Thursday, September 30, 2010

Positive


This week I have been following through and doing things on the dreaded to-do list.  Part of my chronic anxiety is I am a world class procrastinator.  I dread seeing how little money we have in the checking account so I put off paying the bills.  I’m anxious about leaving the house so we don’t have any food and need to order take out.  Which doesn’t help the checking account balance.  And the circle continues and continues and continues. 

But just like anticipation of telling the swimming lesson lady I had a miscarriage was worse than the reality, so is doing stuff on the list.  Completing these tasks have not only made me feel great, but helped me to realize it actually is easier to just do them rather than spend all my energy dreading them.  I just hope I can remember this when I start to feel overwhelmed and shut down.  But either way I am doing it now and damn it, that is a positive thing.

I’m not good at recognizing the positive, and clearly I don't write about it often.  But even with the pain of the miscarriage there is a lot of good going on around here.  I won’t bore you with the list.  So how about some pictures of T and Z from the other night when I actually enameled for the first time since we moved here.  It felt really good to do something creative and my boys were being particularly adorable that night.  So.  Short and sweet and positive today with a bunch of pictures…




I love how he clutches the sides of Z's head.  Much better than grabbing the hair like he used to.


We put him near yummy drinks like Tung oil.  


And we only give him the safest toys like wooden mallets.


And we carefully seat him near the edge of tables.




I do love these two.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Stay At Home Mom

Back when I was in high school and I knew everything in the entire world I would look at my mother with pity for being a stay at home mom (SAHM).  My parents raised me and my sister to believe we could do absolutely anything we wanted to.  They were so clear about our endless opportunities that it was a long time before I understood that women weren’t so lucky historically or that many weren’t even lucky concurrently.  I wondered why my mom would stay at home when she could have done something constructive with her time.  She went to college and she taught before I was born.  I knew she was intelligent and had a lot to offer. 

When I remember how I felt back then I feel an enormous amount of shame.  I was such a little shit.   How could I not see that she worked as hard as my father?  Or that we were fortunate to have her undivided attention?  I’m not saying our upbringing or our mother was perfect, there were problems just like there are in every family, but we had it pretty damn good. 

My mother fought for me when it was time to choose a college.  Dad didn’t understand why I wanted to go to Sarah Lawrence.  SLC really puts the liberal in liberal arts and I think that is part of what freaked him out.  But my mom, who at the end of the day is more conservative than my dad, knew it was exactly what I wanted and she helped me convince him it was the right place for me.

I’m proud to be a Sarah Lawrence graduate.  It’s a school where you are taught to think for yourself, where grades and standardized tests aren’t important when it comes to measuring what you have learned but communicating through writing is.  Different was celebrated and everyone was accepted.  It was pretentious as hell, but if I’m honest so am I.  While I was at college I, and I'd hazard a guess that most of my female classmates didn't aspire to be a SAHM.  So what happened?

For the three years we lived in Providence I supported us financially so Z could go to grad school and then have a year as a studio artist.  When I accidently got pregnant we suddenly had a lot of decisions to make.  I told Z I wasn’t comfortable being the bread winner as well as a first time mom.  With my history of mental illness I was worried about my increased chances of developing post partum depression.  If I became unable to both mother and provide for us I had no idea what would happen.  Z really stepped up and I am still amazed he was able to secure a great job in the midst of the financial crisis.  Unfortunately it necessitated a move that required me to quit my job, but that was the trade off. 

At first I thought I’d look for a job in Syracuse when T was a couple of months old because things are financially tight with just one of us working.  We have historically traded off financial responsibility in the relationship.  After freelancing for years I had a job I loved when we lived in NYC that paid nothing near a living wage and Z carried the financial burden.  It was my turn in Providence, and we are back to Z’s turn now.  Money is tight in our household with only one income, but to my surprise I don’t want to go back to work.  I love being with T all day.  Z sees that and he is happy for me.  The responsible choice would be for me to get a job, but Z and I have never been good at making responsible choices and we are willing to limp along financially for the time being. 

Yet I continue to feel embarrassed to be a SAHM.  This weekend a woman who doesn’t have kids heard me say I stayed at home with T.  “So what do you DO all day?” she asked (emphasis hers).  My mind went blank and I said, “Um, you know.  We hang out.”  I felt like such an idiot.   I am sure that she wasn’t trying to be unkind.  I think she really wanted to know.  Before I had a kid and became one I wasn’t sure what SAHMs did myself.  The reality is the minutia of raising a child isn’t interesting or easy to explain.  There aren’t a lot of short term quantifiable accomplishments in career mothering.

I am happy.  T is happy.  Z is happy.  The uncomfortable truth is I’m ashamed to be a stay at home mom. I’m a huge snob who thinks I’m somehow better than this job even though I want to be doing it.  There are women who would give anything to stay at home with their children yet can’t and I have the nerve to be ashamed to have this luxury?   Clearly I need to get over myself, apologize yet again to my mom, and enjoy the choices I’ve made.  



 This is why overalls rock.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Swimming Lesson

Everyone knows you wait until you get through the first trimester before you tell folks you are pregnant.  It saves you a lot of explaining if things don’t work out.  The whole “things not working out” was a very abstract concept to me before September 3rd of this year.  Miscarriages were sad, but they were something that happened to other people.  And I told Z that if we did have a miscarriage we wouldn’t hide it, we would be in mourning.  So I was much more lax about keeping it a secret in my day to day life.  Which was stupid.  In most instances I was never going to see the people I told again.  The lady in the bakery of the grocery store wasn’t going to remember me.  But the mother of a boy in T’s swimming class at the Y certainly was.

His lessons are in 6 weeks sessions, with about a 6 week break between them.  At the last lesson of T’s first session I was there without Z.  We usually go together because we really enjoy it and it is easier to handle the locker room if I get changed while the boys are still in the pool, and then grab T to change him.  But Z was out of town at a wedding.  And my morning sickness had started.  The motion of the water was really getting to me, and during his lesson I almost threw up.  This other mother who we’d been friendly with throughout the session noticed I wasn’t looking too hot and asked if I was OK.  I told her I was pregnant. 

