The final stretch

I am very protective of this pregnancy and Baby M.  You can't imagine how conflicted I feel talking about him.  My heart is so wrapped up in him already.  I am so attached.  But, I don't really want to talk about it with you.  I have been so alone in my grief since losing Max that I don't want to let anyone in (except here) and when I do let people in, I sometimes regret it, as I have mentioned.  They are insensitive or like to "Pollyanna" the whole conversation.  I don't want Baby M to be a tool in anyone's grief minimizing ways.  I don't want Baby M to be what you use to get yourself off the hook.  I am not having him to make you more comfortable (I know you are smart enough to know that but still.....) He is my world.  He, like his brother before him, is the most important thing in my life and I can barely stand the people who don't grieve with me over Max, fawning all over the idea of Baby M coming.  It's so awkward when people talk about Baby M and don't mention Max.  Honestly, I feel awkward for them.  Again, one of those things that may not make sense to an outsider, but is how I feel.  As I have mentioned, it takes a lot of "letting go" and deep breathing for me to even picture Baby M living a long and healthy life (that is rightfully his!), so the way that idea comes so easy to everyone else sometimes feels like a slap in my face...after all, I am the Mommy.  All I want in the whole world is for Baby M to be safe and for Ted and I to experience the joy of parenting him until our last days here on earth.  I could go on and on but suffice it to say, it's complicated.

My friend Greg emailed me the other day to say he thought I should address Baby M's arrival on my blog ("not that you are taking requests for content, like a radio show or something", he said).  But, he felt confused and imagined others might also.  Is he allowed to be excited about Baby M?  Can he buy Baby M presents and take his picture?  Will I want people to visit Baby M and hold him and stuff?  Good questions.  Not sure I have the answers for all of these things but it is time to address them because yesterday marked the first day of my third trimester.  The next three months will fly by (for everyone but me....more on that later).  First of all, we are very excited about Baby M.  We love him.  He is a dream come true.  Truly.  So, yes, celebrate him!  Can you buy him presents?  Sure...but maybe wait just a little longer.  I am scared.  PLEASE take his picture (and in fact, I keep writing this, but if you have ANY photos of Max you haven't shared with us...please do!  They would be the best gift of all).  Take his picture, take video, and SHARE THEM!  I kick myself everyday that I don't have more photos of Max.

Please be excited for us about Baby M but try to keep it in your mind that Baby M's arrival doesn't cancel out our missing Max.  It doesn't.  Upon hearing the news of my pregnancy, more than one person said, "See?  I told you everything would be ok."  Ugh.  I don't think I really need to reiterate that it still isn't "ok".  Never will be.  Please remember that Baby M is due the week after we will be commemorating the one year anniversary of our losing Max.  Please find it in your heart to acknowledge that.  I imagine that it will be a very tough time for us, even though Baby M's arrival will coincide.  I have a hard time every day knowing that I while I am counting down the days until he gets here, the same clock is running toward the anniversary of our worst days (July 19-21).  It is a blessing and a curse.  I am not sure how up for visitors we will be, but Baby M will be a little Jewish boy and he will have a bris just like his brother did.  We hope our friends and family will come to the bris and at least get to meet him there.  I am not sure if I will feel comfortable passing him around like I did with Maxie at his bris.  I am already overprotective of him.  That's probably how it will be for a while.  I imagine that my back will hurt even more after Baby M gets here.  I'll have to really utilize my baby carriers often and correctly.

