my husband has all the digital photos that we have on this slide show that pops up as our screensaver. it just randomly goes through all the digital pics we have - which, there are hundreds since we got the digicam when alex was about two months old. sometimes we just sit and watch the slideshow go by. sometimes amidst all the photos of alex grabbing at the camera or him sleeping or him covered in food, a photo from when he had one of his surgeries will pop up. there's a particular series from his first surgery that i took of him and the room at night with this dim orange light highlighting the midieval-looking metal crib he's in, the humidifier blowing on him, the machines all blinking, hooked up to him under the blankets that he's covered in from head to toe. in his mouth is a nipple with the tip cut off and it's taped to his face so that his mouth stayed open so he could breathe since the swelling and the tylenol with coedine really depressed his ability to breathe and babies don't naturally open their mouths... every time i've seen that lately i've started thinking about how i should have been holding him. i attachment parented from the beginning, but i've recently realized that i wasn't able to bond with him the way i wish i had in those early months. i've started to feel guilty about this idea that i could have been a better mother to him when he needed it most. i'm trying not to put a whole lot of weight into this idea, but it's there. i hate so much the fact that i missed out on nursing alex. i hate so much that i am everyone's prime example of breastfeeing dedication just because i pumped for thirteen months. i hate that alex's teeth are all fucked up. i hate that his scar has not formed as well as it should have. i hate that i have to consider when his next surgery will be when deciding when to have another child. sometimes i hate other mommies that i meet or that i know just because from here it looks so perfect and unfair. i think about all the things i could have done differently, that i could have done or not done to prevent this from happening to him in the first place. which is why it so important for me to carefully plan the next child. which is why i am spending all this time thinking about it, making plans, obsessing over something i'm not even going to be doing for a few more months. i just need it all to go right this time because it's too hard and unfair and i don't want to spend all my time hating. i need to feel my life for all the good in it, to see it. i do and i can, but it'd be very very hard for me to fail at making a whole person and it'd be very very hard for me to fail at nursing again. i know that i'm not a bad person. i know that i haven't done anything to deserve this, and i don't even believe the world works that way anyway, but it doesn't stop the ringing in my head, that little nagging feeling of guilt, of suspicion. i'm just scared and nervous and it's hard. but then, what if everything goes right. well hell, i don't even know...


one day my son will be grown and will leave me. i know that this is the inevitable, and yet cannot imagine it. even as he pulls at my pantsleg and on my arm, wanting to drag me off to another room to get something that he can't have down from a high shelf for him, even as this makes me want to scream and tear my hair out, the repitition of it, the fact that i am quickly becoming "all touched out" - even still, i cannot imagine him leaving me, not needing me to rock him and cuddle him, not needing me to read all his books to him over and over and over again. the repitition of my day, the mundaneness of it, leaves me wanting to get out of the house for once by myself, leaves me longing to see a movie or read a novel. my life at times, leaves me longing for more, something other than what i am. and yet, i'd not give him up for anything. there is nothing that could actually entice me away. despite him tugging on my leg at this very moment, whining and wanting for everything bigger than himself.


the pull of my mind is hard to ignore. i am thinking intensely about the endeavor to attempt conception, to have another child, and yet i am not currently actually trying. but i am thinking nonetheless of what will happen, if it will work and if my body can do it without fucking it all up. will i make a whole person? can i be properly prepared enough to ensure that it takes, to ensure that it stays with me? is there something wrong that i am as yet unaware of? can i have a moment of perfect? am i entitled to that? i have this friend that annoys the hell out of me who is currently pregnant. and i know that because she annoys the hell out of me that everything will be fine with her, everything will be perfect. if only to continue to annoy the hell out of me. this is true with most women i encounter who are pregnant. some days i am so angry at the world that alex was born with the cleft. some days i hate everything. because it seems so unjust. i took such good care of myself as soon as i found out that i was pregnant. and now, i am trying ever so hard to take such perfect care of myself before i even conceive to guarantee that it will go right. but there's the little question in my head, pulling on me, the string connected to the thought nagging and tugging, ringing a tiny little bell in my mind, saying, "but there are no guarantees..." what if i do everything right and still everything goes wrong? what then?

lost in transition. my husband finished his thesis and we're now able to get ready to move. i can't wait to get the hell out of here. i'm in this completely transitional mindframe and it's wrecking my ability to accomplish anything. i have conflicts here that i'm not interested in resolving, work that i'm not interested in doing, and weeks before i'm leaving, so there's no need to pack yet really. my hands are tied by my thoughts. i'm compelled to do nothing. i'm floating around, maintaining yet moving nowhere. there's no forward to move towards. i'm left sitting still, hands limp at my sides.


today is the twenty-fifth anniversary of my birth. so i'm a little older, not a bit wiser for it. getting older is starting to become just a nuisance. at least i get to go out on a date with my husband. he finished his thesis yesterday, so i suppose we're both in celebration mode. though of course at the moment, we're both just tired. i think i'm more excited about getting to see a movie in a theater than my actual birthday. seems fitting really, the years are just making it harder to remember the count.


everyone i know is pregnant. or trying to get pregnant. or just became not pregnant. none of my friends back home who are all my age, of course, but every other mommy on the block, it seems. there are three pregnant women that i know in my building, at least one that i don't know, two women from playgroup, and then there are four women i know who are trying to conceive/not trying but not stopping it/trying to trick their husbands into letting them get pregnant. also, my sister just had a baby two weeks ago and another woman in my building just had a baby at the end of december. i now also know all these women online who are trying to get pregnant. i am surrounded by the quest for fertility. it invades the spaces in my brain. all i can come up with for myself is that it was the smoking that caused alex's cleft, temperatures that are beyond erratic, an iud waiting to be dislodged, and the idea that i need a bottle of folic acid to start overdosing on pronto. babies babies babies... i don't understand it, but there seems to be this silent fertility competition among women that perhaps most of us don't even ourselves acknowledge. it's what makes us all ooh and ahh over new babies. it's what makes us all want a baby after watching some stranger from halfway around the world's perfect birth in all it's idealized flash glory. we're driven by instinct, i suppose, to want more and more to spread our genes despite all of the best-laid intellectualized intentions drawn deep from the wells of our alternate desires to leave something behind us when we die, to remain active in this life and independent and to produce an income - everything that "sequencing" promises - having it all, just not all at once. for me, i personally don't have a clue about what i want beyond babies, beyond that biological imperative to spread one's genes, to go forth and multiply. how lame am i? look everyone, with this brain and these talents, i am busy wasting away in domesticity, toiling daily with toddler underfoot at nothing more than picking up the same mess five hundred times and the most that i produce in a day is perhaps a healthy snack. how lovely for me.


so i'm going to try to conceive. again. well, this time i'm going to try. last time, it just happened. we've decided to try for a june baby round about august-september-october sometime, depending of course on when i ovulate. so i've started charting my cycles and so far it's not going so good. i started taking my temperature before i actually had or read a book that told me how to chart. now i've got the book, but my temperatures are all over the place, contrary to what they're supposed to be doing. so i'm changing thermometers, seeing if the old one's batteries were perhaps dying or something of the sort. this time, i've got to really plan this. i've always had that in my head, from the moment alex was born with the cleft, i knew that the next time around i'd have to be really careful and take extra good care of myself. so no boozing it up this summer (not like i have the time for that anyway with a toddler underfoot), cutting out caffeine again, eating healthier, etc. after four surgeries and the agony of missing out on breastfeeding, i'm just not prepared for anything else going wrong. i know that my chances of it happening are slim, but i've seen worse happen to other people and i feel not a little bit vulnerable. at the moment, i'm not really feeling into the whole idea of trying to conceive at all, but i'm not feeling much into anything. i can't figure out what's wrong with me. lately my head is just so full of soup it's ridiculous. i'm getting upset at the slightest thing, and feeling absolutely no motivation to do much of anything. it's amazing that i'm here typing. it's amazing that i've done any of the things that i did today: went to the insurance place, did the laundry, did some dishes, worked on my attachment parenting brochure... and yet, still, i feel like i've accomplished nothing. i'm just not happy right now. i don't know why i can't just be happy. it seems so easy when i see kodak commercials or crap like this. i don't know why i can't live in a fucking kodak commercial.

alex today


i have problems. i took a personality disorder test. here are my results:
Disorder | Rating
Paranoid: Low
Schizoid: Low
Schizotypal: Low
Antisocial: Low
Borderline: Moderate
Histrionic: High
Narcissistic: High
Avoidant: Low
Dependent: High
Obsessive-Compulsive: High