the edges are a little smoother, it’s less bitter and more bittersweet. I don’t feel like laying in bed and shutting out the world like I have in the past.

IMG_0721

I now know what I missed out on. Every child is different, and I think I probably mother McLovin differently than I would have if I hadn’t experienced loss, so I’m sure the experience I am having now is not the experience I would have had then. But I now know what it feels like to see my child smile at me. I now know what it feels like to see my child army crawl. I now know what it feels like to come home from work and see my child smile and squeal and reach out to me. I now know what it feels like to go through the same bed time routine every night and never feel bored with it. I know what it feels like to watch him sleep on the monitor. I know what it feels like to love a living child.

And it makes me sad that I didn’t get to experience this with my first three babies. Why? Why were they not able to survive? Why was I not able to love them like this? Why did they not get the chance to be someone and live a life? McLovin is everything to me, and he’s done so much to heal me, and I love him so very, very much. But the scars will always be there. He doesn’t replace the three babies I lost and he doesn’t make the memories or scars disappear.

I realize that, there’s no way all three of them could have all been born live. The timing is way off. I realize that McLovin would not be here if my third pregnancy had been viable and resulted in a child. I realize that my second baby would not have been conceived if my first baby had been viable.

It’s still a hard day. July 21st will always be a day seared in my brain. I see boys around three years of age and I wonder (because I always felt my first baby was a boy.)

image16

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Thought of the Night

IMG_0687

I’ve become a big fan of The Milk Meg. Just enough facts, insight and humor to keep me entertained.

SaveSave

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Eight Months

This weekend my little McLovin is eight months old. Two thirds of a year. Eight months has flown by. It never went so fast when we were in the midst of the struggle and felt like we’d never get out. Now, when we want time to slow down, it speeds up. We are enjoying our summer, and I am enjoying taking random vacation days off from work to spend with him. We’ve been to zoos, walking in parks, swimming, taking in all the beautiful sights that summer offers.

IMG_0446

Colt State Park, Rhode Island

He is so much more interactive now, and smiling and army crawling. Sitting up on his own (he won’t pull himself up, but he’ll stay sitting when we put him down.) When he gives me real laughter and squeals it makes my heart skip a beat – he’s always smiling but he’s stingy with his REAL laughs. He’s so much fun, but every day I think – he won’t be this little again. As little as he is today. So I take lots of pictures and give him lots of hugs and, he’s still up once a night, but I don’t care because in the silence and darkness I hold him as we sit in the glider and think of how lucky I am to have him, how lucky I am to be his mom. He’s a happy baby and I wonder where he gets it from, because I was told I was NOT a happy baby – very fussy and needed to be rocked all the time, up every two hours at night, and even now I’m much more of a reserved person, a pessimist with a RBF. I’m glad he doesn’t have my mean mug. 🙂

I don’t know how much he weighs or his length, as he hasn’t been weighed/measured since his six month visit. I can see that he’s growing by the way his clothes and diapers fit. We are still breastfeeding and it’s still, in my opinion, one of the best aspects of our relationship. There are some days when it feels like he is just constantly attached to me, but those days are not typical.

We had our first beach vacation last month, to New Hampshire. Our annual trip to Martha’s Vineyard is later this summer. McLovin had his feet dipped in the ocean, and was not too pleased as the ocean temperature was 49 degrees. He promptly wailed and cried when the first wave rolled up over his feet. He did well considering we did not keep to his home schedule much, and he was in a strange place. He was up SUPER early every morning because the beach cottage does not have room darkening curtains or drapes, so it was very bright as soon as the sun rose. I popped him in a carrier and we did an early morning beach stroll, then I’d head to Dunkin Donuts and be back in time for breakfast with the family. It felt so normal to have him there, as if he had always been vacationing with us. I had a lot of help from grandparents, cousins and aunts so all in all our first trip away from home wasn’t too stressful. I may have possibly overpacked BUT wanted to be ready for anything!

