near year end mash up

I haven’t been able to form a cohesive written sentence in quite some time. Well aside from a few late night long rambling emails (you know who you are) and some tweets. But nothing of substance about the recent goings on here.

It doesn’t really matter why — the baby got her first nasty cold, we were all sick, traveling, dealing with my mom, visiting with K, the holidays, teething. Add to that very little sleep. You know, life. Ah.

So where to begin? Since I’m not sure if I’ll have a half hour or just three minutes, and since I’d like to write the obligatory year end post too, I’ll just share some thoughts about recent events over the past month or so. Forgive me for the jumbled thoughts. Welcome to my brain.

~~~~

The visit to my mom was hard. Important yet difficult. It was really good to be there and spend some time. But it was tough to see her so weak and tired, so hopeless. It was wonderful that she could enjoy Baby J, but it was also bittersweet. She couldn’t even hold her. At the forefront of her mind is that she will not see this beloved and much anticipated grandchild grow up. That thought brought us both to tears one afternoon.

While I was trying to be helpful by cooking and cleaning as much as I could, when the baby got sick the day after we arrived (thank you recirculated airplane air!), of course my focus had to shift. The baby had the croup and I spent many hours in a steamy bathroom. Then I got a cold. M was a superstar for sacrificing his birthday celebration so we could spend the weekend together. But when he went home it was even more challenging, not just because I had to fly alone with a sick baby.

The time with my mom was intense. In between lounging in front of the TV, we had some good talks and shared a few good cries. Saying goodbye was nearly impossible. All I could say besides I love you was “I’m not giving up yet” and “I’ll be back soon.” When she said “I’ll always be with you” as we hugged goodbye and “I don’t want to let go…” I just about lost it. It was a really tough visit. And now to plan the next one…

~~~~

So the baby got sick. Not just a runny nose either. No, she could barely breathe, couldn’t eat, had a fever, vomited up mucus. She was inconsolable. She was up most of the night and far from home. I was freaking out that she might have swine flu or whatever else the latest thing is. I could not believe all the horrible sounds and snot that came out of my sweet baby. One night after M flew home, my stepbrother doctor gently suggested that I take her to urgent care. He drove us and carried her and sat with us and treated Baby J as his own. Seeing her so sick made me feel so helpless — at one point I just cried right along with her because there was nothing else to do. I give eternal credit to single parents who do it all…

~~~~

I realized I haven’t even written about our visit with K and our first meeting with Baby J’s bio-father back in late October. I think it has taken me a while to process that one. So many issues arising, some of which I can’t write about here. Suffice it to say that it went well and was an excellent beginning. Everyone says the first steps are the hardest. Honestly though I think the next step is proving to be even more challenging.

~~~~

We’ve had some wonderful visits with K over the past month too. K was home for the holidays and Thanksgiving weekend we were invited for a second dinner with K and her family. While M was home sick, Baby J and I joined K, her mom and little brother for a feast and festive celebration. I made my famous yams and we all talked about what we were grateful for. Of course I had a lot to say. It was a truly lovely evening, albeit an emotional one for all.

