Thursday, January 01, 2009

Baby New Year

It's 2009 and I'm writing from my favorite place -- bed. Wifi and a laptop top my year-end gratitude list of 2008. Here are the other eight:

8) Heat when it's 15 degrees outside.

7) Healthy kids. Stellina had a mystery petechial rash last month, tiny bright-red freckles everywhere. That's the rash about which the baby books and websites say, "Rush to the ER," unlike the other 99% of no-need-to-panic infant skin eruptions. After a round of bloodwork and two visits to her perplexed pediatrician, we were referred to the scariest of specialists -- the pediatric oncologist. Cancer is an awful enough condition, but put "cancer" and "baby" together in the same sentence and it's double-up on the Prozac time for Mommy. Which I wasn't able to do at the moment, as I'd just gone off of said medication due to it's remote, remote possible side effect of said rash. I'd only been on it for 10 days when she had her first outbreak, so I was sure it was the cause and also a little heartbroken. By day four I'd felt better than I had in, geez, a year and a half? Two years? 14 plus 10 months. I knew I was depressed, but that's the thing about depression -- one doesn't realize how low they've gone until they get a leg up. I'd gutted it out without meds since getting pregnant, despite all the assurances that SSRIs are perfectly safe for the lil belly-dwellers and breastfeeders because...well, how do they know? Long-term-like? This particular class of medication has only been around since the mid-80s, right? And I was already on two other medications that weren't optional. I don't know how optional antidepressants really were, either, in the scheme of things. I've been graced with total patience with Stellina, through colic, even. It's bizarre, really -- I have not lost my patience or heart-filled sense of humor toward her even once. BUT...oh, her poor father, half-brother and the dog. Yes, even the dog. I've lost my shit on them all, too many times to count, not to mention the self-haranguing harridan in my head. She's not a nice woman. No one I'd be friends with, and she's me.

So it was back to Prozac, the first and favorite of ADs I ever tried (after two years on it, starting 14 years ago, it up and stopped working, but I guess it's been long enough of a break that it's again doing the trick). So, anyway, I went off after 10 days but the butterbean had another rashy outbreak a week later. Which was when we went to the baby cancer doctor -- the baby, her freaked-out father and freaked-out-and-unmedicated mother. And you want to see a freak out, try taking blood for the second time in a week from a baby with no apparent veins. It took three nurses and me to hold her down, all 21-pounds of her. (Her father was busy out of hearing range doing paperwork.) Where she didn't already have petechiae before the visit, she did afterwards from all the thrashing and screaming. Well, two weeks, a battery of blood-disorder tests and no new rash later, she's been given a clean bill o' health. Thank god/dess/hp/powersthatbe. And I hurried up and got well, as the junkies like to say, resuming Prozac about 30 seconds after getting off the phone with the doctor. And no more rash to date.

And, the stepkid is steadily, ridiculously healthy, despite his curious refusal to wear a winter jacket. Drive by any middle-school bus stop and you'll see what I mean. At least he's not wearing Uggs and a miniskirt.

6) Obama.

5) Baby-daddy and I became engaged. You'd think raising children together was engaging enough. But truthfully, as cart- before-the-horse/load, fire, aim as our relationship's been, though I've felt unwaveringly committed to the kids, I've been ambivalent at moments about their sire. Or at least to the notion of getting formally hitched. In large part, I think, because my queer brethren couldn't. But now they can, in the Nutmeg State, at least, and we are, too. And the ring's reeal purty, too. High-conflict diamonds for our high-conflict coupling.

4) CT legalized gay marriage. Because, as Bill Maher said, gay folks deserve to be as miserable as heterosexuals.

3) Unemployment's been extended again. Thanks, recession!

2) My freelance job(s), and having a babysitter who's as flexible as my part-time work schedule. And I only have to give her half, not all, of what I earn!

1) Healthy kids, and Prozac, and Obama.
Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr