The Daily News

LFCA Latest Issue: Friday, September 25, 2009.

Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Distractions

Thank you to everyone who has signed up to play Blogger Bingo. Not just because it took three showers and a car drive to mentally piece together all the elements of the game, but because it is an enormous distraction right now. We are worried about some appointments this week; lay-in-bed-and-stare-at-the-ceiling-at-2-a.m. worried. But in the end, it's not my story to tell, therefore, I don't feel like I can be the one to tell it here.

I have tried other distractions. We cleaned the house tonight in preparation for a friend coming over, our heads down over piles of paper, sorting and tossing and filing and speaking about nothing. Cleaning is usually enough for me; organizing, settling, straightening. But after a half hour, we both stopped. I apologize in advance to my friend for the shoes in the front hallway but I'm not going to bother with them tonight.

Instead of focusing on what is happening this week, I will transport you back five years ago to this very time period, when the twins were finishing up their stint in the NICU. Some time during their second week in the NICU, I had bumped into a nurse practitioner by the elevators around 11 p.m. She asked me how I was and I sort of did that head nod thing you do when you don't trust yourself to speak because you're afraid you're going to cry.

Even though I was on my way to pump (oh for the love, I was always on my way to pump), she steered me towards her office and had me unload all of my fears, starting with the smallest ones (that my breast milk would never come in...which...er...turned out to be true) to the largest ones (that the twins would die). And tucked somewhere in the middle of no breast milk and death was this event looming inside my head--my son's bris.

The reality is that no mohel would touch him. He was two pounds with an inability to regulate his body temperature for longer than twenty minutes. I didn't blame them and I knew we were exempt from the 8 day rule with circumcision, but I was terrified of putting him through a bris at home. He came home on a heart monitor for tachycardia and I couldn't imagine how we'd get through the service emotionally. Not when he was so small, so fragile (and at the same time, so ornery, so feisty).

The nurse practitioner, an orthodox Jewish woman, told me that she couldn't help with the breast milk thing and she couldn't make promises about their future health, but she could solve the bris problem. We could hold the bris in the hospital on the day before they went home.

And that is how we held my son's bris in the conference room at a Jesuit, crucifix-on-the-wall hospital. We found a mohelet who was also a surgeon. The nurses came down to help us care for the twins and be there in the event of an emergency (and one exclaimed afterward in her thick Southern accent that she was just so tickled to be part of something so exciting!). We brought some family and items from the two men the twins are named after. We had the traditional Jewish service and the nurses sensitively turned off his heart monitor for the moment of the circumcision so we wouldn't need to hear the alarms going off when we all knew they would be going off.

After all of the worrying, all of the fretting, in the end, I got the traditional Jewish service I wanted. The service I needed. It may not have looked like the service we planned when they were still in-utero, but it was beautiful and unique and we made it our own.

I am distracting myself from everything going on this week by remembering how things have always turned out fine in the end; that people have helped us through and that the important things have always been cushioned with a safe landing. That so much of the worrying (except that damn breast milk thing) has never come to fruition. That humans are flexible and we roll with new information because we have no choice but to roll with new information. That we have been lucky. That regardless of anything else, coming through that beginning, we are one of the lucky ones.

The bris itself is the better story. More than how I locked myself in the bathroom and the mohelet had to come inside and listen to me cry for a half hour and only charged us her regular rate even though she also provided some on-the-spot therapy. Or how I was insane by that point, a reaction to the Reglan I was taking for the non-existent breast milk. Those aren't really pleasant things to talk about and I am distracting right now.

I am placing my head back in the sand. Thinking about the bris. My grandfather's hat on a chair. The melting ice cream. The ChickieNob's head tucked under my chin as I bit my lip.

39 comments:

Kate said...

I'm sorry you're going through a difficult time. I hate waiting for appointments of uncertainty. *hugs* I'm glad you have distractions and I will keep you in my thoughts.

Jen said...

