Archives for posts with tag: Babies

Dear Uterus,

Dude, get your shit together! I can’t keep doing this. Every single month, you announce the release of your egg with about as much restraint as Kanye plugging his next terrible album. And in the meantime, you make me go on just about as many nonsensical rants.

Look, I get it. Babies, man. BABIES. They’re amazing. (Well, mine are. I’m not sure about anyone else’s, ammirit, Uterus? Heh, yeah. You know I am.) They’re soft. They’re warm. They have that crazy strong grip. You know the one? When they grab your finger, and it’s like all of the strength in their tiny little bodies is just concentrated in one chubby fist. Just holding on to you with everything they have. Nobody else can do that. Nobody needs you that badly. Only babies. They only want you. They only need you.

And then the smell.

Oh, sweet tap-dancin’ Christ, the smell!!

It’s the smell of angels.

Kids smell like a fart inside of an old egg, dipped in rotten chicken trimmings, but babies? Damn. If they ever figure out how to bottle that stuff, I swear I’m going to buy it, then just sit on my couch, sobbing and lactating.

So, see? I get it. I know how excited you get. I understand it. Really, I do.

But, seriously. We can’t keep doing this dance.

img_20160730_100417911

See? How perfect are we!

I mean, my family is perfect. The girls are incredible. They’re doing new stuff all the time. Sophie is getting so responsible. Do you know she actually put herself to bed the other day? Just looked at me, said, “I’m tired,” then walked up to her room and went to bed! And she knows how to make her own toast. I never have to worry about her burning herself, or putting a fork in the toaster or anything. She just tells me she’s going to make some toast, then, boom. Toast. She amazes me every day.

And Maddie? She’s a riot! She’s still obstinate, and cantankerous, and will never listen to anything I have to say, but I’ll be damned if she doesn’t get away with it. Because she knows that if she can get me laughing, I’ll forgive anything. She’s only three, but she’s seriously one of the wittiest people I’ve ever known.

So, see? We’re good. We’re only having to budget for two sets of Christmas presents. Two college tuitions (Though, really, our girls are such geniuses, you know they’re going to be rocking those full rides, ammirit, Uterus? Ha! Up top, Uterus!). Finding babysitters for two kids is way easier than three. I get to have a craft room. Nobody has to share a room. Nobody has to sacrifice. We got to plant a garden this past summer, for cryin’ out loud!

Dear Uterus, we have to be done. Really.

Because pregnancy sucked. Well, okay, not all of it. Those stretchy pants were pretty awesome. And the feeling of that firm, round belly? Man. Nothing like it. My nails were pretty sick too.

But that’s it!

Well, except for those wiggles. And jabs. Remember how excited the girls would get after dinner? We’d just sit there and watch my belly contort. I always tried to film it. But those things never really turn out. You can’t capture that movement. Not really.

Oh, and do you remember Maddie at the ultrasound? The tech set that wand down, and, BOOM! Maddie’s flipped herself over and is showing everybody that–yup!–there’s a girl in there! The technician was so freaked out. She jerked back, “Woah! Uhhhh. You did want to know the sex, right?”

Oh, dear Uterus. We did have some good times.

And, really, I have to admit that I think about it too. All the time. (Not just when you remind me every 28 days.) I think about how Sophie would love to help. How she would want to feed the baby. And wash the baby. And grab me a million little diapers for the baby. I think about how Maddie, in spite of how crazy she can act sometimes, is so so gentle around anyone smaller than her. How she loves to stroke her cousins’ soft, round cheeks. How, like a wild animal, she just knows–just knows–that these tiny people are things that need her love, her protection. I think about what great big sisters they’d be.

And I think about us. About how scared we were both times. About how he would over think it. Go over every possible scenario. He researched all kinds of potential outcomes, good and bad. We could never be sure that you knew what you were doing, Uterus, so we worried. (Guess we shouldn’t have. You had it all on lock down, didn’t you?) Now, when I talk to him about it–about the maybe–I think that the only things he can remember are the bad scenarios.

And, it’s true. Billions and billions of possible genetic combinations. The odds are good that something could go wrong. I mean, you’re good Uterus, but you’re not perfect. You kicked that last one out a bit too early, right? I mean, you didn’t really bother giving her lungs enough time to develop. Just started to push her out. That was definitely a mistake. And I can’t go back there. Not to the NICU. Not again. I can’t.

But, then again, we’ve already walked through that Hell. We’ve been through it. And we made it. We made it. A little war-weary. But whole.

We keep on making it.

It’s funny, Uterus. Just when you think that you can’t possibly have any more.

Any more patience.

Any more money.

Any more time.

Any more love.

You find a way. You scrape, and weep, and gnash your teeth. But you find it.

