Sort of like a memo only longer and likely more annoying!
I thought a lot about what I wrote after I wrote it. It is all true but there were also some things I wanted to add. The way I felt - the death, dying, drive the car off the road things - those were only in relation to me. I did not ever want to harm Matthew and really those thoughts that nagged at me during those early months were oddly fleeting. They would come and I would shrug them off, force them to go away but that also lead to more depression because I thought 'OMG I should not be thinking these things - what a bad person I am.' Catch-22 you know?
Also, we are working on getting Baby Pancake's room ready - we do not want to wait until the end - been there, done that! We put in a new closet system to house all of the new babe's stuff. We got rid of the tree in that room (which we were fully de-cluttered Christmas wise by 5:00p on December 30th!!! Raaaaaaaaa hoo! I love Christmas but after a month of looking at Christmas stuff and really being totally immersed in the whole holiday experience we were ready to say good bye to it all for another year! Matthew even helped and was SO happy doing it!) and brought all the stuff that was in that closet downstairs to its new home in the "new catch all room". Much of what was in there were photos and photo albums. SO I got to organizing yesterday. Me being all anal like the albums had to be order of dates so I was sort of glancing through them to see what was what. I happened upon photos from October 2004. I was about 3 months along (just about where I am right now in fact.) I was shocked over how I looked. I looked tired and unhappy. My acne - lord, I looked like I was 13 only worse... I was amazed by these photos.
We are in such a different place today than we were back than- Kevin's words, not mine but OH so true. Matthew was unplanned, a pleasant surprise but financially we were unprepared. I know that people say 'oh there is never a good time to have a baby...' but really I just started this job in January 2004 and I was not doing very well. The first year at SJA you get a salary plus whatever you make in placements above that salary. By October 2004, I had made exactly ONE placement (that is I found 1 physician a job and got paid for it...) My partner in crime had SEVEN by the end of the first year and in contrast Kevin had something like 8 his first year here. Needless to say, I was sucking wind in more ways than just this - I was basically told shape up or ship out twice during that year. No one had ever had a baby while working at SJA so no one had any idea if I could come back after three months off. I was looking at December as my last "real pay check" before I went on a draw (commission) and I had to actually really start to make placements/be productive.
Additionally, I was the primary bread winner in our house. Kevin was working for Solution Tree at the time and there is basically zero advancement there with relatively low pay. Kevin and I were in an okay place financially in terms of no debt besides the house but we were looking ahead and had done the math ($350k plus to raise a kid WHA...) - we knew what it would take to raise a child the way we wanted to and on our income it was going to be tough. There was A LOT on my shoulders.
I was scared to have a baby with virtually no support system in place and I had held a baby maybe a handful of times prior to Matthew and had NEVER EVER changed a diaper (okay once and I was 14 and seriously I was baby sitting - the child fell FELL off the changing table... I think I vowed that very night I was not meant to have babies due to that incident... The baby was not harmed but it scared the CRAP out of me as it should have - he fell on to a pile of cloths or something soft but still...) YEAH, scared shit less would be an understatement.
Finally, the other photos that shocked me were the ones from Seattle. My face was a perfectly round circle and again I did not look good. Not like 'I am pregnant and I felt fat' - it was more of 'OMG how in the world am I going to do this' sort of look on my face. Also, that visit with my mother was a vivid look into things to come. We fought bitterly and I walked out of the house into a rain storm in Seattle after she got mad that Kevin was playing with her dog???
I was fascinating to me to look back. It is SO easy to forget these things. I remembered the acne but this time while I have some I do not as of yet (KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK on WOOD!) I do not have it the way I did back than.
Financially we are comfortable, we know our limits. We planned this pregnancy - we knew what we wanted in terms of the kid's ages and we also feel like we can handle everything financially without freaking out at any point during this pregnancy. I will be working after Baby Pancake arrives but this time I know what working AND being a mommy is all about. I know having two will be different (especially trying to get out of the house in the morning!) but I also know this time that I can handle this. I am up for the task.
Finally, Kelly gave me the book The Bitch in the House and man what an excellent reminder that there are many many women working and making it work and struggling with all of it too. They have temper issues and struggle with the time they get to spend with their kids while working in big cities and at high powered jobs. But it is also a good reminder that I do not live in NYC or LA, I live in Bloomington where I am exactly 6-8 minutes from my home and Matthew's day care. I do not have to commute at all. I make good money in a small town where the cost of living is comfortable. I have loving kind friends and coworkers (who feel more like friends than people I work with...)
I am actually excited at the prospect of coming back to work after this second baby comes because I have come to realize I LOVE a challenge. It was flipping hard to come back to work the first time - it took almost a year to get back in the groove of things (work wise) what with time for pumping and the all night nursing adventure Matthew took me on - but I am ready for it. I know I am not the only one out there who has done or is doing this and that giving up work for family is not for me. I love my son and the baby percolating my belly but I also love that I have a job I love and a place for Matthew to spend his days that is equally as loving and caring.
SO really what looking back at those photos did and really put me in awe all day yesterday was to remind me how good life is. How we as humans can do a lot more than we ever thought we could AND I am a better stronger person for having "survived" (not the right word...) all of that. I am really done on this subject. Told you it would be long and verbose.
I plan to get photos uploaded (tonight?!) and we can talk Christmas (VERY belatedly-sorry), New Year's, pregnancy & the future from here on out.