Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy holidays

It has been a relief to be caught up with holiday planning for the past week or so. To have a list of things to accomplish, to focus on what to give to others, to think about all the people to remember. And I always love planning for get togethers and pouring over cookbooks. We had Jeff's family over today, and we made a bunch of new dishes that I'm adding to my keeper list - along with some all time favorites, like hot crab dip. My favorite new recipe was a potato and swiss chard gratin from the NYTimes. We also made a chocolate pecan pie, which turned out absolutely yummy. Our main course turned out so-so (black cod with oyster mushroom ragout), but we had enough other tasty dishes that it hardly mattered.

Our little T received so many incredible presents from his relatives. It is heart-warming to see how he is doted on -- and how he's getting indulged as much as any child could. He is one lucky child, and I hope he grows up appreciating all the sweet love flowing in his direction.

I hope all of you out there had a wonderful day with your loved ones. Happy holidays.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Big Shoes to Fill

Of course we hope our little T won't be burdened with having to fill the shoes of all of our hopes/expectations if he turns out to be an only child, but we think he can rise to the occasion. Not to say we won't be trying again sometime soon...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This time

I had a feeling about it. I told Jeff a couple of nights ago. I don't think it's good.

He told me not to worry, we've had these little scares before. Don't you remember when we saw Dr. Moon? That turned out to be nothing. Maybe it's nothing again.

Maybe, I said.

But I sensed it, in the way my body felt less weighted and more alert, as if I had taken claritin for head to toe.

In the morning, I called the doctor's office. They asked if I could come in that morning, but having a brief to finish, I made the first available appointment for the morning after.

Then I went about the day as any other. I bounced along to circus music with little T as he played and replayed the ball popper we had recently purchased for him. I clapped along with him each time he applauded after feeding himself a spoonful of apple sauce. And cautioned him with my no, no, no's after he tried to mount Sherlock reclining in the sun.

When little T went down for his nap, I scrambled to finish my brief and prepare it for filing. In 45 minutes, I was done, just as little T screamed awake from his bedroom. It is always the days when I need him to nap when he naps the least.

After, we trudged over to the post office and stood in a line that stretched out the door to mail my brief to the Court and the service copy to opposing counsel. In that time, I chatted with a lady who was expecting her four grandchildren for Christmas as little T prattled away to a girl waiting in line behind us with her mother.

From there, we headed to Pho Time, where I ordered a seafood pho and little T waved at all customers who walked past our table. While I sat, I felt the little rumblings in my belly -- a slight tightness with a sense of bloating. And I wondered, but tried not to. I told myself it was only because I was focused on it so much that it felt different.

When we returned home, I wondered why my belly felt flatter than it had a few days ago. Maybe just my imagination. Maybe.

When I went to bed, I hoped that I wouldn't start cramping. I fell asleep in fetal position, cradling my belly, protecting it from some unknown force.

In the morning, Jeff asked me, how are you feeling?

No cramps, so maybe it's ok?

But when I went to pee, I knew. It was not ok. And after I showered and put on my make-up, I went back to bed and let Jeff hold me.

So we went through the routine again. Going to the doctor's office to be told what we already knew. I told the ultrasound technician -- apologetically as if I were wasting her time.

Well, let's see how it looks in there, she responded.

And the few seconds of searching, searching for that faint bleep on the gray screen -- the faint bleep we had seen just ten days earlier. As she moved the device over my belly, the image of the baby appeared -- the fuzzy head, the glob of torso and limbs. Still in there, in tact. As if it were still alive.

Seeing the little body made me break down, even though I had not planned to. I had planned to be ok this time.

And I was ok -- more ok than I had been before. Because this time, we came home to little T, who now waddles all over our house, opening this door and that. Who makes baby signs of the elephant, crocodile, and monkey. And asks for all sorts of food with grunts and little fingers. And plants big open mouth kisses on our cheeks, our foreheads, our noses, wherever his mouth happens to land.

For the past couple of days, I've had fleeting moments of resentment. Why can't I have it easy for a change? Why does it have to be some god damn trial each time? Why do some women just breeze though, but I have to have the worst always befall us?

But then I caught myself. It hasn't always been the worst. We have little T, and that wasn't the worst. By any measure. And seeing him waddle around makes me realize how much of a miracle he is. Me, with my decrepit eggs, being lucky enough to have landed at least one good one, one good enough to produce a perfect little being like him.

Jeff and I talked about how we would be ok without another. With just little T. How he fills us each day with so much pride, wonder, love, and a bunch of other feelings that have no name but cram our chests up to our necks.

As Jeff trailed behind little T as he picked up this and that in our walk-in closet, Jeff said, "Oh, little T, do you know how happy you make mommy and daddy? Do you know how much we love you?" And I thought about all the people who grow up in this world questioning the extent of their parents' love, and I wondered how that is possible. How is it possible to be a parent and not express the love you have for your child on a daily basis? Do people stop expressing their love for their children when they turn surly twelve? Do parents run out of time to hug their children and cover them with kisses when they have more than one child? What happens out there that so many children grow up yearning for their parents' love?

My D&C is scheduled for tomorrow morning. We plan to wake up at 5:15 to leave the house by 5:45 to get to the hospital by 6:30 for the 8:30 procedure. What a pain in the ass. If someone can come up with a procedure to sort out the bad eggs from the good, I'm sure he'll have investors lined up out the door. I guess at some point, I'll be too old to even worry about whether I have any good eggs left. And then I'll have to reserve all my smothering kisses for little T, who I'm sure will be perfectly grossed out by my behavior when he enters his teens. But there are worse things in life, right?