And then you find some more.

I do have more.

I do.

I have more.

I just need to find someone to give it to.

Oh, dear, Uterus.

Is someone missing? From you? From me? From us?

After three years, isn’t this feeling supposed to go away? Shouldn’t I know by now? Shouldn’t there be an answer? Or am I calling out to someone who doesn’t exist? Who can’t answer me back?

Oh, dear Uterus. This was going to be our breakup letter. My way of removing myself from your constant guilt and reminders of what could be.

But now? I don’t know.

Maybe it’s not you. Maybe. It’s me.

Signed, Rachel.

Today, I feel like I need a good cry.

Nothing in particular is wrong. Sometimes, I just get too many feelings at once. It gets overwhelming. So I just crank a quarter turn on my emotional release valve. And let go.

This last weekend was Fourth of July. On Thursday, friends came over for a visit, and we had a wonderful dinner of Indian food, where we talked about family, jobs, children, and the future (she’s seven months pregnant with their first). We let Honest Girl run all over the empty patio, watching the trucks drive by on the road, and laughed while Honest Baby ate her body weight in saag paneer, smearing it into her hair and clothes with joyous abandon.

I was overwhelmed with friendship.

This weekend, my family and I went to a party to watch fireworks. Honest Husband played lead guitar in a band, and sang for the entire crowd. Honest Girl ran to her cousin, held hands with her Uncle, drank “yemmonnade” (lemonade), and squealed in delight when the fireworks lit up the sky. She pointed to airplanes and helicopters, explaining to me that she and her cousin will fly “up in the sky” one day. She danced to her father’s music, and strummed his guitar after he finished singing a song just for her. Meanwhile, Honest Baby smiled and clapped. She let everyone hold her. She never cried or fussed, and her open, trusting face and easy smile made all the older girls fall in love with her. They carried her around the party, cooed as she crawled and toddled around, holding on to one finger, and laughed while they watched her bounce up and down to the rhythm of the music. Then, she watched the first ten minutes of the fireworks, and fell asleep in my arms.

I was overwhelmed with pride.

This weekend, Honest Husband entertained all of us at the party on Saturday, playing requests that his tipsy relatives called out until midnight. I don’t know if he even managed to eat any dinner. Then, after getting home around 2am on Saturday morning, he woke up on Sunday, took all of his girls to breakfast, and began working on our kitchen countertops. He laminated all of our countertops, and finished the edging on them, even though he was exhausted. And he kept going, even after he cut himself badly on a belt sander (and bled on the counters and garage floor). But he kept going, even in the high heat and humidity. He finished all of the gluing and prepping, just so that he could install countertops (and a stove and sink) later this week. For me. For us. For our girls.

And I’m overwhelmed with love.

Then, last week, I heard that K, the woman at my daughters’ daycare who adopted her heroin-addicted cousin’s child, was in danger of losing her little girl. The girl’s biological grandparents, five months after K took her in, are challenging her adoption. Now that K has nursed her, loved her, cared for her, brought her back from the brink of hopelessness, they want to take her away. Now that K’s son (a boy with kind, sleepy eyes in Honest Girl’s class) has started kissing this girl, calling her “sister,” they want her removed from K’s home. Today K goes to court, to fight for her family. When she took that little girl in, the girl was diagnosed as “Failure to Thrive.” Last week, at her six-month appointment, she was up into the 50th percentile. She’s growing. She’s eating solid foods. Her face has become round and her eyes clear. She no longer suffers from the sharp, wrenching gut pains that are associated with children born with opiate addictions. Because of K.

And today, K may lose her.

A mother may lose her child.

And I’m overwhelmed.

So, please, if you see me today, and my eyes are red, don’t worry too much about me. Just send me a kind smile. An understanding smile.

I’ll be sure to give one back.

Because it’ll be a good cry.

 

I don’t ask for it often, but please pray for K. She is facing a mother’s greatest nightmare: losing her child. Biological or not, this little girl is hers. Pray for them. I know that it will mean a lot to K.

 

Addendum (7/8/2014): I spoke with K yesterday when I went to pick up my girls at their daycare. She officially lost all custody rights, and her adoption was halted. Her little girl is being “transitioned” to her biological grandparents’ home over the next two weeks. In order to fight the order, K would have to spend thousands of dollars in legal fees that she and her husband just don’t have, with very little hope of ever winning.

They have lost their little girl. Their daughter. She looked tired, but said, “She’ll be with family now.”

We both knew how wrong it felt to say those words.

She didn’t cry.

I did.

This is not what American family courts were designed for. It can’t be. It just can’t.

Thank you all for your prayers and positive thoughts. Even if they didn’t provide the outcome we all wanted, I’m sure that K felt them, and was comforted.