Sunday, May 23, 2010

(Extremely) Random Thoughts

(mostly typed with one hand)

(over the space of about three weeks)

I only just called Children's to let them know. Part of this was because I was tired and busy, part because I didn't want to jinx anything by calling with good news -- and then have to call back the next day with a problem. I waited over a week, and through the second pediatric appointment.


Last week, at some point in a 45-90 minute stretch of heavy sleep, I had a dream that Bella was obnoxiously and very purposefully keeping me up at night. He's here, and he's still not in my dreams.


File under signs that my IRL personality is not so different from blog voice -- in case you were wondering:

(Midwife waves off anesthisiologist who apparently poked his head in the room too late to do anything, and says to no-one in particular but looking in the direction of my husband, "It's too late.")

Mr. ABF: YOU tell her.

(At some point following my involuntarily unmedicated labor and delivery)

Mr. ABF: I'm so proud of you . . . you didn't swear out a single person! You didn't even drop an F-bomb! I can't believe you made it through that without profanity. There is no way I could've done that without dropping an F-bomb.


Why yes, he does nap fairly consistently every day at 10:00 a.m. Whaddaya know.


My neighbors were overwhelmingly amazing after Maddy died, I think especially since we had only lived here six months. And so it is extremely satisfying to see just how happy they are for us now. The woman who brought us chicken dinners and dedicated a church service to Maddy, last week brought us dinner and begged me to now let her throw us a party. Another neighbor who wasn't here during the Maddy debacle but knows the whole mess, took a pajama-clad Bella at 6:00 a.m. last Monday brought me chocolate and visited me in the hospital (and then followed up with a dinner as well). The UPS man set down packages yesterday to hug Mr. ABF . . . twice. My fridge is full, there are homemade muffins by the coffee pot, but coming from people who not only provided for us once before but put up with my emotional distance then and for the last nine months . . . well, it's just all-consuming how lovely this place is. It takes a village, and I live in one of the best.


I wondered if I would be a hypochondriac and to some degree I suppose I am; we're far more nervous about his swaddle encroaching on his mouth, and we both randomly wake and check him -- I caught Mr. ABF holding an iPhone for light over him the other night, just checking. And yet . . . perhaps after a healthy baby and a NICU stint gone to hell, we've seen it all. I caught myself the other day quickly strolling through the kitchen to let the dog in the back door with a six day old infant on my breast. Last night he suffered his first two hour crying jag and we both reminisced about Bella's first where we were sent into a full-blown panic. Last night we simply turned up the sound on the movie and took turns walking around so the other wouldn't get too tired. It passed, I'm sure it was gas.


And yet. I was ordering summertime PJ's for Bella on an online sale, and promptly added a hoodie for the little guy a size or two up so it will be good for Fall. And I was flooded with that forboding, what if . . . should I really do this? Plan ahead like this? Jeebus, here I am introducing him to all these people, what if something happens . . . My finger hovered above the "Put In Cart!" button, as if it was Death himself standing there with his scythe proclaiming judgment right next to the "You Might Also Like" pictures of little swimsuits and sunhats.

No, not over it yet. It will be a while.


I think I got breast milk on my iPhone.


Mr. ABF wondered the other day if he, this little screaming creature (we got us a fussy one), changed how I thought about Maddy. That is to say, are the two children under our roof now the 3:4 roulette winners? Or was Maddy just doomed by something else shitty from the get-go? This guy's pregnancy tracked almost in every way with Bella's, which is to say: Normal. Maddy's was a trauma from the get go, with me bleeding out thinking I had miscarried about one week in. It went south from there. This healthy boy has been added to the file at Children's, no doubt a cute little male symbol extending downward from the symbols that represent us, right next to the female symbol with the line through it. He has been recorded on her tree, Children's will continue to look into it if opportunities present themselves, and we? Will likely never know.


Sitting outside on a warm spring afternoon, Mr. ABF had just finished mowing the grass -- it smelled like early summer, and our house looked divine surrounded by late-blooming iris and dark purple veronica and the new shoots of lavender and the seedlings that finally got placed in the planter beds last week. The neighbor's drive was filled with contractors (new kitchen), cars puttered down the street, the dog went ape-shit over a squirrel.

It was perfect.

But it wasn't.

It was as if I had entered a time-warp -- this was the scene I dreamed of three years ago, new to my neighborhood but already loving the surroundings, sitting outside with a baby on my chest. It finally happened! The time was here!

But oh, what a cost.

