Friday, October 16, 2009

The Secret Life of Wasps - Part One

So it has been hard to try and sum up some of the events that have transpired since the middle of August. Some good, fun milestones and some hard and sad ones as well.
I have gone back and forth as to whether I want to share this or not. But in the end I decided I should right it down.

This blog is for me and for you. I document things that you won’t remember, and I let go of things I need to process.

These last few months have been big. This whole year has been big, but after your first birthday, things just seemed to start happening.

It all started with a sickness. It has been one of my biggest fears since bringing you home that I would get sick. So sick that I would not be able to take care of you. It finally happened and I was the sickest I have been in years. Sadly, being sick in this household these days is a double edged sword. Not only was I plagued with a stomach virus, but I was saddled with great worries of spreading germs to not only you but your Daddy. Luckily, it did not last long and no one else seemed to get it.

Then the sickness spread, it wasn’t the same sickness but it was sickness all the same. You were listless with fever, the highest fever you have ever had in your life.(100) It was so scary to see you fall asleep in my arms at 6PM. I thought it has to be teething because it was fairly low grade and I thought for sure you were working on your molars. But overnight the fever got worse and continued on through the next day. When the third day came around I decided we better get to the doctor before the weekend comes. And what came after clearly marked one of the worst days of my life.

The doctor had a few theories on you just having a fever and no other symptoms. They said your throat was a little raw so they did a Strep culture-negative. He suggested that it was a good possibility that you might have a urinary tract infection. He said it is common for young girls to get them, and to not have any pain, only fever. The only problem is to diagnose it you need a urine sample. And the only way to get a sterile urine sample from a young toddler girl is to put a catheter in.

My sweet baby girl, I want you to know that I did not make that decision lightly. I looked down at you so ravaged by sickness that I knew I needed to help you. If I decided against it, I took the possibility of you getting worse and a trip to the ER over the weekend, or I could try to do what I thought was the right thing. It was so horrible. Having to hold you down, when you felt your worst, and subject you to something I can’t even describe. And when it was all over, you just cried and hugged me so tightly. There was such sadness in the way you held my body. Such a maturity in the way your head hit my chest. Even the doctor stopped and realized the weight of what we had just done. When we got home, it was then that it really hit me. I felt sick to my stomach and could barely get off the couch. I was so traumatized that my body was physically acting out even though my mind could not comprehend what we had just went through.

It wasn’t until the next day, when I went to change your diaper and you wouldn’t relax your legs and you held them so tightly against your body, that I realized that your body was physically acting out against the trauma you had experienced. I want to tell you now that I am so sorry. I am so sorry that I acted on what I thought I should do as a worrying mom and not what I felt was right. It is my job to protect you and I feel in this way I failed. When we found out a couple of days later that you actually had roseola and NOT a urinary tract infection I was devastated.

Motherhood is filled with so many uncertainties and worry, infinite worry.

When my Mom, your Grandma V was raising me it seemed like there was so much less information available to her generation. These days the internet makes it possible to look up any thing and come up with a billion different “solutions” and “answers”. These days we are so overloaded with information that it becomes anxiety inducing. There are too many choices and opinions for us to consider that it makes it hard to make an informed decision when everyone has the “right” way of doing things.

Point is, at the end of the day everyone does the best they can. I want you to know that I don’t know what the future holds for us yet, but I promise to do the best that I can do.

And I hope that it will be enough.
Enough for you to forgive me.
Enough for me to forgive myself.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Then Labor Day Came and Went

If this had to happen, I am almost glad it happened now. She most likely will not remember these days. She was not traumatized by seeing Daddy sick. She doesn’t know what’s going on, “It’s okay keep it together,” I said in my head.

I held her hand and as the elevator door opened to the hospital floor she exclaimed “Da Da!”

And my stomach lurched into my throat.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Come on Get Higher

So I got the best birthday present ever yesterday and that was spending the day with you. We had a great celebration at Grandma V's house and on the way home we were listening to music when Matt Nathanson's "Come on Get Higher" came on.

I love this song and last year it was my favorite song and we would dance to it in those early months of your life. Your Dad teases me incessantly about how it is so NOT a mother/daughter song and doesn't understand why I like it so much. One day when you read this and you are old enough to listen to it I know you will side with your father so I am writing this down now before I am too senile to defend myself.

It is the memory the song gives of that specific time in my life that makes me like it so much. Not so much the song itself. It makes me think of you because it was just the two of us dancing in the dining room - you trying to figure this living on the outside business and me trying to figure out how I lived my life without you.
Trying to stay in the moment and not think about how I would have to leave you to go back to work all too soon.

Despite all of the other lyrics in the song, the only phrase that sticks in my head is the one at the very end where he says "everything works in your arms" I will always be learning how to be a mom, and you will always be trying to teach me and test me around every corner.

But when I just stop and hold you, it just all makes sense.

Love you big, Little. Love you big.


Monday, August 10, 2009


The last few months for me have really been about letting go.
First with you crawling and especially now with you walking,
I find myself having to hold myself back.

To keep me from hindering you in your exploration of the world.
As a mother I find I have so many more fears since you were born.
And everyday I am constantly amazed at your fearlessness in taking on new things.

I hold myself back, because I don't want my fear instilled in you.
I hold myself back so you can continue to take the world on your terms,
completely fearless.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

After a Brief Hiatus

The elephant is officially back on the
"Things that make me sob uncontrollably"

That is all.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Looking Forward

He said" She is acting more and more like a little kid and less like a baby."

He is right.

" We only have this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand... and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late."
- Marie Beyon Ray

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Happy Mask Was Never Your Best Disguise

The open road

Is scary and intense

Thought I could swallow it

Soon it will swallow me

I hide behind the camera lens

So they can’t see

It hurts to be different

And longing is ugly

So I focus on the good

Tiny moments in life

In hopes that one day

Those tiny moments

Will find their way

Back to me.

I wrote this in 2006 over Thanksgiving weekend. I was wrestling with a swell of feelings that ranged from anger to sadness to jealousy. Every time I would leave a family gathering I would feel so empty, so conflicted. I loved my family(ies), but it was hard watching everyone else's families growing around me while ours was only expanding with members of the four-legged persuasion. It was very hard not to harbor feelings of resentment or bitterness, and I didn't really know anyone that could relate or understand what that felt like; so much of those feelings got bottled up.

I love taking pictures, but sometimes, especially at family gatherings it felt like a way to hide, a distraction of sorts. So that when I was in the thick of it, I wouldn't let those feelings hurt someone I loved unintentionally. It is hard when you want something so much that is so hard for you to come by when others seem to be able to have it effortlessly.

And today, today is such a special day. Today is your birthday, your anniversary of your big debut into the world. We had your party early on Sunday so your Grandma T and Grandpa M could attend. And as we all watched you dig into your kitty cat cake, I took a look around at the circle of family and friends and was overcome with love. And as I froze frame after frame of your chocolate cake escapade, I saw how everyone around you could not help but be joyful. A year ago when they placed you in my arms -at 11:32 PM I finally knew, this is what it feels like - to have a child, to be a Mommy, after all this time. And when you looked at me all I could think was, "Welcome to the Club."

The Open Road is no longer a desolate place but a journey waiting to be taken.
Happy Birthday Baby Girl - you make my heart explode.