For the record, I lost three babies before successfully having my girls. They were boy babies that I carried for at least three months. I can never forget how it felt to lose a child, an unborn one that was very much desired and wanted.
We underwent fertility treatments weekly for four years.
My friends had babies.
Everybody in the world had babies.
The longing was intolerable. My sweet husband wanted to give up trying after three surgeries and the loss of one of my ovaries. I blamed God. I blamed myself. I hated my body and internal organs.
I would have done anything to have a baby.
And I did.
Somehow, we got pregnant again. I ate no sugar, no seafood, did very little, lay on the couch most of the time so as not to risk a miscarriage. No excitement. No strangers. Nothing to get me sick. Isolation. Unbearable heat and cold...I kept my incubating body safe and had a big, healthy baby girl a day after our 9th anniversary.
I cherished and still do cherish this kid and the miracle that followed five months later when again we got pregnant.
Now, there's this new TV show being advertised called Rattled. It's about new parents and babies. One clip shows this woman saying, "This baby is going to have to adjust to our life, not we to hers" or something like that. I get so pissed when I see this ad that I'm probably not quoting correctly, but that is the gist of it.
And after I want to swat her, I grind my teeth and then I laugh at her presumption.
One does not force a baby to adjust to one's life. The baby becomes one's life.
Now, I have been somewhat challenged about this...people who took their babies all over the place. Did not disturb their lifestyle one bit. No. Carting all that baby equipment, the portable crib, the diaper bag, the bottles, the creams and lotions, extra clothes for when their baby clothes get spit up on, or pooped on, or just wet...yeah, you can just pick up and go. I'm afraid not. At least, me, a new mother at 38 and again at 39 years old could not do this.
And what happens when the baby cries and you can't figure out what's wrong? Surely, a baby does that once in awhile, unless it is drugged.
AND HERE IS SOMETHING AWFUL TO WRITE ABOUT
When I was in college, Sandy and I met up with some guys from Rutgers who took us to a party at their friends' apartment. It was one room, bunk beds, sheets draped for privacy, soiled clothing heaped on the floor, husband and wife and newborn existing in this little hovel sans souci. They started drinking and talking loud. Sandy and I wanted to leave. The father of the baby says he can stop the baby from crying and pulls out a bottle and a syringe and dopes up the baby. Yes, it did stop crying.
Sandy and I left.
Yes. It was a hippie sort of arrangement these people had and it was a long time ago but I wonder where they got the juice to put the kid to sleep so they could drink and smoke and have loud friends over. That poor kid!
I have had that sordid picture in my mind for a very long time and hate seeing it over and over.
Yes, the baby got quiet. Their good time wasn't ruined.
I wonder whatever happened to that baby.
I bet it died.
So, since I have always carried that picture in my mind and felt the loss of my three boys, my kids were the main focus of my life. I was far from a perfect mother, but my kids didn't cry themselves to sleep. They behaved well. If we didn't think they could tolerate a situation, we didn't put them in it. They made it to adulthood without drugs or alcohol or a crazed mother and father.
Maybe we were lucky, maybe we missed out on stuff. So be it.
But try to picture that scene with the man injecting some drug into an infant's thin leg. Try to imagine losing three babies for no discernible reason. Try to shrug off this idiotic soon to be parent thinking she can force a baby to adjust to her lifestyle.
I dare ya.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Sunday, January 17, 2016
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Yesterday I got the results from the CT-scan I had a month ago. I had asked the oncologist to wait until January to tell me the results because I didn't want the holiday spoiled. In 2008, I spent New Year's Eve in the hospital cancer ward, getting my first chemo treatment over to the next day as it took 13 hours. I really didn't want to even think about that over Christmas.
This Christmas wasn't too cool, either, because the house is a mess, all the living room furniture is in the dining room and stashed in inconvenient places. I have to sleep either on the sofa bed where the springs stick into my body or the futon which is hard as a rock. Needless to say, I don't get much sleep and what I do get is painful.
But it's okay. I can live with that.
But this time of year, thinking of the chemo and how awful it was and losing my hair and being unable to get around...not fun. And perhaps some of the reason why I couldn't sleep was because I was remembering how close I was to dying and how utterly inconvenient that would be.
And how it would feel to leave my sweet husband and daughters and my whole family...everybody. To be a nothing.
To be dead.
Well, anyway, the results weren't bad at all. No cancer...not at this time. It has been seven years of worrying about it returning and that won't stop, but for a little while, I'll not think about it too hard.
There are other things wrong--the sugar, the lack of sleep, the lack of breathing when I sleep, some kind of emphysema in my lungs, diverticulosis, spinal degeneration, being overweight...and the beloved gallstones. It is enough to make me feel doomed, but not as badly or as desperately as it would be if the diagnosis had been for cancer. Strike three, you're out!
It just isn't something you can shake off. Like PTSD...you can't "get over it". Maybe you could actually call it PTSD, as I have fought two battles and come out alive. There are so many people, some little kids, who haven't made it. And I wonder...why me? What have I done to deserve to live when so many others, so many nice people, honest and religious and happy and parents and little kids, perished in such an ugly way?
Maybe I have something else to do, something that only I can do to contribute to the greater good.
If you believe in fairies, clap your hands and Tinkerbell will live.