IMG_0363

Rainbow after an evening thunderstorm

IMG_0251

Walked three miles every morning

IMG_0244

SAND CASTLES

IMG_0222

Sunrise over the Atlantic

We’ve been going to the pool at my mother’s house to practice or swimming skills and stay acclimated to the water, and we went to see fireworks in my hometown with my best friend M and some of her family and our mutual friends. McLovin slept through the entire fireworks show, which I was pleasantly surprised! Actually a bit shocked. We usually keep him close to a 7PM bedtime, but we made some exceptions for vacation/Independence Day celebrations. He didn’t seem to have any problems going back to his normal schedule after the off days.

I mentioned many moons ago that we were looking at new houses. As the pregnancy progressed last year we stopped looking as it was too stressful being pregnant and house hunting. Well, we are looking again and in fact put an offer in on a house earlier this week, which was rejected as someone offered full cash, which is better than having a percentage financed with a mortgage. Ugh. But we’ve since looked at two other houses, neither of which impressed me. We’ve discussed purchasing my mother’s house, but she hasn’t been able to find a smaller house that she likes yet (she’s sick of maintaining a larger house and yard and wants to downsize.) So, it’s all a bit up in the air but we are looking at our options.

We are enjoying the days and the passing of time.  He is my little love.

IMG_6795

Enjoying mimosas during brunch with K

SaveSave

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

June 1, 2016

6/1/16

Weight check: up three pounds.

I heard the heartbeat at our doctor’s appointment yesterday… in the 160’s and strong! Best moment of my week so far.

I still want a turkey sandwiches and I miss feeling fit. I feel like a slob-kebob right now. Today I was craving KFC potato wedges… yuck I know, but it’s not like I eat it everyday! But then I will randomly feel like gagging out of nowhere

My “feeling” was right…. the NIPT revealed this baby is a BOY! I told E that I was beside myself with happiness. It’s so funny how it happened – I woke up in the morning thinking of her out of nowhere. Then, in the afternoon I got a call from her and she said she FINALLY was calling with wonderful news and told us everything was normal. She asked if we wanted to know the gender – I told her I needed to ask The Husband. We agreed to find out, but we wanted to find out together. So we had her email me the results. Then I finished out the workday, went to yoga, picked up Burger King on the way home (allowing myself to eat junk to celebrate the good news) and we opened the email after I walked in the door. Believe me, I was itching to open it sooner and I am so proud of myself for holding out.

Symptoms check: Some lower abdominal discomfort…. Not cramps but a stretching/pulling feeling…. Peeing a lot…. Boobies are bigger, and even my step-father mentioned it to my mother this weekend after a Memorial Day pool party at their house… evidently he didn’t realize larger breasts were a pregnancy symptom! He asked my mom if it was healthy for me to get implants while I was pregnant… hahahaah!

Next step: our early anatomy scan in a week and a half (16 weeks exactly) and hopefully hearing that he has two working kidneys and there are no major issues!!! Please please please!

I suppose at some point I should share this news on the blog. Maybe actually hit “Publish” on one of these posts instead of leaving it in my Drafts folder. I’m not sure when it will feel right.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

McLovin: Six Months

My little man has made it halfway around the sun (and a little further at this point.) He is doing well and being with him is the best part of my days.

At his six month visit he weighed in at 16lbs., and is right on his growth chart curves at ~23rd percentile for weight and height, and 12th percentile OFC. His doctor said he has no concerns with his growth.