That is a wonderful story. Stories like this make me feel all warm and fuzzy, when people go out of their ways to help when they don't need to.

I will worry for you, if you need a break from it. I'm good at middle of the night worrying.

Mad Hatter said...

I understand how hard and all-consuming it is to worry about the unknown at 2:00 am - your bris story is very poignant. I hope things look better tomorrow.

areyoukiddingme said...

It's a good reminder that although things rarely turn out as planned, they usually work out as they should. I hope your worries are soon swept away, and that you do not have to think about them at 2 am.

Oh, and the Jesuits are usually pretty tolerant (all the better to suck you in, my dear).

Flying Monkeys said...

I don't know what appts you're waiting for but I'll hope for great endings.
I'm glad the bris turned out how you needed it to.
I'm more of a distracted eater while I obsess. I need to work on that.

Kristin said...

What a wonderful story and I believe God was looking after you when you ended up on the elevator with the nurse practitioner.

I'm sorry you are going through worry and stress right now and I hope and pray the appointments go ok. Please let me know if there is anything at all I can do to help distract you.

Oh yeah, I do know a way to distract you....

I know something you don't know and you are going to love it!

FET Accompli said...

Ah, the stare at the ceiling at 2:00 a.m. worrying. Why do all our worries congregate and magnify at night? I am sorry you are going through this difficult time and hope that you receive good news that will alleviate your worries.

I really liked when you said: "That humans are flexible and we roll with new information because we have no choice but to roll with new information." That brought me back to my Big-C days and those contorted, pained expressions on those doctors as they said the most gobsmacking things. So true. We have no choice but to roll with it.

Your bris story was inspiring, because you did it your way. I was just at a bris for my dear friend's bouncing baby boy. It was hard. Those two or three minutes are just plain hard. She was doing her all to keep it together, and the tears were rolling down my cheek too. But, several drops of manichevitz later, and the baby sort of got distracted.(Distractions...)

And here I am thinking about another certain bris in just under four months, gcd willing.

eden said...

Wow, Mel. What HUGE things you went through, five years ago!!

I so totally relate to the head in the sand, not my story to tell. I'm so freaked out right now about stuff that is out of my control .... I'm even PRAYING. I know!

Something to make you smile - I swear to God, when you wrote, "On my way to pump" I thought you meant on your way to Pump class at the gym. And I was in AWE of you doing that while your babes were in the NICU, til I realised you meant pump of the milky kind. HA!

Chin up my sweetheart - I will come to the farm with you! XOX

Heather said...

I'm so sorry life is heavy with worry for you right now. May the distractions come easy and the fears prove unfounded.

jill said...

I hope things turn out well with your appointments. 2am worrying just plain sucks.

Lavender Luz said...

Oh, dear. I wish I'd been around more this week.

Sending you my love, my friend.

Vee said...

I am sorry you are having a rough time and the worrying is overwhelming. I can certainly relate to that. I admire you for doing a great job with your distraction and hoping everything works out just fine once again.

Julia said...

Oh, Mel... The waiting sounds absolutely maddening. We'll wait with you, though.

The bris story is lovely, in so many ways. We are about ten days out from a year since the Cub's bris. Cleaning around here I recently stumbled onto a copy of the service we put together for the occasion (our personal additions to the traditional service). And damn if I didn't cry, again.

I hope for good news from the appointments for you. But I will be here to listen either way.

Nicole said...

I'm sorry that you're in a place of uncertainty Mel...like others have noted here, we can worry for you if you need us to!

I'll send a few good thoughts and a prayer your way too.

LJ said...

I wish I could do something to distract you. Perhaps you need a new cd to listen to?

devonmarie said...

Waiting is torture....Waiting to find something out that could potentially be bad news is even worse than that.

I hope for you that all is ok-

Shelli said...

I think I missed reading something (did I miss the background part of the 'worry'?)... or perhaps it's just me being in my own funk lately. I am reading blogs but sort of a zombie at the moment.

