Archive for August, 2009

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Nothing New

August 30, 2009

This semester is horrendously busy for me. My teaching load is out of control, I’m up for tenure, and I have 4 new graduate students. Did I meantion DH is coaching football again so is gone from the hours of 3-8 pm everyday. Hence, I am wordless. My brain focuses on the next immediate task. Most of the time it is …. prepare for class, go to class, don’t forget this meeting, what are we having for dinner, when can I go to sleep? It will continue at this pass until mid-November when football is over and I get my husband back. Meanwhile, I admit I feel like a single mom who works full time also. It leaves me exhausted…it leaves me wordless.

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Milestones

August 24, 2009

She has been too chubby for major movement. I held her for most of her life. But against my wishes, my little one is crawling. I take her to a weekly meeting I run for Teaching Assistants and I set her on the floor. Last week, I gave her a soda bottle to play with. But, it was just out of her reach. She stretched. But still couldn’t reach it. Then, up on her knees; she rocked; tentatively moved an arm forward; and then a back leg; another arm; another leg….and got the bottle. She crawled. I am proud of her but sad too. This was Friday, August 21. The next day, she pulled up. Its happening a bit too fast.  She is also teething for her two top teeth. Her bottom ones came in June 17th but finally she has decided to cut the top ones. I feel for her because she wakes at night in pain. I soothe her. Last night I was up for two hours. I’m not mad at her but actually grateful for the opportunity to wake at night with her….to have a baby to care for.

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The work stuff was related to a graduate student who had submitted an abstract to a meeting without my approval. I just didn’t know how to deal with it and fear I dealt poorly with it. I’m sure I made him cry.

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Gifted and Talented

August 20, 2009

I had to go to a first grade meeting 2 nights ago. It was a huge schedule juggling task to get there but I made it, with the little one. It was fairly standard until the end. One of the teachers said, oh by the way, because of budget cuts we will not be running the gifted and talented program this year for the 1st and 2nd grade. …. umm, why is my kid not in the “gifted and talented” program? That is the thought that went through my mind. I couldn’t stop it, my drive for education and success forced me to have that thought. I didn’t even know there was a gifted and talented program. Now that I know, it’s torture because I know my kid has not been targeted with that label. I try to reason with myself “she is not you. let her have her own life. just because you had to be the best at everything doesn’t mean she is going to have the same drive.”  Then the other part, the little annoying part of me says, “I want my kid to have every available tool to succeed; I want her to have the label so she will believe that she is gifted and talented”.  I’m struggling. I want her to push herself because otherwise she just does the minimum, unless there is an incentive like candy or a toy. I want her to learn because learning is fun. Right now she doesn’t think science or math is fun, which physically hurts me because that is my education focus. Labeling kids this early is so dangerous….they believe the labels. I did 30 minutes of homework last night with her. Should they have homework at this age?

Also, I just learned something at work that I’m angry over. I’m not certain how to deal with the anger. It is small and petty when compared to loved ones dying but it is eating at my brain right now.

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3 years

August 17, 2009

As I frantically run around my office making lists, making syllabi, checking schedules, tying up loose ends, I am proud of the productivity. Stress definitely ups the productivity but lessens my sleep time. In my small amount of down time, which encompasses the time it takes to take a shower, my brain settles into a non-thinking pattern. Most of my really great ideas come from showering, you’d think I would do it more (shower that is, not think). This morning, I remember that this is the first time in 3 years that I am starting the fall academic semester without being pregnant. Three years of trying to carry a pregnancy to full term and have that child live. No wonder my body feels like it is not healthy. Let’s make a list:

Fall 2006: pregnant at the end of August, miscarried that baby at 12 weeks, October 28

Fall 2007: pregnant at the end of August, carried to full term, lost Norah at 40 weeks, November 18

Fall 2008: pregnant at the end of August, carried to full term, had Maya November 28, finally a live baby.

Like a soldier, I feel somewhat shell shocked, battle hardened, a pregnancy warrior. Also like a soldier, I have trauma associated with the battle — flashbacks, insomnia, depression. Like soldiers, we baby lost mamas are trying to figure out how to live life out amongst the people who have not lost or suffered as we have. We are ticking time bombs, waiting for the next person/event to light the fuse (that analogy is so 20th century, I supposed I should say “waiting for the next person/even to push the countdown button”). 

3 years. That is a long time to be pregnant/post-pregnant/ crushed/ heartbroken. I am not happy with the path that I took to get to today. If I could have changed it, I would have. I would rather have my babies in my house. So, as I begin the semester, not pregnant, I feel as though I am embarking on a new phase of life. That is not particularly true. I’m just not sure I know how to function not being pregnant.

