Friday, April 24, 2009

My first blog :o)

While I was pregnant, one of my friends suggested I blog about finding a balance (or struggling to) between being a female professional and a mom. At first, I thought it was a nifty idea. Then, I figured if I ever was going to find a balance, it wouldn't be by "wasting" time blogging ;o) But, I've now realized that maybe the answer to finding balance is by feeling my way through it, and maybe blogging will help.

I had my daughter in September, 5 weeks early, and after 6 weeks on bed rest. She's the most amazing thing I've ever done. I wasn't even the type of girl who dreamt of being a mom. I dreamt of being a lawyer, and I'd accomplished that. I think I could have easily went several more years focusing on my career and been very happy. In fact, I thought I had it all figured out . . . I had a Timeline, and it required me to work several years, THEN have a baby. But then I got some health news (lemons for ovaries, thank you very much). My OB advised me if I wanted kids, the younger I was, the better. I told her about said Timeline and she told me that sometimes, life happens and we have to throw our timelines out the window. So, I did. And, as a first year associate at BigLaw, working way too many hours a week, I got pregnant. Brian (the hubby) and I were so excited . . . cloud 9. We did all the things that new parents are supposed to do - we bought a new house, we decorated a nursery, we registered for the baby stuff, and we couldn't WAIT to meet our little girl. (When we found out it was a girl, in the doctor's office, Brian said - grinning from ear to ear -- "we are going to have TEA PARTIES! " - I love him!).

Everything went swimmingly until I went into labor at 29 weeks and had to go on bed rest. That was not in the plans! I was dressed and I thought on my way to work when it all happened. Instead of work, I went home to bed, for six more weeks. Those weeks were so hard, I felt such a heavy burden. This child was counting on me to keep her safe. I had to keep her in for a few more weeks. I made it six weeks longer, so she was born at 35 weeks.

When she arrived, and she wasn't quite ready to go home and had to stay in the NICU for two and a half weeks. That was the hardest experience of my life!!! I sobbed every night when I came home. I would just sit in her room, in the rocking chair and sob. It felt so unfair . . . I'd done everything right while I was pregnant, and now, I'd gone through the whole pregnancy, whole labor, etc. and didn't have my baby at home with me. I'd never known any love as intense as what I felt for Sam. This tiny, precious little thing . . . Suddenly all the crazy things my mother had done for my brother over our lives made sense. Because I looked at that little girl in the incubator and knew I'd do ANYTHING for her.

Being a mommy is MAGICAL. Absolutely MAGICAL. I love her with every fiber of my being, and there's nothing I love more than seeing her smile in the morning when I go to get her out of her crib.

So, that's the beginning. I've got lots more to fill in, and lots more to sort out. . . I still work way too much, and I miss her like crazy during my days. We also just learned that she's very far-sighted (got her new glasses today) and also has low muscle tone (and delayed in her gross motor milestones because of it). We are starting the regional center process with her, so that we can get her the early intervention she needs. The intake social worker came to our house today for the first time, and I feel SO optimistic. I think a lot of this blog will be about our journey through that process.

I already decided I need the social worker's number on speed dial. I've been a MESS lately. Worried sick about my Sam. Obsessed with it. Googling every symptom, and of course imagining the worst. But not really talking about it, because talking makes it real. Social worker told me to "stay off the internet - all you get is worse case scenarios there." True. She believes there's NO delay in any area other than gross motor which is pretty benign and "fixable." So there doesn't seem to be any cognitive delay, which is huge!

I just feel so much better. And, I feel blessed that we get to have this team of people go through this process with us, as Sam's advocates (there's an interdisciplinary team - made up of a phd, psychologist, pediatrician, OT, PT and ST - that review each child's case and decide on a plan of intervention). Really -- I think she's a lucky little girl to have such experts looking out for her! The next step is that PT comes to our house for a PT evaluation.

Being a mommy is magical, but its scary. I don't know how NOT to worry. And all the new moms talk about all the great things their babies are doing. I can do that too . . . Sam has the most amazing giggle (sounds like a hiccup), she smiles so big when she sees me or Brian, she smacks her lips when she wants more food, she holds her knees up for us when we change her diaper, etc. . . . but no one ever talks about what their kids AREN'T doing that's got them scared shitless . . . and that's how I've been feeling. SCARED. But today, I feel optimistic.

And, I know this little girl is going to be okay.


gailhworthy said...

Everytime I look at Samantha I think how lucky she is to have you and Brian for parents. I wish you weren't so hard on yourself, but I don't know how to tell you not to worry. I thank God that I did not have the internet when you and Alan were babies.

Samantha will be fine and I know she will be another strong, beautiful and intelligent woman some day --- just like her mom!!!! I think it is so sweet that you are going to wear your glasses but please don't shave your head. It is cute on Sammie --- maybe Brian could do that????? Love you all!!!!

Alyssa said...

Congrats on your blog, Alli B! Sammie's glasses are so adorable. Can't wait to hang out with the B girls again soon. Before you know it with Sammie pumping up, she'll have the fittest mini-muscle tone in the land (watch out motor skills, here Sammie comes)!

Janelle said...

Did I mention how much I love you and how grateful I am that are friends? I'm glad you found an outlet for all these thoughts and emotions. Sam is so lucky that you are her mom! I just wish that I can be as great a mom as you once the time comes for Tim and I. Sam's glasses are adorable, and I'll proudly wear mine this weekend for her! Love you.

Rebecca said...

Man I wish I could pull off my glasses as well as your little girl! I loved your blog entry. So honest and comforting. Makes me feel a bit less crazy. I was talking with my friend who has a baby 10 days younger than Jacob about moms who treat parenting like a competitive sport. May we never become them! You are such a great mom - wish our kids lived closer together for play dates! Love yall!