Last Saturday was the first lesson of the new session.  I was still bleeding, so Z was going to take T alone.  But our surprise trip to the ER foiled those plans.  On Friday I told Z I didn’t want to go to the lesson with them this week.  He pressed me for a reason and I finally told him that I was embarrassed.  I didn’t want to face that woman and tell her I had lost the baby.  When I thought about going my stomach cramped up.  I just needed another week before I faced it.  I was sort of expecting some sympathy, but he told me it was too much work to handle T alone and he needed me to go.  And he pointed out it would be good for me to rejoin society and get out of the damn house.  While I appreciate his honesty I was pretty resentful.

But I knew from experience it was a real pain in the ass to go alone.  And for the last few weeks I have left the house only a handful of times, which of course has made Z pretty tense.  We went out to eat at his request Friday night and though I ended up having a nice time I felt like my body was on fire as we drove to the restaurant.  I’ve had good reason to stick close to home lately, but if I’m complacent about leaving the house I can get into real trouble.  Physically I am right as rain now, so Z’s patience is wearing thin. 

On Saturday morning Z was smart enough not to press it by asking me to go to the farmer’s market with him and T before the lesson.  He let me sleep an extra hour instead.  And even though I was trying to come up with a believable excuse that would get me out of it until the minute we were in the car, I went along to the swim lesson.  We were late, which is really unlike us, so class had already started.  The woman I was dreading waved at us from across the pool. 

The lesson itself was great.  I forgot how wonderful it was to watch T enjoy being in the water.  We promised ourselves we would take him to the pool between sessions, but life got in the way and we didn’t make it to the Y even once.  Seeing his ridiculously huge grin and hearing his squeals of happiness made me regret that a lot.  I still resented Z for not being gentler with me, but at the same time I was grateful he bullied me into going.

Of course, at the end of the lesson the woman approached us to catch up.  And she asked me how the pregnancy was going.  Telling her I miscarried sucked for a moment, but then it was over.  As usual the anticipation was worse than the event.  And if I had skipped the lesson I would have had another week of dread.  Damn Zeke for being right.  




It was really hot on Friday, surely our last day near 90 this year.  I took advantage of the opportunity by letting T run around in a diaper for most of the day.  There's nothing better than a naked baby.  I'm gonna miss it during our long winter.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Feminist/Wife

I love the Twilight series.  And I am not ashamed.  OK, so I’m a little ashamed.  Alright, when I think back to waiting in line with the teeny boppers for the midnight showing of the first movie I’m more than a little ashamed, but then I remember I waited for opening day at a reasonable hour to see the second and third movies and a feel a smidge better.  Hmm, I’m not helping things here. 

Yes, I acknowledge the books contain some of the worst writing I have encountered in my entire life.  None the less, Stephanie Meyer is a genius.  She has captured the longing and desire for romantic love in almost every teenage girl’s heart perfectly.  As we all know being a teenager really sucks.  It is also completely amazing.  I’m guessing my feeling were pretty much in line with all of yours, and those feeling were larger than life and I was sure that no one had ever experienced anything like them before.  As someone who was completely uncool as a young woman (the term they used to describe us at our high school was “drama fag”.  Go Rams!) I was especially sure that the perfect cool kids would never be able to understand my depth of longing for…something, I don’t know love or acceptance or success or popularity.  But looking back on it now I’m pretty sure we all were feeling the same stuff.  Or at least the vast majority of us who weren’t popular.  

Meyer has tapped into that longing perfectly and created the ultimate fulfillment of it with her vampire boyfriend.  She then managed the impossible by creating another God among teens who also pined for my, um I mean Bella’s affections.  Bella really is an empty shell that we can project our own "unique" desires on to.  By adding the Edward vs. Jacob storyline Meyer was able to stretch the series to four books without losing a fraction of the excitement until half way through the last book when Jacob doesn't want her anymore and she becomes Edward's equal.  Writing that last sentence drives the feminist in me crazy, but it is true.  The story really drags from that point on.  But that is a whole other can of worms.  

The thing is, I’m a feminist.  It look a long time for me to be able to embrace that because feminist is such a dirty word especially now as the “girl power” of the 90s has somehow unraveled into the shocking sexualization of young girls.  Think I’m an alarmist?  Please, visit the girls Halloween costume section of Target.  Or take a gander at this which was sold just this past spring in the UK. 

In a dichotomy that I can’t reconcile I also long for someone to take care of me.  I try not to let that longing pop up to the surface much, but it is as strong as it was in 1994.  I want someone who recognizes how special I am and who’s life’s desire is to make me feel loved and to satisfy my every need.  You know what?  Forget about need, to satisfy my every whim.  Yes, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it’s the truth.  There is a needy teenager who is praying she is someone special inside me.    

I want that need fulfilled and I want to be an independent woman who is in control of my own destiny and happiness.  I try and concentrate on the independent woman part of myself as much as possible, but my visceral reaction to Ms. Meyer’s work has made me aware that I haven’t left behind the other part of myself, even though I have a husband who I love more every day, as corny as that sounds.     

As uncomfortable as this realization is I’m also grateful for it.  Because now I understand my behavior in my marriage a little better.  Yesterday I told Z that my tires had spun out several times in the rain and I was worried they needed air because the treads still looked good.  And I asked him to fix it.  And he told me to fix it myself.  I am 33 and 3/4ths years old and I have never checked the air pressure in tires.  He was flabbergasted when I told him that.  He told me he’d show me and if I needed air I could go figure that out because I was a grown up.  And I brought up division of labor in our relationship and pointed out that I pay all the bills so I think he should be in charge of air pressure in tires.  That made him pretty angry.  Which made me pretty angry.  I believe I said something along the lines of, “It’s too bad you don’t care if the car that drives your son around is safe.”  Which wasn't very helpful  You will not be surprised to hear that made him even more angry. 

Later we were able to talk about it a little and Z pointed out he has a lot on his plate right now and there is no reason I can’t learn how to take care of my tires.  In fact, it would be safer for everyone if I did know.  His argument was completely reasonable.  I couldn’t say to him, “But I want you to coddle me and take care of me.”  I wanted to, though.  That was the counter argument in my head.  And I was ashamed.  So I just said fine, and asked him to show me how to use the pressure gage tomorrow.  Then I told the teenage part of myself to grow the hell up.  I don't think she listened.  She's very stubborn and she still thinks no one has needed anything in the history of the world with the intensity that she does.  What a drama queen.  


