A while ago I wrote I’ve made one good friend up here. If I think about it, that isn’t really true. There are a small handful of people who have become close friends. The friend I was talking about has kids, one barely four weeks younger than T. I’m not friends with her because she is a mom; I think we would have liked each other no matter what our child producing status was. But the mom thing is an added piece of good luck. We are there to watch each other’s kids so we can make it to doctor’s appointments or get our hair cut, or go to faculty meetings. It’s like having a friend with this bonus component.
But besides that friendship there are several other people who have made our first year in Syracuse great. One of them had a birthday yesterday and her husband invited Z and me along with some other lovely folk to a restaurant to celebrate. It was after T would be in bed, Z asked me to call around and find someone to watch him so I could go. And my anxiety level shot through the roof. My stomach cramped, my heart raced, my throat got tight and I knew I couldn’t do it. Now let me make myself perfectly clear, I like this woman. I look up to her, I care deeply about her, if we were to move away I know she would continue to be part of our lives. While my attendance was in no way going to make or break this dinner I felt like a complete ass for knowing there was no way I could do it.
The circumstances need to be just right for me to make it to an event outside the house. Earlier this week Randy Cohen, writer of The Ethicist column in the NY Times spoke at the SU Lecture Series (quick SU plug-this Tuesday night series is free and open to the public and it gets some pretty darn cool speakers). We arranged a babysitter so we could see him, we were only gone for an hour, and he gave a very interesting and thought provoking speech, but I was freaking out the whole time. Getting back to the safety of our house was such an enormous relief. And tonight we drive down to RI for a weekend of friends and a wedding. Traveling with a baby is fraught if you don’t have an anxiety disorder. But I’m so scared about keeping it together during the weekend I want to curl up under a blanket and stay there forever. Yet I also really want to go to this wedding. The couple getting married is one both Z and I really care about. I want to see them make this commitment to each other. And the woman we are staying with is among my closest friends in addition to being one of the kindest people I have ever met. I hate that the whole weekend, which I have been looking forward to for months, will be tainted by my fear and anxiety.
The fact that the dinner last night was bookended by two high stress events means my attendance was a nonstarter. The month long trip to the south that is looming on the horizon does not help matters. If the dinner fell on a week with no obligations I might have rallied. Instead I hunkered down at home and ordered my favorite take out. Z said the dinner was lovely and the food was really good. I got to hug the birthday girl when she stopped at our house to pick Z up. But at this point in time the fear of embarrassing myself in public still beats the shame of missing out on so many occasions.
OK. Now the fantastic news. After just 3 days my HCG levels are down from 28 to 14. This is the fastest and most dramatic progress we’ve had since the blood tests began. Perhaps my rebelling uterus does know what to do! Looks like the scary drug is going to be unnecessary. I just have to have one more blood test done next Wednesday and then I’ll be all clear and we’ll have the green light to start trying again. Of course, the following Monday I’ll be heading down south for a month and I won’t see Z for 3 weeks. So if I do get pregnant that first month I will have some serious explaining to do. But my imagined extramarital affairs are neither here nor there. Because I feel really positive and hopeful about this for the first time in so long.
We bought these hilarious pirate pjs for him when he was brand new. He wore them for the first time last night and we were ridiculously excited.