Later that week, K brought her grandmother over to meet Baby J for the first time. She lives many hours away and had been so anxious to meet this baby — her first great grandchild and the first daughter of her first granddaughter. I made brunch for everyone and we all went to our monthly adoption meeting and dinner. K really enjoys these meetings. She likes hearing everyone’s stories and updates. She enjoys seeing how open adoption works in practice in other families. Everyone is so supportive of her and she loves that she doesn’t have to explain anything to anyone. People just “get it.”  Baby J’s great grandmother was like a celebrity there. We all had a chance to share how grateful we were for each other. Several new folks thanked us afterwards for sharing our story. That’s how we all learn…

~~~~

Finally, the ball has dropped and I am dreading next week. Like a heavy cement block on my chest and sometimes I forget to breathe kind of dread. After seven months at home, I am returning to work. I can’t really complain, I know. Many women don’t even have the chance to be at home that long. I was fortunate to negotiate an extended leave and much (but not all) of it was paid with vacation and sick time. Plus I’m only going back part time. But I am having a really hard time with it. Not only do I not want to leave this baby with whom I’ve spent the past seven months bonding, but I also just can’t bring myself to get in the right space for work right now, even though I enjoy what I do, or used to.

Can I just admit now that I envy you stay at home moms? Seriously. Everyone said I’d be ready to go back. But I knew better. I knew that after trying to build our family for so long, there was nothing else I’d rather do. I know it’s not for everyone, or for always. But I fully intended to be a stay at home mama for as long as possible. Not just for me, of course, but mainly for our child.

Our plan has changed, but in a good way. A while back, M decided that he’d like to be at home with Baby J also. The proud papa has wanted this a long time too, you see. So he has rearranged his schedule to be with her two days, which means I’ll go back to work those days and squeeze out another day at home if possible to make it worthwhile. It will be a challenge to work from home with an infant who is used to a lot of attention, so we’ll see how that goes. But we all agree the papa-baby bonding time will be good for everyone. It will be an adjustment for sure, especially for this tired mama.

And that is all she wrote, for now.

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~ by luna on December 30, 2009.

15 Responses to “near year end mash up”

  1. I can’t imagine how incredibly difficult and bittersweet and complicated, and I’m sure 100 other things, your life is at the moment. I think it’s so great M is going to get soo much one on one time with J. I really hope this new year is one full of love and beautiful memories.

  2. The first illness is terrifying (I just went through that, along with some wacky pre-teething shit). And I, too, cried along with my little guy, wishing I could do something to stop his suffering.

    Add that to what you’re going through with your mom, and you have an exhausting holiday. I hope that you and your mom find peace and comfort in your time together and that the coming year brings further insight and love to your entire family.

  3. Tearing up reading this post, especially about your mom. I hope you get to see her again soon. And I hope your transition back to work is a smooth one. (((hugs)))

  4. Wow, what an incredibly challenging few months you’ve had. It’s been a quite a 2009 and I wish you a fulfilling 2010, Luna.

  5. That is quite the mash up, Luna. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom — it sounds beautiful and brutal at the same time. Compounded with travel AND a sick infant! Bleh.

    Wishing you some peace in the days ahead.

  6. A sick baby is such a hard thing to endure. Add in a sick mother and you’ve got bookended stress!

    2009 has been a better year for me, having you in it.

  7. If it makes you feel any better, the time you spend away from your baby will make you that much more happy to see her when you return.

    Sorry about your mom. Those visits are hard, and I’m sorry you had so much all on your plate at once.

    I love reading your posts about open adoption. It makes me sad my husband and his families weren’t able to have that when he was adopted in 1969.

  8. So many things happening so fast in your life Luna. My heart goes out to your mom. I’m glad your visit with J’s bio father went off well.
    I know going back to work will be a very difficult transition for you but I’m really glad M can spend two days of the week with baby J.
    I’m sure he will love it. Happy New Year 2010. I will be thinking of you next week.

  9. Your life is so full right now … sigh. I’m really glad you got to spend that time with your mom.

    And I totally understand your feelings about returning to work. I’d love to be a SAHM for awhile, but we just can’t afford it. I’ve found that the main thing that gets me through the days is becoming very good at compartmentalizing … that, and having about 8 million photos of Squeaker in my office : )

  10. Wow. That’s a pretty crazy last couple of months. Thinking of you and sending hugs.

  11. […] do you do it? Well, my friends, returning to work is sort of kicking my ass. While I normally don’t like to drone on about all the things […]

  12. […] My mom appears to be hanging on for now. When I left her in December, there were tears and the likelihood that it could be the last time I would see her. She was on her […]

  13. […] to this trip for nearly a year, soon after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Truth be told, when I saw her in December, when we said our teary goodbyes, I thought she’d never make it to July. But there she […]

  14. […] then I’ve visited her about every three months, watching her progression from death’s door and back to the living, including a family reunion no one thought she’d live to […]

  15. […] seven month old baby girl. After extended leave from work to enjoy caring for our daughter, I was dreading returning part time. Yet our arrangement has been pretty awesome. This year M has been stay-at-home […]

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