T knows he is not supposed to be fooling with these rocks.  He throws them in our yard and it's a pain in my ass to pick them out of the grass to put them back.  This is his "you caught me" look.  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

No Resolution

One thing I’ve learned from this whole miscarriage situation is a heartbreaking number of my friends and acquaintances have gone through the same thing.  Writing about it has helped me process my feelings, and that is the main reason I’m doing it.  But there is another reason, one that is much more presumptuous and it’s the reason I’m blogging in the first place.  I am no expert on motherhood, or miscarriage, or much of anything beyond the Harry Potter Series (seriously, ask me anything).  But I am a mom, and I’ve now had a miscarriage.  The best advice I got when I was scared and pregnant wasn’t from books; it was from my friends who were moms themselves.  And the best comfort I got after the miscarriage was certainly from women close to me who’d had one themselves. 

I don’t think I have the best advice or the best comfort giving skills in the world, but I have pretty strong opinions on the whole business and damn it, I’m sharing them.  Because even with all the fantastic advice and support I’ve gotten things constantly happen that surprise the hell out of me, both in good and bad ways.  While they are fresh in my mind I’m writing them down in the hopes that maybe they will help you guys, my friends who are kind enough to read this, at some point in the future. 

My stuff is probably only going to be helpful to a small group of you because everyone’s experiences are so different.  I don’t know what it is like to go into labor naturally, but I can tell you a bit about preeclampsia and being induced.  I don’t know what it is like to spontaneously miscarry, but I can tell you how it feels to find out the embryo you have been carrying has been dead for the last month.  So if I’ve had an experience you are having and you have more in depth questions please email me at karencordano@gmail.com and ask away. 

Before I had a miscarriage I imagined having one would make me never want to try and get pregnant again.  I thought the risk of hurt would be too great, I would never want to open myself up to the chance of that pain again.  I was 100% wrong.  As soon as I found out about the miscarriage I was thinking about how soon I could get pregnant again.  I recently told one of my best friends that I feel like being pregnant is the only thing that is going to make me get over this.  I hope you all have someone like my friend in your life.  She always tells me what she thinks, no matter how hard it is to hear.  And she is basically always right.  She said I needed to deal with the loss and not just move on to the next pregnancy because if I do I will possibly have hang ups with both the pregnancy and the baby. 

I know she is right.  But I don’t know how to deal with it.  We were back at the doctor’s office on Wednesday and he said everything looked perfect; I shouldn’t have trouble conceiving or carrying a baby to term.  I just need to wait until I’ve had two periods to start trying.  And I felt terrific.  I felt better than I’ve felt since this whole thing happened.  But every time I remember that I am supposed to be pregnant right now, that we would have told people and we would be looking forward to finding out what sex it would be I fall apart.  Right now I’m using the idea of getting pregnant again as an emotional crutch and I’m not sure how to stop. 

The doctor’s visit wasn’t all smiles and roses.  The ultrasound showed that my uterus isn’t currently bleeding, which is great news.  But the unidentified thing which was discovered during our lovely trip to the ER on Saturday is still there.  The doc said it might be part of the landscape of my uterus, or it might be something that needs to get out. 

Was I the only one who thought doctors had all the answers?  The number of mights in this situation are really disconcerting.  I might pass this thing at any moment before my next period.  I might pass it with my next period.  I might never pass it.  I might bleed on and off until my next period.  I might not.  Usually you have a D&C and you stop bleeding within a week.  Sometimes you get an infection, or you have hemorrhaging.  And sometimes it isn’t so cut and dry.  You bleed more than you are supposed to, but not enough for there to be intervention.  Sometimes you have a clot the size of a cherry that scares the hell out of you, you end up in the ER where it is confirmed your uterus is bleeding, and you have to choose between another D&C and medicine.   And sometimes that medicine makes you feel dizzy and nauseous, your stomach gets upset, and even though it is supposed to help you get rid of whatever is in your uterus you stop bleeding completely.  Sometimes nothing is easy. 

Sometimes your miscarriage will just be unresolved for an unspecified amount of time.  You will be waiting for something to happen, be it heavy bleeding out of nowhere that will signal you have passed the unknown whatever, or your next period which is probably three weeks out. 

I don’t want to have to just wait and see for three weeks.  I want this over with now.  So yes, I’m holding on to the fact that my lady parts are looking OK.  I’m thinking about getting that first period in mid October and the second in November and I can’t wait to try and get pregnant right after that.  The present feels pretty awful.  And late November doesn’t feel that far away.  I want to feel happy again.  And I hope I can start to get there before I try and get pregnant.  Because my friend is right and relying on the next pregnancy to get over this is a foolish move. 


Sweet boy with egg on his face, literally.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Working On Healing

At the beginning of this saga Z and I sort of marveled at how T was really acting like a champ.  Looking back on it I think that my mom being here really helped.  T is crazy about her, and I don’t think he noticed I wasn’t playing with him as much.  But he also started crying in the middle of the night, which he hasn’t done for a long time.  Then mom left last Tuesday and I started bleeding again, and my friend had him for a number of hours Wednesday and a babysitter was here on Friday.  I was gone for most of his day on Saturday at the ER, and when I got home I was in bed.

Late on Saturday afternoon a very good friend of ours stopped by with yummy stew her husband made and stayed for a few minutes to visit.  I hopped out of bed to chat.  She was holding T as she was getting ready to say goodbye and she started to pass him off to me.  He burst into tears and turned away from me to hold her tightly.  And my heart broke into a million pieces.  I mean, I get it, I get it.  He was really pissed because I haven’t been able to be there for him.  It was the first time he has flat out rejected me, and I know it won’t be the last.  But boy it sucked. 

Last night he cried again at two in the morning.  We look at him in the monitor and sort of evaluate if we need to go in or not.  Sometimes he will go back to sleep without us, but other times it is more like he is frightened from a nightmare.  In those instances even though seeing us wakes him up and gets him all excited we take turns getting up and rocking him for a bit.  He cries again when we put him down, but only for a minute or so and he is back asleep.  But last night was another first, he fell asleep in my arms and I rocked him for about fifteen minutes because it was just so amazing to hold his little sleeping body.   It did wonders for me.

The other thing that really has helped me get through this whole mess is nursing.  About a month ago T got sick and it looked like he was done with the boob, but it was just that he couldn’t breathe and nurse at the same time.  So he and I are still going four times a day. 