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Mom

August 10, 2009

Yesterday was my Mom’s birthday. However, she is dead so she doesn’t celebrate her birthday. At least, I don’t think age is a concern where ever she is. I am sad that my kids will not get to know their grandma. She didn’t even meet the little one. I was 7 weeks pregnant with the little one at her funeral. They didn’t even meet in another dimension.

My Mom was a funny lady. DH and I can go on for hours about things she said and did. I had plans for our future. I had the perfect in law house in mind for her and my MIL to be near us. She shattered my plans. I had plans and she broke them. Its all about me, isn’t it?

So, I hope Mom that you are happy where ever you are and are smoking a cigarette. You used to say that it was your only guilty pleasure. It is also what killed you. You also had a couple of other pleasures….sewing, buying cloth, eating a Wendy’s, collecting useless knick knacks from all over the world (I guess I perpetuated that one). Now, your with Dad and your two best friends have joined you since you died. Have a party. And, take care of Norah.

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Minutia

August 7, 2009

Last night I was standing in front of the sink preparing to brush my teeth. We currently don’t have a tube a toothpaste, just a plastic bottle. With a tube of toothpaste, you can squeeze and some will come to the top (this is not a discussion on whether your significant other squeezes in the center of the tube making you always squeeze at the bottom to get toothpaste out; Dh does this all of the time). However, with these plastic bottles you have to turn it update down and give it a thump because the mixture is viscous, kind of like getting ketchup or mustard out of the bottle. Instead of thumping it, because a toothbrush is always in my other hand, I just give it shake. You know the kind of shake I’m talking out. Imagine…ketchup stuck up in a bottle and you have to shake it to get it out. In order to harness acceleration on the outer part of an arc, I give the bottle of whing. This involves opening the top, holding it upright, and very quickly turning it so the opening faces downward. This usually forces the toothpaste to the top so I can squeeze some out.

Last night, I opened the top of the toothpaste and gave it a whing, watched some toothpaste go flying out of the opened top, squeezed some on my toothbrush, and brushed my teeth. Afterwards, I investigated where the toothpaste had been flung. I turned my head to the left (toothbrush is always in my left, bottle of toothpaste being whinged is always in my right) and saw a wall that was absolutely covered in white spots in various stages of splatter. At first, I thought it must be DH’s shaving cream. Upon further investigation, I found that it was toothpaste…..from me….whinging the bottle night after night and being too tired to realize I was throwing toothpaste everywhere.

Like blood splatter analysis, I conducted analysis on the toothpaste splatter. You can determine the angle and trajectory of each whing of the toothpaste bottle. Yep, definitely from me, can’t blame DH on this one. I have been so busy over the past months (?, I don’t know how long this has gone on) that I don’t even realize I’m doing it and then I run off to go do my next task. Now, I could dwell on the fact that I would know about this mess if I ever cleaned the bathroom; however, no dwelling here. DH cleans the bathrooms, not me. I hate that task so he does it. Obviously, it hasn’t been done in a while.

I thought for a moment about how to get the white toothpaste off of the mint green walls (color was there when we moved in). But I didn’t give it too much thought because I realized I was in the middle of doing the dishes. I rushed off to complete that task. My toothpaste splattered wall is still there. Someday, I am going to have enough time to clean it.

How do you get dried toothpaste off of a painted wall? Does a magic eraser work for that also?

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the next phase

August 4, 2009

Two weeks ago, I was driving around DH’s hometown and he was giving me directions while at the same time giving me directions for going somewhere else the next day. I am a map person, I love maps and 3 dimensional images so I draw maps in my head when someone gives me directions. However, for nearly 20 years my DH has had to give me directions in his home area where he grew up. Then, two weeks ago, the map in my head actually made sense. All the road come together correctly, the spatial location of landmarks made sense, the way to get to places finally had its own place in my brain. And the only thing I could think of was….

YIPPEE, I’m smart again!!!

Everyone knows that pregnancy wipes out the brain. Lists became integral to my life, constant reminders by my DH were a must. But, I’ve been pregnant or post-baby, or post-death of a baby for nearly 3 years. That means I have not been smart for 3 friggin’ years!  …a long time in academia.  I’ve survived but my life has been managed by to do lists and just powering through material. Now there is actuallly a possibility that I will do some creative, original thinking. That possiblity is so exciting to me.

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On another note, I reread my previous post. I want to apologize to my friends in blog-o-land who are experiencing some form of infertility. I know that you would love to have the chance to choose whether or not to have a baby. It is insensitive to not think of you. However, I’m going to leave the post because those are my thoughts and this is my blog for putting my lost baby mama thoughts out there into the world.