Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hello again

Hi. It's been a while.

I wanted to start by writing about my prenatal yoga class, where today we practiced breathing and vocalizing through the chakras. The vocalization has a particular name, which I tried Googling to learn more about. But, I don't know how to spell it and Google isn't recognizing any of the various ways I am trying to spell it. So, we'll try that topic again another time.

If you haven't figured it out yet, or don't already know, I am pregnant again. (Perhaps a new blog name will be coming along soon.) And, you might remember that we started this blog back in 2007 when I was pregnant with Jonah. We were living in Washington D.C. and started it as a way to keep in touch with our loved ones back in Massachusetts. Before we knew it, Jonah was born and then, time sped up so that it felt like in the blink of an eye, he was 2, with a whole lot of joy, turmoil and milestones in between.

I'm sorry I have been away so long, but we have had a lot going on. Our lives have changed pretty dramatically and suddenly on several fronts, and I am still trying to adjust and wrap my brain around it all.

In late October, I found out I was pregnant. Frankly, I was surprised, even though we wanted and were planning to have another baby. I guess, stupidly, I didn't think it would happen so quickly. The morning sickness and fatigue in the early weeks were horrible, way worse than the first time around. Jonah was still nursing a couple times a day when I got pregnant, and I thought I could keep going for a little while to get him through the winter with the extra protection for his immune system. I didn't think it would be a big deal to keep nursing for a while and then try to wean him a few months before the birth of the new baby. But, as soon as the pregnancy hormones kicked in, I developed a very strong aversion to nursing. That, coupled with nausea, vomiting and the need to lie down most of the day, led to me reluctantly wean him during my first trimester, feeling relieved when it happened pretty smoothly but guilty at the same time for cutting him off before he decided to stop on his own. And, then I felt REALLY bad when soon after he was fully weaned he got the flu, a cold and an ear infection all in a row. Even so, when I talked to his pediatrician about all of this, she made me feel better by simply looking me straight in the eye, smiling warmly and saying, "He's 2."

Sometime after I got pregnant, we started thinking hard about finally moving back to western Massachusetts, to be near our family. By Christmas, we had pretty much solidified our plans to move back, deciding that April would be a good time to move, since the baby isn't due until late June or early July and it would be spring when we moved.

A few weeks after a lovely Christmas break spent mostly at my sister's house in Greenfield, we got the very bad news that Matthew's father was very, very sick. He had cancer, probably pancreatic cancer. Advanced. Incurable. Matthew followed his instincts and got on a plane right away to be by his dad's side. A few days later, Jonah and I joined him. The next week was an emotional roller coaster of hope and despair. Ultimately, we realized that Papa was not going to recover from this, but how long we had left with him was anybody's guess. We decided we had to move "home" right away. There would be no waiting until spring. No long good-byes or farewell parties with our friends in DC. Once our decision was made, we flew back to DC, spent less than a week packing our life of seven years there into boxes, with much help from those very same DC friends we would be leaving behind, put it all in a truck and drove to MA on February 5. My sister and her husband opened their house to us, giving us their guest room and clearing out their office for Jonah, our temporary home until we can get our own place later this year. We put 90 percent of our possessions in storage at my father's house (thanks, Dad!) and tried our best to quickly settle in to our new home. The day we moved, the first of two giant snowstorms pummeled the DC area. We saw the flakes flying as we headed out of the city, but got on the road ahead of the storm. We just missed the storms that crippled DC for almost two weeks and would have prevented us from leaving until the snow was cleared. Three days after we arrived in Massachusetts, Matthew's father died, with Matthew and his stepchildren at his side. Matthew and his sisters, Jen and Eliza, set up this lovely online memorial to him. Moving here to Greenfield, under these circumstances, was one of the hardest things we've had to do. But, this is where we are supposed to be now. And, I am still moved to tears when I think about how wonderfully Matthew handled everything, from taking care of his dad at the end of his life to delivering his eulogy at the funeral to taking the lead for his family on handling his father's affairs after his death.

There's so much more to say about how our lives have evolved here over the past six or seven weeks, but I'll stop there for now. Let's just say we are adapting in fits and starts and sometimes overwhelmed with happiness for being here and sometimes overwhelmed by sadness for all that we have lost and left behind. More on that later.

So, hello again. If you are reading this, we probably miss you and are still sad we had to say good-bye, or we are very, very happy to see you again and glad that we don't have to say good-bye anytime soon. ~ Nicole