We’ve started introducing solids following the Baby Led Weaning method. He has taken a great interest in touching, playing with and sucking on different foods but hasn’t really ingested much! He’s had avocado, carrots, cucumber, green beans and strawberries. It’s fun to watch him explore, and he loves sitting in his high chair with us at dinner times. He hasn’t taken much interest in his sippy cup yet but loves playing with his plastic spoons. We are still breastfeeding, and it’s one of the best parts of our relationship and being his mother (in my opinion.) During the work day he is bottle fed on a schedule, but when we are together (weekends, days off) we nurse on demand. My original goal was two weeks, then that turned into a month, then that turned in to three months (my original stretch goal) and now we are at six months. I would love to make it a year, or longer, if the universe cooperates. I have a “stud and a dud” – now I get basically nothing out of my left side, meanwhile I can get 4 or 5 oz. out of my right side during a pumping session. He has always preferred my right side, and I would try to get him to take the left and he would either fuss and fuss or only nurse for two or three minutes. At this point I’ve just kind of given up. He’s getting all he needs from the right and I don’t feel like forcing the issue.

IMG_6100

IMG_6231

We still have some room for improvement with his sleep. He’s usually up at least once, sometimes twice a night still. The good thing is that he nurses then goes right back to sleep – he isn’t up crying for an hour, or wanting to play. His wakings last 10, 15 minutes tops. The pediatrician made a comment during his six month visit that he’d like to hear that he’s sleeping through the night by the time we come in for his nine month check up and that he thinks he’s still waking because he’s hungry, as he isn’t getting much (if anything) in solids right now. Believe me, nobody would like to report he’s sleeping through the night more than me! Especially given I am working full time. I am managing though, and I remind myself each day that this period in his life is small in the long run, in the long arc. And every time he wakes up, and after I realize that he isn’t going to put himself back to sleep, I tell him I love him and try to think about these moments as special times between the two of us. I read a quote that another blogger friend put on Instagram (below) and I think it helped me put things in perspective. One day he won’t want to nurse. One day he won’t need me to hold and care for him like this. I don’t want to rush him and wish away the times he needs or wants love and nursing like this, because I know one day I will miss it. It seems stupid to say that when I would love for a solid 8 hour sleep stretch right now, but it’s true. He’s also taken to occasionally rolling on to his stomach during sleep, which still scares me but I am trying to just relax and let him do his thing. I know it’s safer now that he can roll both ways, and I can see that his head is turned and airway open, but it still gets me a little agitated from time to time.

FullSizeRender

He loves playing and his favorite toys are his rattles and soft books. He’s become a tummy time rockstar, and lately no sooner do I put him down on his back and he’s rolled over and reaching for his toys. He can sit up for a (very) small length of time doing the tripod position.

So, that’s the short story of McLovin at six months. I love being his mommy.

IMG_6373

Happy Mothers Day to me… cookie dough ice cream 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

May 24, 2016

5/24/16

The NIPT results came in today. We got an excited call from E… the results are NORMAL! Negative/low risk for all of the abnormalities that the MaterniT21 tests for…

And, my gut feeling was correct… it is a BOY!

I am beside myself right now. I can’t believe I am the one getting all this good news.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Twenty Six

I’ve felt a bit emotional the past week or so, for different reasons. Nothing I care to write about tonight. I’m almost feeling a bit hormonal, but it’s not consistent.

At 10:33 PM tonight it will be 26 weeks since I gave birth to McLovin. I always think of Wednesday’s as “our night” since it’s the day of the week we first met.

I look at McLovin and he’s everything I could have wished for. And more. He’s the most precious and amazing being I’ve ever met. Tonight I was breastfeeding him in the darkness and he fell asleep in my arms, and I couldn’t move. Just listening to his sweet inhales and exhales and marveling at how I never thought I could love anyone or anything this much, it brought tears to my eyes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

May 16, 2016

I’ve gained two pounds thus far. I feel like it’s more but the numbers don’t lie.

Today we had our nuchal scan with MFM at the hospital. The nuchal measurement is 1.9, which is well below the 3.0 that Dr. T said would indicate a higher risk. Baby had a great heart rate, showed great growth (measuring a full week ahead) and Dr. T was, again, all smiles so we were all smiles too! I don’t feel any movement yet but baby was definitely moving all around today during the scan… just floating and bouncing around.