We moms are so damn self conscious about everything we do.  I remember a friend saying she felt defensive when she was pregnant with her third.  That she felt people were judging her because she already had a boy and a girl so why would she have another?  I remember thinking it wasn’t strange to have three kids and I wondered why she worried other people would.  I have friends that have used formula for their babies and have felt very defensive about that.  I have chronicled my own defensiveness about using CIO with T.  Well, now that T is more than a year I feel horribly self conscious about breast feeding.  I find myself saying, “You know, the World Health Organization recommends mothers breast feed for two years.” whenever the topic of me still nursing comes up.  I’m so scared people are going to think I’m a freak, or I’m scarring T for life by still nursing him. 

Deep down I know I’m being unreasonable and no one has said anything directly to me about the breastfeeding.  It is more stuff people I know have said around me.  I have a bunch of examples running in a loop through my head, like when someone I know said “Oh, that is too long” when we were discussing someone who breastfed until twenty months.   I wonder why I let myself be affected by the uninformed opinions of others.  I wonder what was said to my friend to make her worry about having a third child.  I wish we could cut ourselves some slack.  But feeling self conscious or not I am grateful I still have the source of comfort four times a day with my son. 

We did have a parenting victory this weekend.  When T learned to crawl up the stairs my mom advised us to pull him down the steps on his belly when it was time to go downstairs to teach him how to get back down safely.  We have been doing it for months.  It felt like he was never going to learn how to get down on his own.  This weekend, right out of the blue, he went down the whole flight of stairs on his belly.  All of those hundreds of times we pulled him down suddenly felt totally worth it.  And it gave me hope that the “No!  1-2-3” followed by me stopping his activity and holding him on my lap for a twenty second time out I’ve been doing nonstop for the last few days will get through his stubborn little skull.  The little successes…


He's doing this all the time now.  Very odd, but it keeps us laughing.  And he is doing better now, which means even though the meds I'm on make me feel like shit I'm feeling better too.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Nothing's Easy or Why My Middle Name Should Be "Pain In the Ass" Rather Than Jane

In order for me to start to get over this miscarriage emotionally I’m going to need a little more cooperation from my body.  We had to head to the ER at seven this morning due to heavy bleeding eight days after the D&C.  Clearly my uterus sucks.  It held on to a piece of the placenta after T’s birth, it held on to a dead embryo for 5 weeks until I got the D&C, and now it won’t stop bleeding.  That is three strikes.  Can I get a new one?  One that won’t jerk me around and will let me get on with the business of healing? 

While I am grateful that I have a lot of say over what happens with my body I was presented with a situation today where I just wanted the doctor to tell me what to do.  My case was not cut and dry.  Although I was diagnosed with “abnormal vaginal bleeding” (Seriously, that is what my discharge papers said along with a number of other hilarious things.  I did a dramatic reading for Z on the way to the car.) the bleeding wasn’t heavy enough to clearly necessitate another D&C.  The other option was a drug that would cause my uterus to contract and hopefully expel the pesky little thing (blood clot? “left behind material of conception”? who the hell knows!) seen in the ultrasound that is still hanging around in my uterus.  So the doctor was in contact with my OB-GYN and told me that they were both comfortable with going either way, they would do what I want and I needed to make the call. 

Yes, but you see I am not a doctor.  I wanted them to tell me what would help me; I didn’t want to make the call myself.  Don’t you need years of education to make decisions about treatment?  I finally twisted the nice doctor’s arm enough for her to tell me what she would do in the same situation.  And I just went with that. 

Z came home with the prescription and there was a big orange sticker on it that said DON’T USE IF YOU ARE PREGNANT, MAY BE PREGNANT, OR ARE BREASTFEEDING.  I have a thing with orange.  I hate it.  The color, the taste, everything.  If it comes into contact with my skin I have to wipe it off.  I threw an orange toy of T’s under his crib so he couldn’t play with it anymore because I hate it so much.  Yes, I am a really selfish mom.  In my defense he has a ton of toys and I’m sure he doesn’t miss it.  But back to the prescription, if the sign was in orange it must really be serious.

Thankfully my dad-in-law is an ER doctor so I called him and told him about the sticker.  Then I told him that I clearly told the doc today that I breastfed 4 times a day, and later she mentioned to me that even though the breastfeeding would help my uterus contract this drug would help even more.  I asked if I had to call the afterhours OB-GYN number before I took the pill or if because she absolutely knew I was breastfeeding it was cool to go ahead.  When he said go ahead I was so relieved. 

I feel like a complete and total pain in the ass when I use that damn number.  I’ve had to use it twice since the D&C, my doc was actually at the hospital delivering a baby when I was there and he was in contact with the doc who saw me the whole time so I was also bugging him then.   The last thing I want to do is call and said “Hey, it’s Karen.   AGAIN.  Did you guys really know what you were doing when you prescribed this drug?”  I have always felt like an inconvenience to doctors.  Is that normal?  Do you feel like you are wasting doctor’s time even when something is legitimately wrong?  Do you dread having to call the afterhours number?  Or am I being a paranoid crazy person yet again?

One last semi-amusing thing.  I tried a joke with the ultrasound technician that I thought was pretty funny, but clearly made him uncomfortable.  These situations do tend to bring out the inappropriate in me.  I was asking a lot of questions about what he was seeing and he told me if he found anything he would immediately tell me.  I replied, “It would really rock if you found a developing baby in there.”  He knew I had recently miscarried.  Long awkward silence.  And I felt like a humongous dick.

And one last not at all amusing thing.  If you are friends with me you run the risk of inappropriately early Saturday morning phone calls in which I ask you to watch my child so I can go to the hospital.  Keep that in mind if we are friend dating, because when it bites you in the ass I don't want it to be a surprise.  I managed to not only inconvenience my friend, but her husband and soccer game bound children as well.  While I don't wish any of them ill, if they do need to make an ER trip I hope I'm the first phone call.  I owe them.  


Z has been doing this a lot at hospitals and doctor's offices lately.  I think he is ready to stop.


Unwashed Karen "Pain in the Ass" Cordano

Friday, September 17, 2010

Vaccinations

There is one more guilt thing I need to get off my chest.  I haven’t returned calls from people who I love and who love me because I just don’t want to talk about the miscarriage in real life.  Yet I can write about all the bad shit I’m feeling and post it publicly.  It’s not like this blog has a huge readership, but I am still putting stuff out there that I can’t bear to talk about it real life.  How fucked up is that? 