I've had too many nights like that one... far too many. Will keep you in my thoughts.

JJ said...

Thinking of you...

IdleMindOfBeth said...

I will gladly help carry the burden of your worry while you distract yourself, hon.

Holding you in my heart while you wait.

loribeth said...

May all your worries prove to be unfounded. (((hugs)))

tootertotz said...

As much as you are troubled now...I am glad that you are of the mind that it will ultimately be okay. It doesn't feel like it helps when you are in the midst of a mess but surely, it keeps you more sane than you would be without that faith.

Your son's bris is a wonderful example of how things do tend to fall into place even when they don't look the way you originally anticipated...but you know enough about that to write a book.

You will weather whatever comes to pass. Hang on and hang in there!

addingtothepack said...

I am sorry that the road is hard right now. I hope that it all works out in the end.

N said...

I am sorry there are such things to be worrying about, but am sure they will be fine in the end. As fine as they need to be, at least. ♥

And the story of the bris made me tear up.

becomingwhole said...

So, so sorry that things are hard right now.

I'm sending you peaceful feelings (as many as I can muster).

nancy said...

~hugs~

Waiting, waiting, waiting. Distractions are good, but never got the worries out of my head.

The beauty of this internet group is we're all waiting together.

with love.

Chelle said...

I am sorry to hear there are difficult things going on for you right now. I pray that whatever has you so stressed resolves itself happily and soon. I will be thinking about you.

*Hugs*

Piccinigirl said...

I love your stories, I really do. They wrap me up and I feel like you are right here telling me.

I'm sorry you're worried and I'll pray that all is well at the end of the week. That you can sleep at 2am, instead of staring.

Hugs..and thanks for the stories.

Busted Tube said...

What a good story and so heartening to hear how the nurse was able to find a way to help! I'm sorry that you're having a scary week and I hope everything turns out well. All my best wishes to you and your family.

Cassandra said...

Distractions are good. Especially the kind you can get distracted from and stop in the middle and no one will trip over shoes.

I hadn't thought to bring items from the people after whom the babies will be named to the bris/naming, so thank you for the idea. Even though that will make me cry even harder that day.

Beautiful Mess said...

This story make me tear up, it's so sweet! I hope everything turns out well and your distractions do what you intend them to do.
*HUGS*

Chickenpig said...

What a beautiful story :) I'm glad that you were able to have a beautiful bris for your son, in spite of the obstacles in his way.

I wish that all of us here in the internet could be a distraction for you, but we'll have to settle for being your support team. Even if we aren't sure exactly what it is your facing. :(

With you in spirit. CP

luna said...

hope everything is ok with your appts. writing is always a good distraction, and therapeutic.

annacyclopedia said...

This is a beautiful post, Mel. Although I wish it was nothing more than a series of memories without your needing it to be a distraction right now. Abiding with you as you wait and worry.

Carrie27 said...

I hope you can continue to find distractions to keep your mind away from the impending appointments.

Meghan said...

I'm sorry you have these appts looming over your head. Please email me if there's anything I could do to help, or any resources you might need

battynurse said...

That is a great story. I hope that whatever things are worrying you will pass by easily and be more things that you look back on later.

Coffeegrl said...

Durrrrr. Waiting on these kinds of appointments -- ugh. But I'd second Jen - I'm happy to worry for you in the middle of the night.

gracieinbrooklyn said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story. I agree with Jen - it warms my heart when I hear about people helping others do something that is important to them.

Hope that the distractions work and may whatever is happening work out.

Bea said...

Whatever's going on, I hope it works out, too. You know, the breast milk thing did sort of work out - the twins got the food they needed, which is the central thing. I'm a big fan of breastfeeding and everything, but when you talk about the pros of bf'ing "getting fed" has to be at the top of the priority list.

That might have sounded lame...

...also I'm so behind times this comment probably doesn't mean much any more...

Bea