Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Poem for World Prematurity Day

I wrote this poem about a year ago when Dylan was almost 2 months into his nearly 5 month NICU stay after being born at 25 weeks after I went into unexplained pre-term labor at 23 weeks.

I don't write poetry, but on this day, there was no other way to express my emotions. Dylan was sleeping on me in the rocker right outside of his crib, cords still attached to all of the monitors.  I haven't shared it with one person before today, not even my husband, since it is so personal and emotional.

But I'm sharing it with the world today to support further research on the overwhelming problem of prematurity. Please support The March of Dimes.

I met you...
before  it was time.
before your eyes opened.
before you had eyelashes and eyebrows.
before you could breathe by yourself.
before you had any fat on your body.

I watched you...
open your eyes for the first time; 
first the left, then the right.
take your first breath on your own.
squeeze your tiny little hand around my finger.
recover from heart surgery that left a sickle-shaped scar on your side.

I cheered...
when you reached three pounds;
and then four,
and then four and a half.
when I first heard your little cry when you were extubated, after weeks of silence.
when the eye doctor told me your eyes looked great.

I cried...
while telling you to be brave before surgery (when I was really telling myself to be brave).
while giving you your first bath.
while watching you struggle to breathe.
when I couldn't take you to Thanksgiving dinner.

I laughed...
when you first smiled - even if it was really just a twitch.
and when you were sitting on Dr Santa's lap staring wide-eyed at his beard.

I love you...
more than you will ever understand.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

I came across this buzzfeed of infertility e cards. These were my favorites:


Which one do you like best?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Losing It.

So I guess this is about being WOHM.  The only thing I would change about my situation is to teach 4 classes instead of 5 like I asked for last year, but otherwise, I would still be a WOHM and a mom.

In the normal course of a school year, I often get very stressed the point of tears.  It probably happens 3-4 times a school year and is definitely worse at the beginning of the year.  When I'm not near tears, I have constant tightness in my shoulders.  Abnormal tightness.  I definitely have some anxiety issues, but so far never bad enough to seek help.

So teaching like normal while being a parent is hard!

I'm actually managing it pretty well.  I stay at school until 3:30, an hour after the last class.  Until this last week, I got more done on my prep period and after school than ever before.  I'm relatively caught up on papers, I'm relatively prepared for what I'm teaching.  But still I always feel like I'm a day from everything spiraling out of control.  Then I come home and am with Dylan from about 4 until nearly 8.  We usually eat dinner after he goes to bed because it's just easier.

Last year, when I got home from school, I'd decompress.  I like it quiet.  My day is really loud.  Now I can't decompress until 8.  And I usually do - and it works well enough.

But there is so much else. There's my laundry.  And cleaning out the refrigerator.  And grading the papers.  And I think it got worse last week because it was the second week without the nanny.  She didn't do a ton to help me, but did take care of Dylan's laundry and I didn't have to prepare food for him the night before.

I was feeling caught up on the papers, partially because I was having my students do in-class writing.  A classroom full of students writing quietly = great paper-grading time.  The problem: they turn in more papers at the end of the period!!  I have a student TA grade all the little stuff, but I still have two classes of AP essays, 2 classes of analysis paragraphs and in the next two weeks I'll be collecting MAJOR assignments...the kind that I need an entire Thanksgiving or Christmas vacation to grade.  What I currently have with me would probably take 4-5 hours if I was really focused.

Besides those stresses, I'm having light sensitivity which I think it being caused by tension in my forehead (thanks Goo.g.le).  I also have a diminished appetite which is not like me at all.  I'm having trouble actually eating some foods, with absolutely no warning.  The only other time I've had this problem is when I was pregnant.  (And no that is a complete impossibility.  You have to have sex to get pregnant.  We don't.)  So tonight I ate cereal instead of the ravioli I was supposed to eat for dinner.  And I'm still hungry.

So basically - I completely enjoy my life - but I have absolutely no personal time.  And I don't really expect to.  But the lack of personal time and the same stresses I had pre-child are creating an untenable situation.  I need to figure out how to find some small bits of time for myself both to take care of things around the house and take care of myself i.e. massages or yoga or else I will become a tightly-woven sobbing mess.  And that won't help anybody.

And so I'm taking the day off tomorrow.  First, I will do laundry.  Then I will put away all of the clothes that are in various places around the house.  Then I will grade papers and/or plan classes.  Then I will get a massage.

And thank goodness for grandmas.  The new nanny (who I think I love) is starting on Thursday, but my wonderful mother will be here tomorrow and Tuesday. She's the very best.

And the part of the post your probably enjoy the most...touchdown!