The next three months feel like an eternity.  I have to believe that when Baby M gets here, life will be better than it is now.  Although I am working, I am at home alone and the days go by so slowly.  I take breaks often because I am too sad to concentrate.  I spend all day counting down the hours until Ted gets home and all week counting down the days until the weekend because the time goes a little quicker when Ted is around.  Sometimes we find out at the last minute that Ted has to work over the weekend (like today).  All of a sudden, I am home alone for another whole day.  Coming up with a plan to make the day go by is overwhelming.  I could work (doesn't make the day go by quicker).  I could watch tv (makes the day go slower in most cases).  I could leave my house (to go where?  Plus, there are babies everywhere).  I can go to the gym (I try to go throughout the week but I can't really walk on the treadmill for more than 40 minutes or so before the round ligament pain starts to be too much).  I don't feel comfortable going to a prenatal yoga class, which makes me sad.  I SO looked forward to my prenatal class with Max each week (I don't want any moms asking me the dreaded questions - is it my first?  Oh, it isn't, do you have a boy or a girl?  How old is he?  I don't need to feel worse or scare the daylights out of any other pregnant moms).  I can go get a $25 foot massage (that only takes up an hour and I just did it yesterday).  Honestly, I need a new hobby or something.  I tried knitting - it didn't stick.  I feel a biological NEED to "nest" but I can't.  Nesting would mean going into Maxie's room and getting it ready for Baby M.  The thought is suffocating.  I am not ready to start buying him anything or going through Maxie's clothes or going through Maxie's things.  I can't read about the latest breastfeeding pillows or other cool gear or go to a Baby's R Us to buy any of it.  Ignoring this biological urge to prepare for a baby is super painful.  I spent the entire second half of my pregnancy with Max getting stuff together - putting together a registry, looking for a crib, reading baby books.  This time all I've bought the baby is a Snuza breathing monitor that will attach to his diaper so that an alarm will go off if he ever stops breathing for more than 15 seconds.  I am looking for a new hobby - a way to kill time - something, anything to help me pass the next three months quicker than I have passed the last nine.  Please!  I am taking any and all suggestions.

While I am on the topic of suggestions - I am looking for a few more:
1) I am getting a Maxie tattoo.  Ideally, I want to get it before Baby M gets here.  I am hoping to find a tattoo artist who can help me design my vision because I can't find anything online and I am not artistic myself.  Anyone know a local (LA area) talented tattoo artist?
2) I am looking for new recipes because I make the same 7 things over and over again and we need something new in our rotation.  Quick and Easy recipes preferred!
3) Please suggest something great for us to watch on television.  Ted still watches "Game of Thrones" which I had to stop immediately when a lady was ordered to turn over her baby on some episode a few weeks ago.  It is too dark for me.  The Bachelorette is coming in a few weeks.  You KNOW I am excited about that!  We are watching "Sons of Anarchy" and "Arrested Development" on Netflix. Still watching Parks and Recreation, The Office, and Modern Family.  You'd think that would be enough.  It isn't.  Help us out!

Thanks.  If you still have questions, I have answers (probably).  Let me know.


Guest said...

Mad Men is on Netflix and it is great! Slow at first but still good. I have been watching Revenge on ABC and really enjoy it; it's ridiculous but awesome at the same time.

As far as food goes, I have made a lot of recipes from this blog : and they have all been very yummy.

Arich1003 said...

You don't know me but reading your blog has helped me to better understand and respond to a friend who lost her sweet 4 month old boy. Your honesty is both heartbreaking and refreshing. I believe that your frankness is a blessing to those devastated by the loss of those dearest to them, their children. Your Max was so beautiful and it seems so wrong to not have such a sweet spirit on this earth any longer. I personally believe he will be your guiding angel throughout your life and that he is accomplishing a great work yet to be seen in the spirit world. I do not believe that our spirits ever die but that he is preparing to be with you and your husband again when you will then be able to kiss him, hold him, and raise him in a way that was stolen from you on this earth. I pray for moments of peace for you. This now seems frivolous but as far as dinners go check out She posts some amazing delicious and easy recipes. Know that you are thought of often by a complete stranger that hopes and prays for strength and comfort for you today and in the days to come. Andrea

Sonia said...

Abby - I am so sorry you still have to deal with people's insensitivity..

I am guessing that the right people are not reading your blog? You have only just lost your wonderful Maxie, what's wrong with people? I wish they would be kind to you and acknowledge the grief that you feel and respond appropriately.

I thought I would mention the following -

Downton Abbey is brilliant. And on Netflix. I am hooked. It sounds a bit pony, but really it is good.
Food: I always use BBC recipe finder. I haven't come across a bad one yet, they are all great. You can choose by recipe or by ingredient or chef if you fancy some Jamie Oliver food or a bit of Gordon Ramsey. The 'Quick Recipe' finder is great when you want something good to eat but cannot be bothered spending hours cooking.

(My Britishness is showing..)

Wish you some peace and love.


Joyce said...

Do you ever watch the Food Channel? There are some really interesting shows in addition to the cooking shows, like Chopped. Also, you will get ideas for some new recipes to try.

Anonymous said...

try gardening? I've never been good at it but it is soothing, your'e getting fresh air, and it is something to check on daily and an "event" if you will. Something you have to do on a daily basis...maybe? I love it and it keeps me busy. just a thought.