I still feel like this baby is a boy… and today Dr. T said she could tell the gender during the scan and asked if we wanted to know – we said no (for now). We are looking forward to receiving the MaterniT21 test results back in 7-10 days… we had the blood drawn today, and I’m nervous for it but I want as much information as possible, and if it’s good news I think it will only make me feel more confident in this pregnancy.

I miss turkey sandwiches and breaking a good sweat when working out. I also have a craving for strawberries… and Cran-Lemonade. And now an aversion to dairy.

New symptom: I’m having vivid dreams.

I’ve been pretty happy, unless you are on my bad side… I’ve also had a “Me against the world” thing going on… not sure why..

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Thoughts On Mother’s Day

On this day last year: Mother’s Day. I went to a brunch at a nearby function facility with my mother and grandmother. Neither knew I was pregnant; in fact, my mother commented that I looked like I lost weight. The three plate fulls of food argued otherwise. I was still in the first trimester. I remember that as we were leaving I used the ladies room and dropped my phone in there. I had to run back in after just about pulling out of the parking lot to leave. I remember seeing all the young kids with their mothers and wondering if next year it would be me. I remember fantasizing about it in my mind, wondering what it would be like.

Now McLovin is here. He was there last year too, in a way. We are going to brunch with my mother and grandmother at one of our local country clubs. The Husband goes to lunch with his mother, aunts and grandmother and I go to brunch with my mother and grandmother. That’s the way it’s always been; I joined them for one of their lunches many years ago and I was NOT a fan of the restaurant or food so I never went again. Well, today she showed up bright and early to watch McLovin, as she does every Monday and Wednesday. And asked “Is McLovin coming with The Husband on Sunday?” To be honest, I forgot all about Sunday. When Mother’s Day has been awful trigger for years, you tend not to think about it much or count down the days. I asked, “What’s Sunday? Where is The Husband going?” And she reminded me that it’s Mother’s Day. And said “McLovin is coming to lunch with The Husband, yes?” Nodding her head yes, as if by doing that I would agree. I told her that, McLovin and I are going to brunch with my mother and grandmother and we aren’t going to rush, so I don’t know what time we’ll be home. Maybe if we are home on time, McLovin will go with The Husband. Maybe not. She then commented that surely I’d want the afternoon to myself and she and her sisters would love holding him.

Grrrrrr.

In years past I would see all the picture perfect photos on social media of others and their “perfect” Mothers Day celebrations. Some women with their kids; some women without their kids and toasting themselves. My best friend M would always get together with her mother, sister and some of their mother/daughter friends sets. They’d leave the kids at home and drive to Newport for lunch and drinks. This year I was invited, with my mother of course. “Leaving the kids at home with the men, going for lunch + drinks and having a day off from it all. LMK if you want to go.” I would always have a pang of envy when I saw the yearly photo of them all out by the water, smiling and celebrating themselves. They were mothers and I was not, at least not in the way that mattered to society. But now I’ve been invited, I’M IN THE CLUB, and I’m not sure that I want to go! It’s interesting to me that for them, Mother’s Day is about being WITHOUT the kids. And when I think about it tonight, right now, I think about being with McLovin and doing something fun as a family – a walk on the beach, a walk around the park, visiting a zoo. It’s not a judgment on them, or on how they view/acknowledge the holiday, just an observation.

I’ve waited and struggled through three Mother’s Days since my first loss (Mothers’ Days? What is the appropriate plural?!?!)  I’ve struggled with the grief and sadness and anger.  Maybe I want to be with my son. Yes, maybe I’ll go for a pedicure or for a run or go shopping in the afternoon by myself. Maybe I won’t.  But I don’t need my MIL putting her two cents in and assuming what I do or don’t want. I don’t need a big celebration or a big gift, I just want to have a good day being a mom to my boy. And if that includes an hour or two of some mental health “Me Time”, then so be it!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments