Friday, November 30, 2007

November 30th

It's 1:45PM and my son is sleeping so peacefully and beautifully in the middle of our bed. He sleeps with his arms above his head, almost like he's being mugged by the Sandman. Magic.

I thought I'd take a few minutes to write down some stuff he does; both for your amusement and so I don't forget all these little nuances.

Breast feeding has been amazing. I am lucky. A lot of women have problems or pains or both. I have been fortunate that I can feed Garrett easily most of the time. It's a joy. It is during his feedings where most of his quirks come out. He almost always has a hand on the back of his head when he's eating. He's practically twirling his hair, elbow bent, enjoying his food. Often, his other hand is balled up in a fist and his cheek is resting on it. Imagine "The Thinker" lying on his back, fist to cheek instead of chin. Other times his hand is on his brow, as if he's shielding his eyes from the bright, bright sun or contemplating life's great mysteries. Then there's the straight forward "Give me my lunch!" with a hand on each side of my boob like he's holding a giant conch shell and yelling, "I have the conch! It's my turn to speak!" And he makes these beautiful sounds. "Eh, eh, eh", or "Mmmm", or "Ah, ah, ah". They're like lullabies.

Sometimes Garrett falls asleep while he's eating and my breast becomes his pillow. I try to take snapshots of him in my mind because I never want to forget what it feels like, having him cuddling up so close to me like that. I usually have to pick him up and move him so I can get some stuff done around the house. As soon as I start to rise, he throws his arms out to the side and lets out a little gasp, as if he's falling from a building. It rarely wakes him up, but it's funny every time. He does the same thing as I'm lowering him into his crib or pack & play.

Every morning between 4:00 and 5:30AM, Garrett wakes up to eat. I am inevitably exhausted, trying to keep my eyes from closing so I can avoid tripping as I walk him into the nursery. After I feed him, I lay him down on the changing table and he begins his pooping ritual. I call it a ritual because it takes anywhere from five to fifteen minutes and a lot of grunting and concentrating, and he does it pretty much the same way every day. I have to stand at the changing table the entire time, because if he ever rolled off I'd shoot myself. As I stand there, wobbly, trying to stay awake, I ask him, "Do you have more poops?" And he smiles so big it's blinding. "Do you have more, you little bugger?", I ask again, and he laughs. He is so amazingly joyful in the wee hours, I think it's the Universe's way of making me love mornings.

Well, that's enough of Garrett Watch for now. It's 3:55 and I've fed him twice and changed him thrice since beginning this entry. He's now sleeping on Russ' chest. Adorable.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

November 28th

The first lesson you learn as a parent is that things usually do not go as planned. I gleaned this particular nugget as I was being wheeled in for my C-Section after nine months of researching natural childbirth.

Well, we had planned for a magnificent Thanksgiving here at the Arch Abode. We had planned on turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and all the fixin's. We had planned on spending the day with my mom and dad. Things did not go as planned.

Instead, I received a call at five in the morning from my mom telling me to hurry up and get to the hospital. My dad caught an infection and was in ICU.

I used to turn the ringer off on our bedroom phone before bed. I figured any emergency would still be an emergency in the morning, but I'd be more equipped to deal with it if I got some sleep. When my dad went into the hospital a couple months ago, I started leaving the ringer on. I wanted to be available no matter what. I prayed I would never hear that phone ring, and the first thing I did every morning was silently thank God that it hadn't.

This was the call I never wanted to get, and it came at the most unexpected of times. My dad had just come home after a harrowing two months in the hospital. He had just gotten the news that his transplant was taking the exact right course. He couldn't wait for Thanksgiving, and for things to start getting back to normal.

Without revealing too much of my family's personal stuff, suffice it to say Thanksgiving, my birthday, and the rest of the weekend were spent by my dad's side at the hospital. It all felt like walking through a nightmare, and it feels now like we're slowly waking up, groggily, and we're not quite sure how our brain allowed the nightmare to seem so real.

My dad is getting a little better every day. My friend Zeke said that I shouldn't have blogged about how great Thanksgiving was going to be. No good Jew assumes things are going to go well without being punished for it. At the very least you're supposed to say, "Keynahore" in order to ward off the evil eye. Or, "Poo poo" to evoke the same effect. Well, I can't wait for my dad to fight this fucking infection and get back on his feet. When he gets out of the hospital, he still has a long fight to get back to normal. It will probably be about a year. But Russ said as soon as my dad is healthy again, we're going to have the greatest Thanksgiving of all time. Poo poo. Keynahore.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

November 21st

"I forgot the poop! I forgot the poop!"

This is the sentence I uttered as Russ, Garrett and I were leaving for the pediatrician the other day. I had a stool sample in a diaper in a plastic bag in the fridge and as Russ was shutting the door and setting the alarm, I realized I had forgotten it. The poop. And that is what I said. Just take that in.