I wonder if one could accordion those three years, not just the horror and grief and ashes in a box and depression and heartbreak, but the loss of hope and expectations, the year I zombie-walked through Bella's life, the destruction of relationships red-flagged by the people who have not contacted us, nor us them. Is it possible to fold this up, and imagine a smooth time line leading me here? Unlikely. I'll have to take what I can get.


I owe you pictures, and I'm frequently too wasted to get them and then transfer them from camera to computer. We've been doing a lot of phone pictures, which I suppose is the degradation that befalls the subsequent child along with hand-me-downs and a casual attitude toward just about everything baby. Also? This child is a fuss-pot: His channels are: Sleep, eat, and cry. (Thank goodness for Bella, because most mornings I look at her eating breakfast at the counter after having dressed herself and think, well it won't always be like this. Except for yesterday morning when she pitched a fit because I made her use the toilet before heading off to T-ball. "I always have to do EVERYTHING!" she scream-cried. Phases people, phases.) Ergo, I haven't been terrific about pictures, and especially pictures when his eyes are open and he's not asking to be picked up and held by someone who directly contributed to his DNA. But here's a nice eyes closed one (he is alive, trust me on this) that we've been using to figure out who he looks like, exactly.

We've decided he looks like Harold, you know, of the Purple Crayon.

I also still owe you a name. Which isn't so much me being squeamish over internet privacy, but me being squeamish about certain relatives wondering if we've hidden a cache of pictures somewhere online without telling them and entering my children's names into google and winding up here in the land of cynicism and bitch-slapping. I am still pondering. I will tell you that it is Italian, and lovely.


sweetsalty kate said...

Beaming. Look at that! bring your random here anytime. It never fails to make me smile. xo

Toni said...

oh he is BEAUTIFUL. congrats again, guys.

Anna said...

Oh! I see Harold in him! Tash, your post gives me hope. I started crying when reading about the accordian bit. I just cannot imagine holding joy and pain in the same armful. I am certain I will be as wistful and grateful. I am just so happy for all the happy and relief you feel. I really hope this can venture on as a healing experience.

Melissia said...

Oh, he is just gorgeous. What a perfect face, you made me cry big happy tears for you. I am just so happy that you got this wonderful boy.

ezra'smommy said...

Oh Lord is he beautiful! M was a fussy pants too for the 1st 9 weeks...D kept reminding me that it was his way of letting us know he was definitively ALIVE. xoxo

Aunt Becky said...

HE is lovely. So are you. Love you, Tash. Love you so much. Love your son too. And Maddy and Bella.

Busted said...

A) I love posts like this. Such a great glimpse into you.

B) He is gorgeous and I'm excited to someday learn his name (hopefully).

C) Ours is almost a year old and I still get panic attacks if I plan too much for the future. Planning a trip to Disney World this winter has made me go through multiple iterations of "What if he's gone then?". And don't even get me started on planning his birthday party and the emotional issues surrounding my dangerous forays into actually imagining it happening.

So happy for you all, and always remembering Maddy as well.

Sophie said...

He is absolutely gorgeous! So happy for you! xxxx

missing_one said...

FANTASTIC post Tash. I totally see Harold in him.

and 4 months later for me and it still sometimes doesn't quite seem real.

I too have been getting the 'why do I have to do everything for myself?' from my older son. Which in turn triggers the mommy guilt. LOL

Dh does the iphone light to check too. G had a lovey and got it over his head one day and was fussing and it scared me to older son loved to sleep with a receiving blanket over his head and I thought nothing of it...yeah, nervous parents now.

*hugs* so happy!

Jeanette said...

What a wonderful post, I'm sat here with big happy/sad tears for you, and your little man is adorable!

Julia said...

Oh, what a beauty.

And yes, it will be a while. For me, it got better, slowly, and is still getting better. And I am working on it getting better, but yes, a while.

k@lakly said...

That is a great pic! He looks perfectly delicious:0)
I still do that, the 'what if' wondering. I somehow think it won't ever go away. I think, once you've had the rug ripped out from under you, you never ever believe that your footing is as solid as you once did. A la 'Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice...shame on me".
But, it does, get better. Bit, by bit.

Holding him close and breathing in the yummyness that is him, helps, lots.

Melina said...


moplans said...

He's gorgeous tash, and does look a bit like Harold :)

after iris said...

What a lovely photo. What a lovely post. Lovely, lovely, lovely x

ellie said...

Oh, what a face! Utterly lovely.

I still check to see if my kids are breathing at night.

They are ten and eight.