OK.  Moving on to some actual mom stuff.  I’ve written about my dislike of judgey parenting here before (though to be honest I struggle with it myself).  But there is one controversial issue that I can’t see both sides of.  I do not understand how any parent makes the choice not to vaccinate their child.  When a parent makes that choice he or she is selfishly relying on other parents to be responsible enough to vaccinate their own children and to therefore keep the unvaccinated safe.  But if the safety net of being surrounded by vaccinated children and adults fails and an unvaccinated child becomes ill, that child is not the only one at risk.  Every infant too small to be immunized who comes in contact with the sick child would also be in danger of falling ill.

Right now there is a whooping cough outbreak across the country.  Infants under two months are unable to be vaccinated against this disease, and as the shots are given in a series they are not fully protected until six months.  I have a very casual acquaintance who chose not to vaccinate her child.  Her child and mine have occasion to be around each other and before I miscarried I was wracking my brain for excuses to not be around them after the new baby came.  I might seem like an alarmist, but I did not want to put my newborn at risk.  Part of me wanted to tell her I thought she was making an ill informed, dangerous, and selfish choice.  But when I floated that idea to Z he told me I was under no circumstances allowed to do that.  Usually we don’t tell each other what we can or cannot do, so when he uses that kind of language I know I’m moving into the very inappropriate zone. 

Yes, there are risks to vaccinations, although Autism is not one of them.  But we face risks just by waking up in the morning.  We don’t even have to leave the house for accidents and tragedies to occur.  To be protected from preventable disease we all have to take that small risk.  And it is paying off.  We are lucky enough not to have to worry about many of the diseases that killed children in the past.  

I don’t know if anyone who reads this blog has chosen to forgo vaccinations.  If so I hope I haven’t been offensive or mean, as usual I am being honest about what I think.  Naturally not everyone is going to agree with my opinions.  If you are an expectant parent or are thinking about kids in the future I urge you to thoroughly research this issue before you make up your mind.  Vaccines protect the most vulnerable members of society only when as many people as possible take advantage of them.   

Sorry to be so link happy, but I'm trying to demonstrate I'm not pulling this stuff out of my ass.  A friend put this up on his facebook page today.  I've been meaning to write about immunization for a while, but the link was the kick in my pants to make it happen.  


More tiny T.  Thought the helpless newborn thing would tug at the old heartstrings and help make my vaccination point.  On a separate  note, the photo credit here is Ellie Leonardsmith my talented sister in law.  All of the really good photos I've put up were taken by her.  She rocks.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Guilt


On Tuesday I didn’t vote in the primary.  There was an electrician here in the morning to do work National Grid had been promising to do for 2 months until they changed their minds and I had to be outside and hold Thomas for longish periods of time.  In the afternoon I had therapy and needed to get T to my friend’s house which required more holding.  By late Tuesday afternoon when I had time to walk to the polls the bleeding started to increase.  So I didn’t go.  Turns out the bleeding got heavy enough to warrant an evening call to the OB-GYN and some serious thought about heading to the ER, but I stayed still for the night and by morning it started to slow. 

I didn’t get a tattoo on my back of a flapper gal wrapped in an American flag with VOTE written underneath because I thought it would be cute, I got it because I knew democracy would be important to me for the rest of my life.  OK, and because I thought it was beautiful.  But I never thought I would miss an opportunity to vote.  I feel racked with guilt.

Yesterday my good friend came over, cleaned my kitchen, wanted to take out my trash, and used the dreaded double stroller to take her daughter and my son back to her house for more than 3 hours so I could rest on the sofa.  By the time T came home the bleeding almost stopped.  My friend has 2 other children, a job, and a home to take care of.  It was her birthday on Sunday and I have done nothing for her.  But time and time again she does so much for me.  I feel racked with guilt. 

When I hear an acquaintance is pregnant I feel no joy for that person, only jealously.  There are people in my life who are pregnant right now and I can’t even bear to hear about how they are.  I feel bitter.  I feel small.  I feel hateful.  I feel racked with guilt. 

A dear friend wrote me an actual letter that arrived from the actual post office and while emailing him to thank him (and it was sincere thanks, the letter gave me much comfort) I managed to go off on an unnecessary tangent explaining why I hate the phrase “everything happens for a reason”.   Guilt, guilt, guilt.

Many people who I love dearly have said “everything happens for a reason” to me since this has happened.  They were trying to make me feel better, and many of them succeeded.  I think that sentiment works if you believe in God or some kind of master plan.  But in a world with murder, rape, child abuse, AIDS I just don’t believe it.  I am not comparing my loss to those terrible things at all.  But I know someone who got pregnant a few weeks before me. For a plethora of reasons she was unable to care for a new baby.  She desperately wanted her pregnancy to fail on its own, but it didn’t and the last I spoke to her she was going to have to get an abortion.  Yet I wanted this baby so much.  We would have been able to love and provide for it.  If everything happened for a reason she would have had her miscarriage rather than face an abortion and I would still be pregnant. 

But life isn’t fair.  Everything doesn’t happen for a reason.  There is no master plan.  Bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people.  Don’t get me wrong, good things also happen to good people.  But it is arbitrary.  And I feel guilty for being honest about how I feel in terms of “everything happens for a reason” because I know it was offered to me with love and I don’t want to hurt people who love me.

Because I am still recovering from the D&C, because every time I do more than sit on the sofa with my feet up the bleeding increases Z is stuck doing everything.  He works a minimum of 10 hours a day and now he needs to grocery shop, make dinner, bathe T, put him in the crib after I nurse him, clean up, do the trash.  All while I sit on the sofa like a lily of the field.  He is understandably frustrated and annoyed.  I feel like dead weight.  And I feel hurt that this is so hard for him.  Yet I understand why this is so hard for him because if the tables were turned it would be hard for me.  More guilt. 

I am drowning in guilt, drowning in sorrow.  My promise of a funny story tacked on to the end of a sad post is hard to fulfill, but if I don’t there will be more guilt so here goes…

Back to my time at Whole Foods: The last time I was pregnant a team member informed me a gentleman had slipped some soap into his pocket.  So I followed him around the store.  He had some cold cuts in his hand and he headed for the exit.  I ran after him (a fellow manager yelled at me for that when he watched it all on surveillance video.  “Do you think you should be running after shoplifters while you are pregnant?  What the hell is wrong with you?”) and caught up at the entrance of the store.   “Sir!  You have not paid for what is in your hand!”  He acted shocked to see he was holding cold cuts and gave them to me without a problem.  “I’m sorry.  I remembered I needed to be somewhere and I didn’t realize I still had that.” he told me.  He then turned to leave.  “Sir!” I said, “I’m going to need the soap in your pocket as well!”   He sheepishly handed it to me and left.  Not sure if he had anything else or not, and the cold cuts were clearly a loss, but at least the soap got back on the shelf.