We've been having a blast with the Littlest Arch. Although, when he went to the doc's the other day he had his first vaccinations which resulted in a terrible night for all of us. Mostly for Garrett. He seemed so happy all day after the shots. And then night fell, and Garrett turned into a screaming, crying, inconsolable mess. It was awful. He's O.K. now though, folks! And he's back to his beautiful, happy, very consolable self.

I realize I laugh a lot now. I mean, I've always laughed a lot, especially since marrying Russ, who makes me laugh harder than anyone else has ever made me laugh. But now I laugh at the littlest things. Any remotely adorable movement that our son makes makes me laugh with extreme glee or let out a happy scream.

I also cry a lot now, too. Sometimes I cry because I'm in such disbelief when I'm feeding and looking down at him. Sometimes I cry because I'm worried, or because I want so many things for him and I don't know how I'll give them to him. Stupid stuff. I can't help it. I love the little guy. Sue me.

In other news, my daddy came home Monday night from a nearly eight-week stint at City of Hope hospital. I mentioned a while ago that my dad had Mylofibrosis, a blood disease that kind of resembles Leukemia. I haven't wanted to write about it for several reasons. One, it's my dad's journey and I haven't felt like it was my story to tell. Two, I was pregnant the entire time my dad was getting sicker, going to many doctor's appointments, and getting many transfusions. I was dealing with so much, I felt sort of overwhelmed. And I wasn't comfortable writing down all the emotional stuff I was going through. Suffice it to say, the pregnancy marked a time of many fears and many joys all rolled into one. And Garrett's birth brought much needed happiness and hope to everyone in my family.

Well, my dad got a bone marrow transplant on October 10th, after being in the hospital for a while for tests and transfusions. The bone marrow was donated by a complete stranger who we are not allowed to know about until October 10th, 2008. I an amazed by this stranger's unbelievable generosity. My dad said from the beginning that his goal was to be out of the hospital in time to come to my house for Thanksgiving. It was a lofty, seemingly impossible goal. My dad was pretty damn sick going into the hospital and the doctors estimated a stay of at least 10 weeks.

My dad's attitude through this illness has been amazing. For almost a year he has been in all kinds of pain. He has lost his appetite and astounding amounts of weight. At times he was so nauseated that he and I would joke that BOTH of us were pregnant. Sleeping has been hard, and sometimes being awake has been harder. Through it all, my dad remained positive and celebrated every minute of feeling remotely normal.

Well, he'll be here for Thanksgiving tomorrow along with my mom who has tirelessly taken care of him for a year. He got tests result back today which revealed that all of his white cells are 100% host. That means the bone marrow transplant seems to have replaced all of his sick cells with brand new, healthy ones. It's the first jump in a long line of hurdles. He has to travel to the City of Hope twice a week for the next six months at least. He has to fight off possible infections, and his bone marrow has to reinvent itself. He can't travel far from his home for at least fifty days, and my amazing mom will be by his side for all of it. (Except when she needs a damn break and my brother or I step in!)

I believe my dad will conquer this. So does he. And we will all work together to make sure of it. He needs to be around to see Garrett grow up. My birthday is Friday and I'm getting the only gift I wanted. My parents will be at our table for Thanksgiving, and I have a beautiful baby who will be at his first holiday dinner. I am more thankful than I can even describe.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

November 15th

I am going to attempt to blog. Why haven't I done so since September 30th? Well, it's been a tad busy around here. As a matter of fact, I hear the little guy stirring right now so I'll probably have to come back to this later. The other reason I haven't blogged is it seems like too great a task. I mean, what do I say? What can I tell you about the last eight weeks of our lives? There's too much and so little all at the same time.

Damn, he's not getting up yet. I can still sit here. O.K.

For the past eight weeks I have done little else but feed Garrett, clothe Garrett, bathe Garrett, change Garrett's diapers, wash Garrett's blankies, burpies, sheets, and clothes, talk to Garrett, stare at Garrett and call Russ over when Garrett is doing something adorable. Russ has had the exact same schedule, minus the laundry.

Sure, we've worked in going out to eat, shopping at Target and Trader Joes, and even visiting my dad in the hospital. But otherwise it's been a day-in, day-out Garrett Fest.

We still can't believe he's our son and we're his parents. It doesn't seem real. And truthfully, I don't know how to put down in words what I feel about all of it. I think I'll be able to sometime in the future, but not now. I just love the little guy so much. I have so many hopes for his future and such a desire to stop time where it stands. I have an acute sense of how precious time is and an extreme awareness of moments.

One last thing before I pick him up. So many women told me, "You don't even know what love is yet. I know you love your husband, but you'll love a child so much more." I've got to be honest. I love this kid so much I feel like my heart will explode. I loved Russ beyond words before Garrett got here... And I love him even more now. I see him with our son and all of the qualities that I've always loved seem etched even deeper into who he is. He is already a brilliant father and has not lost a step as a husband. So, sorry ladies! Your little vex didn't work! Ha ha!!

There you go. I blogged. And Garrett didn't stop me! I'll try to check in more often. I'm just wary of starting every entry with, "You won't believe what Garrett just did!"

Here's a recent pic: