So we got a new SUV, and Emily’s boyfriend bought our Hyundai. After the transaction closed, she was like, “OMG – I can’t even handle it. SO much is happening.” Oh, girl… To be young and naïve again. (I love her, by the way.)
The other day I went to Target with Joel to buy some baby formula and some other groceries. In the checkout line, Joel made friends with this older woman, and I was kind of overjoyed about it, because it was so cute. The woman eventually turned to me and was like, “You seem like you’re just soaking in every moment – like you’re really appreciative of him.” She has no idea.
During this same Target trip, there was an early-pregnant lady shopping for baby formula, and in my head I rolled my eyes at her.
I should post this to Instagram, so people can get a visual, but the other night Mark and I were watching several-week-old videos of Joel, and there’s this one in which I’m holding Joel, dancing on our back porch as Mark’s grilling, and it’s a beautiful evening. I look decent, Joel is so cute, our house looks good, and Maroon 5 (It’s Not Over Tonight) is playing over the back porch speakers. As the song ends, somehow it works out that I get closer to the camera, and Joel’s looking right at the camera etc. perfectly as the music quietly fades. As I watched this video, I had this strange feeling that our life could look really great to an outsider, but there’s so much below the surface… I also thought about how this is the type of video they will show on Dateline NBC if I ever go missing, and I was hearing Lester Holt describe me as this loving mother who also had all of these struggles. I mean, is this weird? Do other people think about what videos might lend themselves to being used in a television show about their unsolved disappearance? (NOTE: I’m not ever going to voluntarily disappear, rather I’m simply illustrating the places my brain automatically goes.)
I stopped breastfeeding for three days, and everything was great, but now my milk is back. Like whaaaaa?!?!?
The other night we went to the park. We were walking Joel around (kid loves to walk), and we ran into this other mother with a baby girl. I could sense a competitiveness about her… Our convo went something like this…
Other Mom – How old is he?
Me – 8 months. How old is she?
Other Mom – 8 months. Wow he’s a good walker. Is he crawling?
Me – No. He’s only interested in walking. (At this point I decided to participate equally in her game.) Is she crawling?
Other Mom – She crawls everywhere! When does he turn 9 months?
Me – April 27. When is her birthday?
Other Mom – July 13. (LIKE REALLY?!?!?!?)
Me – K-thanks. Bye!
The whole thing was stooooopid. Like I don’t want to compare, but lots of people do, so it’s difficult not to get caught up in it. I went home paranoid like, “Why isn’t Joel crawling?” And she went home paranoid like, “Why isn’t Piper walking with assistance?” And probably most parents are paranoid 24/7. And Joel and Piper are probably freaking fine. Again, stooooopid. But the whole interaction, especially the July 13 bit was almost enough to send me over the edge.
I went to my neurologist yesterday. I go to him once per year because I’ve had two seizures in my life. It was really difficult to go to this appointment. Two times ago, I was pregnant with Matthew. One time ago, I had to tell my neurologist Matthew had died and that I was pregnant with Joel and that hopefully Joel wouldn’t die. I actually didn’t tell him anything – I was crying too much to speak. Mark had to tell him.
This time being in the waiting room was like being in a time traveling machine. An evil one. Like it felt like I was just there two days ago pregnant with Matthew and one day ago pregnant with Joel. I started crying, and it was incredibly difficult for me to breathe normally.
When my doctor called me back, he took one look at me and was like, “Oh – it’s nice to see that you didn’t have to come from work!” And I was like, “Actually, I did come from work…” And an awkward pause ensued. Later, I realized there was a hole in the crotch of my leggings, so I was like, “Mark, I hope he didn’t see my crotch!” And Mark was like, “I don’t think he would have been able to see your crotch…” But I’m still not so sure…
But ANYWAY, we mainly discussed my October seizure and whether there are any medicines I could safely take that would help me combat my depression and anxiety.
My neurologist tried to be empathetic… He was like, “At least you have Joel,” and “At least you don’t have seizures every day.” He also encouraged me to “move on” and “get over it” and “think positively” and “not to concern myself with thoughts about statistically unlikely tragedies.” He told me I need more will power. Ummmmm… I mean, yeah… I get it. Maybe. Or maybe not. Sort of. But this is easier said than done, right? He informed me that all SSRIs have the potential to cause seizures and since Zoloft caused one in me, another one could too. He offered to switch my seizure medicine though – to something that has an anti-anxiety/depressant side effect, so I’m considering this.
He informed me that the new seizure medicine has a three percent chance of causing a serious rash. So I joked with him that should I switch to the new medicine, I’m pretty sure I’ll get the rash, because this is just how my life works, so he was like, “Think positive – tell yourself 100 times that you won’t get the rash.” And I was like, “Well positive thoughts alone won’t prevent the rash. Someone’s going to get it.” And he was like, “It isn’t going to be you.” And I was like, “You don’t know this.” And he was like, “Truth.”
He was as empathetic as he could be for a brilliant man with a likely low EQ. I was tearful for nearly the entire time I was with him (for an hour), and he tolerated it relatively decently.
Today I got a haircut and highlight. I’m blonde again for the first time since Matthew’s death, and my hair is about shoulder length. I like it, but the lighting in my house apparently sucks and all of my pictures look like shit, so I’ll have to post one later. I went to a new stylist. She didn’t speak to me much once I mentioned that my first child died, and I was fine with not being chatty. She did a good job, but I don’t know whether I’ll return to her – she was very expensive, and her lack of confidence annoyed the snot out of me. She was all like, “What length? How short do you want your shortest layer? How short do you want your bangs?” And 4,000 times, I had to be like, “You’re the architect of my hair – YOU use YOUR expertise!!!” I can’t stand situations like this. Like have an opinion!!! I need people to have some kind of opinion about something. Anything.
I wish Howie would stop licking his crotch in the middle of our living room. It distracts Joel as he’s eating.