Wednesday, November 30, 2011


We had our mini-re-org at work. I was mostly unaffected. I wanted to be left alone to do my job, and that’s been done. However, they want me to move my desk closer to …something. I don’t know. I guess they want me to give up my very remote office in the plant to come to our main office building and work in a cubicle.

I’ve had my own office for 8 years now. I have to say that I am a fan. It’s not a status thing because my office is in a trailer and it’s far from luxurious, but I love it because it’s quiet, no one is around, and it’s private. And mine.

With an office, I have always just pumped at my desk and gone right on working. I never felt guilty about the 40-45 minutes a day spent pumping since it was also productive time. The building they want me to move to does not have a lactation room (and I am pretty sure cubicle dwellers do not pump at their desks). Even with a lactation room, I would have to leave my desk and go to a room and just pump (I guess I could bring a book). But there is no lactation room. And I really don’t want to be that woman who agitates for what the law allows. And I don’t want to pump in the bathroom because it’s a bathroom in a factory. It’s not a place I’d want to feed my baby. I’ve told my boss my reasons for not wanting to move to the cubicle, but I am not sure he understands what a large deal it is for me. And I am blowing it totally out of proportion in my mind, because….

Transference. According to Wikipedia, transference is “the redirection of feelings and desires … toward a new object.” Basically that means, I am worried about something else, but that something else is too hard to think about so I am worried about whether I am going to end up pumping in the janitors’ closet with a wedge holding the door shut while I try to keep housekeeping out by pushing on the door and saying “There’s someone in here.” (True story, by the way, from someone who works in the building where they want me to move.)

I still hadn’t heard back from my doctor about whether he was able to order the fetal DNA test, so I called today. The assistant said it’s not ordered according to my chart but she would check with the doctor and get back to me tomorrow. And then it’s at least 2 weeks after that before I have results anyway (if they can even get me this cutting-edge, brand-new test). And then even if the DNA is good, it could still be cystic fibrosis, CMV, or toxoplasmosis (more tests I guess I should have). And I’m worried. For a variety of reasons. But the biggest reason I worry is that I won’t be a good enough mom to a special needs child.

I re-read the email Sarah Palin (you don’t have to be her fan to read this next part) sent to her family shortly before Trig was born. She believes in God. She sounded so accepting and loving toward her son both because he is her son and also because he is a creation of her God. She just sounded so “at peace” with the whole situation. I don’t know whether I can live up to that. Her email is lovely, though, so I am going to quote some of it because it does give me something to strive for (even for my “perfect” children and even though I don't believe in her God). She wrote the email to her friends and family as if it was from God.

They were told in early tests that Trig may provide more challenges, and more joy, than what they ever may have imagined or ever asked for. At first the news seemed unreal and sad and confusing. But I gave Trig's mom and dad lots of time to think about it because they needed lots of time to understand that everything will be OK, in fact, everything will be great, because I only want the best for you!

This new person in your life can help everyone put things in perspective and bind us together and get everyone focused on what really matters.

The baby will expand your world and let you see and feel things you haven't experienced yet. He'll show you what "true, brave victory" really means as those who love him will think less about self and focus less on what the world tells you is "normal" or "perfect". You will grow and be blessed with greater understanding that will be born along with Trig.

Every child is created special, with awesome purpose and amazing potential. Children are the most precious and promising ingredient in this mixed up world you live in down there on earth. Trig is no different, except he has one extra chromosome.

Some of the rest of the world may not want him, but take comfort in that because the world will not compete for him. Take care of him and he will always be yours!

Many people won't understand... and I understand that. Some will think Trig should not be allowed to be born because they fear a Downs child won't be considered "perfect" in your world. (But tell me, what do you earthlings consider "perfect" or even "normal" anyway? …)

Many people will express sympathy, but you don't want or need that, because Trig will be a joy. You will have to trust me on this.
So, I guess one of my worries is that I just won’t be good enough to be Muse’s mother if it turns out that Muse faces special challenges. Of course, intellectually I know that the chances of anything being “wrong” are low. And of course, my brain knows that I will be an awesome mom regardless (who will pump breast milk in her car, if necessary). But. But, I worry. It’s what I do. I am sleeping and working and having 18 people for dinner (someone brought an extra guest…YAY) and shopping for Christmas and keeping myself very busy so I don’t have time to dwell. But….when I am in the car by myself driving home, I worry. And sometimes, I cry.

I think back to when I was pregnant with Chuckles a million years ago. He wasn’t a big mover. I’d often have to drink some hot cocoa to get any movement out of him for hours on end. I worried. But when he was born, I was so connected with him. He looked just like his ultrasound profile photo that I recognized him immediately. I knew his cry. We were so connected. I loved him so much.

When I was pregnant with Bobo, I assumed it would be the same. It wasn’t. He moved in utero. A lot. All the time, really. When he was born, he didn’t look like his ultrasound, he didn’t look like his brother, I didn’t recognize him (though I did know his cry). The love wasn’t instantaneous this time. It took a while, but eventually, I came to love Bobo just as much as I loved Chuckles.

So, I wasn’t sure which way it would go this time around. Muse moves quite a bit. Probably more even than Bobo. I have these ultrasound photos (now in 3D, which they didn’t have with Chuckles). Muse seems to look like Bobo. Maybe I will recognize him when he’s born. Maybe I will know his cry in my heart as soon as I hear it. Maybe he will look like Bobo but have Chuckles’s coloring. Who knows? I am sure I will love Muse (either immediately, or eventually). I am sure I will protect him and do everything I can for him. But I am fairly certain I won’t be a perfect mom.


  1. When I was pumping for Pumpkin, I had a private office and it was very easy, as you say. With Petunia, I had to use a lactation room, but it worked out OK, because I had a computer put in there. I was head of IT, I could just do that.

    So I say insist on a lactation room if they want you to move. Push your luck and ask for a networked computer in there so you can work (you can remote desktop back to your own PC and just keep working).

    You will be an awesome mom for Muse, whatever challenges he brings. Have you already found and read that "Welcome to Holland" essay? I have no idea if it would be helpful or not, but it is famous...

  2. SarcastiCarrie says: I just read "Welcome to Holland". It's a quick read...maybe 4 minutes if you really stretch it. It's a very good description of having any baby, I think.

  3. In those quiet, alone and sometimes dark moments, know that you are the best mother for Muse, whatever his special qualities and needs may be. ( where did I read that?..."you're the best parent for your child..." ;) )

    And also that you have superpowers you have not yet discovered (even after having 2 other kids).

    And that your love is a great place to start (and end for that matter) in being a great mother for Muse.

    I'm sure you know all of this. But, you know, just in case you need to see something in writing when you feel overwhlemed.

  4. You are awesome, and there's no such thing as a perfect mom. And I think you should be that woman- though you shouldn't have to push for your basic rights- and require a safe, private, clean space for pumping at work. Just my 2 cents. I really like your blog, hope you keep writing.