Thursday, September 13, 2012

Letters to my Unborn Child: What Sept. 11 Can Teach You

I wrote this on Tuesday September 11, 2012 ... but just posted it now.

Eleven years ago today, I woke up to the most beautiful, clear sunny, pre-fall day in Hackensack, New Jersey. Like every morning, I listened to 103.5 KTU (an NYC radio station) and the DJ, Gumba Johnny, announced that today’s date was 9.11. This was my 23rd “9.11,” yet I had never noticed that the date featured the same numbers that you call when you have an emergency. The DJ continued to say, “Today is an emergency. The date is nine-one-one.” The time was about 7:15-7:30 in the morning. I was almost ready to hop in my 23-year-old self into my Honda Accord and head off to my job at Toys”R”Us corporate headquarters.

I was feeling antsy in my job … it was my first job out of college and like most 23-year-olds, I thought I knew everything about everything. A few weeks earlier, a co-worker had taken me salsa dancing in New York City at the World Trade Center’s “Windows on the World.” Every Thursday was salsa nite and even though I was an awful dancer, I enjoyed the city, the company and the drinks. ;) It was the first time I had ever seen the World Trade Center up close and personal. It was beyond words.

As we ascended up to the 107th floor, I looked out across the Hudson River, into New Jersey, along downtown Manhattan and at the Statue of Liberty, which now appeared to be the size of a cereal box toy.

I stayed out way too late and had way too much fun, just like every young, 20-something should.

There was nothing that ever led me to believe that where I was standing would no longer be standing in just a few short weeks. I had made plans to go back with another group of people in a few weeks, on September 13.

Eleven years ago today, some things happened in history that you will one day read about in school. By that time, 15, 20 or more years will have passed and learning about this historical event will seem to you as distant as Pearl Harbor or the assignation of JFK is to me. You know it happened, your parents share their stories with you, but there is no comprehension of what truly happened that day.

I saved that evening’s newspaper and the newspapers of the days following. I saved the major news magazines and will one day share all of that with you. What the newspapers and magazines show isn’t something I’d like to burden a child with, but how you live your life today was changed by the events of that day.

Flobee, you are growing up in a time where people do many senseless acts of violence and hatred. There is no reason for it, any reason I can think of. While I hope to shield and protect you from the evil of some people, it won’t be easy. All I can do is love you and raise you to be the best person you can be. Allow you to grow, to try new things, to learn from your mistakes, to grow from your failures and to be humbled by your successes.

These senseless acts can teach us all something and there is something I want you to learn from them. In the hours, days, weeks and sometimes months following a tragedy, people come together. They come together in solidarity, they show compassion, they are more grateful, kind and helpful.

I remember the first few after the September 11th attacks. There were candlelight vigils where people of all colors and background united on lawns and gave each other kind looks. People drove a little bit slower and were a bit more kind. My wish for you is that you live every day with this compassion, this gratitude, this kindness and unconditional love. Love everyone equally (well, you can love your parents a tab bit more … we did create you!) and remember you are no better than anyone else. No matter what your education, career or background, always remember that everyone is equal and deserved to be loved that way.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Taking a break from birth to talk about life …

It was one of those weekends … busy running around, burying our heads in the tasks as hand, making sure that the house was clean and impeccable, because, at the time, that mattered. We weren't out living life to its fullest, we weren't thinking about calling anyone to say, "I love you and am thinking about you." We weren't sending note cards off to friends to surprise them with some mailbox cheer. We weren't helping the homeless, curing diabetes or moving mountains were our errands. Matter of fact, we were bickering about the guy in the shopping center parking lot who didn't slow down enough while driving over the speed bumps. His hands went up in the air, our hands were up in the air and expletives ensued. We weren't thinking about anyone other than ourselves and we weren't thinking that maybe someone we loved was currently hurting.

It was one of those moments, when the phone rings and you look at it, but don't answer it. We were in the middle of watching a birth class DVD, thinking about the life we were about to have. We weren't thinking that maybe one just ended. It was one of those moments when the second call comes in right away and you look at each other knowingly that something isn't right. It's the voice mail from the brother you've known all your life, and he announces his name like a complete stranger.

The bit of conversation you can hear from the background and can't help but hope that your are wrong in assuming what comes next. "Are you sure he isn't just hurt? Come on, not him."