Yael said...

cooking channel is awesome - top chef canada, top chef (america), just desserts , new girl, glee, the client list- is very very good, girls - not great, big bang theory is great, I don't get to watch all but hers a link for you to stream of your computer: that's how we get the latest shows in israel :)

Im so so so sorry people are mean or just stupid. Baby M is a gift but he doesn't replace Maxie z"l!
Thinking of you.

Ronja said...

People are just stupid and insensitive, especially if they say the same things over and over again!

As a hobby I would suggest photography? You could get a beginner DSRL (really affordable now, like the Canon Rebel Series) and either take classes or get books from the library or watch tutorials on Youtube. Maybe you could also pratice outside, or on your dogs or husband :) You wrote you will want lots of pictures of Baby M. And that way you could prepare for him other than doing the nursery etc.

Becca said...

My go-to meals are pretty boring and involve more assembling than actual cooking: baked tofu with stir fry veggies, fish tacos, pasta with a big salad, grilled cheese and tomato soup (my husband's absolute favorite meal, which cracks me up! He seriously requests this for every birthday and holiday), homemade turkey burgers ( and sweet potato fries, etc.

Marla said...

You know I'm not a great source for hobbies...but in terms of TV, Natalie always gets me to watch old series that I never watched the first time around. You can get them on Netflix. Did you ever see "Freaks and Geeks"? Awesome! How about "My So Called Life"? "Arrested Development" is probably one of my all time favorites - especially if you need to laugh. I will try to think of some others. Love you.

Ahr said...

i am a sucker for New Girl. it's very light and funny...

Tiffany said...

i'm angry that you have had people say such an insensitive thing when they learn about your pregnancy. i think that was a huge reason why i became withdrawn and why i didn't announce my pregnancy on my blog. it was hard to deal with grief and being pregnant.

yay for a Maxie tatt! i have 2 Julius tatts and i'm thinking of a 3rd! :)

i understand your thoughts about watching things on tv. i had/have a hard time with some shows because they would either talk about loss/death, or complain about nonsense. i think that is 1 reason why i really stopped watching tv. we have only netflix streaming now. i've never seen SoA, but AD is such a great show. those other shows you mentioned are really good.

when baby girl arrived i discovered that the cosby show was on streaming and i watched that but then it disappeared. i have watched 'braxton family values'. it's pretty trigger free. breaking bad is trigger free for the most part, though i had to fast forward through some parts that dealt with death.

i do try to stick to the comedies though. i need the laughter. my world is already too dark without him.

thinking of you and Maxie always...

Lindsey Zipkin said...

Hey Abs,
I don't know if others have written you privately to talk about tattoo artists, but I know if a really good one. His name is Adam Kilss and he works at Zulu Tattoo on Crescent and 3rd. He's done all of my friends tattoos (I tried to get into him for my last) and they're all really beautiful.

rebecca Patrick-Howard said...

I am obsessed with THE GILMORE GIRLS. I also enjoy the Bachelor franchise and BOY MEETS WORLD for nostalgia. Right now, I'm into CRIMINAL MINDS, but you might want to avoid that. I second MY SO-CALLED LIFE. Love that. And MARRIED WITH CHILDREN is a household staple with us.

For cooking, we're big on the crock pot: chili, vegetable soup, pot roasts...I realize some of these might not apply to you because they wouldnt be kosher but something that you could throw in the pot and then let cook all day might be helpful.

I also do sort of a Mexican stuffed shell dish. I buy the big stuffable shells and cook them. I then stuff them with beef, a bunch of different kinds of cheeses, tomatoes, and green peppers. I cover them with sauce (I don't always make the sauce, just doctor it up) and sprinkle shredded cheddar on them. Bake them for about 15 minutes on 400-just enough to melt the cheese.

Or, if I'm in a hurry, I nuke 'em.

We do a poor man's meal, too.

Take aluminum foil and whatever vegetables you have in the house: green peppers, mushrooms, cubed potatoes, carrots, onions...whatever. Place about a tablespoon of butter in them and season. Fold up the little pouch and bake them in the oven at 400 F for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Everyone in the house gets their own. We usually stick ears of corn in the oven at the same time. Sam likes making these because he can help. I get the vegetables out and he can fill up the foil.

Of course, once I walked into the kitchen and he was busy making them on his own. He'd done about 4 before I found hi. We cooked them and ate them anyway.