Then again, I no longer check on the twenty-one year old, so that's something, right?

Michele said...

gorgeous. so beautiful.

and yes... what cost... I totally sympathize

Hope's Mama said...

Oh no, not another fussy pants! I got me one of those! Six months on, he's still a bit fussy but we're getting there.
Tash this was such a wonderful post. The bit about the accordian was just perfect. Great way to put it.
And don't worry, I'm forever getting breastmilk on the lap top.
The little man is just gorgeous. Well done.

Searching said...

Wow... He. Is. Magnificent. :) Thank you for sharing your little colicky baboo. Just love him!

Love Sassypant's comment about doing everything. Cracked me up.

Glad to know you are able to very slowly start sticking your toe in the water and find out it's not TOO cold to jump in.

CLC said...


A.M.S. said...

Tash, he is absolutely adorable!

And, thank you for sharing. It helps. Makes me feel less alone in my worry about the upcoming months.

Reba said...

wow, he is really sweet. looking forward to continued random thoughts.

Orodemniades said...

Oh, he's lovely! And Harold, yes!

Lara said...

Harold-Perfect. Our baby girl after baby taz is lovely Lucia-an Italian name too. Can't wait to hear his!

Thanks for sharing. Your neighborhood sounds wonderful.

Enjoy every worried minute.

xo, Lara

janis said...

he is absolutely GORGEOUS. and looks very serene. crying baby, really?? ;-)
I feel the same when I buy clothing in advance. I keep feeling all the hours I have had are borrowed, all borrowed.
big hugs,so god to hear what's been going on in your time warp, coz I live in one too.

K77 said...

He's lovely!

K77 said...

He's lovely!

Betty M said...

What a gorgeous boy! Pleased to see your random thoughts.

I am with you on a new (ish) fussy baby - endless desire for beng held and fiendishly powerful wind. I keep reminding myself that wind passes so to speak.

niobe said...

I got breast milk on my iPhone.

There's an app for that????

Sue said...

He is lovely. I don't think Harold looks that good.

angie said...

He is gorgeous. I love reading your random thoughts. You should just continue to document random one handed thoughts.

Sending all of you love. I would comment on your random thoughts, but I am as sleep deprived as you and will spare you the higher thought it would take to decode it. xo

erica said...

He's amazing. Beautiful. And he does look a little like Harold.

My own random thought: I'm glad I'm not the only one with breastmilk on my iphone.

Bon said...

he is extraordinary.

and we were talking about the accordion of time just last night, sitting out on the beach where we met, by a fire.

smiling at you all.

loribeth said...

Great to get an update from you -- & that picture!! He is absolutely gorgeous.

I lost it at the UPS guy hugging your dh. We're all so happy for you guys. : )

Megan said...

Thanks for the random thoughts - I keep checking to see if you've surfaced.
He's gorgeous. I had the fussiest baby EVER but he's now a very good humoured toddler who naps for three hours every weekend afternoon so mommy can drink G&Ts and read blogs.

Jenni said...

he is lovely. this was a great post tash - not incoherent at all, just a lovely download of the newness of these days for you. thinking of you and your 3 little ones. xo

Alexicographer said...

What a handsome boy.

It is wonderful to read about your wonderful neighborhood and to know that such places exist (not that mine is bad, but one does see so many horror stories).

Also, Niobe ... OMG. Can't stop laughing!

Julia said...


debbie said...

love him!

K said...

Beautiful boy. Congratulations. I understand the need for pseudonymity since I use it for similar reasons. I hope you find a balance between worrying and not worrying about the future. I am nowhere near there myself.

Rory said...

He is beautiful. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...


Fussy is not colicky. But if he does get colic, there is something you can do. Our youngest would wake up screaming from colic, but we started using simethicone and it really helped. Ask your doctor about itif you think he is in a lot of pain.

Elle said...

What an absolutely gorgeous baby! A romantic Italian name to match his stunning good looks. Perfect.

Natalie said...

So adorable!! I get the anxiety, the not planning too far ahead. I do think it will take a while to work through.

c. said...

I need a name,woman! I need a name!!! Matteo? Giuseppe? Valerio? Roberto? Ignacio? C'mon, don't make me do this...

He's beautiful. Hopefully the crying is short-lived. Hope you've made some use of that Carry On My Wayward Son sling. XO.

kate said...

He is so beautiful! Congratulations again!!

Kymberli said...

*He* is lovely.

Natasha said...

He's beautiful! I'm guessing his name...I think I know it!