Saturday, January 30, 2010


Today, several times, I just found myself amazed by the sweetness that Sammie B exudes. She's SUCH a cuddly, lovable little girl. For awhile now, when we hold her, we've been able to say "hug mama," or "hug dada" and she would put her head on our shoulders and squeeze a little, but lately, she does it on her own, and my heart MELTS every time. Even better is when she throws a "mah - mah" in with it. Sweet girl. There's nothing better. Nothing. She also semi-recently has started reaching up when she wants us to pick her up, or reaching to whoever she wants to hold her. The best. Not only are these moments wonderful and sweet -- they also show that she's figuring out how to use her body to tell us what she wants . . . which because of the low tone (motor planning?), has been slower to come to her. So, my heart melts on so many many levels when she hugs me in her sweet, gentle way and when she reaches for me to pick her up. May I never forget those sweet moments or her sweet sweet giggles (which are also plentiful lately!).

January was a rough rough month (the Year of the Bean started out rough! BOO . . . may the next eleven months be BETTER!). With the stress of the MRI (though obviously, fabulous news of normal results), I was a disaster, and every area of my life suffered. My billables were terribly low (40 hours of mandatory yet NON-BILLABLE training doesn't help that either) and now I'm going into February feeling behind the game . . . and HATING that February is a SHORT month. So, I need need need to find my focus this month and somehow someway run full steam ahead on work. I'm going into the office tomorrow to (hopefully) get a running start, but I always feel so sad to have to work a weekend day when I could be spending it with my sweet little family. Such is life I suppose. My Tuesdays "off" are also shot for February, both because of my low billables in January and the need to make those up and because we have a family trip planned for mid-February, so I'll be taking three days off then . . .

Good-bye January, Hello February . . . Please bring us lots of joy and happiness and love and a wee less stress and anxiety. Thanks much.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Inch by Inch

Inches. That's all we need, right?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

MRI Results and a Sigh of Relief

What a day. This morning, a nurse from the hospital called (a routine call I knew to expect) just to make sure Sammie B hadn't had any bad reactions to the anesthesia yesterday. She hadn't (she'd been groggy most of yesterday, but still smiley), so I reported that and started to get off the phone. Then the nurse said, "and you already have a follow-up appointment to talk to the neurologist about the MRI results?" I said, "well, I assume she'll call when she gets the report, she said it would take a few days." And the nurse said, "she should already have the report."

And my heart, momentarily, stopped because I thought (1) if they sent the report so quickly, something must be wrong and (2) the nurse specifically said "an appointment to discuss" so she must know something is wrong and (3) oh my god something is wrong. I was driving into work at the moment and just freaking out. I called B who calmed me down and said, "you HAVE to relax. Don't read into this . . . " blah blah blah. I called the neurologist and got the nurse, who told me the Dr. wouldn't be in until lunchtime . . . more freaking out. I went into work, did what I had to do, but I was pretty useless, so I came home to sit and wait. And then the call. . . the doctor (yes, silent freaking out because IF THE DOCTOR IS CALLING, IT MUST BE BAD) . . . and she said, "the MRI was normal." And then my heart started beating again.

The last few weeks, days, the last YEAR, have been so emotionally exhausting. B and I are both feeling it. The MRI itself was rough on us . . . he held Sammie B when they put the IV in, and he was holding her when the anesthesia hit and she went limp in his arms. Then he had to lay her down on the table and we walked out. And we cried. I looked back into the room, and she looked so tiny laying on the big MRI table. And B just kept saying, "I hate that she has to go through this." We do. We hate it. Through the NICU experience, finding out Sammie B was delayed, and everything else we've been through, this has been the first time I thought my B might crumble, and it has been hard. But today, we feel such relief.

We still have more appointments with specialists (geneticist next month) but we are so so hopeful that this really is just a process of ruling things out . . . that in the end, we are right where we started ... with Sammie B having "low tone" and nothing more. (maybe some coordination issues, but we can deal with those). That leaves us with some unknowns still . . . but everyone has those.

I honestly don't even know HOW to put today into words. I've freaked out so much over the last year, and most of the worst case scenarios I'd painted for myself were ruled out today. I've agonized over whether maybe Sammie B had a birth injury. Maybe those moments when I couldn't push hard enough because everything happened so fast after the epidural and her heartrate kept going down and they had to give me oxygen . . . maybe in one of THOSE moments she suffered brain damage. And through each of those scenarios, I know I put a little blame (or at least a question of blame) on myself . . . maybe I COULD have done something differently. Maybe I COULD have pushed harder. Those were hard questions to walk around wondering, and not telling anyone (except B) . . . . that I was scared that Sammie B was struggling because I COULD have done something differently (which I realize isn't totally rational . . . I did what I could during labor, and when a baby ends up with a birthing injury, there's not always "blame" to be laid) . . . but I wondered. On top of that, I think I'll always feel some sort of guilt or resentment or anger or disappointment that my pregnancy wasn't so typical . . . that for some reason, my body failed me and Sammie B, and she didn't make it to term. Those questions are haunting, and the extra ones wondering about the possibility of a birth injury . . . almost unbearable. And it was a feeling that I couldn't kick. But now I can.

