Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Attack of the Soppy Hormones

I won’t tell you about the last two days spent waiting in doctors’ offices because I can’t bear to drag you through the tedium. Okay, maybe one sentence. Baby-O-still-has-a-temperature-new-round-of-antibiotics-goes-against-my-every-instinct-will-she-be-better-for-surgery-no-one-will-say.

Something else now. While this whole medical shenanigan hullabaloo has been going on, I’ve tried to have one activity a week with my little primate-esque bub that doesn’t involve doctors or the word ‘colostomy’. I take her to music classes with other bubs her age. A has-been folk singer who has been on the turps for too long strums cheesy guitar songs while the kids clap their hands. Then they’re given drums and maracas to play with and the mothers are encouraged to join in. It’s all very Stepford Wives, but at least no one mentions ano-rectal or spinal anomalies.

Here’s the thing:
All the other bubs are crawling and standing up and my little O can’t even sit yet. I know this shouldn’t hurt, but, because of all she’s gone through, it does. It forces me to admit that her frequent hospitalisation has delayed her development, that she’s missing out on the ordinary, fun, exploratory things her first year of life should entail. I feel like it’s my fault. I see all my Yiddishe Mama ancestors shaking their heads at me – for what you punish the child by always sending her to doctors? You want she should be normal? Leave her alone for five seconds!

I have six close friends who are currently having problems conceiving children (!). It is so ironic to me that I - the girl who doctors assured would never have children - am not in the same boat. I feel like I stole one of their tickets and soon someone will figure out the mix-up. I was dreading telling them I am pregnant, with twins no less. It didn’t seem fair. Each one of them admitted that they cried soon after I told them. One of them pushed me away physically. I understand this so well when I see baby O struggling to sit while her contempories are crawling and standing. Especially when the other mothers look at O with pity dripping from their faces.

There’s an Afrikaans word for pain. Eina! It can be used as an exclamation (like Ouch!) or to describe a wound. I feel like my heart is Eina sore. It’s leaking sadness (sadness, not pity) for little O. And for Ova Girl, and LB and NG and NS and DJ and AI, whose babies are all somewhere in the Universe, just a smidgeon out of our reach... waiting to meet their wonderful mums.

11 Comments:

Blogger Clare said...

Oooh, I think I arrived at the same time as this post. Which was so enthusiastic it appears to have come twice.

Haha, I used "come" to avoid repetition of "arrive"... and I like the effect.

Anyway, just to respond to your comment on my blog... I'm afraid I'll have to get a lot more successful before I ever stand any chance of visiting Oz - so here's to the next novel being a bestseller. Hurrah.

As to the post itself... I can never decide which is preferable - guilt or misery. You could choose to feel bad cos you have what your friends so desperately want, or I guess you could turn that on its head in a count-your-blessings-y kind of way, or you could feel bad cos fate has dealt you such a hard hand in terms of the medical situation...

Personally I feel guilty cos I'm finding life hard, but who am I to complain, when my life is intact and hasn't been swept away by a hurricane...

There's a path somewhere in the middle of it all. A keep-going one, that lets you weep when you need to, stops you from being consumed with guilt and allows you to smile at the glimmers of happiness.

And you can write. You're still writing. Maybe you're not being paid for it, but you're doing it. And very well, at that.

10:13 pm  
Blogger Clare said...

Oh, jeez. Or something less verbose.

10:13 pm  
Blogger Urban Chick said...

stop it with the jewish mommy guilt thing already!!

i am without hormone-induced soppiness when i say: you are so obviously doing the best by little O and she will get there in her own sweet time...

UC

10:48 pm  
Blogger Calliope said...

You are a wonderul Mom, YC.
Screw anybody that looks at you with judgement.

11:07 pm  
Blogger LJ said...

Guilt, my best friend tells me, is every mother's lot. And being Jewish has nothing to do with it.
Guilt, when we have what others want,envy when we don't, is everybody's battle. And that's not just about babies, either.
You're human, YC. And carrying too much for the average or even (and you are)above-average human being at the moment. Of course you ache.
I'm glad you're writing about it. And as always, I send my best hopes to you.

1:06 am  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

Dear YC,
The hormones alone can take you on a merry dance through hell. Be extra vigilant to care for yourself. Your mental health, your emotional health, your physical health. You're vulnerable now and the stress and lack of sleep can put your brain chemistry into a tail spin. I've been there and its not a good place to be.
Not to give you a lecture, just trying to be a good girlfriend :-)

hugs,
Laura

2:53 am  
Blogger spindleshanks said...

It's no bad thing to feel sadness for other people when what they desperately want is denied them. it's compassion and can't we all do with some of that. i think eina is what i feel when i read about you and little o - do i pity you? no. you have a beautiful daughter and two more babies on the way. do i wish you could just get on with enjoying your baby without the doctors, the anxiety and the fear for the future? of course. and btw those baby music classes are designed to make us all feel like failures if our kids aren't keeping perfect rhythm within 3 sessions. i had to give up - the other mother pressure wore me down. and 2ndB has her own sweet rhythm - just not one readily available to others is all.

8:31 am  
Blogger spindleshanks said...

It's no bad thing to feel sadness for other people when what they desperately want is denied them. it's compassion and can't we all do with some of that. i think eina is what i feel when i read about you and little o - do i pity you? no. you have a beautiful daughter and two more babies on the way. do i wish you could just get on with enjoying your baby without the doctors, the anxiety and the fear for the future? of course. and btw those baby music classes are designed to make us all feel like failures if our kids aren't keeping perfect rhythm within 3 sessions. i had to give up - the other mother pressure wore me down. and 2ndB has her own sweet rhythm - just not one readily available to others is all.

8:31 am  
Blogger Lin said...

Impossible not to compare bub's progress with other bubs, and this won't cure the soppy hormonal wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth that has to be going on chez Yidchick, BUT (and now I'm going to sound a billion years older than I am, ahem) if I could have a hundred dollars for every time what I projected to the future was wrong, I'd be a very rich old lady. You know how when your kids are babies you gravitate to other little kids and their parents, well...I became friendly with this woman who had a lovely, but quite- content-to-not-move, baby girl. This little girl, Jenny, didn't walk and didn't walk and didn't walk and then she was 19 months old and still not showing any inclination towards walking. Well, she was tested and poked and prodded and I can't remember when she did walk, but I do remember when we were living 2,000 miles apart and her Mom sent me a newspaper clipping from the paper showing Jenny's picture. She was one of the university scholarship recipients in their town. She was going off to the University of Michigan on a full ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP...uh huh...what was her specialty you may ask...well, she was a long distance runner, cross country, in high school. I guess she was fast cos the Univ of Michigan wanted her!

3:45 am  
Blogger Yidchick said...

Okay, now you're all giving me goosebumps. In the nicest possible way. Am feeling lots of warm cyber vibes - thank you!

6:06 pm  
Blogger Ova Girl said...

hey yidchick...thankyou.I got a knitted nursey doll sitting on my 'fertility shrine' that reminds me of you everytime I walk past.
I don't know what the secret is to all of this. I know it breaks my heart to see what you and R and baby O must go through just as it breaks my heart that there's no baby ovagirl.
And that love and support and friendship from people who care about us is what helps us through.

Love to you, Yidchick. (And evil Felix too)

9:33 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home