I can't believe he was ever this little.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Balance: Sad Post + Funny Story

Early this morning my mom headed home.  She was here for a week and it is not an exaggeration to say we couldn’t have gotten through this without her.  Yesterday I experienced some increased bleeding so I spoke to my favorite nurse at the office and she told me I was doing too much and needed to not lift anything over 10 lbs for another week and sit with my legs up as much as possible.  Since the procedure I have been doing almost nothing, my mom has done everything.  And now I’m taking care of my 20 lb baby on my own.  I can try not to lift him much, but I have to get him into his high chair multiple times a day, I nurse him 4 times a day, gotta get him into his crib for bed plus his two naps and get him back out again.  I guess I can change his diapers on the floor, but not picking him up?  Impossible. 

So I started to freak out a bit yesterday.  I tried to not do it in front of my mom.  She and my father are attending a conference tomorrow and they have had these plans for many months.  She has gone above the call of duty and I don’t want to make her feel guilty, but I am freaking out.  I don’t know how people do this.  I just pray I don’t bleed more because I know I can’t ignore that.  The emotional numbness is also starting to wear off, and I am not thrilled about that because all I want to do is cry.  It’s been a week and a half since we got the news, I think I should be pulling myself together, but everything feels worse.

There are a couple of things I learned during this horror show that were surprising, so I thought I’d share.  I’m hoping this doesn’t happen to any of you guys, but if it does here is some info:

I thought when a pregnancy failed in the first trimester there would be a clear sign of what was going on.  That does happen in a lot of cases.  There are severe cramp like pains and then there is bleeding.  But I didn’t understand the pregnancy could fail, yet your body has no idea.  Evidently it can happen for a number of reasons.  In our case the doctor hypothesized my body recognized one of the pregnancies failed, but the second pregnancy was still developing and it just didn’t get the picture when that pregnancy failed as well. 

It is a complete mindfuck that your body can continue with the pregnancy when there isn’t a viable embryo.  I thought because there was absolutely no blood, because my belly was growing (FYI with my first pregnancy I didn’t wear maternity pants until I was 6 months pregnant, but the 2nd time the uterus is all “I know what to do!” and gets big immediately so while I actually lost a few pounds because of morning sickness my pants wouldn’t fit within a month), because I was nauseous and threw up twice I was home free.  I think the part that hurts the most is I was so caught by surprise.  It will be harder to be excited next time.  I’ll probably feel suspicious until I give birth.

OK, another funny Whole Foods story because I am starting to wallow.  And moving forward I've decided the sad posts should get a funny story.  Because I'm writing this and getting overwhelmed by the bad stuff, so I can't imagine it is a hell of a lot of fun to read.  Hopefully a laugh at the end will sweeten the deal.   

The first store I worked in when I got that fancy assistant manager position was located next to Mass General in Boston.  I was only there for 3 months, and the commute from Providence was a bitch, but I loved it.  It was a little like being back in NYC, there was never a dull moment and we were busy all the time.  The downside to city stores is there was a lot more shoplifting and shenanigans to deal with.  We had a regular crew of folks who were down on their luck, many recently discharged from the hospital and they were constantly trying to sneak a free lunch. 

Basically the only people who were allowed to approach these individuals were one of the 3 store managers.  As we had other responsibilities besides policing the store for thieves many times we were paged by security or other team members to deal with a situation. 

I was paged to customer service and security pointed out a couple who was making a meal out of items plucked from the hot bar.  Which is not only totally gross, it is stealing.  I approached the couple and explained they needed to stop, pointed out they were stealing because we sold that food by the pound, and noted we needed to throw out any tray of food they touched so this was going to be a rather expensive situation for us.  Therefore I asked them to leave the premises.  They were very understanding and the woman especially apologized profusely. 

We were almost to the door when the woman stopped and asked if she could use the bathroom.  Against my better judgment I said OK and pointed her in the right direction.  She turned to her companion, held up the huge Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee cup she was holding and said, “Great!  The doctor said I needed to give a urine sample anyway!”
“Excuse me?  What?” I asked.
“I need to give a urine sample!”
“Yes, but what are you going to use?”
“This!” she said continuing to hold up the cup.
“No.”
“But it has a lid!”
“No.  Just no.  No.  No.  No.  You may not use the bathroom.  You need to leave right now.”
 
God that place cracked me up. 


Z's old band played a reunion show.  T is their biggest fan.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11, 2001

Today is the day that can eclipse my personal pain.  I have no idea how to be reasonable about this day.  There are so many rules in our house surrounding it.  No one may refer to it as 9-11 or 911.  I find that disrespectful.  Take the extra few seconds, damn it.  Say September 11th.  It isn’t much extra effort.  We haven’t come up with some convenient nickname for Pearl Harbor Day or the Battle of Gettysburg.  If a dramatization of the events of that day, or live footage is on television the TV must be turned off or the channel changed.  If a story about that day is on the radio the radio must be turned off.  If Z wants to talk about that day he cannot do it with me.    If he gently tells me I need to deal with it or talk about it in therapy I tell him to go fuck himself. 

Z was doing a show in North Carolina in early September of 2001. He was out of town for a week or two.  I had one day left working for a casting director on the Upper West Side.  We were casting in midtown, but I was to be in the office setting up future auditions.  As usual I walked to the Clinton-Washington C stop and waited for the train.  I remember hearing a tremendous sound, but at that moment I didn’t give it another thought.  The train arrived and we got to Fulton St in Manhattan normally.  Then we waited there with the doors closed for a really long time.  The doors opened for a moment and a frantic woman jumped on.  She said, “A plane has hit the World Trade Center.”  Every person in the car ignored her.  People say crazy things on the train all the time.  We all went back to reading our books.  I was so focused on mine that I didn’t notice the platform fill up.  When the doors opened next a flood of people rushed in, many bloodied and hysterical.  They were shouting that two planes had hit the two towers, bodies were falling to the ground, it was pandemonium.