So, we continue to struggle to be comfortable with unknowns, and we keep on keeping on with Sammie B's therapies, and we hope beyond hope that with the two of us beside her, this little girl will get there, wherever her "there" is. And in the meantime, we just enjoy the magic that is her.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

MRIs and Other Things that Suck

Sammie B will be having an MRI on Tuesday. The process itself is a little scary because she has to be anesthetized. We saw her neurologist a few weeks ago (an appointment I made because I'd decided I WANTED a more pro-active, less of a 'wait and see' approach to all of this) and well, I got what I wanted. . . .a more proactive approach, which immediately sent me into a spiral of fear, worry, and panic. Hence my absence here lately, my total lack of responsiveness to friends lately, and a whole lot of other stuff. It has been a tough couple of weeks. Even though everyone (including B, who was AT the doctor's appointment with me) kept telling me that there was no reason to panic yet, the doctor wasn't panicking, B wasn't panicking, that ALL we are doing at this point is gathering information, and (hopefully) ruling out some things that COULD be causing Sammie B's low-tone. But, I couldn't help myself. I've been ILL with anticipation, consumed by worry & fear. I'd find myself trucking along through life or at work, doing actual work, which suddenly, it'd hit me . . . "SHIT. My Bean has to have an MRI. What if something is wrong?" And within seconds of that thought hitting me, I was on the computer, googling one of endless possible "syndromes" I'd determined "it" might be, and panicking. I've really been a wreck. Not able to eat. Just trying to keep putting one foot in front of the other. So, I banned myself from google (best decision ever) while we wait for the MRI and the results (and some other appointments/tests next month) and decided that "panic, worry, etc." is just a monster I'll choose not to "feed" for now. And, google feeds it.

People keep asking what my gut tells me, and I hate it. MY GUT CANNOT BE TRUSTED. Because, one second, I truly believe all is fine, and the next second, I've got worst case scenarios running through my head at warp speed. So, this all generally sucks, and well, I'm struggling. I just keep telling myself -- as Dora said in "Finding Nemo," . . . "Just keep swimming." So far, I am. I'm swimming. And, I haven't drowned.

I've checked out on friends, not returned calls, etc., but finally (I think) emailed most of them with my explanation . . . and of course, received super understanding and fabulously comforting responses back. One particular friend (you know who you are) reminded me that no matter what, Sammie B will still be the SAME Sammie B. And that has been my mantra the last few days. Sammie B? She's fabulous. So, yes, this time -- the waiting -- it sucks, but we'll get through it, and she'll still be the same sweet Bean, no matter what.

I know that over the last few months, as I've found myself spiraling in and out of this worry, B has struggled too, but he's often felt like he couldn't tell me about HIS struggles because he worried he'd send me further into despair. So, he had to be the "everything is fine" guy, and it has worn on him. Over the last few weeks, I feel like we've finally reached a point where we can BOTH talk openly and honestly about our fears and worries, and own them. Which is good. And, when we both sat and just poured out what our "guts" tell us (at our sanest) we were surprised to find we are both having the same "gut" feelings. Only time (and some tests) will tell if we are right. But at the end of the day, she's still our SWEET SWEET Sammie B. The ONE and ONLY. These tests bring up all kinds of other crazy feelings, emotions and questions, but for the most part . . . B and I are on the same page, which feels good. Both of us are worried and scared and the unknowns are petrifying, but we know we'll be okay.

I've also talked to the partners at work and they too are being understanding . . . which is wonderful. I just feel a bit like I'm walking through life in a haze, and giving 100% to my job feels impossible when all I want to do is be home, holding my sweet girl.

As for Sammie B, her fabulousness is confirmed every single day. She certainly doesn't act like SHE is struggling (and her PT sessions have been going well, even if she's not progressing as fast as WE would like, there's still progress, which is always a good thing . . . and she seems to be enjoying the sessions more and more, particularly her treadmill time!). She is just doing funny new things all the time. We made a list of all the things she does and understands before we went to see the neurologist (and the neurologist confirmed for us that Sammie B seems to be doing fine cognitively, socially, fine-motor, etc. which is a relief -- gross motor continues to be our area of concern). . . . and the list amazed us. She understands so much! And, no matter what is going on, her giggles, smiles, and funny little faces somehow make the rest of the world -- the panic, the fear, the uncertainty -- just melt away.

So with that, I'll leave you with a picture of her newest funny face . . . which she loves to do to us and have us do back:

Funny lady!