Yesterday afternoon, the hubs and I got word that our cousin-in-law (can that be a word right now?) had tragically passed in a motorcycle accident, along with his brother. He was 39 years old and leaves behind an amazing young son and a beautiful wife.

Whenever tragedy strikes, it makes some of us realize we aren't living life to its fullest, that we are sweating the small stuff … and it's times of tragedy that can change our minds and our attitudes to one of compassion and gratitude. But, for me, it always seems temporary; it only lasts until the emotions dwindle away and life resumes some normalcy.

It still seems unreal. His Facebook is flooded with notes of condolence, notes of remembrance, notes of love and all of those things most wait until it is too late to say … It wouldn't change anything or bring anyone back. Just like we can't change yesterday, but we can make a conscious decision to do something today that is different from yesterday. Holding the door open, picking up the phone, forgive a little bit more, love a little louder, have more gratitude, be more patient … make today different than it was yesterday. 

For me, yesterday and the previous days were all about getting ready for Flobee, nesting and cleaning the house. My to-do list was all about cleaning and organizing, not savoring each moment and my last few moments of mother-less-hood. What is going to be different today? I am filling up the next two weekend's to-do list with catching up with friends, enjoying the moments and not sweating the small stuff. If the floor isn't cleaned today, it will still be dirty tomorrow. And that is ok. If dinner isn't made, we won't go hungry, we will go to the drive through!

On a Monday morning, when it is time to wake up and groan, "Ugh, Monday … again." Don't think of today as another dreadful Monday; waking up today is a gift. A gift that someone who loved life doesn't get to experience.

As Gerald states on his Facebook "About" page, "Life is short so you better take advantage of it while you can." And if you didn't believe me that this guy takes advantage of it … I think that this photo sums up both G and his life (this photo also cracks me up whenever I look at it):

Friday, September 7, 2012

33 Weeks Bumpdate ... an Early Arrival?

Wednesday marked 33 weeks and two doctor appointments: One with the OB and one with the perinatal. Both were pretty decent appointments, I got all of my questions answered and here is the long and short of how it all went down:

-I am 33 weeks, yet my belly is measuring 34 weeks. However, that wasn't cause for a big concern. For the last 33 weeks, I have been growing proportionally. If I was all of the sudden measuring 20 or 40 weeks, then we have a problem.

-Flobee … well he/she on the other hand is on the big side. Baby is about 5 lbs., which is larger than “average” but not “abnormal.” Also, its head and belly are larger than “average.”
(But … it does have big, chubby cheeks and hair! Ahhh I can’t wait to see this kiddo.)

-At 37 weeks, which is four weeks from Wednesday, they are going to do another ultra sound. If they think that the kid is still big, they will do an amniocentesis to check the fetal lung maturity (FLM). IF everything is good, they are going to go ahead and induce within a few days. IF the kid is looking normal in size, we can hold off on the amnio and then do it at 38 weeks, which is Oct. 10 and most likely from there induce within a few days.

Soooooo … that means there is a good chance Flobee will be here between Oct 3-13 maybe?? I am not ready (mentally!) for this. Although, is anyone ever really ready? We still have quite a bit of work to do around the house, plus take some classes. So yes, time is really running short. Anyone want to come help? I mean hang out?

Why the measuring and possible induction? They basically said that allowing a diabetic to go much past 38 weeks and surely not past 39 weeks is like allowing a “normal” person to go to 42 weeks. After that, the risks for the baby get higher. So, yes, I can be healthy, Flobee can be developed and mature, but if it keeps cooking, we also run the risk of other things happening as it grows, like overdue moms do.

With all of this new information, have you played "Guess the Flobee" game yet? Enter your guess on gender, size and arrival date here:

I felt better after this appointment, like I had a better understanding of why they would do this early. My greatest hope is that Flobee decides to arrive on his or her own within that period of time. But not before 37 weeks! Mama surely ain't ready for that.

Now ... onto 33 week belly:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Guess The Flobee

We all know there is a baby coming ... but what gender is is? When will he or she arrive and how much will they weigh? Enter your guesses here.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

On March 1, 2010 ...

I woke up this day and tweeted to the world, "I am getting married NEXT MONTH!" ... and I can wake up on this day and say, "I am due with Flobee NEXT MONTH!" I can't believe how fast time has flown from this & this: 

To this & this:

To this & this:

Definitely less than eight weeks to go ... is NOW a safe time to freak the heck out?