The train started moving.  Even more people got on at the WTC station.  Everyone was talking fast and trying to share information.  At West 4th Street many people exited and a few got on.  For the first time I spoke to someone who had just got on the train.  “What does it look like?  Is it just a big hole in the side of the building?”  “Yeah.”  That was as far as my brain got that day.  It was all I could handle to imagine looking south and seeing that big hole.  For weeks I didn’t believe the towers actually fell even though I saw the empty space with my own eyes.  Later I was told I suffered from post traumatic stress and that is why my brain stopped processing after a certain point.  I don’t know about that, but for some reason I couldn’t accept new information beyond there being holes in the building.

I was scared to get off the train and scared to stay on.  But I rode all the way to 86th Street which was my original destination.  I remember walking up the stairs and passing a business man and wanting to say to him, “Don’t bother.  There won’t be another train.  There has been an attack.”  But I knew he wouldn’t believe me.  And I didn’t want to have the responsibility of telling anyone.

The day was perfect and beautiful.  What happened downtown had yet to affect 86th Street.  I pulled out my phone to try and call Zeke, I was able to get through and explain the little I knew.  I noticed there was a message from my mother.  I couldn’t believe technology was such that this had all happened within an hour and my mother knew about it from her home in the Middle East.  My parents were in the Middle East, my sister was in Washington D.C., and I was in New York.  Tracking each other down was a long and scary business that day.

I didn’t know what would be happening so I ran to an ATM and got a bunch of cash.  Then I ran to a newsstand and bought my first pack of cigarettes in over a year.

I let myself into the office and tried to get a hold of my boss.  She lived in Battery Park City.  Her building was the closest apartment building to Tower 2.  I used to babysit for her and after her daughter went down I would stare out the window at the towers that were so huge that close and feel like I was in the center of the universe.  It was pure magic. 

The landline didn’t have a signal.  I sat with the TV on in the background listening for news as I tried again and again to get a dial tone.  Eventually a call would come through, mostly my boss’s family frantically trying to locate her.  I tried not to cry as I told them I didn’t have any news.  The other woman who worked there was running late and she called from a subway station in Queens.  I told her to go home.  She didn’t understand what the issue was.  She said there was a problem with the trains, but she’d get the next one in.  I screamed, “There won’t be a next train.  Go home!  Put on the news!”  She still didn’t get it.  Who could blame her?  I still didn’t get it myself.

The newscaster getting hysterical grabbed my attention.  Her voice got so shrill and she said “It’s falling!  It’s falling!”  I remember thinking she must be a very bad newscaster because she lost her cool and they are never supposed to do that.  I simply did not believe the tower fell.  And I didn’t believe it a few minutes later when the other one fell.   I thought when the dust cleared they would be there.  Sure, they’d be beat up a bit, but they would still be there. 

The director from the theater in FL we were casting for called.  He said something like, “This is a real tragedy, but you know, the show must go on.  The auditions need to happen today.”  At this point I had no idea if my boss and her family were OK.  I wanted to wring the neck of this self involved ass who clearly had no idea of what the scope of this thing was.  I think I said something like, “When I FIND her she will give you a call.”

Eventually I learned she and her family were safe.  They walked to the Village where her parents lived and they ended up camped out there for a few weeks.  The windows of their apartment were left open so they lost almost everything.  Including their beloved cat.  But they didn’t find that out until much later. 

I needed to figure out how to get myself home.  Kevin was working in Hell’s Kitchen, which was between the Upper West Side and Brooklyn.  I managed to get a hold of him and told him I’d walk down.  I crossed over to Amsterdam.  I needed to get hold of Z, my phone had no signal, so every block I grabbed the payphone praying for the dial tone, but I didn’t get one all the way down into the 40s.  All of the cafes were open and filled with people and I wanted to shout, “What are you doing?  How can you sit and enjoy yourselves?”  I walked by St Lukes and there were all these doctors milling around doing nothing.  There didn’t end up being many people to treat. 

I ran into a deli on the corner near the Film Center Building where Kev worked because I knew it stocked Tastykakes.  I bought water, soda, and a bunch of Tastykakes because I thought we needed a treat.  Upstairs I offered the treats to Kev and his boss, but they weren’t in the mood.  Kev was ready to go home with me.  We decided to walk over to Port Authority and see if the trains had started to run again.  We found out the A/C was running, but it was being diverted along the F line into Brooklyn.  It seemed weird to take the train, but it would be so much faster than walking and we were emotionally exhausted. 

We got on the train and kept waiting to cross over to the F line.  I noticed a handsome black man in a very smart business suit.  His feet were covered in ash.  I looked away and tried not to cry.  And then we were slowly moving through the WTC station.  We weren’t diverted after all.  The newsstand on the platform was left wide open, the evacuation must have happened very fast.  There was dust everywhere.  And there was complete silence in the car. 

At Lafayette Ave in Fort Green we got out.  There was this amazing Middle Eastern restaurant called Bedouin Tent and we stopped in to order take out.  We were starving and I suddenly understood why all the cafes along Amsterdam were full.  While we waited we walked to the top of the hill in Fort Green Park.  It is the highest point in Brooklyn.  We looked at the columns of smoke and again I was sure the battered towers were right behind, that we’d be able to see them in a few days.  It seemed like half of Brooklyn was on top of that hill.  Eventually we trudged back to the restaurant and then to Kevin’s place.  I stayed with him for several days until I arranged to join Z down south. 

So those were the mechanics of the day.  But there is so much more to explain.  I feel like there are rings of involvement to that day.  And you can talk to the people in your ring about it, but it’s hard to talk to anyone else.  I just can’t talk to Z.  He wasn’t there.  But every year I talk to Kevin.  We don’t say much, but we understand each other’s sadness and residual fear.  We don’t even have to say anything at all, just being quit together can be a comfort.  Kevin’s roommate worked near the towers.  He ran for his life when the towers fell, he saw things I can’t possibly imagine.  He can’t talk to Kevin and me about his experiences, and that is OK.  It is natural. 

September 11th, 2001 was obviously not about me.  My story is just one of millions, I was one of the millions who were witnesses to the events of that day.  When all is said and done I was not very personally affected.  I casually knew a man who died that day.  The sympathies I feel for his family seem mightily insignificant.   My former boss lost her home and cat, but thankfully her whole family survived.  I was physically unharmed that day.  My apartment was unharmed.  The view from our roof was altered forever, but that was of no real consequence. 