So, here's to wishing and hoping and wishing and hoping that whatever "it" is if "it" is anything, "it" won't prevent this sweet bean from living a long, healthy, full life. Because she deserves nothing less.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another Letter to My Bean

I've been a little MIA in blogland and in life as of late, for reasons I don't have the energy to go into . . . but will eventually. For now, I'm traveling for work, and feeling weepy and homesick, and its time for a letter to my Sweet Sweet Bean.

Dear Bean:

I miss you! I just left yesterday, and I will see you again (you and Dada are meeting me here in Chicago) in only two days, so its a short time, but I MISS YOU. And, I sit here, alone in my hotel room, thinking that maybe I'm weird. Maybe MOST newish moms would be relishing in the "alone" time (even though I'm working non-stop), the long showers, room service, and a bed all to myself, but then I realize, I'm just not "most" new moms I guess, and you certainly aren't "most" beans!!!

And THIS mama REALLY misses you and would (in a heartbeat) trade the big king-sized bed all to herself, the room service (even the wagyu beef daddy would be so jealous of!), etc. just to be home eating some frozen gluten-free (of course) chicken nuggets with my sweet Bean.

One thing that gets me through is getting pictures of your sweet face from your wonderful nanny, who I KNOW you LOVE and ADORE (and she LOVES and ADORES you, which makes being a working mama a teeny bit easier). These pictures arrive periodically on my blackberry, in the middle of meetings, and my heart smiles. I am here working, and you, my sweet Bean are home, working:

and playing (while pseudo-working - that's a fabulous sidesit my lady!):

and simply exuding sweetness:

I miss you. And I can't wait to share my hotel bed with you and dada on Friday. I love you. Lots and Lots and all over the place.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Resolutions and Inchstones

I read several blogs in my spare time (some that are linked on my page, and a few others I just haven't gotten around to adding to my google reader). I find that following other parents (and kiddos) on their journeys, as diverse as they are, is both comforting and inspiring. This year, a few of my resolutions come from these other bloggers.

This year, I promise to pay attention to the "inchstones" and forget about the "milestones." I will think in inches and remember each inch we move forward is an inch to be grateful for.

This year, I will try to be the best attorney I can be, but also not beat myself up every time I feel the struggle between being the best mom, best wife, and the best attorney. Each day I will do my best at each, and be proud of that.

This year, I will try to be more patient. With my life and with people, particularly my husband (he promises to do the same . . . neither of us are the most patient people on earth!).

This year, I will try to remember that yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift. I will work at living for today, and not being so consumed by questions about the mystery that tomorrow holds that I forget to enjoy the moment. I will stop constantly trying to prepare myself for "worst-case scenarios" that may never happen and enjoy the scenarios before me.

This year holds so very much promise, and I can't wait to watch it unfold . . . moment by moment, inch by inch.

And, here is a picture of an "inchstone" I caught today. (For those of you whose children have not gone through physical therapy or had any motor issues, this picture is a big moment because Sammie B is comfortably SIDE SITTING which is a dynamic sitting position that allows kids to move out of that position and into crawling. She generally HATES sitting like this, but today I caught a happy side sitting moment on camera :o))

INCHES. That's all we need.

The Holidays Behind Us

I posted about Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, but left Christmas Day and the days in between Christmas and New Years out . . . so I'll make up for it in pictures. Sammie B's best present? HER NEW CAR!!!

I did a LOT of looking for the perfect car for her . . . narrow enough that she would be supported, with doors so she wouldn't tumble out, a good seatbelt, and easy for us to push. So far so good with the little flyer!

She also got an indoor swing, which we are VERY excited about -- she LOVES it.

Gigi and PawPaw also visited, and loved every second of their time with the Bean and we loved having them!!! Their visit was timed perfectly because B got super busy at work, I got sick, so they got TONS of Sammie B time while I recuperated and B worked!!!

Following Christmas and the visit with Gigi and Pawpaw, we had a fabulous New Years -- NY Eve was spent at a friend's house having dinner. One of the perks of living on the West Coast is that we get to see the ball drop at 9pm, so we had champagne and dinner, watched the ball drop, and were home in bed by 11 pm :o) Then on New Years Day, I made the traditional southern NY meal my mom and grandmother always cooked. And I even looked up the meaning behind each thing -- black-eyed peas for prosperity in the new year; greens for money; and ham for positive movement. Our nanny and her mom came over for dinner, and it was wonderful to have the three key players on Sammie B's "team" (me, Brian and our nanny) eating together to bring in the new year. Sammie B refused the greens, but I told her we'd carry her through the year on money anyway . . . but I did manage to get many black-eyed peas in her (she loved them) and a little bit of ham (here's to POSITIVE MOTION!)

Now that the holidays are behind us, we are hoping to return to some semblance of a routine in the coming weeks! Life has been busy busy busy!