This is the most open I have been about the events of that day in 9 years.  Now that I’ve started writing about it, suddenly it feels hard to stop.  I feel like there is so much to say.  But there will be other anniversaries.  It seems imperative we don’t forget.  I honestly wish I was anywhere but there on September 11th, 2001.  I abhor the cowards who killed innocents and sullied the name of a major religion.  It also seems imperative we don’t twist the events to demonize a religion and a culture.  I believe America is better than that.  

Friday, September 10, 2010

Done

It’s all over.  I’m back at home with a hot water bottle on my belly.  And I’m only going to be morbid for a minute before moving on.

When we were waiting for the doctor to arrive for surgery (He was an hour late because he had a delivery that turned into a C-section.  Twin boys.  It sucked to wait, but there was no way we could be upset about it.  Wasn’t like the guy was at Burger King.) I started to cry yet again.  Z was comforting me and I told him the thing was even though the embryo wasn’t alive I was sad to have it removed.  When it was in me at least it was somewhere it was loved.  I knew it was there and dead or alive it was my baby, or at least what would become my baby.  It hurt me to have it become medical waste. 

OK.  A few more good things to help counter the sorrow that is threatening to take over:

I didn’t have to worry about T for a minute while I was at the hospital because he was with my mom.

Z was with me the whole time, and he was exactly what I needed him to be.

In order to let me recuperate all day tomorrow Mom and Z have planned a full day of stuff to do with T. 

Mom and Z get along well enough to spend the whole day together.  In fact, Mom and Z get along well enough that Z was thrilled she was coming to help and said she should stay as long as possible. 

And because I am still in dire need of cheering up I thought I’d tell another story where the laugh is on me. 

Before T was born I worked at Whole Foods.  In the last position I held I was one of 3 people in the store that could actually terminate an employee.  I was very much the junior of the 3 managers and separating team members (a little WFM jargon there) was my least favorite thing to do. 

There were no arbitrary separations, everything was done by the rule book, but it still isn’t fun to fire someone.  In this case the young man didn’t pass the prohibition period.  He was a nice kid, but he was in customer service and he didn’t seem to understand that he needed to be nice to the customers.  During the conversation it turned out that he honestly didn’t understand he didn’t give good customer service, frankly I don’t think he understood what good customer service was. 

So his direct supervisor and I were trying to explain why this was happening to him and because he really didn’t understand it was taking longer than usual and we were all clearly feeling uncomfortable.  I was particularly uncomfortable for me because his direct supervisor hated me.   I was the only store manager on that day, so even though she really did not enjoy engaging me this task had to get done and I was the only one that could make it happen for her. 

I had the piece of paper in my hand that officially separated him and I dropped it.  The chair I was sitting in was a cheap one on wheels and I scooted it forward and bent down to grab the paper from the floor.  Next thing I knew I was on the floor with the chair on top of me. 

That sweet kid helped me up and asked me if I was OK.  The woman who disliked me looked at me like I was the stupidest thing to ever walk the face of the earth.  And I still don’t know how I didn’t burst out laughing.  But I unceremoniously wrapped things up and told his supervisor to please take him to empty his locker and walk him out of the store.  As soon as they left the office I laughed so hard I cried.

The kid would still come into the store to shop from time to time.  Every time I saw him I’d have to run away because I burst out laughing.  It was such a funny story my boss told it to the regional president.  When she found out I was pregnant with T she told my boss I was under no circumstances allowed to use that chair.  I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed the fancy chair that was at my desk for the remainder of my time there. 


Thankfully I did not sit in the dangerous chair during my pregnancy and this little guy was perfect when he came out.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Little Levity

When I got back from doing the pre-op stuff this afternoon T made these chirpy excited noises and without prompting started blowing me kisses.   So that was a nice moment. 

I need some cheering up, so today I thought I’d do something different.  Earlier this week my sister was telling me about an exercise she had to do for work.  She had to fill out 10 questions as part of a “get to know you better” thing with her co-workers.  She was panicking because one of the questions was “Name your most embarrassing moment” which in my opinion is a completely inappropriate question to be asking in a professional setting.  We were strategizing over what her moment should be and it made me remember one of mine. 

Because I clearly don’t have a professional bone in my body and this story makes me laugh I thought I’d tell it as a break from all the miscarriage sadness.  Do not read on if you don’t think colonoscopies are funny. 

Somewhere back around 2003 I needed to get a colonoscopy.  Colonoscopies are not a good time.  At the shabby Brooklyn hospital I visited for the procedure the recovery room was the same place as the pre-op room.  So I was lying there waiting for my turn and some woman was lying next to me who had recently come out from the procedure.  And this woman was farting louder and longer than any fart I have ever heard in my entire life.  They didn’t sound real.  I wish I had a recording because I just can’t do the sound justice.  It was truly incredible.  And this poor lady was clearly mortified.  She kept saying to me, “I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry.”  I kept saying to her, “Please don’t worry about it.”  But she wouldn’t stop apologizing.  Finally I said, “Listen, I’m having the same procedure done, so I’m going to be in the same boat as you in about an hour.  You don’t have anything to apologize for.”

She really didn’t have anything to apologize for.  Before they stick the camera up your butt they blow a large amount of air up there so they can see what is going on.  When they finish that air needs to go somewhere, so the post-op farting is completely normal as well as completely hilarious. 

Eventually they wheeled me into the room so they could perform this indignity on me.  Evidently I got a little squirmy during the procedure so midway through they gave me some Demerol to quiet me down.  At first it was bliss.  I went right to sleep and didn’t wake up until I was in recovery with Z by my side.  But shortly after I woke it was clear that Demerol was not actually my friend.  For the next several hours I was in a cycle of going from being dead asleep to throwing up all over the place.  I couldn’t keep anything down for the life of me.  My procedure was later in the afternoon to begin with and the doctor was getting antsy about going home.  He finally told me I was either going to have to pull myself together or get admitted to the hospital.  It was literally the “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t say here” talk.  I really didn’t want to puke in a cab, so Z called one of our closest friends who actually had a car in the city and he kindly picked us up and took us home.  And I managed to hold the vomit in until we were back to our apartment. 

Later that night I was thanking Z for helping me through a hellacious day and I remembered something.  I said, “Well, at least I didn’t end up farting like that poor woman did!”  Z looked at me with pity and incredulity (sadly, it is one of his standard looks when it comes to me) “Oh yes,” he said, “Yes you did.”

 I will always be sad that I missed it.  I could have used a good laugh that afternoon. 


This tree is in our backyard.  I love it so very much.